Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

How Climate Change Influences the Path of Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes

How Climate Change Influences the Path of Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes

Malaria predictions serve an obvious purpose, but they don't always tell you how susceptible a particular town or village might be.

In fact, a group of professors and researchers found that the likelihood of malaria-carrying mosquitoes showing up in particularly can vary more than most would imagine.

"People might have an interest in predictions for global malaria trends and even more so for regional patterns, but they probably care most about what's going to happen in their own town or village," said Matthew Thomas, a Penn State University professor and Huck Scholar in ecological entomology. "What is likely to happen in one location can be very different from another location just 50 miles down the road."

Thomas and others from Penn State, the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research and the universities of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts found that climate change strongly influences the ability of mosquitoes to transmit malaria and where they might travel.

The ability of mosquitoes to transmit malaria is strongly influenced by environmental temperature, a group of researchers found.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

"Malaria mosquitoes are ectothermic organisms, which means that their body temperature matches the temperature of their direct surroundings," said Krijn Paaijmans, an assistant research professor at the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research.

"Fine-scale predictions of malaria risk will be better tailored to the needs of local communities and can improve local adaptation and mitigation strategies."

The research team set out to examine the malaria risk for four locations. They researchers used a mathematical model that incorporates the influence of temperature on adult mosquitoes' transmission of malaria parasites and compares it to the predictions they obtained in the four locations with predictions from coarse-scale model simulations. The result was over- and underestimation of climate change impacts.

"This is one of the first studies to attempt to explore how climate change might impact conditions at the local level," said Dr. Michael E. Mann, a distinguished professor of meteorology at Penn State.

"The results suggest the possibility that population centers in cool highland regions could be more vulnerable than previously thought, while other equally large lowland areas might be less vulnerable. But this would have to be confirmed with more detailed modeling assessments that take into account the full suite of environmental and socio-economic factors that ultimately determine risk of malaria."

The results are available in the June 19 issue of the Climatic Change journal. The research was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

 

A dugong, also called a sea cow, swims with golden pilot jacks near Marsa Alam, Egypt, Red Sea. Alexis Rosenfeld / Getty Images

In 2010, world leaders agreed to 20 targets to protect Earth's biodiversity over the next decade. By 2020, none of them had been met. Now, the question is whether the world can do any better once new targets are set during the meeting of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Kunming, China later this year.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Jan. 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

By Andrew Rosenberg

The first 24 hours of the administration of President Joe Biden were filled not only with ceremony, but also with real action. Executive orders and other directives were quickly signed. More actions have followed. All consequential. Many provide a basis for not just undoing actions of the previous administration, but also making real advances in public policy to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Melting ice forms a lake on free-floating ice jammed into the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

A first-of-its-kind study has examined the satellite record to see how the climate crisis is impacting all of the planet's ice.

Read More Show Less
Probiotic rich foods. bit245 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Ana Maldonado-Contreras

Takeaways

  • Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that are vital for keeping you healthy.
  • Some of these microbes help to regulate the immune system.
  • New research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows the presence of certain bacteria in the gut may reveal which people are more vulnerable to a more severe case of COVID-19.

You may not know it, but you have an army of microbes living inside of you that are essential for fighting off threats, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Michael Mann photo inset by Joshua Yospyn.

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet is the latest must-read book by leading climate change scientist and communicator Michael Mann of Penn State University.

Read More Show Less