Mosquito Population Surge Linked to Climate Change

A mosquito biting human skin and sucking blood.

A mosquito biting human skin and sucking blood. Joao Paulo Burini / Moment / Getty Images

It’s not just you — mosquitos really are worse this year, and climate change is at least partially to blame, Grist reports.

Along with this summer’s record heat in the contiguous U.S., this season’s myriad storms and above average rainfall are the main drivers of increased mosquito populations.

Hurricanes, tropical storms, and the remnants thereof, have soaked the East Coast, while parts of Arizona saw the wettest July on record. Mosquito populations vary along with rainfall, and climate change, caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, makes extreme precipitation events more likely.

The record heat, also fueled by climate change, adds another layer of danger, as the West Nile virus, carried by mosquitoes, reproduces more quickly in higher temperatures.

“We’ve got to be thinking much more cogently about planet change and what we’re going to do to stop it,” Andrew Dobson, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University, told Grist. “Otherwise we’re going to have more floods, more diseases.”

For a deeper dive:

Grist; Climate Signals background: 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Extreme precipitation increase; Extreme heat and heatwaves

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter