Mosquitos and Climate Change

All About Mosquitoes

Mosquito transmitted illnesses, also known as vector-borne diseases, are illnesses caused by parasites, viruses or bacteria that are transmitted by mosquitos. Mosquitos are known as disease "vectors", which means that they can transmit infectious pathogens between humans. According to the World Health Organization, vector borne diseases cause more than 700,000 deaths every year.

 

The illnesses we will look at on this website will primarily be the result of the mosquito species Aedes and Anopheles.  Click through the slide show on the right to learn more about these mosquito species. 

Mosquito Biology

Watch this video filmed at the University of Florida to learn more about how mosquitoes are able to transmit disease and what sentinel chickens are.

Mosquitos and Climate

Watch this video to learn more about how mosquitoes respond to changing climates. 

Changing Climate

Fig2_Months.PNG

As you just learned in the videos, temperature plays a central and important role in mosquito activity. This is because each mosquito can only live and reproduce at a specific range of temperatures, generally from 70-90 °F (20-30 °C). If a mosquito is able to live in an area, it is also potentially able to transmit diseases. 

 

As climates change throughout the coming decades, some areas will become hotter and therefore more suitable for mosquito disease transmission. However, some areas will become too hot, and no longer support mosquito activity.

 

That is why predicting the changes in climate patterns are important, so that resources and prevention strategies can be put in place for newly emerging at-risk areas. 

Use the sliding maps on the right to compare Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus transmission suitability currently and then in 2080. The legend shows the number of months in a year that transmission is possible. Notice how some areas become less suitable for mosquitos when the temperature exceeds their range.

Click the button below to navigate to the "Climate Models" page to learn how these maps are made.

For all maps, GCM is HadGEM2-ES where R0 > 0 is greater or equal to 97.5%. The year is 2080 and maps have an RCP of 8.5