Climate change is changing the living conditions of many species, and the aegypti mosquito, a common disease-borne mosquito, is no exception,media New Atlas reported. A new study modeling the effects of rising temperatures on the insect’s habitat is expanding at a steady rate. Scientists warn that the mosquito could become ubiquitous in southern Europe within a decade.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a spread ercy to a range of diseases, including dengue, Zika and yellow fever, which live mainly in tropical and subtropical climates. But as human-generated carbon dioxide emissions drive up global temperatures, scientists at Imperial College London and Tel Aviv University are studying how climate change can help spread on a larger scale.
The researchers first analyzed the effects of temperature on mosquitoes in the egg, larvae, larvae and adult mosquito phases. These observations are then compiled into a single “surface model” to calculate the extent to which mosquitoes can effectively complete the entire life cycle under given weather conditions.
The scientists then fed historical and predicted data on world temperature and rainfall from 1950 to 2050 to study the effective growth and reproduction of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in different locations. These projections are based on two climate change scenarios, one slashing emissions and the other of total inaction. Scientists say that between 1950 and 2000, the world became more suitable for the aedes aegypti mosquito at a rate of 1.5% per decade. If emissions reductions in their models are implemented, this rate will still increase to 3.2 per 10 years by 2050. As usual, it could increase by 4.4% over the next decade.
“This work helps to shed light on the potential long-term costs of not curbing greenhouse gas emissions now,” said Dr Kris Murray of Imperial College London. “Our results suggest that this mosquito species is likely to benefit from recent climate change in most parts of the world. But this increase in suitability is now starting to accelerate. We predict that deep cuts in emissions could help slow this. “
According to the team’s calculations, the Aedes aegypti mosquito’s invading border will advance at a rate of 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) per year by 2050, 3.5 times faster than historical data. In Europe, the team said, the pace of progress could see parts of Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey providing “continuous suitability” for the insect by 2030.
“By translating biological knowledge in the lab into environmental lyability maps, we believe our approach can provide locally specific and policy-relevant insights into mosquito and possible disease management under climate change,” said lead author Dr. Takuya Iwamura of Tel Aviv University.
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.