photo: Karunakar Rayker
While global warming is expected to spread tropical diseases into new areas, it appears human action to prevent malaria may be outpacing the spread of the debilitating disease. New Scientist points out a new study coming out of the University of Oxford that examined how much malaria has spread since 1900, when the world was 0.7°C cooler.
The Spatial Limits of P. falciparum Malaria Risk. Areas were defined as stable (dark grey areas), unstable (medium grey areas), or no risk (light grey). Image: PLoS Medicine
In total, the area where malaria is endemic has decreased from 58% to 30%, with the rate of transmission fallen nearly everywhere. That said, though overall area has decreased, malaria may still spread into new areas as our climate changes.
Study author Peter Gething says,
The things acting to reduce malaria spread, like improved healthcare and disease control, are much more powerful than the weak effect of warming.
More on the Global Warming & Disease:
Tick-Borne Diseases May Spread More Easily With Global Warming
Climate Change Already Expanding Tropics, Sub-Tropical Arid Zones and Disease
Climate Change Too Abstract For You? Dengue Fever Could Spread to 20 US States