A new climate model found that rising Arctic temperature may change the mosquito migration pattern.
Hear that buzzing in your ear? It’s a reminder that global warming has some very annoying consequences.
The Benchmark Reporter reports that a new climate model tracked the life span of mosquitoes and concluded that the species may start migrating further north than ever before. A team of researchers led by Lauren Culler of Dartmouth College ran hypothetical temperature scenarios to determine if mosquitoes may be on their way to surviving in the Arctic.
Mosquito eggs in the Arctic are laid in shallow ponds and hatch during the springtime snow melt. The model concluded that with warmer Arctic temperatures, the mosquito eggs were able to hatch sooner and reach maturity more quickly, decreasing the time they are vulnerable to predators. This would increase the total amount of adult mosquitoes.
Earlier this year, a U.N. panel for Arctic warming predicted average temperatures could rise 2 degrees Celsius. The study found that temperature increase gave Arctic mosquitoes a 53% increase in survival.
Mosquitoes are not just annoying but dangerous. They can spread disease, a factor that could significantly impact the population of already endangered Arctic species such as the caribou. Caribou are extremely important for the human populations of northern areas, serving as a main food source. Previous studies have suggested that animals might change their migration patterns in response to mosquito populations, and so a domino effect of Arctic change may occur.
Fortunately, so far this is only a model: let’s hope it never comes true.