Climate change and the potential global distribution of Aedes aegypti: spatial modelling using geographical information system and CLIMEX

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Hassan M. Khormi *
Lalit Kumar
(*) Corresponding Author:
Hassan M. Khormi | hmkhormi@uqu.edu.sa

Abstract

We examined the potential added risk posed by global climate change on the dengue vector Aedes aegypti abundance using CLIMEX, a powerful tool for exploring the relationship between the fundamental and realised niche of any species. After calibrating the model using data from several knowledge domains, including geographical distribution records, we estimated potential distributions of the mosquito under current and future potential scenarios. The impact of climate change on its potential distribution was assessed with two global climate models, the CSIRO-Mk3.0 and the MIROC-H, run with two potential, future emission scenarios (A1B and A2) published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We compared today’s climate situation with two arbitrarily chosen future time points (2030 and 2070) to see the impact on the worldwide distribution of A. aegypti. The model for the current global climate indicated favourable areas for the mosquito within its known distribution in tropical and subtropical areas. However, even if much of the tropics and subtropics will continue to be suitable, the climatically favourable areas for A. aegypti globally are projected to contract under the future scenarios produced by these models, while currently unfavourable areas, such as inland Australia, the Arabian Peninsula, southern Iran and some parts of North America may become climatically favourable for this mosquito species. The climate models for the Aedes dengue vector presented here should be useful for management purposes as they can be adapted for decision/making regarding allocation of resources for dengue risk toward areas where risk infection remains and away from areas where climatic suitability is likely to decrease in the future.

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