Increased risk of malaria transmission with warming temperature in the Ethiopian Highlands

Title Increased risk of malaria transmission with warming temperature in the Ethiopian Highlands
Publication Type Journal Article
Year of Publication 2020
Authors Endo, N. & Eltahir E. A. B.
Journal Environmental Research Letters
Abstract heavily populated highlands of Ethiopia are currently at low risk for malaria transmission, but global warming may change the risk level significantly. The inhabitants of the Ethiopian Highlands are highly vulnerable to this potential hazard due to their lack of immunity. Here, we identify hotspots within the Highlands where projected warming towards the end of the 21st century will increase the risk of malaria transmission significantly. Based on projected temperature changes, we conclude that about a third of the region’s population and roughly 14% of its land area will become at high risk for malaria transmission within a century under the high-emissions-no-mitigation baseline scenario for future climate change. Our analysis combines dynamically down-scaled regional climate projections, high resolution satellite observations of temperature, and a village-scale malaria transmission model that was developed based on climatic, environmental, entomological, and medical data collected by our group in comprehensive multi-year field surveys of villages in this region. The projected impacts of global warming on malaria transmission in Africa have been controversial. We propose a framework that reconciles seemingly contradictory conclusions, and informs strategies for climate adaptation not only over the Ethiopian Highlands but broadly over Africa, where more than 90% of malaria deaths occur every year.

DOI 10.1088/1748-9326/ab7520
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