J13.2 Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change Scenarios on the Dengue Vector Mosquito Aedes aegypti Using a Water Container Energy Balance Model

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 8:45 AM
Conference Center: Tahoma 5 (Washington State Convention Center )
Daniel F. Steinhoff, NCAR, Boulder, CO

Dengue infections are estimated to total nearly 400 million per year worldwide, with both the geographic range and the magnitude of infections having increased in the past 50 years.  The primary dengue vector mosquito Aedes aegypti is closely associated with humans.  It lives exclusively in urban and semi-urban areas, preferentially bites humans, and spends its developmental stages in artificial water containers.  Climate regulates the development of Ae. aegypti immature mosquitoes in artificial containers.  Potential containers for Ae. aegypti immature development include, but are not limited to, small sundry items (e.g., bottles, cans, plastic containers), buckets, tires, barrels, tanks, and cisterns.  Successful development of immature mosquitoes from eggs to larvae, pupae, and eventually adults is largely dependent on the availability of water and the thermal properties of the water in the containers. 

An energy balance container model termed the Water Height And Temperature in Container Habitats Energy Model (WHATCH'EM) solves for water temperature and height for user-specified containers with readily available weather data.  WHATCH’EM is used with NASA Earth Science products as input to assess the impact of climate change scenarios on climatic suitability for immature Ae. aegypti mosquitoes.  Habitat suitability maps for present-day and projected future conditions - based on both climate and human population scenarios - are illustrated for a variety of containers (size, material, color, and shading).  Sensitivity of habitat suitability to specific effects (changes in temperature, humidity, precipitation, and extremes in these variables) is also explored.

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