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Check Out the New STEM Professional Blog: “Mosquitoes: Sentinels of Our Changing Climate”

A sharable graphic showing a mosquito and a computer screen displaying an upward trend. Image Credit: Jenn Glaser, ScribeArts

Image Credit: Jenn Glaser, ScribeArts

In a recent GLOBE Community Blog, Dr. Russanne (Rusty) Low, a senior scientist with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the Science Lead for GLOBE’s Mosquito Habitat Mapper and the GLOBE Mission Mosquito campaign, discusses mosquitoes as “avatars” of climate change.

If the last mosquito season felt longer, or if mosquito bites seemed to hurt more than you
remembered, you didn’t imagine it! Mosquitoes respond sensitively to changes in heat, humidity, and precipitation, and serve as buzzy, annoying sentinels of our changing climate. Here’s how mosquitoes are letting us know our climate is changing,” Dr. Low said in the blog.

“With climate change comes an increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events -- think of this summer’s historic heat dome in the Pacific Northwest, the wildfires in the western U.S., and longer and stronger hurricane seasons on the Atlantic seaboard. But what are the relationships between climate change, extreme weather events, and mosquitoes?”

In the blog, Dr. Low discusses how the mosquito seasons are getting longer; and how mosquitoes are expanding their range, are increasingly being found far from their original homes, and how their populations are responding to extreme weather events. “While climate change is causing extreme weather events to increase in frequency, vector-borne disease risk models will help us to prepare so that anticipated disease outbreaks can be curtailed or averted.”

Dr. Low said, “Observers” – those using The GLOBE Program’s app, GLOBE Observer – support surveillance and source reduction, and “are ready to respond when extreme weather comes their way.”

To read the entire blog, click here.

To download The GLOBE Program’s App, GLOBE Observer, click here.

To read other recent community blogs, click here.

News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office