Potential impacts of climate change on the ecology of dengue and its mosquito vector the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)
Shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns caused by global climate change may have profound impacts on the ecology of certain infectious diseases. We examine the potential impacts of climate change on the transmission and maintenance dynamics of dengue, a resurging mosquito-vectored infectious disease. In particular, we project changes in dengue season length for three cities: Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL and Lubbock, TX. These cities are located on the edges of the range of the Asian tiger mosquito within the United States of America and were chosen as test cases. We use a disease model that explicitly incorporates mosquito population dynamics and high-resolution climate projections. Based on projected changes under the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A1fi (higher) and B1 (lower) emission scenarios as simulated by four global climate models, we found that the projected warming shortened mosquito lifespan, which in turn decreased the potential dengue season. These results illustrate the difficulty in predicting how climate change may alter complex systems.