Study finds that Arctic mosquitoes will increase with climate change - 16th September
The rise in mosquitoes in the Arctic as it warms because of climate change, will create negative consequences for caribou and the indigenous people who live off them study finds. A 2 degree temperature rise will cause arctic mosquitos to increase by more than 50% says a study by Dartmouth College.
The IPCC states that current arctic temperatures are rising at twice the rate of the global average, which are likely to be 2.6 - 4.8C higher by 2080-2100 than they are today if emissions go unchecked.
Lauren Culler, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher at Dartmouth’s Dickey Center Institute of Arctic Studies said that the research could be used to predict how other ecosystems might respond to climate change.
“Temperature has such a strong effect on almost all biological systems. We don’t know as much about the Arctic as other ecosystems. But given the Arctic is changing so rapidly, having a baseline data set is going to be really important for anticipating future changes. We can learn a lot about ecological theories from studying these mosquitoes but we can also begin to anticipate impacts on human systems.”
The rise in mosquito numbers will have serious consequences for caribou and reindeer herds. Caribou, which are one of the few sources of blood for mosquitoes, are known to change their behaviour in response to harassment from the biting insects, by abandoning areas for more isolated ones such as snowy patches or windy ridges. This leaves them with less time and energy to spend on finding food.
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