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Report: Climate Change Already Increasing Malaria and Dengue in the Pacific

by Jack Rosebro

Whocc2000
World Health Organization estimation of deaths caused by anthropogenic climate change up to 2000. Click to enlarge.

A policy brief from the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia entitled “The Sting of Climate Change”[1] argues that global climate change is exacerbating a thirty-year increase in malaria and dengue throughout maritime Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands, and that Australia, as a “fringe country” to mosquito-borne disease, should increase efforts to mitigate the spread of those diseases in both affected areas and areas not yet affected, as well as the potential of transmission to the Australian population from migrating environmental refugees.

Screening, quarantining, and treatment of immigrants from malaria-infested countries is currently carried out in Australia’s Northern Territory. The brief’s author, Dr. Sarah Potter of Environmental Health Branch, NSW Department of Health, recommends that malaria screening be extended to other states, including Queensland and Western Australia, and that dengue screening be initiated, as well.

Dengue is a virus that can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which has an approximate 40% fatality rate if left untreated.

“The Sting of Climate Change” notes that socioeconomic factors can become threat multipliers with regard to detrimental effects of climate change: from 1996 to 2000, for example, central Java, which is Indonesia’s third most populated province with a population of more than 30 million, saw an increase of confirmed malaria cases by an order of magnitude, from 4 cases to 45 cases per thousand persons. The spread of disease was amplified by the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, which led to significant cutbacks in malaria and other health control programs.

In a separate announcement, Philippines Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said last week that increasing dengue, malaria, cholera, and typhoid fever cases in that country could be attributed to climate change.

Clearly, what was predicted about the impact of global warming is already happening. The different dengue trend, which before it was characterized by peaking every two to three years, now it has always been increasing.

—Secretary Duque [2]

Climate change is projected to humidify some geographic areas and dry out others, with significant rainfall fluctuations in the Pacific caused by the El Niño/Southern Ocean Oscillation (ENSO). Warmer conditions allow most mosquitoes, as well as the malaria parasite, to develop faster; wetter conditions increase lifespan and frequency of breeding. Drought events generally reduce the incidence of vector-borne disease, but can temporarily increase mosquito populations in some areas due to the reduction of mosquito predators and/or an increase in stagnation and contamination of drainage canals and small rivers. Reduced rainfall can lead to an increased reliance on the collection of rainfall in containers for freshwater consumption, which also tends to increase the incidence of disease.

Last year’s Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expressed a “very high confidence” that climate change will contract the geographical range for malaria transmission in some areas and expand it in other areas[3], with the length of the transmission seasons also susceptible to change.

A 2004 World Health Organization study estimates that climatic changes that have been occurring since the mid-1970s caused more than 150K deaths by 2000 through increasing incidences of diseases such as diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition, primarily in developing countries.[4] The study projects a potential doubling of climate-related deaths by 2030.

Malaria already causes as many as two million deaths per year, with half being child deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Comments

300TTto545

Mark_BC - you have a rather uninformed and optomistic view on the ease of getting off fossil fuels. It is a matter of will - on that you are right. But to think it will be free or even make money is wrong. It is not like we can spend say 10 trillion dollars over 5 years and all be driving "solar electric cars". Then we save the $700 billion in annual oil costs(might be a lot less in 2009) and it was a good investment. No serious economist/scientist would support those numbers. The world is a finite place with finite amounts of silicon, finite knowledge of making solar panels, finite amounts of battery knowledge and materials. Economist go around estimating these things and put numbers like "shed 1% off of GDP growth for 50 years" - that is the world economy growing at 1.5% instead of 2.5%. Sounds ok but it represents a huge "cost". Now - noone can predict the future but there is no economist seriously believing that this is a zero sum game.

The best example of harming the world with government intervention is the solar program in Germany. On the one hand - Germany has much more solar power than it used to - on the other hand - Germany is a fairly poor place to use solar power and the program has driven up the cost of silicon so that the sunny world can't afford it. So they feel good but the overall effect on world carbon is in the wrong direction. This is a well reported fact but it shows what happens when you try to mandate things - like the "solar electric car" - if you are suggesting we waste silicon on cars that are not optimially placed in orientation to the sun at all times. If you are referring to solar panels in optimum orientation that feed batteries in cars - that is at least a better idea. But you realize that even with trillions of dollars - wholesale conversion of the US fleet is essentially impossible with today's technology. The raw material limitations really become an issue. Now hope for battery and solar panel technology gains and fund that research but don't expect that it is simple or a matter of will.

Ross James

Al-vin,

Sorry but temperatures have been dropping since 1998. The site you referred to was from Nov 2006 - two years old. Temperatures have continued to drop since then, including 2008. Do try to keep up to date. I go to the data from the Hadley Centre http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3vgl.txt

Mariya

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ai_vin

If the temperatures have been dropping since 1998 why was 2005 hotter than 1998?- http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/2005_warmest.html
4 of the 5 hottest years been after 1998.- http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2006/2006_warm.html

You people have been saying 'temperatures have been dropping for 10 years' when at best it's been 3 years. 3 years of temperatures lower than 2005! Look at the annual mean temperatures[black dotted line] on this graph- http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2005/2005cal_fig1.gif -see how often it goes up and down? How it can easily be down for 3 years only to go back up again? 3 years is not a cancelation of global warming, it's only a reprieve. You can't say GW is over until you've had enough downward years to establish a trend. How many years you ask? Well, we had a decades long cooling period after WWII when America's dirtier industries ramped up. That was a trend, of course that effect didn't last all that long.

Cooling denial will not make it warmer.

reel$$

Mark BC:

'... if you emit a substance and this results in some negative impact to either people or the environment then this is by definition called "pollution".'

Your words.

Esabre

"Global warming will not result in the spread of malaria. Paul Reiter, of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, is one of the world's foremost experts on insect-borne diseases. He says, "The global warming alarm is dressed up as science, but it is not science. It is propaganda. I was horrified to read the [IPCC] 2nd and 3rd Assessment Reports because there was so much misinformation." For example, the IPCC states "mosquito species that transmit malaria do not usually survive where the mean winter temperature drops below 16–18 degrees C." This is "clearly untrue," says Reiter. "In fact, mosquitoes are extremely abundant in the Arctic. The most devastating epidemic of malaria was in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. There were something like 13 million cases a year and something like 600,000 deaths, a tremendous catastrophe that reached up to the Arctic Circle. Arkhangel [a city 300 miles further north than Helsinki, Finland] had 30,000 cases and about 10,000 deaths. So it's not a tropical disease. Yet these people in the global warming fraternity invent the idea that malaria will move northward."

Warming denial will not make it cooler.

Natural forces can drive the climate both warmer and cooler over a number of years. AGW is a warming effect we have put ON TOP OF the natural forces. If it gets warmer it will be warmer than it should have been without us, and if it gets cooler it will be not quite as cool as it should have been without us.

If AGW is real we will record higher temperatures than an understanding of the natural forces can account for; guess what? We do!

"Natural forces can drive the climate both warmer and cooler over a number of years. AGW is a warming effect we have put ON TOP OF the natural forces. If it gets
'warmer it will be warmer than it should have been without us, and if it gets cooler it will be not quite as cool as it should have been without us.

If AGW is real we will record higher temperatures than an understanding of the natural forces can account for; guess what? We do!"


How convienient, no matter what the temperature actually is, you will always be able to say, global warming exists.

Poste

Mark_BC

300TTto545:

Obviously we will not all be driving solar electric cars in 5 years!!!!! But if the strings attached with the auto bailout package dictate a significant fuel economy improvement, and an increasing percentage per year market share of BHEV's or better, it is conceivable that within 15 or 20 years, as current gas guzzlers are replaced when they reach the end of their lifetime, more people than not would have a zero-gasoline-needed commute to work. Right now consumers don't have a choice. Once they are given a choice and it becomes relatively competitive, it will switch over fast -- again I'll bring up the analogy of the developments in digital photography over the last 10 years -- it's destroyed film.

Everyone's shrieking about the possible (likely) undersupply of lithium to supply the batteries. Well, I'll wait until I see it. The planet's warming up in front of our eyes and half the people are in denial, yet I'm supposed to be afraid of a POSSIBLE undersupply spike that hasn't even happened yet. And don't forget, Chevron's patent on the NiMH battery expires in 2014 so that will again be available for free use (no lithium needed).

Since solar panels are mostly composed of silicon (with a few other exotic ingredients), which I believe is the most common element on the Earth's surface (every rock is made mostly of silicon -- there are a lot of rocks out there!!!!!), I somehow don't think we're going to have silicon supply problems!!!

Your economic scare tactics are interesting. Compare the worst possible economic impacts of getting off fossil fuels to ..... say ..... the turmoil over the last 2 months? If the kind of economic crisis we are going through now had instead been caused by policies to get us off fossil fuels, well, we all know the entire IPCC would be lined up and shot. But ...... because this turmoil was actually caused by free-market speculators and corrupt CEO's of huge financial scams, who we all EXPECT and ACCEPT to be out there scamming everyone for their own benefit because that's what free market capitalism is all about, well we just allow it all to happen with only a few grumblings of support after the CEO's lose their jobs. Where are our priorities??!?!?!?!?!!?

Apparently the IMF's very own economists disagree with your dire economic predictions. Regarding the economic costs of not addressing climate change, they state, "Existing studies tend to underestimate economic damages from climate change, particularly the risk of worse-than-expected outcomes."

And regarding the economic costs of addressing climate change, they state, "This chapter concludes that climate change can be addressed without imposing heavy
damages either on the global economy or on individual countries."

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2008/01/pdf/c4.pdf

"finite knowledge of making solar panels"? It is my understanding that unless knowledge is patented, then it can be propagated limitlessly through educational institutions and the internet. Current knowledge can make 40% efficient solar panels.

300TTto545

Mark - Your optimism is great. But you really have to wonder about the feasibility. You hope for >50% EV (or PHEV) penetration in 20 years. I do too. Do I think it will happen - not a chance. Current hybrids got to 3% in 10 years. This year sales are falling (even when oil was >$100) because of supply issues from Toyota. This is with a battery that is about 10% of the size needed for an EV.

Look at the Volt. Cost is double what it needs to be and can not be justified without >$250 a barrel equivalent (tax + market). And mind you, that is the only practical EV or PHEV that has something close to a release date. Its manufacturer doesn't have enough market cap to pay for the paint on that car.

Current knowledge can make 40% efficient solar panels? - Let me know where I can buy them. Oh - they aren't able to be practically manufactured yet - ok - call me when they can be (2050?) I love all the solar capitalists out there that are blowing lots of smoke to get investors. I hope they are right but practical and prevelant is not something I see in under 50 years.

Have you seen the price of silicon? Ok - down now but just 6 months ago it was up 10 times its baseline. Shortage of the element is not the issue but getting to the point of practical use is. Add in some US subsidies and you will be back to early 2008 as far as pricing.

Current mess = multifactorial. Mostly it is americans overladen with debt and the resulting falling asset prices. Yes stupid decisions at banks but arguably driven by the federal government. Interest rates too low for too long led by the Feds desire to minimize pain of recessions. People have always been greedy and make mistakes. It is really too easy credit and monetary policies over the last 20 years. People love to blame someone - the corrupt CEOs or speculators. It has been known for a long time that easy credit = fast growth based on increased consumption. It is pretty simple and people have been writing about it for years.

Look - you can find sources that say a carbon tax will lead to faster economic growth. Or you can accept the fact that the economy in almost every sector is based on cheap carbon based energy. You must take that away to meaningfully reduce emissions. There is a cost to that - to pretend there isn't is putting your head in the sand. Look what happened with high oil prices. Oil must be priced well over $200 to get people into EVs and start shutting off the lights, for us to invest in rail, appropriately insulate millions of old houses etc etc.

The investment needed is huge. If it wasn't - it would have been done already ...

Cars are a small part of the equation and the largest manufacturer doesn't even "believe" in PHEVs and EVs. Yes they are coming around but 6 months ago they said there was no economic practicality to PHEVS (let alone EVs). And you want 50% market share in 20 years?

Mark_BC

"Look at the Volt. Cost is double what it needs to be and can not be justified without >$250 a barrel equivalent (tax + market)."
Do they have economies of scale backing them yet? As a far as I know, all the manufacturing facilities are tooled for ICE's.

"Current knowledge can make 40% efficient solar panels?"
You can buy 20% efficient ones. I can't believe that you are in denial that this will significantly improve in the next 10-20 years. Compare your laptop computer, cell phone or digital camera to what was available 20 years ago. And I've got my head in the sand?!?!?

"Have you seen the price of silicon? OK - down now but just 6 months ago it was up 10 times its baseline."
I believe the price of every commodity was artificially inflated by the speculators. As we all know it crashed. Getting enough high grade silicon will not be an issue, because it can now be produced via electrical means, and electricity can be produced with solar panels......

"Current mess = multifactorial. Mostly it is americans overladen with debt and the resulting falling asset prices."
As I said, corrupt financial outfits with a short profit time horizon allowing toxic debt to seep into the marketplace.

"Cars are a small part of the equation and the largest manufacturer doesn't even "believe" in PHEVs and EVs." Yes, of course, we are supposed to believe what they say .. no, they don't have a vested interest in seeing BEV's fail, do they??? Fuel economy hasn't improved in 30 years despite all the amazing technological developments in all other sectors of technology. And we are supposed to believe that getting better fuel economy is limited by the economics of technology.

Why hasn't Toyota made a simple plug in version of their Prius? I believe they are coming out with one soon, but that very simple act of turning it into a plugin could have made it so much better. Hmmm, I wonder if it has to do with Chevron's patent on the NiMH batteries it uses......

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6969567.PN.&OS=PN/6969567&RS=PN/6969567

I think that if you do an analysis of who is making money off our gasoline consumption, and who stands to lose out with a shift to electric vehicles, and who is in control of what kinds of vehicles we are offered in the marketplace, it becomes pretty obvious why their development has been stalled for so long. But, companies like Tesla are turning everything on its head, and the big automakers simply have no more excuses as to why they can't do it.

300TTto545

Ok short reply here. Tesla has sold exactly how many cars at what price (I believe it is about 50 at $100k). I am sure that Toyota is running scared on the feasibility argument. EVs have been around for 100 years and yet there are probably less than 1,000 on the road in the US today.

Yes - we should have more efficient cars. Heck I drive a HCH-II and we can do even better.

It is not all corporate conspiracies - but believe that if it motivates you. There are real practical problems that will costs serious money ..... and isn't the world getting cooler anyway.

reel$$

"I believe the price of every commodity was artificially inflated by the speculators. "

True. And the speculators are also the programmers of this VR game. Which is one reason credibility has fallen further than the economy.

ai_vin

"How convienient, no matter what the temperature actually is, you will always be able to say, global warming exists."

No I wont. What you're forgetting is; The natural forces and their cycles are known, and they can be modeled. When current temperatures don't match these models nor the record of the past something other than natural forces are at work. When we return to a point where they do match THEN I wont be able to say 'AGW exists.'

Mark_BC

oops, I was wrong. The 2010 Prius WON'T be a plugin.

http://www.hybridcars.com/compacts-sedans/toyota-prius-overview.html

Ross James

The problem is that Earth has stubbornly refused to obey the global warming models. This in itself shows that the CO2 hypothesis is false.

RJ

Reel$$

" if you emit a substance and this results in some negative impact to either people or the environment then this is by definition called "pollution"."

Can you produce any evidence that CO2 falls into this category? I want something more than computer models and hypotheses. I want real data.

ai_vin

@RJ - " if you emit a substance and this results in some negative impact to either people or the environment then this is by definition called "pollution"."

Can you produce any evidence that CO2 falls into this category? I want something more than computer models and hypotheses. I want real data. -

By definition anything in EXCESS is bad for you.

dwangsa

Great article !!

riki

>>ai_vin

The term "excess" requires the definition of "normal"...Excess compared to what?
And who and how is "normal" or "excess" defined. Who determines normal climate, normal ocean level, normal solar activity, normal CO2 levels, etc.? Perhaps "average" is a better term. And with "average",then, who determines the data range for measurements, and who verifies the accuracy of the readings within that range, be it thousands or millions of years?
Rikiki

R James

reel$$ - "The natural forces and their cycles are known, and they can be modeled." No they're not. Many of the cycles are known, but there are many others that aren't. For example,the effect of solar activity isn't well understood in areas such as cloud formation etc. Some solar cycles are predictable, and others aren't. There is an excellent correlation between sunspot activity and the Maunder period (little ice age). If we took proper notice of this, we'd be in a panic over potential cooling. Overall, it's not well understood. The perfect examples are the models used by IPCC which failed to predict the lack of warming over the past 10 years. Yet, because of these models, the world is in a panic over an unsubstantiated hypothesis.

litesong

The global warming deniers love to use data indicating carbon dioxide levels were higher millions of years ago & also use a few points of data to declare there is no present warming. They love to ignore that man-made carbon dioxide is building up in the earth's atmosphere at 3 thousand thousand thousand thousand tons per century. Because they continue to listen to oil & business boardroom 'religion' that says carbon dioxide isn't affecting earth temperatures, they magically make 3 trillion tons of carbon dioxide disappear, along with the other global warming gases.

With Bush's EPA effectively non-functioning & state court systems economically twisted toward business interests, denier massive lies keep America's Eyes blinded to its own massive excesses.

RJ

litesong - it would be useful if you could produce just one piece of scientific evidence that supports the hypothesis that human activity is causing global warming. Please don't fall back on computer models (which have failed to predict the past 10 years climate). also, IPCC summary written by politicians is of no use. I'm talking about some scientific data which supports the theory. I know it's hard, particularly when, looking back over acouple of thousand years, there's nothing unusual about our climate - I've been searching for 10 years. Can anyone help?

aym

The temperature has been warming according to all satellite data which orginally was clung to by the denailists when it showed a cooling but was later discovered to be a calibration error. It is confirmed by ecological niche changes like this story, from the spread of the white pine beetle as others. It has caused a sharp decline of ice in the arctic area. It is definitely linked to CO2, a known GH gas since Arrhenius over a century ago. The CO2 is definitely linked to human activity because of isotropic variations.

Every scientific organization supports the theory of AGW as having climatic impact, even the petroleum guys. The only people who keep denying are a small fringe. Keep clinging to them because of whatever reason.

The IPCC isn't composed of politicians but were non-paid group of scientists collating the climate research done. There was a political statement made that had the usually back and forth debate on an acceptable press release and thats it. And guess the groups and where they came from that keep trying to ameliorate the situation. Well the political factions of Saudi Arabia and you guessed it the US.

As for the Hadley data, due to changes in the presentation of data, the most recent data is mistakenly taken as a temp leveling, which is in the site.

The models are accurate enough to show overall effects. The effects of volcanoes on global averages for example. Fine detail effects require geometrically greater information and computer power. They don't change the grim reality of global warming.

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