More evidence of weak relationship between temperatures and malaria

by William Yeatman on July 6, 2004

A recent study conducted by G. Zhou and colleagues (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101, 2004) suggests once again that no strong correlation exists between global warming and malaria outbreaks. This stands in stark contrast to the oft-repeated claims of self-described malaria experts, such as the physician Paul Epstein.

In seven study sites conducted in the East African Highlands, Zhou et al. found that “malaria dynamics are largely driven by autoregression and/or seasonality” and that “the observed large among-site variation in the sensitivity to climate fluctuations may be governed by complex interactions between climate and biological and social factors,” including “land use, topography, P. falciparum genotypes, malaria vector species composition, availability of vector control and healthcare programs, drug resistance, and other socioeconomic factors,” among which are “failure to seek treatment or delayed treatment of malaria patients, and HIV infections in the human population,” which they say have “become increasingly prevalent.”

It is becoming increasingly clear that the scientific consensus of malariologists, rather than climate change “experts,” is that climate is a minor factor in the recent spread of vector-borne diseases.

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