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Incorporating hydrology into climate suitability models changes projections of malaria transmission in Africa

journal contribution
posted on 08.11.2020, 19:32 by MW Smith, T Willis, L Alfieri, WHM James, MA Trigg, D Yamazaki, AJ Hardy, B Bisselink, A De Roo, Mark Macklin, CJ Thomas
© 2020, The Author(s). Continental-scale models of malaria climate suitability typically couple well-established temperature-response models with basic estimates of vector habitat availability using rainfall as a proxy. Here we show that across continental Africa, the estimated geographic range of climatic suitability for malaria transmission is more sensitive to the precipitation threshold than the thermal response curve applied. To address this problem we use downscaled daily climate predictions from seven GCMs to run a continental-scale hydrological model for a process-based representation of mosquito breeding habitat availability. A more complex pattern of malaria suitability emerges as water is routed through drainage networks and river corridors serve as year-round transmission foci. The estimated hydro-climatically suitable area for stable malaria transmission is smaller than previous models suggest and shows only a very small increase in state-of-the-art future climate scenarios. However, bigger geographical shifts are observed than with most rainfall threshold models and the pattern of that shift is very different when using a hydrological model to estimate surface water availability for vector breeding.

History

School

  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

01/01/2020

Journal

Nature Communications

Volume

11

Issue

1

Article Number

4353

Pagination

9p.

Publisher

Springer Nature

ISSN

2041-1723

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

Licence

Exports