Wednesday, 13 March 2013

A Plague of Giant Mosquitoes

Florida is bracing itself for an onslaught of "monster-sized" mosquitoes this summer.

Psorophora ciliata, often referred to as gallinippers, are the largest and one of the most aggressive species of biting mosquito in the United States. They are nearly 20 times larger than typical mosquitoes, hunt both day and night, can bite through clothing and leave painful wounds.

Last year's hurricane season led to large flooded areas across the state, the perfect habitat for gallinippers to lay their eggs.  Entomologists expect a bumper crop of gallinippers as a result, which is bad news for everyone.

What does this have to do with climate change and carbon reduction? Well, the IPCC and Environmental Protection Agency expect climate change to bring more frequent storms and heavier downpours in that part of the country. And Psorophora ciliata requires flooded, low-lying areas for its eggs to hatch.  A plague of gallinippers should therefore not be a surprise to anyone who follows the EPA predictions.

I can't say with perfect confidence that climate change is behind the rise of the monster mosquitoes. But as I've said before, this is what climate change looks like.