Scientists around the world are worried about how geoengineering could expose up to a billion additional people to malaria. This could possibly be the worst effects of climate change.
A recent study published in Nature Communications, talks about the first look at how climate engineering could alter the burden of infectious diseases.
The scientists have discovered that through geoengineering they will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce heat trapping, and solar radiation management (SRM) – reflecting more sunlight away from the globe to reduce heat absorption in the first place.
However, this abrupt cooling of areas might cause malaria to increase. Because it is known that the high temperatures kill the malaria parasite in some regions. Therefore, this sort of change in the climate might increase the risk of disease causing mosquitoes.
Scientists think that the simulations indicated that a billion more people would be at risk of malaria in the geoengineered world under the high temperature scenario.
On the other hand, there are some results from a study which shows that geoengineering could lower malaria in certain areas while raising it in others.
In all scenarios, the scientists discovered that geoengineering might significantly lower malaria risk in the Indian subcontinent, even when compared to current conditions. However, in Southeast Asia, the protective impact would be outweighed by an increase in risk.
Two future scenarios were also modeled by the scientists to further investigate the malaria transmission. One could be the high temperature with global warming and the other with geoengineering. These models were used to identify which environment and temperature is more conducive for transmission of malaria.