Why may global warming lead to malaria becoming more common in Europe?

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anopheles mosquitos require warm temperatures in which to lay their eggs and breed. Their life cycle includes--egg, larva, pupa and adult. The adult stage is when the female mosquito is the vector that carries the Malaria parasite. There are over 100 species in the genus Anopheles that are capable of transmitting human malaria. If global warming continues, over time, the climate in areas of the world that were once temperate, may become tropical. If that is the case, the mosquitoes would gain new habitat opportunities to exploit. Malaria, which is now primarily a disease of the tropics, may be able to get a foot-hold in other parts of the world, such as Europe. Currently, the regions of sub-Saharan Africa is where these mosquitoes primarily live and breed. However, even colder climates have had outbreaks in the past. And, although these mosquitoes have been eradicated from the U.S., Canada and Europe, there is always the risk they can be reintroduced at some point. Global warming in these areas will only add to the risk.