Thursday, September 20, 2018

Radio talker bugged by mosquitos could apply climate science with his DEET

AM 620 WTMJ conservative talker Jeff Wagner griped this afternoon about his encounters with swarming mosquitos.

A few observations:

*  Unpleasant mosquito activity was discussed even before most of this summer's heat and heavy rains: 

And more rain means there’s more standing water for the insects to breed in.
The pattern has been noted regionally in the context of climate change:
The Midwest is seeing climate change’s effects, with warmer days coming earlier on average, even with this April’s cool temperatures, said Katherine Moore Powell, a climate change ecologist at the Field Museum.
“It is getting warmer, earlier” in the Chicago region, Powell said. “So that means obviously that conditions are ripe for all kinds of things to be happening earlier than they would have.”
Warmer weather may allow virus-carrying mosquitoes that aren’t normally found in Chicago to start living here, [University of Wisconsin epidemiology professor Tony] Goldberg said.
“It’s possible with longer, hot and wet periods during the summer and the invasion of mosquitoes northward, that we could see the transmission of some viruses we haven’t seen before in the Chicago area,” he said. “So we need to watch out.
*  References to altered weather patterns, increasing heat, and heavier rain events were among the climate change data and science Gov. Walker's DNR got rid of nearly two years ago.

*  I doubt if Walker or Wagner will make reference to all that, and to the realities still available on the state's Health and Human Services Department website:

Climate and Infectious Disease

What is the Connection Between Climate and Infectious Disease?
Wisconsin is generally becoming warmer and wetter. Changes in the climate may lead to more flooding and precipitation, temperature extremes (very hot and very cold days), drought, and more carriers of disease (such as mosquitoes and ticks). These trends could allow for an increase in diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks.  Learn more about simple ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks on the Enjoy the Outdoors - Bug-free! page.
Abstract image of mosquito

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