Atlantic warming points to malaria risk... in India
PARIS (AFP) - Health watchdogs monitoring the risk of malaria in India should keep a close eye on what's happening thousands of kilometres away in the Atlantic, an unusual study published on Sunday suggests.
The temperature of the sea surface in the tropical South Atlantic is a big determinant for levels of monsoon rain, which in turn is the big factor for malarial mosquitoes, it says.
Researchers led by Mercedes Pascual at the University of Michigan compared maps of monsoon rainfall and malaria epidemics in the desert fringe of north-western India with a global map of sea-surface temperatures.
What struck them was a clear link between abnormally cold temperatures in the tropical South Atlantic in July and a regional increase in malaria in the ensuing September-December period.