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Dengue fever rides on climate change effect

December 4, 2019 7:08 am

2019 marks a decade of exceptional global heat, increasing the risk of diseases such as dengue fever in the Pacific and the world.

Speaking at a press briefing at COP 25 in Madrid, Spain, World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General, Petteri Taalas, says average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods are almost certain to be the highest on record.

He adds, 2019 is on course to be the second or third warmest year on record, with 2016, which began with an exceptionally strong El Nino, remains the warmest year.

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To add to this, Taalas says changes in climatic conditions since 1950 is making it easier for the Aedes mosquito species to transmit dengue virus.

Further to this, catastrophic events such as floods, droughts, and heatwaves, are starting to accelerate higher than before, with Fiji amongst those nations, which is already feeling the effect.

The question posed to Taalas was whether reports being prepared on regular basis outlining the effects of climate change, was being taken seriously, to which he says it is by most, but the world needs to start doing more than ever before.

With Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, already urging world leaders to take a stand, the worrying aspect is that once again in 2019, weather and climate-related risks hit hard.

Taalas saying, heatwaves and floods which used to be once in a century events are becoming more regular occurrences but they remain hopeful.

“This negative trend in climate will continue for the coming 50 years anyhow. But if we are successful with the implementation of the Paris Agreement, that we could phase out the negative trend in the 2060s and that is what we should do our best to aim for.”

Floods were the most commonly cited natural hazard contributing to displacement, and the Pacific remains the most vulnerable to sea-level rise.

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