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Malaria, climate expert available ahead of June 5 World Environment Day

Researcher links climate variability to increased malaria rates

Aiming to encourage worldwide awareness and action surrounding today’s most pressing environmental issues, the United Nations has designated Saturday, June 5, as World Environment Day

As the emerging field of planetary health has taken off, researchers across disciplines have built new understandings of the impacts of global climate change on human health. Climate scientist Ryan Harp is available to discuss his research on the increased risk of malaria outbreaks around the world because of increasing climate variability.

Malaria ranks as the fourth-leading cause of death among infectious and parasitic diseases worldwide. With increased rainfall and, therefore, standing water, Harp predicts the population of mosquitos carrying malaria will grow.

Harp is the Ubben Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern and a member of the Climate Change Research Group at Northwestern. Harp can be reached directly at

Quote from Harp

“The links between our environment, climate and human health are wide-ranging — from extreme heat to air pollution to vector-borne disease — and combatting climate change is proving to be one of the greatest public health opportunities of the upcoming decades. We recently published work linking year-to-year malaria prevalence in Mozambique to climate phenomena like the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. We hope that this work will provide public health officials with more information and another tool to use when planning how to distribute limited resources.”