2015 Iowa Climate Statement: More Mosquitoes and More Allergens

May 11, 2015

Climate change is real and humans are contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere; that’s according to the fifth annual Iowa Climate Statement released Monday.

The statement contains signatures of 188 faculty and researchers from 39 Iowa colleges and universities. It warns that Iowans are experiencing negative health effects due to greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

"Because of increased temperature, increased of CO2, the mosquito tends to live longer. For every degree rise in temperature, the mosquito population grows by eight to 10," says Dr. Yogesh Shah of Des Moines University. "We are seeing a higher number of West Nile viruses. We are seeing cases like chikungunya coming from other states to us, and more dengue." 

Shah is also a founder of the Heartland Climate and Health Consortium. He says there is also an increase in the number of allergens and the length of the allergy season due climate change, which in turn increases asthma cases.

Signers of this year’s statement want 2016 presidential candidates visiting Iowa to be asked about climate change as part of the vetting process.