A study in Science by Siraj and colleagues this week showed malaria occurs at higher altitudes in warmer years. Their modelling predicts that a one degree Celsius temperature rise in the Ethiopian highlands could lead to 2.8 million more cases in children each year in current malaria areas and over 400,000 cases in new areas. The finding is early warning of what could happen to malaria spread as the world warms if no action is taken.
The past century has seen unprecedented growth in cities around the world. Whilst the rise of megacities is a source of concern to some (see Feral cities, BBC Radio 4), according to researchers from the UK and USA, urbanization has been followed by a significant contraction in the extent of malaria throughout endemic countries.