17 Oct 2021

2090: Epidemic: Deadly tropical fevers reach UK #OurClimateFutures

This video is part of Our Climate Futures – a project which takes real science to forecast what impacts and changes humanity may face as the climate crisis unfolds. This is not a news story. At least not yet.

The year is 2090 and even though climate targets are within reach, slightly higher temperatures have brought mosquitos and the diseases they carry further north. Britain is battling a Dengue fever epidemic.

A multitude of climate impacts are indirect, as a heating planet has knock-on repercussions for all areas of life. Experts warn that the climate crisis is a health crisis, too.

One way this may happen is that, even if the world meets its climate targets, colder countries away from the equator are likely to see more mosquitos arriving on their shores. And with them, the diseases they carry, like malaria and Dengue fever.

One recent study said that if carbon emissions continue to rise, by 2080 as many as eight billion people may be put at risk from the two mosquito-borne diseases, and the UN says dengue is rapidly spreading. Promising recent progress has been made with a malaria vaccine, but that won’t necessarily eradicate the disease.

None of the outcomes here are certain, as there are many opportunities for adapting to this oncoming future. We wanted to imagine what kind of impacts the UK may face if it continues unprepared.

Watch the video above to hear from experts on the science behind the story. Or find out more about Our Climate Futures here.