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Estimating air temperature using MODIS surface temperature images for assessing Aedes aegypti thermal niche in Bangkok, Thailand

Misslin, Renaud, Vaguet, Yvette, Vaguet, Alain, Daudé, Éric
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2018 v.190 no.9 pp. 537
Aedes aegypti, air temperature, cities, cold season, dengue, disease outbreaks, dry season, environmental factors, humans, land cover, moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer, remote sensing, seasonal variation, surface temperature, urban areas, vector-borne diseases, Thailand
Dengue, the most widespread urban vector-borne disease, is transmitted to human by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Its distribution in urban areas is heterogeneous over time and space. In time, it is linked to seasonal variations such as warm and cold seasons, as well as rainy and dry seasons. In space, it is linked to social and environmental conditions, which alternate between rich and deprived neighborhoods, vegetated and densely built areas. These variations in terms of land cover can affect surface and air temperature. As a result of its influence on the mosquito’s life cycle, temperature plays a crucial part in dengue epidemics potential. Thus, deciphering the thermal variations effects within cities could lead to the identification of precise thermal comfort zones, favorable to the survival of mosquito populations during inter-epidemic periods. The maps that could be produced as a result would enable health authorities to target specific areas. Most cities are equipped with meteorological stations. However, the network is generally not dense enough to precisely identify thermal comfort zones. Remote sensing can be used as a tool to solve this issue. The methodological objective of this paper is to assess the potential of the TVX (Temperature-Vegetation indeX) approach applied to MODIS thermal images for the purpose of estimating daily minimum and maximum air temperatures in the city of Bangkok, Thailand. The TVX approach has been seldom used over urban areas due to the heterogeneous nature of cities in terms of land cover. However, our study shows that in vegetated cities such as Bangkok, the TVX method provides valuable results which can be used to assess thermal niche of A. aegypti.