An interesting paper has been presented showing an apparent link between COVID-19 hotspots and cooler temperatures. The authors state that the virus has “established significant community spread in cities and regions only along a narrow east west distribution roughly along the 30-50 N” corridor at consistently similar weather patterns (5-1O°C and 47-79% humidity).”


The team noted that the outbreak areas had similar temperature, humidity, and latitude. In addition, the timing of the initial outbreaks coincided with the coldest portions of the year and none of the areas experienced minimum temperatures below freezing. The temperatures and humidity of the affected areas were reported to be similar to laboratory testing of conditions that are conducive to the survival of the coronavirus. Survival of the SARS-CoV and MERS-Cov were also determined to be limited by temperature and humidity. 

The temperature graph, above, is of the northern winter, our summer so what is the situation when the seasons reverse?

From the same data source: (for the months June – August last year)

Image from Climate Reanalyzer (, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, USA. The BFD.

NOTE: The colour banding is different, the 5 – 10°C is green in the second image.

And New Zealand is right in the middle of that. Prime time for person-to-person spread is our normal cold and flu season.

Could it possibly be that the only long-term defence against COVID-19 is global warming?

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