Study: Bacteria Outbreak Due to Ocean Warming

Vibrio

An unexpected emergence of gastroenteritis-causing bacteria in northern Europe has been linked to man-made climate change, according to a recent study by a group of international experts. A paper published in the journal "Nature of Climate Change" looked at how warming patterns of the Baltic Sea coincided with the emergence of Vibrio infections. The bacteria that causes Vibrio typically grow in warm and tropical marine environments, and a team of scientists discovered that the number of cases in the Baltic Sea was strongly linked to peaks in surface temperatures. According to the study, each year the temperature rose one degree, the number of Vibrio cases rose almost 200 percent. Vibrio outbreaks have also appeared in temperate and cold regions in Chile, Peru, Israel, the northwest U.S. Pacific and northwest Spain, which can be linked to warming patterns, the scientists said. "The big apparent increases that we've seen in cases during heat wave years (..) tend to indicate that climate change is indeed driving infections," said Craig Baker-Austin, one of the authors of the study.

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