World Bulletin / News Desk
Manmade climate change is the main driver behind the unexpected emergence of a group of bacteria in northern Europe which can cause gastroenteritis, new research by a group of international experts shows.
The paper, published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Sunday, provided some of the first firm evidence that the warming patterns of the Baltic Sea have coincided with the emergence of Vibrio infections in northern Europe.
Vibrios is a group of bacteria which usually grow in warm and tropical marine environments. The bacteria can cause various infections in humans, ranging from cholera to gastroenteritis-like symptoms from eating raw or undercooked shellfish or from exposure to seawater.
A team of scientists from institutions in Britain, Finland, Spain and the United States examined sea surface temperature records and satellite data, as well as statistics on Vibrio cases in the Baltic.
They found the number and distribution of cases in the Baltic Sea area was strongly linked to peaks in sea surface temperatures. Each year the temperature rose one degree, the number of vibrio cases rose almost 200 percent.
"The big apparent increases that we've seen in cases during heatwave years (..) tend to indicate that climate change is indeed driving infections," Craig Baker-Austin at the UK-based Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, one of the authors of the study, told Reuters.
Climate studies show that rising greenhouse gas emissions made global average surface temperatures increase by about 0.17 degrees Celsius a decade from 1980 to 2010.
The Vibrio study focused on the Baltic Sea in particular because it warmed at an unprecedented rate of 0.063 to 0.078 degrees Celsius a year from 1982 to 2010, or 6.3 to 7.8 degrees a century.
"(It) represents, to our knowledge, the fastest warming marine ecosystem examined so far anywhere on Earth," the paper said.
Many marine bacteria thrive in warm, low-saline sea water. In addition to warming, climate change has caused more frequent and heavier rainfall, which has reduced the salt content of estuaries and coastal wetlands.
As ocean temperatures continue to rise and coastal regions in northern regions become less saline, Vibrio bacteria strains will appear in new areas, the scientists said.
Vibrio outbreaks have also appeared in temperate and cold regions in Chile, Peru, Israel, the northwest U.S. Pacific and northwest Spain, and these can be linked to warming patterns, the scientists said.
"Very few studies have looked at the risk of these infections at high latitudes," Baker-Austin said.
"Certainly the chances of getting a vibrio infection are considered to be relatively low, and more research is focused on areas where these diseases are endemic or at least more common," he added.
Previous Vibrio outbreaks in colder regions have often been put down to a sporadic event or special conditions rather than a response to long-term climate change.
This is because the effects of global warming can be more pronounced at higher latitudes and in areas which lack detailed historical climate data, the study said.
Baker-Austin said there was a growing realisation that climate and the emergence of some infectious diseases were closely linked but there are some "huge data gaps in that area which need addressing."
Arab world’s biggest e-commerce retailer hopes to expand delivery capabilities, customer selection
More than 6 jobs lost for every robot installed at factories
With few details made public, speculation about Neuralink centers on the name and how it might correspond to Musk's previous statements about incorporating artificial intelligence, or AI, into human brains.
Announcement comes days before company unveils newest smartphone
Tasks focused on readying space station to accept commercial manned spacecraft
Its vice-chairman Lee Jae-Yong, heir to the parent Samsung group, has since been arrested and indicted for bribery, along with four other senior executives, in connection with the graft scandal that saw ex-president Park Geun-Hye impeached.
Google’s advertising crisis went global after some of the biggest marketers including AT&T Inc. and Johnson & Johnson halted spending on YouTube and the internet company’s display network, citing concern their ads would run alongside offensive videos.
Turkey's Roketsan, Aselsan, Turkish Aerospace Industries and Shipbuilders’ Association attend exhibition in Kedah state
The satellite will be place in orbit more that 35,000 kilometers above the earth and provide telecommunications service to Brazil, SpaceX said.
Russia's FSB hired 'criminal hackers' to attack Yahoo seeking access to journalists, diplomats, executives
New study finds that sonic waves can be exploited to compromise smartphones, fitness trackers and other gadgets
US chipmaker taking over Israeli firm for approximately $15.3 billion
The EU Chamber of Commerce said in a report state subsidies of hundreds of billions of dollars and foreign technology transfers in 10 sectors were "highly problematic" and urged China to stop interfering in the market.
Top executive Kalanick, known for being brash and aggressive in propelling Uber's rise, could now become a liability as the company deals with more complex corporate issues, say some analysts.
"This is a milestone on Norway's road to an electric car fleet," Climate and Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen said