Cholera-global warming link debunked

A new study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene debunks the claim that global warming (via rising sea surface temperatures) will increase cholera outbreaks.

The notion that global warming would increase cholera outbreaks is based on the hypothesis that rising sea surface temperatures increase phytoplankton levels which, in turn, increase the population of phytoplankton-eating crustaceans to which cholera-causing bacteria attach. Then, more bacteria-bearing crustaceans increase the risk of contaminated drinking water which increases the frequency of cholera outbreaks.

As the EPA states on its web site,

Climate change may increase the risk of some infectious diseases… algal blooms could occur more frequently as temperatures warm — particularly in areas with polluted waters — in which case diseases (such as cholera) that tend to accompany algal blooms could become more frequent.

But using cholorphyll as a surrogate measure of phytoplankton over a large area, the study authors conclude,

Our results suggest that the observed positive correlation between [sea surface temperature] and chlorophyll in the Bay of Bengal is in fact not causal, and should not form the basis to infer or construct prediction models for cholera outbreaks.

Another one bites the dust. Enjoy.

6 responses to “Cholera-global warming link debunked

  1. If ever this happens I will celebrate with a block party , that the epa is found out to be a lying bunch of scurvy oops there goes my civility…. Oh well they seem to be spewing worse than that on us the American people.

  2. Duh?! Since when do people get cholera from drinking contaminated SEA WATER?

  3. You get cholera from drinking sewage contaminated fresh water. There are quite a few marine Vibrio bacteria in the same genus as cholera, but I don’t think these are disease causing. EPA is mixing apples and oranges in an attempt to promulgate their false religion of AGW. Just a bunch of these environmental studies crowd with government jobs.

  4. Wait, now, won’t all that green stuff suck up the CO2, making the global warming go away? My science is as good as theirs. Hey, it IS theirs!

  5. Don’t confuse me with the truth my mind is already made up.
    Sound familiar?

  6. It does not debunk global warming impacts on human health. It only suggests that the results from previous studies that found a link between increasing phytoplankton and cholera incidence were really confounded by the impact of discharge from rivers which bring nutrients to coastal estuaries. Therefore, we cannot assume (yet) that increasing temperatures (which impact phytoplankton) will increase cholera. The links between climate and health are numerous. For more info, see http://www.who.int/topics/climate/en/; http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/04/12/1203333109; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2744514/).

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