For those who always insist on looking at the bright side of life, here?s one positive from the gloom and doom of global warming. Destruction of the planet is reducing the outbreak of the plague, in the western U.S. at least. Yes, that plague, as in the Black Death, the one that killed about 50 million people back in the 1500s.
According to scientists, global warming reduces the likelihood of an outbreak of the plague in the U.S. because it will be just too hot and dry for the disease. Since 1950, there have been 430 cases of death by the plague, or about seven per year. The most common carriers of the plague bacteria to human are fleas living on rats. Dampness and warm weather are a boon for both rats and fleas, says the U.S., Swedish and Norwegian scientists who prepared the study published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. That's the scenario if things get worse.
Scientists say that other outbreaks of plague in the U.S. that were previously unexplainable could be linked to climate change in the Pacific Ocean. Outbreaks occur during times of warm, wet conditions and all of the 430 cases of the plague in the U.S. were in the west. With future climate change, the western U.S. can expect drier conditions and more heat waves means fewer fleas.
But the flip side is that global warming could spread plague outbreaks in other parts of the world, such as Africa, faster with the shift to moister conditions. I think this is one instance where given the option of ignoring global warming in favor of a plague outbreak is a no-brainer. Fleas and rats, rest easy.
Via Reuters, RedOrbit