Global warming is making people in northern Europe sick. Reuters reports that is the verdict of a paper by scientists from a number of institutions in Europe and the U.S. that was published in the journal Nature Climate Change recently. They found that as the Baltic Sea has gotten warmer, infections with a group of bacteria that can cause gastroenteritis have risen in the area.

Each year the temperature increased one degree, cases of infection by the Vibrio bacteria rose almost 200 percent. Victims can be infected if they’re exposed to seawater or undercooked shellfish.

Vibrio is typically found in warmer environments, but outbreaks have appeared in colder regions like Chile, Israel, northwest Spain and the United States’ Pacific Northwest. The scientists said these outbreaks can be linked to global warming.

In addition to making oceans warmer, climate change reduces their salinity as more rain falls and the polar ice caps melt. The less-salty water along with the warmer temperatures encourages bacterial growth.

The scientists chose to study the Baltic Sea because it is one of the areas most affected by climate change. While rising greenhouse gas emissions raised global surface temperatures by 0.17 degrees celsius per decade between 1980 and 2010, the Baltic Sea warmed around four times as fast.

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