(p. D6) Global warming may have one minor but previously unknown benefit, scientists said this month: it may be cutting down cases of bubonic plague in the United States.
. . .
A study in this month’s issue of The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene tracked climatic conditions in 195 counties in 13 Western states, from Washington to Texas, that reported even one plague case since 1950.
Cases have dropped over time, and the study concluded that rising nighttime temperatures since 1990 had helped. Warmer nights melt winter snowpacks earlier, leading to drier soil in rodent burrows. When the soil gets too dry, fleas die.
For the full story, see:
DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. “GLOBAL UPDATE; United States: Decrease in Bubonic Plague Cases May Be an Effect of Climate Change.” The New York Times (Tues., September 21, 2010): D6.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the article is dated September 20, 2010.)