Without a crystal ball, how are these scientists predicting the disease's next move? It all goes back to those oceanic drifters known as plankton and -- you guessed it -- global warming. Cholera is a water-borne infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which has a known association with copepods, crustaceans that live on a particular type of plankton called zooplankton. Cholera outbreaks are tied to environmental factors, including sea surface temperature, ocean height, and biomass. Global warming may be creating a more favorable environment for Vibrio cholerae, increasing the susceptibility of at-risk areas. By associating cholera with climate change and then using remote satellite imaging to track this information and store data, scientist can identify where and when cholera will crop up before it actually does.