As global temperatures rise, climate change’s impacts on mental health are becoming increasingly evident.
As global temperatures rise, climate change’s impacts on mental health are becoming increasingly evident. Recent research has linked elevated temperatures to an increase in violence, stress and decreased cognitive function leading to impacts such as reduced test scores, lowered worker productivity and impaired decision-making.
Adding to the concern, a Stanford study led by economist Marshall Burke also finds a link between increased temperatures and suicide rates. The research, published in Nature Climate Change, concluded that up to 21,000 additional suicides will occur by 2050 within the United States and Mexico if unmitigated climate change continues to warm the Earth at the current projected rates.
Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States. Unlike other leading causes – which include heart disease, cancer, homicide and unintentional injury – suicide rates have increased rather than fallen over time. And, while there has been a noticeable trend of rising suicide rates in warmer months, up to this point it has been difficult to attribute these changes to temperature, as other factors like day length and social patterns also vary.
Read more at Stanford University