Global warming will hike mental health woes, study finds

October 10, 2018
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Mental health problems will increase as temperatures rise due to climate change, a new study warns.

The researchers said that over five years, a 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degree Fahrenheit) increase in average temperature is associated with higher rates of , CNN reported.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We don't exactly know why we see or increasing temperatures produce ," lead author Nick Obradovich, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, told CNN.

"For example, is poor sleep due to hot temperatures the thing that produces mental problems? We have a lot of work to do to figure out precisely what is causing what," Obradovich said.

For the study, the researchers compared self-reported mental health data from nearly 2 million Americans with daily weather data from 2002 and 2012, CNN reported.

In the study, those most vulnerable to mental health problems caused by rising temperatures included people with existing , those with lower incomes, and women.

The findings are consistent with recent work by other scientists, Dr. Jonathon Patz, a professor and director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madision who was not involved in the study, told CNN.

He noted that people may be experiencing "stress and despair" occurring "as governments and industry fail to react at the pace recommended by multiple scientific assessments."

Explore further: Pre-existing mental health conditions in men linked to problems during transition to parenthood

More information: Nick Obradovich el al., "Empirical evidence of mental health risks posed by climate change," PNAS (2018). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1801528115

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2 comments

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dogbert
5 / 5 (1) Oct 10, 2018
I guess its official. There is no problem which global warming cannot make worse.
Researcher
not rated yet Oct 10, 2018
Actually this makes a lot of sense. I have studied (albeit casually) mental health for sometime. This theory fills a lot of gaps.

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