Large-Scale Study Shows Global Warming Has Adverse Effects On Mental Health

Large-Scale Study Shows Global Warming Has Adverse Effects On Mental Health

Ronald Pratt
October 13, 2018

What researchers found was that even a moderate temperature increase could have a negative effect on one's mental well-being. Based on this data, the researchers at Stanford University linked the temperature to a higher rate of depressive tweets and an increase in suicides in both the U.S. and Mexico. "It is time to act on mental health", he said in a message marking World Mental Health Day that falls on October 10. "We have a lot of work to do to figure out precisely what is causing what".

The Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance survey might be the largest public health monitoring survey in the world, Obradovich explained.

The researchers examined the data gleaned from the questions and paired it up with climate data that was local to each respondent.

Participants of the study were asked about their mental health, including experiences of stress and depression.

The study also found that a 1-degree Celsius increase over 5 years - or a 1.8-degree Fahrenheit increase - causes a 2 percent increase in mental health problems.

The CDC data showed that after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast region in August 2005, reports of mental health problems increased in places with declared disasters.

"Our paper - when coupled with evidence that climate change may impact everyday human moods to severe outcomes like suicide - provides further evidence that exposure to heat, on average, worsens mental health outcomes", Obradovich said, according to Inverse.

Health Problems, Global Warming Linked, Per Study

Finally, the team considered the toll of hurricanes on mental health. In addition, they also reported that a 1 degree Celsius increase in average temperature was associated with a 2 percentage point increased prevalence of mental health issues.

Mental health problems of people affected by the hurricane Katrina were compared with those who were unaffected.

He said millions of people are caught up in conflict and disasters, putting them at risk of a range of long-term mental health problems.

Especially significant given the dire United Nations climate change report is the authors' finding that people affected by Hurricane Katrina had a 4 percent higher prevalence of mental-health issues than people in comparably sized communities who had not experienced a natural disaster. Obradovich said that is one of the "outstanding questions in identifying the social impacts of climate change". Apparently, it is. The new study says that climate change is not only harmful for birds and animals, water sources, our health problems, it also may influence on our mental processes.

Some people were more vulnerable than others, the researchers found.

"The most important point of this [new] study is that climate change, indeed, is affecting mental health, and certain populations (women and the poor) are disproportionally impacted", Patz, who called for more research on climate change, wrote in an email.

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