A New Study Links Higher Rates of Suicide With Climate Change

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(Newswire.net— July 25, 2018) — A tide of suicide comes with the heat wave, say scientists who believe they found a correlation between two.

A new study has found that suicide rates are rising when air temperature is above-average. Giving that climate change induces more extreme weather and overall temperature inclination, researchers warn that suicide rates will rise following the heat wave, Russia Today reports.

According to author of the study Marshall Burke, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford, “Climate change in terms of suicide is not going to generate winners and losers, it’s just going to generate losers.”

Professor Burke told Stanford News that climate change is real and temperature change will hit anyone regardless the location. “Everyone, as far as we can tell – no matter whether you live in a cold place or live in a hot place – everyone is going to be harmed in terms of suicide risk when we increase the temperature,” Professor Burke said.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, looked at rates of suicide across the US and Mexico over the span of several decades. The study shows that a rise of even one degree in air temperature has its matching suicide rate rise for two per cent and more. Research found that the suicide rate corresponds to air temperature increase regardless whether a region has hot or cold climate. The suicide rates raise more in hotter areas, though.

According to a study that examined more than 850,000 suicides in the US between 1968 and 2004, and more than 600,000 deaths in Mexico between 1990 and 2010, the rate of increase is higher in Mexico (2.1%) than in the US (0.7%).

Professor Burke warned that expected climate change will bring an overall air temperature increase of 2.5 degrees by 2050 which converted to suicide rate would mean around 22.000 people will commit suicide in US and Mexico per year.

“The overall health burden of suicides and poor mental health is already large in this country and it’s going to grow,” Burke told the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Killing some 45,000 people annually, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Foundation finds that there is 25 attempts for every suicide, costing the US $69 billion annually.