Another Climate Change Effect: More Violence

Study finds climate changed linked to increases in violence

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 2, 2013 12:19 AM CDT | Updated Aug 2, 2013 12:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Another way climate change is messing with your life: Scientists say it's linked to a global increase in violence. A new study finds that even minor changes in rainfall or temperature affect violence levels, the BBC reports. For example, during droughts in India, domestic violence increased; during heat waves in the US, assaults, rapes, and murders increased. The researchers, who looked at data spanning 10,000 years, also found climate change correlated with a rise in ethnic conflicts and civil wars.

Why? It could be physiological (other studies have shown that heat is linked to aggression), or perhaps it's because climate affects economic conditions, especially in agricultural areas, one researcher explains: "There is lots of evidence that changes in economic conditions affect people's decisions about whether or not to join a rebellion, for example." Either way, with the track climate change is currently on, researchers warn the world will probably become more violent, to the tune of a 16% increase in individual crimes and, in some areas, a 56% increase in group conflicts. The tropics are the most at risk, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

  (Shutterstock)
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