The vast majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is making these extreme temperatures more intense and more frequent, putting global public health at risk. Still, when it comes to mental health – an important but overlooked aspect of public health – the effects of a red-hot weather map are rarely considered.
Now, a ground-breaking new study has found a disturbing link between climate change, extreme temperatures and suicide. By comparing temperature and suicide data from thousands of US counties and Mexican municipalities over several decades, the study has revealed strong evidence that hotter weather increases suicide rates.
All in all, the researchers found that if the world warms by 2.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, it could result in a 1.4 percent increase in America’s suicide rate and a 2.3 percent increase in Mexico’s suicide rate.
After taking into account population growth and no less than 30 climate models, the researchers predict that hotter temperatures could result in an additional 21,000 suicides in the US and Mexico by 2050.