People get meaner when it’s hotter

August 2, 2013

drought_2398818bAs climate changes become more pronounced, violence among Earth’s human population rises dramatically, according to a recent study by scientists from two major U.S. universities. (Huffington Post)

Altered weather patterns resulting in drought, high temperatures and floods parallel increases in conflict, researchers from U.C. Berkeley and Princeton University wrote in the latest issue of Science magazine. Sixty incidences of historic weather circumstances and resulting human behavior were incorporated into the study results.

Excessive heat appears to be the biggest malefactor, and has negatively affected the behavior of people in 27 modern societies analyzed by the researchers.

“We found that a one standard deviation shift towards hotter conditions causes the likelihood of personal violence to rise four percent and inter-group conflict to rise 14 percent,” UC Berkeley’s Marshall Burke, the study’s co-lead author, wrote in a release.

Burke said he hopes the results “shed new light on how the future climate will shape human societies.”

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So, presumably, the corollary to this study’s findings would be that people get nicer as it gets colder, right?

Hey- ever been to Wisconsin in January? Trust me- it ain’t “nice”- and it ain’t pretty. Why do you think they all retire down to Arizona or Florida as soon as they can?