{{show_title_date || "Is there a correlation between climate change and violent behavior?, 8/4/13, 1:38 PM ET"}}

Study: Climate change makes people hotter and angrier


A new study published in Science Magazine points to a correlation between rising temperatures triggered by climate change and increased aggressive behavior in humans.

Energy and environmental correspondent with the National Journal, Coral Davenport, says that climate change is an issue that the Pentagon and the CIA characterize as a “threat multiplier for violence, conflict, and even for war.”

Situations of political, economic, and ethnic unrest can be exacerbated by extreme drought, water and food shortages, and excessive heat, which are triggered by climate change, Davenport said. The study took data from around the world and showed “quantitatively that increases in temperature, increases in drought are directly affiliated with increases in violence of all kinds.”

The Huffington Post’s Robin Wilkey said that a temperature spike of just two degrees could increase the likelihood of civil wars by 50%.

“If trends continue as they have been in the past, that that kind of a warming could cause that kind of an increase in violence,” Wilkey said.

She cited a marked increase in inter-group violence as a result of climate change. For instance, the researchers looked at “27 different modern societies and found that in all 27 cases there was a positive correlation between just a small rise in temperature and civil wars and inter-group violence.”