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How global warming can lead to increased violence in human beings

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(ANI): A new research has shown that as the earth's average temperature rises, so does human "heat" in the form of violent tendencies, which links global warming with increased violence in human beings.

Using US government data on average yearly temperatures and the number of violent crimes between 1950 and 2008, the researchers estimate that if the annual average temperature in the US increases by 4.4 degree Celsius, the yearly murder and assault rate will increase by 34 per 100,000 people - or 100,000 more per year in a population of 305 million.

While the global warming science has recently come under fire, the main premise behind the Iowa State researchers' research paper is irrefutable.

"It is very well researched and what I call the 'heat hypothesis'," Anderson said.

"When people get hot, they behave more aggressively. There's nothing new there and we're all finding the same thing. But of the three ways that global warming is going to increase aggression and violence, that's probably the one that's going to have the most direct impact - even on developed, wealthy countries, because they have warm regions too," he added.

The ISU researchers analyzed existing research - including an update on a study Anderson authored in 1997 - on the effects of rising temperature on aggression and risk factors for delinquency and criminal behavior.

In addition to the "heat hypothesis," they report that rising global temperatures also increases known risk factors for the development of aggression in violence-prone individuals, such as increasing poverty, growing up amid scarce resources, malnutrition and food insecurity.

They contended that one of the most catastrophic effects of climate change will be food availability, producing more violence-prone individuals in the process.

"While there is some link between temperature and aggression, really the effects (of climate change) are going to be more indirect if those temperature changes affect the amount of food we can produce, coupled with population growth," said Matt DeLisi, an associate professor of sociology and director of ISU's criminal justice program.

"Then where the real damage will be done is malnutrition, because that sets in motion these other developments (risk factors) that then lead to crime," he added.

The researchers cited ecomigration, civil unrest, genocide and war as the third way global warming is going to increase violence.

They report research finding that rapid climate change can lead to changes in the availability of food, water, shelter and other necessities of life.

Such shortages can also lead to civil war and unrest, migration to adjacent regions and conflict with people who already live in that region, and even to genocide and war. (ANI)

ANI / Yahoo news

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