As Climate Change Increases, Our Mental Health Declines

Health Problems, Global Warming Linked, Per Study

The problems associated with global warming are coming closer home say researchers.

This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a Special Report on the effect of the world warming 1.5°C or more above pre-industrial levels. The changing climate and the frequency of natural disaster will further cause distress to Americans. Earlier the scientists had predicted a 2 degrees Celsius rise in earth's temperature could have risky consequences.

For this study, researchers examined the mental health records of 2 million randomly selected U.S. citizens using data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System between 2002 and 2012, comparing the responses to meteorological and climatic data from the same period. "Warming over time associates with worsened mental health over time", Obradovich told CNN. This led research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nick Obradovich, to study the effects of climate change on issues such as depression, anxiety and stress.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said United Nations is committed to creating a world where by 2030 everyone, everywhere has someone to turn to in support of their mental health, in a world free of stigma and discrimination.

The study analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a self-reported mental health database of almost 2 million randomly sampled U.S. residents, as well as meteorological data over a 10-year period (from 2002 to 2012). He warned that a 2 degree Celsius rise can push human mental health over the edge. The survey involved an assessment of the participants' mental health over the course of 10 years (from 2002 to 2012). Both people with low income and women were 60 percent more likely to have emotions tied to weather than those with a higher income and men, respectively, according to the study's findings.

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This year's World Mental Health Day focuses on young people. Researchers warned that as the earth's temperatures rose, the rain fall also increased due to increased water evaporation.

What's more, the shift from average monthly temperatures between 25 degrees C (77 degrees F) and 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) greatly increased one's likelihood of experiencing mental health difficulties.

Tarun Dua, mental health expert at WHO, explained: "Half of mental health disorders arise before the age of 14".

He said millions of people are caught up in conflict and disasters, putting them at risk of a range of long-term mental health problems.

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