US Climate and Health Alliance

Hot climate makes you more aggressive and violent


The combination of a hot climate and less variation in seasonal temperatures leads to a faster life strategy, less focus on the future and less self-control — all of which contribute to more aggression and violence, according to a new model that explains the link between climate and crime rates. Many studies have shown that levels of violence and aggression are higher in hot climates, but the lead explanations of why this is so are not satisfactory, according to the researchers. So they developed the new model CLASH (Climate Aggression, and Self-control in Humans) that they believe can help explain the impact of climate on rates of violence in different parts of the world. Climatic change also have a negative effect on human health. ‘Climate shapes how people live, it affects the culture in ways that we don’t think about in our daily lives,’ said co-author of the study Brad Bushman, Professor of Communication and Psychology at The Ohio State University in the US. ‘We believe CLASH can help account for differences in aggression and violence both within and between countries around the world,’ he said. The General Aggression Model suggests hot temperatures make people uncomfortable and irritated, which makes them more aggressive. ‘But that doesn’t explain more extreme acts, such as murder,’ Bushman said. Another explanation is that people are outdoors and interacting more with others when the weather is warm, which leads to more opportunities for conflict. But that does not explain why there is more violence when the temperature is 35 degrees Celsius than when it is 24 degrees Celsius — even though people might be outside under both circumstances. Climatic change also spreads infectious diseases.

Resource Type
Magazine/newspaper article
The Health Site
Resource URL
June 25, 2016
Organization Type
Health and Human Impact
Other disease
Climate and Environmental Impact

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