Stanford researchers are now claiming that warmer temperatures will lead to higher rates of suicide. The study compared historical temperatures and suicide data across the U.S. and Mexico and concluded that temperature increases will increase suicides by an additional 21,000 by the year 2050.
The study, led by Stanford economist Marshall Burke, was published July 23 in Nature Climate Change.
How are high temperatures linked to suicide?
According to the research, there's strong evidence on social media that suggests hotter temperatures affect mental health. They found this to be the case by analyzing language in over half a billion Twitter updates and tweets.
The researchers focused on keywords such as "lonely," "trapped," or "suicidal" during high-temperature hot spells. The data suggested that hot temperatures correlate with suicide rates and depressive language on social media.
"We’ve been studying the effects of warming on conflict and violence for years, finding that people fight more when it’s hot. Now we see that in addition to hurting others, some individuals hurt themselves," the researchers concluded.
Watch Doc Thompson and Kris Cruz make sense of the study in the clip above.
Click here to read more about the study.