Claim: Global warming to cause more suicides

From the “P-hacking gets you any claim” and the “that’s why people move to Florida” departments.

By Mike Bastasch

A July study claims that thousands of more people will commit suicide in the coming decades due to man-made global warming.

Published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday, the study found a one-degree increase in average monthly temperature correlated with suicide rate increases of 0.68 percent and 2.1 percent in the U.S. and Mexico, respectively.

The effect they found is extremely small, and in some cases, not statistically significant from zero. Still, the results were touted in media reports as evidence that increased temperatures exacerbate suicides.

The study predicts between 9,000 and 40,000 more people will off themselves by 2050 because of man-made warming — based on an extreme warming scenario that experts increasingly call “exceptionally unlikely.”

“So we take a specific location and we take a specific month, and we compare cooler versions of that month to hotter versions of that month, and we ask, ‘Are suicide rates different during those two months?’ We indeed find that they are,” lead author Marshall Burke told CNN.

“We find a very consistent relationship between temperature increases and increases in suicide risk,” said Burke, an assistant professor at Stanford University.

A lot of research has been done into suicide rates and temperature. A recent British study found that heat waves exacerbated existing mental health problems in individuals, including suicide.

But Burke’s study only looked at average monthly temperature, which does not give an indication of heat waves or other phenomena that could exacerbate suicides. Higher average temperatures in any given month could be from warmer nights, rather than scorching daytime temperatures.

Cato Institute atmospheric scientist Ryan Maue noted that correlations with monthly temperatures aren’t reliable. Maue also criticized the study’s dependence on Twitter postings to gauge “depressive” speech.

P-hacking refers to the reanalyzing of data until a statistically significant result is achieved. It’s become a major concern in recent years among scientists who fear the practice is damaging their credibility and leading to the hyping of bad science.

Burke’s study averaged monthly temperature correlations across the U.S., which also obscured negative relationships between suicides and temperature increases. Nevada and South Carolina, for example, saw decreases in suicide rates as temperatures increased, but those decreases are obscured in the national average.

The study also claims that temperature increases correlated with a less than one percent increase in “depressive” language on Twitter. However, those results were only significant in one coding, which then had to be adjusted for “lagged effect.”

Read more at Daily Caller

78 thoughts on “Claim: Global warming to cause more suicides

  1. Yep, the liars spewing the lies of Man Caused Globall Warmining are killing themselves at increasing rates. I still don’t see why I should care, beyond laughing at their stupid a$$es.

  2. Hmmmmm. Each day starts off cool and warms up into the afternoon. Today started at 62F (7am) and it’s up to 87F right now. And yet I feel not the least urge to commit suicide on this fine summer day. Several cold adult beverages may meet their demise soon, however…..

  3. Theory: publishing scary AGW articles like this one leads to increased suicides, murder, and mayhem. Now all I need to do is go get me some data…

    • Every time there is warmer weather the media go into overdrive with the AGW Armageddon stories. That could have an effect on people who are on the edge.

      It may even drive them to use more depressing language on Twatter.

      • I don’t use either twittface or face’er so I must be OK with no need to worry and if I have problems I’m blessed with a loving wife and good friends whom I can talk to.

        James Bull

  4. An average day can see a 35-40F swing from day to night. And they are telling us 1 degree makes a difference. Gimme me a break

    • So they’re saying temperatures are less suicidal in June than in July? I suppose that’s good to know.

      • What about seasonal affect depressive disorder SADD that the same crowd told us was caused by darkness of the cold winter? How do these witch doctors keep track of all their contradictory claims?

  5. The real quote is:

    “The suicide and climate change study correlates “monthly average temperature” with suicide risk — and then projects…”

    i.e. Correlates… and then projects…

    But it does beg the question, how did they assess “suicide risk” ?

    • What is more dubious is the idea of “averaging” correlations. How does the maths behind that work? How does that affect the significance of the average of the correlation?

      More home spun , grabbed out of the air Mannian data processing.

  6. I wonder if they compared their study for predicted suicide rates when it gets colder.

    Y’know, just for a balanced view.

    Might include windier, wetter and, of course, full moon.

  7. “THE study also took into account seasonal variation, levels of poverty, the news of celebrity suicides and even depressive social media commentary that can lead to more death…

    WHAT level of responsibility is the mainstream media itself willing to accept for stoking “global warming” fears – flogging every heatwave or extreme weather event leading to the collective mass hysteria played out on social media?”

    • Yeah another 6 yrs, should see off several 1000 far left loons who just can’t take it anymore.

      God’s speed i say,

  8. It’s funny because Seasonal Affective Disorder correlated with suicide is way more common during winters and in Nordic countries.

  9. I’m no longer surprised by these claims attributed to AGW and I believe the result is they are only digging themselves a deeper hole with their intended audience. By the time the whole AGW craze completely collapses there will be thousands of these spurious claims to be rectified.

  10. The never ending lies of the Climate Change Warmer Nutjobs are certainly causing me to feel suicidal.

    • Reginald Vernon Reynolds :
      “The never ending lies of the C C W Nutjobs.”……….should be filling you
      with HOPE and OPTIMISM !
      Their claims are so outrageous and so divorced from reality that ONE DAY
      even the most entranced ‘phone zombie is going to emerge from “THE MATRIX ”
      and take a DEEP BREATH and suddenly realise that it is all a DELUSION
      and that is when it will all ABOUT-TURN……….so hang in there KID !
      It will be well worth the ride back to REALITY !

  11. They’re getting desperate. They’re also contradicting themselves (again). All the Warmunistas are all Malthusian. A rise in suicide rates is presumably a desired goal for them.

  12. Another day, another bad thing discovered to be caused by capitalism, conservatism, Christianity, and evil white men who like these things the awe powerful carbon dioxide.

    If they could just get rid of the pesky white men and let socialism ‘fix’ it all…

  13. The suicide and climate change study correlates “monthly average temperature” with suicide risk — and then projects from RCP 8.5 models into 2050 — when there’s no more air conditioners.

  14. I find a correlation between stupid political decisions and suicide rates. So, does global warming cause bad politics OR does bad politics cause global warming (and in this case there is a necessary human connection because any other animals are smart enough to avoid politics)

  15. Sound like a bit of hype about about SAD (link) to me.

    Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.[1][2] People may sleep too much or have little energy.[3] The condition in the summer can include heightened anxiety.[4]

    In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV and DSM-5, its status was changed. It is no longer classified as a unique mood disorder but is now a specifier, called “with seasonal pattern”, for recurrent major depressive disorder that occurs at a specific time of the year and fully remits otherwise.[5] Although experts were initially skeptical, this condition is now recognized as a common disorder.[6]

    [my bold]

  16. If someone who is already depressed, knows none of the details about AGW and is continually bombarded with gloom and doom predictions like this, it just might increase their depression. Then they are now told that politicians like the “evil” Trump plan to do nothing to stop the “obvious” coming catastrophe, it just might increase the risk of the person doing something. Problem is it might not be suicide.

  17. The line of attributing suicides to global warming is false and unseamly, yet again exploiting a real concern to promote CO2 obsession.
    1. A suicide is a personal event with many contributing factors, weather and climate being the most peripheral.

    2. Serious suicide researchers have identified risk factors that inform caregivers, no mention of climate.

    3. Suicides occur more frequently in colder climates than in warmer ones.

    4. Preventing suicides is a serious issue, and has nothing to do with reducing CO2.

    • What’s even more strange, climate change will induce more of the suicided in D.C. to ride around in their own car’s trunk before their body ends up in a public park.

  18. And ….a constant suicide rate + an increasing population doesn’t equal more deaths ?
    And that increasing population isn’t mostly in stressed nations ?

  19. “However, those results were only significant in one coding, which then had to be adjusted for “lagged effect.”

    Lagged affect????

    So warmer weather causes an increase in suicides, but not for 6 months???

    • That’s when the power company starts dunning you for past-due electricity bills and threatens to cut you off. 😉

  20. OK, once more — this time with feeling– “Correlation does not prove causation!”

    However, inasmuch as the Arctic is warming about 2X the global average, I think that we should be on the look out for an increase in polar bear suicides.

    I think that I could make a case for correlation between increasing temperatures and logic impairment in academics.

    • I suggest the quote merits capitals. And in bold. Correlation between figures is worth noting in case it leads anywhere but it isn’t worth the ink, or the electricity, for a published study.

  21. I cringe anytime I hear the words “according to experts”. I think the pubic at large is becoming more and more likely to dismiss the expert because they realize how much science has been corrupted by money and politics.

    • Did you see his graph under the title “Climate change and extreme weather”.
      Science at it’s best, that graph is a true keeper.

      IF you outlive the idiot he will die NEVER KNOWING
      that he was “full of baloney”
      BUT YOU WILL …….SO…….ENJOY THAT THOUGHT…and in the meantime….
      take that smug grin OFF your face !!

  22. Who in their right mind would want to go out in the cold or icy weather just to jump off a bridge? 😉

    • eyesonu : WELL , historically speaking , HARRY HOUDINI for one !
      The Belle Isle Bridge jump
      On Tuesday, November 27, 1906, Houdini leapt manacled from the Belle Isle Bridge in Detroit, MI, freeing himself from two pairs of handcuff beneath the cold waters. The Belle Isle Bridge jump is one of Houdini’s most well-known, largely because of a fiction created about the escape. In later accounts, it was claimed that the Detroit river was frozen and a hole had to be cut in the ice. This provided Houdini with an additional horrifying dilemma when he found himself trapped under the ice. This dramatic version appeared in the first major Houdini biography, Houdini His Life Story by Harold Kellock, and passed as fact for many years.”

  23. Even if true, it pales into utter insignificance alongside the deaths from indoor air pollution in poor parts of the world that are being caused by international fund givers insisting on green energy

  24. Yearly 10’s of thousands of premature fuel poverty deaths caused by foolish government policies and
    over 60,000 deaths per year in the USA from drug overdoses . Isn’t it time to address some real problems ?
    Anyone can write scary climate porn .

  25. Suicide is highly complex. As someone that lost a close relative to suicide, I will state that suicide(like alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.) is “nature” not environment. For at least the last 10 years of his life, I think he had this abnormal compulsive feedback loop of self destruction. The fact that local temperatures varied from -25F to 100F+ during his life had nothing to do with it.

    • It seems obvious that a single hot summer doesn’t create suicidal people, let alone a global average increase of 0.6C over 50 years.

      Suicide is a personal thing that develops over a period of years, having almost nothing to do with any reality outside of the persons head. This statement of mine is based on my own experience with depression and suicide.

  26. Doomsday propaganda demoralizes people. It’s harder on souls who are already unhappy.

  27. The Abstract of the paper reads:

    Linkages between climate and mental health are often theorized but remain poorly quantified. In particular, it is unknown whether the rate of suicide, a leading cause of death globally, is systematically affected by climatic conditions. Using comprehensive data from multiple decades for both the United States and Mexico, we find that suicide rates rise 0.7% in US counties and 2.1% in Mexican municipalities for a 1 °C increase in monthly average temperature. This effect is similar in hotter versus cooler regions and has not diminished over time, indicating limited historical adaptation. Analysis of depressive language in > 600 million social media updates further suggests that mental well-being deteriorates during warmer periods. We project that unmitigated climate change (RCP8.5) could result in a combined 9–40 thousand additional suicides (95% confidence interval) across the United States and Mexico by 2050, representing a change in suicide rates comparable to the estimated impact of economic recessions, suicide prevention programmes or gun restriction laws.
    [end of Abstract]

    So the article alleges 9000 to 40,000 additional suicides in the USA and Mexico in the 32 years between now and 2050, or at most a ~1000 per year in the USA?

    Lets compare that to the ~100,000 Excess Winter Deaths that occur in the USA EVERY year. That’s two 9-11’s per week for 17 weeks EVERY YEAR.

    There is only one conclusion: Warmer is better, so Nuke any organization that opposes global warming.

    • ALLAN MACRAE :”There is only one conclusion: Warmer is better, so Nuke
      any organization that opposes global warming.”
      …….I must say that HOMICIDE is not an acceptable solution to SUICIDE !
      No matter how effective , it is still undesirable !

      It looks like they calculated the “additional suicides” incorrectly. Instead of using the ‘average’ rise on the total population, they should have used the country rates for the two countries and then added the estimated increases. It looks like they used some ‘mathemagic’ to inflate the numbers.

  28. It is statistical malfeasance to leverage a minuscule value presently lost in noise or uncertainty into a very large population… for the express purpose of creating a hypothetical integer number of ‘deaths’. To which may be applied another form of journalistic malfeasance, such as taking the hypothetical people-count and statistically concluding that one will be a baby, so the piece can be illustrated with a stock photo of, a baby.

    [caption] THIS baby is DOOMED.

  29. Maybe the title should be: klimate hysteria causes more suicide.
    Children must be presented a positive outlook so they are eager to learn.
    Pessimistic and doom scenario’s may cause children to escape in drugs, mysticism and (indeed) suicide.

  30. and these folks are sooooooo far away removed from real life, *light-years* away on Planet Good Intentions. Don’t they realise that publishing stuff like this can very easily tip a borderline case over the edge.
    They’ve looked at the issue from one side only – Walk A Mile In My Shoes?

    An affected person might read heartless & dangerous junk like this and think/imagine their worries are in fact genuine, *are* shared by many others and that their suicidal logic is justified and correct.

    Doesn’t *anybody* realise? Scientists, publishers, media…..?
    Does anybody inside science actually *think* any-more?

  31. This is actually a good example of model selection bias. By leaving out opioids from the model, they are ignoring a major new demographic and public health hazard as though it does not exist. That’s not even getting to the fact that it was an insurance-covered source of life expectancy decline showing up in national health stats.

  32. So people that really, really, fear climate change will convert their carbon footprint into a human pavement print.

  33. “It’s become a major concern in recent years among scientists who fear the practice is damaging their credibility and leading to the hyping of bad science.” You think????

  34. Suicides don’t bother me. Everybody has the right to end their own life whenever they so choose. They don’t have the right to involve other people without their consent. No one has the right to tell anyone that they have to live.

    Body heat- has anyone looked into how much animal, including humans, body heat adds to any warming?

  35. My experience is, er, my climate model demonstrates people drink more booze in cold weather, since they’re cooped up inside, and bored. My research, actually a thrown-dart WAG, is that alcohol-related deaths will decrease as the climate warms, offsetting any suicide increases caused by Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change/Global Warming/ Climate Weirding®. Please send me my grant funding in small, unmarked bills, suitable for use at the local First Peoples’ casino.

  36. “They discovered that for every 1-degree Celsius (1.8-degree Fahrenheit) rise in temperature, there was a 0.7 percent increase in suicide rates in the U.S. and a 2.1 percent increase in Mexico, averaging a 1.4 percent increment across both countries.”

    They apparently just averaged the two numbers, without considering that the US has a population more than twice that of Mexico. That ends up being a bigger number and sounds scarier than if they had factored in population. That is, the proper way to calculate the average would be a population weighted-average, which they didn’t do! That doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that this was a well constructed experiment and the conclusions were objective.

    It is not uncommon for the US to experience a temperature range of about 50 deg C from Winter to Summer. Using their numbers, that suggests a 35 percent increase in suicides during the Summer. That doesn’t quite pass the smell test. The FBI has documented increases in homicide in the Summer, but I don’t think it is anywhere near 35%.

    They apparently only looked at raw temperatures, and not the heat index. Everyone knows that humid weather is more oppressive. Again, an indication of a poorly thought out and executed experiment. Lastly, as is all too often the case with ‘research’ associated with climate, there is no mention of error bars or confidence intervals.

    Stanford is not the University I used to know!

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