NEW YORK, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Unmitigated climate change and temperature rise could lead to thousands of additional suicides in the United States and Mexico by 20200, according to a new study.
Researchers from institutions in the United States, Canada and Chile have analyzed temperature and suicide data from multiple decades in thousands of U.S. counties and Mexican municipalities, revealing that climate change could prompt additional 9,000 to 40,000 suicides.
The study has found that suicide rates rise 0.7 percent in the United States and 2.1 percent in Mexico for a 1 degree Celsius increase in monthly average temperature.
One hypothesis is that high temperatures directly affect mental well-being, perhaps as a result of the side effects of thermoregulation. In other words, blood flow patterns in the brain could change as our body works to maintain its temperature within a certain range, according to the research.
To gain further insights into the linkage between temperature and mental health, researchers have also analyzed 2000 million geotagged Twitter posts. They found that each additional 1 degree Celsius in monthly average temperature increases the likelihood of "depressive" language in tweets such as "lonely," "trapped," or "suicidal" by as much as 1.35 percent.
The findings were published Monday in the monthly journal Nature Climate Change.