56 Studies Confirm: Global warming to increase road rage & fights at baseball games! Is WaPo’s Chris Mooney serious?! Is Mooney serious? Includes charts on ‘retaliatory beanballs’ by MLB pitchers! ‘There’s a surprisingly strong link between climate change and violence’


By: - Climate DepotOctober 22, 2014 2:52 PM

It is important to emphasize the strength of this conclusion: It emerges from multiple studies, the vast majority of which point to the same takeaway conclusion. For example, across 19 studies, Burke and his colleagues found 24 separate estimates of the relationship between temperature changes and various kinds of conflict outcomes, and in every case, that relationship was positive. “The probability of getting 24 positive values if there was in fact no relationship between temperature and conflict … is less than 1 in 100 million,” Burke said in an e-mail. “It’s like flipping a coin 24 times and getting heads each time.”

Temperature-violence relationship is not deterministic. In their meta-analysis, Burke and his colleagues liken the situation to “the rise in car accident rates during rainy days” — the rain ups the risk of accidents overall, but each accident is still contingent on the individual situation and choices (and mistakes) of the drivers involved.

Similarly, warmer temperatures seem to shift the overall background risk for violent conflict — but whether someone commits a violent act remains dependent upon the specific circumstances and the individual.

It is important to underscore that the temperature-violence relationship is not deterministic. In their meta-analysis, Burke and his colleagues liken the situation to “the rise in car accident rates during rainy days” — the rain ups the risk of accidents overall, but each accident is still contingent on the individual situation and choices (and mistakes) of the drivers involved.

Similarly, warmer temperatures seem to shift the overall background risk for violent conflict — but whether someone commits a violent act remains dependent upon the specific circumstances and the individual.

So the relationship is statistical — but that doesn’t make it any less real. “We believe there is overwhelming evidence of a strong relationship between changes in temperature in particular, and various types of human conflicts,” says Burke.