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Climate Change Might Be Bad for Your Mental Health, Too

Average monthly highs above 86 degrees Fahrenheit increase the probability of mental-health issues, a new study finds.
A man sweats in New York's Central Park in July 2012.
A man sweats in New York's Central Park in July 2012.Eric Thayer/Reuters

Scientists have predicted many troubling consequences of global warming for Earth’s ecosystems and human health and welfare. Among them is an increased risk to our mental health. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that short-term exposure to extreme weather, multiyear warming, and tropical-cyclone exposure are all associated with worse mental health.

“The environmental stressors that are likely to be produced by climate change—added exposure to heat, natural disasters—we have evidence that links those environmental stressors to worsened mental-health states,” Nick Obradovich, one of the researchers, told CityLab.