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Study: Global warming will increase violent crime

Research predicts millions of additional violent crimes in coming decades

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People in the United States could see tens of thousands of extra violent crimes every year because of climate change, according to a new study by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“Depending on how quickly temperatures rise, we could see 2 to 3 million more violent crimes between now and the end of the century than there would be in a non-warming world,” said Ryan Harp, researcher at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder and lead author of a study published in Environmental Research Letters.

Research cross-referenced FBI crime database with NOAA climate data and discovered a connection between warm weather and crime.

Mathematical relationships in the data were combined with output from 42 global climate models to projected additional future violent crimes in the United States versus a non-warmed global climate.

The correlations were especially relevant in warmer winter’s where more violent crimes like assault and robbery occurred.

Researchers excluded other variable factors on violent crimes including police force strength, broad socioeconomic trends, and demographics with the sole focus only on warming factors.


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