They not have said that a 1.5 degree rise is enough to tip the balance. The authors explain that yearly warming climates, short term exposure to extremes of weather as well as routine exposure to cycles could have a detrimental effect on the mental health of individuals.
The study analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a self-reported mental health database of almost 2 million randomly sampled U.S. residents, as well as meteorological data over a 10-year period (from 2002 to 2012). This led research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nick Obradovich, to study the effects of climate change on issues such as depression, anxiety and stress.
Half of all mental disorders begin at the adolescent age - before the age of 14 - but most cases go undetected and untreated, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. He warned that a 2 degree Celsius rise can push human mental health over the edge. "It is time to act on mental health", he said in a message marking World Mental Health Day that falls on October 10. The researchers were also able to determine that the people most vulnerable to these consequences were women with lower incomes and previous mental-health issues. Using recent national meteorological data as well as mental health data from the CDC, the study's authors found that a one-degree Celsius increase in average temperature was linked to a two percentage point increase in the public prevalence of mental-health issues over a five-year period. Meanwhile, months with an increase of precipitation can increase the probability of mental health issues by 2 percent. It gives them evidence that hotter temperatures across the United States of America worsen mental health of residents.
It also recommended investing in mental health resilience-building through parents and teachers; and psycho-social provision in schools and community spaces, especially in hardship contexts such as conflict and natural disaster settings. However, "there are many other place-specific factors that may moderate the effect".
Researchers have added a note to their study saying that the major limitation of this study was that the data came from a developed nation and from temperate climates. However, according to a new study, the effects of the rising global temperature would not just be environmental.
"These results provide added large-scale evidence to the growing literature linking climate change and mental health".