Wednesday, March 2, 2016

                        DESCEND  AT  YOUR  OWN  RISK !

Since temperatures rise as altitude falls,  at a lapse rate of ~ 3 degrees C  per 1000 feet, Mares & Moffett's recent  Climatic Change  paper raises  an  interesting  metaquestion for travelers:
      Does  descending  a mile double the risk of  being murdered ?

Climate change and interpersonal violence:  a global estimate and regional inequities

Dennis M. Mares1 & Kenneth W. Moffett2                                                 Published online: 27 November 2015
This study estimates the predicted impact of climate change on levels of violence in a sample of 57 countries...  
Our results indicate that each degree Celsius increase in annual temperatures is associated with a nearly 6 % average increase in homicides.  (emphasis added)

Regional variation in this predicted effect is detected, for example, with no apparent effects in former Soviet countries and far stronger effects found in Africa. Such variation indicates that climate change may acutely increase violence in areas that already are affected by higher levels of homicides and other social dislocations. . . An average  5.9 % increase in homicides in the countries in our study may mean that India’s increase may be only 1.9 %, but Ireland’s increase may be 9.9 %.  

Given the large population differences between the two countries one quickly realizes that it is impossible from this study to reliably estimate the likely additional homicides generated by climate change.

The results of this study could likely be improved by examining homicide and climatic data at the city level. Unfortunately such data are rather limited at present and would require substantial data collection efforts… we cannot say if the link discovered is the result of warmer winter temperatures or warmer summer temperatures (or both). it is not an ideal data set to test specific theoretical aspects of the heat-violence link.

RAT theory explains that increasing temperatures likely increases the frequency of interactions between people, thereby raising the number of violent encounters. . . All things being equal, increased encounters should increase violent interactions."