Weather, climate changes multiply mental health concerns

Global climate change has been a hot topic for debate for decades; however, new studies bring another perspective to the table concluding that global climate change has increased severe weather incidents and as a result have had a negative effect on mental health.

By Kristen Rodman, Staff Writer
September 01, 2013

These detrimental effects could influence the rates of depression and anxiety.

"The globe continues to warm at between 0.15 to 0.20 degrees Celsius per decade, as determined conclusively by the United States National Academy, the National Academies of all of the Great Nations and the leading scientific societies in the U.S. including the American Physical Society, The American Chemistry Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America and 30 plus more," said Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University and author of the books "Dire Predictions" and "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars."

While it can not be proven that climate change increases erratic weather events, some experts believe that climate change may be a factor.

"I do believe as the planet is warming we are seeing an increase in heat waves and drought severity," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said. Although, Anderson expresses that one weather event can not be blamed on climate change, it is more long-term.

Other researchers take a slightly different perspective, suggesting that climate change can manifest itself on a more localized level. These manifestations can be in the form of an extreme storm or weather situation, like Hurricane Katrina, or just simply in weather patterns, according to Thomas Doherty, President of the American Psychological Association's Environmental Division and licensed psychologist with the Lewis & Clarke Graduate School.

Although not all weather experts agree, some believe that there has been an increase in the severity of weather in recent years.

May 10. 2013 file photo Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge

This May 10, 2013, file photo shows view of the Manhattan Bridge, left, and Brooklyn Bridge as seen from the 105th floor of One World Trade Center, in New York

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Weather, Climate Changes Multiply Mental Health Concerns