Climate change brings more crime, study says

Feb 21, 2014

A new study broadens a notion held by the earliest criminologists: Periods of higher temperatures - on an hour-by-hour or week-to-week basis - are likely to produce more crime.

The study by Matthew Ranson of Abt Associates, a research and consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass., suggests global warming will trigger more U.S. crimes including murders and rapes over the next century, with social costs estimated to run as high as $115 billion.

Between 2010 and 2099, can be expected to cause an additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft, the study published this week in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management says.

Compared with the number of crimes expected to occur during this period in the absence of climate change, these figures represent a 2.2 percent increase in murders, a 3.1 percent increase in cases of rape, a 2.3 percent increase in aggravated assaults, a 1.2 percent increase in simple assaults, a 1 percent increase in robberies, a 0.9 percent increase in burglaries, a 0.5 percent increase in cases of larceny and a 0.8 percent increase in cases of vehicle theft, the study says.

The of these increases would be roughly $38 billion to $115 billion, based on dollar values of per-offense losses established by earlier research.

"A 1 percent to 3 percent increase in a particular crime may seem modest," Ranson said in an interview. "But for victims, survivors and law enforcement, the burden of those numbers can be very substantial.

"The broader context here is that climate change will influence our lives in a variety of ways beyond how much water we can spare for such things as farming," he added. "Now, there is reason to believe it will also impact social connections in our neighborhoods, the amount of time we allow our children to spend outside and how much we are willing to spend on ."

Overall, crime rates for most offenses by 2090 will be 1.5 percent to 5.5 percent higher because of climate change, according to the study of crime statistics and weather data for each of the nation's nearly 3,000 counties.

"To put these numbers in perspective," the study says, "recent research suggests that a 1 percent increase in the size of a city's police force results in an approximate 0.3 percent decrease in violent crimes, and a 0.2 percent decrease in property crimes, with some variation across types of offenses."

Therefore, it adds, "an immediate and permanent 4 percent increase in the size of the U.S. police force would be required to offset the aggregate climate-related increases in murder, manslaughter, robbery, burglary and vehicle theft likely to occur over the next century."

The study merged monthly reports on criminal activity from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting files with temperature and precipitation records for 2997 counties from the U.S. National Climatic Data Center's Global Historical Climatology Network Daily and projections of future climate drawn from 15 global circulation models.

The data set covers a 30-year period and contains 891,000 unique county-by-year-by-month observations.

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User comments : 18

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freethinking
2.2 / 5 (9) Feb 21, 2014
Laughing...laughing.... laughing..... Only stupid progressive Global Warmists will believe or blame anything on Global Warming...

What increases crime? Progressives in government!
Captain Stumpy
3.9 / 5 (8) Feb 21, 2014
Only stupid progressive Global Warmists will believe or blame anything on Global Warming

@Freethinking
cops/criminal psychologists show/state that crime/violence/irritability increases with warmer temps
see:
http://psycnet.ap...0/4/740/

http://bjc.oxford...51.short

http://eab.sagepu...79.short

just a few to look at, but there are links to many others.
Talk to any cop/investigator... when it gets hot, people get irritable and do stupid things
TegiriNenashi
2.2 / 5 (9) Feb 21, 2014
Clutching at straws, as usual. Lets throw in some numbers. The Urban Heating Island effect is well known. We are talking some impressive numbers here, 5 degrees or more
http://wattsupwit...t-least/
Captain Stumpy
3.6 / 5 (7) Feb 21, 2014
Clutching at straws, as usual. Lets throw in some numbers. The Urban Heating Island effect is well known. We are talking some impressive numbers here, 5 degrees or more
http://wattsupwit...t-least/

@TegiriNenashi
if you are going to use a link, try using one that is from a reputable site

link some studies

do some work

skip the opinion pieces and the mock attempts at whatever... links some REAL SCIENCE

there is plenty out there for you to peruse
TegiriNenashi
2.4 / 5 (8) Feb 21, 2014
I'm not sure what you are saying. That UHI effect is not real, and or less significant compared to observed global average temperature rise (allegedly, 0.6K over last century). Or that the site winning consecutive science blog awards is worthy of your attention. Or that social science is real science.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 21, 2014
Who'da thunk it that Cap'n Stumpy's insatiable appetite for tube steak would cause a heightened crime rate.

https://www.world...ange.pdf
Captain Stumpy
4.1 / 5 (7) Feb 21, 2014
I'm not sure what you are saying

@TegiriNenashi
essentially this
that the site winning consecutive science blog awards is worthy of your attention

essentially, it is a BLOG
it can be used as supporting data for a court to establish a correlation/circumstantial evidence, but it is NOT empirical data. If you see something and feel it is legit, link a study.
Like the links I shared
those links are to STUDIES at reputable sites, not a blog, and I dont care how many awards they have, it is NOT empirical unless there is a peer reviewed study and it is posted in a reputable journal.. was the blog study posted in a reputable journal? If so, please provide THAT link

in essence, you are providing supporting data that can be considered superficial or circumstantial, but not empirical

@cantdrive
conjecture without evidence
and stupidity

TegiriNenashi
2.5 / 5 (8) Feb 21, 2014
"...posted in a reputable journal..."

This has been changed over past decade significantly. Perelman published his Fields Medal level paper in arxive.org. He didn't bother to send it to "reputable" venue. If you have something worthy to say you can publish it anywhere these days.

WUWT publishes a wide variety of material, ranging from politically opinionated pieces to some original research. I don't like some of their cowboy style articles; e.g. most of what Lord Monckton says/writes. Still, they appear to be open-minded and reasonable, unlike the opposite site which best defense is shutting down any skepticism.
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 21, 2014
WUWT publishes a wide variety of material, ranging from politically opinionated pieces to some original research.

@TegiriNenashi
I understand what they publish, and I have used their site in links before AS SUPPORTING DATA to other studies.
Like I said... if there is a reputable site link to a peer reviewed study, use it. This is a science site, not a public opinion site.
If you have something worthy to say you can publish it anywhere these days.

and the reciprocal is also true
if you have NOTHING to say, and dont even have any supporting evidence, you can also publish it anywhere these days... (see Electric Universe for more details)

if there is any validity to your claims, there will be studies out there
unlike the opposite site which best defense is shutting down any skepticism.

I dont care if you have an opposing view, just SUPPORT IT WITH FACTS
not blogs
not opinion based sites... but
STUDIES
FACTS
EMPIRICAL DATA
antigoracle
2.3 / 5 (12) Feb 21, 2014
And.... in other news, it has been confirmed that global warming increases the stupidity of the AGW Chicken Littles.
jahbless
2.2 / 5 (10) Feb 21, 2014
The federal government should immediately take action to block persons from tropical countries from migrating to America, as these johnny-come-latelies will have all been nurtured under conditions that promote criminality. We don't need their kind here.
AlexCoe
2.2 / 5 (10) Feb 21, 2014
Climate change has been happening for, forever. The only thing constant in nature IS change.

So now the chicken little's are crying about a natural change.
What next?
If they were correct why has the name changed when pushing the same agenda, that of slamming carbon based fuels?
Porgie
2 / 5 (8) Feb 22, 2014
I noticed that the distant left are now calling global warming "Climate change". There is climate change and there has always been climate change, I guess they feel that they are not lying to the general public if they call it climate change with a wink and a nudge rather than global warming. There is no global warming caused by man. There is however a geological warming trend that is ending. We will find that jobs, growth, and progress are not killing the planet like the desperate left wants to believe.
aksdad
2.2 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2014
How do they explain that fact that crime went down, for example, in the U.S. during the several decades of recent warming?

Global Temperatures, note warming from 1980 to 2004:
http://www.cru.ue...RUT4.png

U.S. Property Crime, note declining trend over the same period:
http://en.wikiped...ates.svg

U.S. Violent Crime, note declining trend over the same period:
http://en.wikiped...2003.jpg

Remember that correlation is not necessarily causation, but as far as I can tell from the graphs, global warming correlates to LESS crime.
aksdad
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2014
Sorry, should have said "note warming from 1980 to 1998" as there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998.
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (6) Feb 24, 2014
How do they explain that fact that crime went down, for example, in the U.S. during the several decades of recent warming?

@aksdad
well... first off, dont mistake climate with weather
second: if this were a society where there were no controls actively fighting against crime, then your statement would be logical, but given the other factors, such as the crime noticeably dropping after the Brady ban was dropped... etc, there is obviously other contributing factors that affect crime than weather
take some time to poll some police departments or go on-line and generate some stats on crime and temperatures, you will see a correlation in each area with crime rates and hotter temps.
...do it separately for each area as people are acclimated to different temps depending on where they live
hot in MY house is anything above 60f
most other people like it warmer
Rimino
Feb 24, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
barakn
4 / 5 (4) Feb 24, 2014
How do they explain that fact that crime went down, for example, in the U.S. during the several decades of recent warming? -aksdad

Legalized abortions. But I get the feeling you really weren't looking for an answer.
aksdad
4 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2014
Captain Stumpy, "don't mistake climate with weather"? I don't follow. The graphs I linked to are measures of global climate change, not weather. The article makes this claim:

The study...suggests global warming will trigger more U.S. crimes including murders and rapes over the next century...


The graphs I linked to show exactly the opposite of what the study claims: as the earth warmed from 1980 to 1998 crime decreased in the U.S.

Incidentally (and hilariously), the study itself confuses weather with climate. The brief periods of warmer temperatures (heat waves) the study correlates to increased crime are weather events. The moderate global warming (1 to 2 C) predicted in the next century doesn't compare to heat waves 10 to 14 C above normal.

Also, the Brady law of 1994 is still in effect. Only the "assault weapons" ban portion expired in 2004, which had a negligible effect as so-called "assault weapons" are involved in a very small percentage of crimes.