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"So far only a few studies have been done on the relationship between climate change and suicides, but they have focused almost exclusively on rich countries," explains Tamma Carleton, an economist at the University of Berkeley (USA). The problem, he says, is that “around 75% of all suicides on the planet happen in developing countries” with hardly anyone studying their causes.
The rise in temperatures due to climate change has a direct impact on global health. If global warming continues to advance as expected, there will be more deaths from heat waves, infectious diseases, malnutrition, lack of clean water or pollution, among other causes. To this should be added the migratory effects and even armed conflicts due to causes related to this phenomenon. Now, a new study has just uncovered another terrible impact of climate change, the increase in suicides among farmers.
The researcher has analyzed this problem in India, where the suicide rate has doubled since 1980 and stands at around 130,000 deaths a year, one of the highest rates in the world.
Carleton has analyzed the suicides registered in the 32 states of the Asian country between 1967 and 2013 as well as the temperatures and rainfall registered in the same period. Their results have uncovered a strong correlation between high temperatures during the growing season - from June to September - and the increase in suicides. The work estimates that warming has led to 59,300 suicides in the last 30 years. According to the work, rising temperatures explain 7% of all suicides and the phenomenon is expected to continue to advance as temperatures rise.
"Warming has a significant influence on suicides in India," explains Carleton. "The data show that on any given day of the growing season an increase of just one degree above 20 degrees supposes approximately 65 more suicides per year," says the researcher, whose study has been published in the Academy magazine. US Science National About 800 million citizens of India depend on agriculture to survive, as the country tries to address the epidemic of suicides of farmers and farmers by helping them financially in times of poor harvests. Last year, the government allocated about 1.3 billion dollars to subsidize the crops of farm workers.
The researcher believes that India is not unique. "Many other countries are similar to India, agriculture is the main occupation of many families, the ability to secure crops is low and rural credit works poorly," he explains.
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