Saturday, November 07, 2015
Global warming could harm birth rates as hot temperatures 'make people less likely to have sex'
The effect produced by very hot weather may not be the same as the effect produced by a slightly warmer climate. People adapt. And the adaptation may be the opposite of what the authors below assume. Looking at the effect of climate as distinct from weather suggests that it is COOLER climates that reduce reproduction. The climates in Australia vary over a large range, with Tasmania being the coolest. So are they reproducing like rabbits in Tasmania? Far from it: "In Tasmania, there was a 4 per cent rise in the number of births in the same period, the smallest increase of any state or territory." Pesky!
Research suggests that, as temperatures increase, people may feel less inclined to have sex. Or, as the report from the National Bureau of Economic Research more delicately puts it, their “coital frequency” could diminish.
The research reveals that nine months after a particularly hot day the birth rate tails off significantly, coming in 0.7 per cent lower than it would following a cooler day. This indicates that rising temperatures either reduce fertility, decrease appetite for intercourse or, quite possibly, both.
“Extreme heat leads to a sizeable fall in births,” the researchers said. “Temperature extremes could affect coital frequency. It could affect hormone levels and sex drives. Alternatively, high temperatures may adversely affect reproductive health or semen quality on the male side, or ovulation on the female side.”
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).