Study: Global warming to increase violent crime

Low temperatures may not reduce the risk of clothing theft, according to this picture. (AP photo for unrelated story)

Low temperatures may not reduce the risk of clothing theft, according to this picture. (AP photo for unrelated story)

Global warming isn’t just bad for polar bears.

According to a new study cited in Mother Jones, increased temperatures will cause more violent crime. How many more?

A new study suggests the following increases in the U.S. between 2010 and 2099:

  • 22,000 more murders
  • 180,000 more rapes
  • 1.2 million more aggravated assaults
  • 2.3 million more simple assaults
  • 260,000 more robberies
  • 1.3 million more burglaries
  • 580,000 more vehicle thefts

Those numbers represent only a 2 to 3 percent increase, but add up to “a lot of victims” says Matthew Ranson, the study’s author.

Any police officer will tell you more crimes are committed in summer. It’s not all temperature-related though — summer is also when younger criminals have more spare time to enrich themselves at your expense.

Ranson said most crimes increase along with temperatures, but the rate of increase for non-violent crime (car theft, burglary) levels off at about 50 degrees.

Violent crimes tend to keep increasing as the mercury rises, said Ranson. Warmer temps mean more social interactions, and some of those social interactions turn violent. Research also suggests people become more aggressive in warmer weather.

It’s an interesting theory, but there’s no guarantee global temps will continue to increase. Some argue it’s not even real.

And some experts says Ranson’s numbers are “tailor-made for a headline” instead of being “helpful or useful.”

Hmmmmmm ….

If the relationship between increased temperature and increased crime is true, how many bootleg DVDs would be sold on a MARTA train riding on the surface of the sun?

They probably don’t make calculators big enough to figure that one out.

More weekend news:

45 comments Add your comment

Forest Gump

March 1st, 2014
9:57 am

Global warming helps farmers grow more food. Ever notice tomato plants thriving in sub-freezing weather? Shrimp scampi, shrimp tacos, shrimp burgers….


March 1st, 2014
10:19 am

“It’s an interesting theory, but there’s no guarantee global temps will continue to increase. Some argue it’s not even real.” – Shame on you, George. You know exactly what you are trying to do with that statement. 97% of climate scientists agree that this makes you a crummy journalist. Would you also like to debate the existence of the holocaust?


March 1st, 2014
10:28 am

JR, science is not, never has been and never will be decided on consensus.


March 1st, 2014
10:46 am

Clay, while we could debate the merits of positivism, I will abstain and say instead: 1) When the overwhelming majority of experts agree on a topic after investigating it thoroughly through accepted scientific methodologies, the likelihood that they are correct is very high; 2) I assume you also want to debate the existence of gravity (unless you are prepared to do the proofs, yourself), germ theory, and that the earth orbits the sun. My point is, you are trying to substitute nothing (or at best an unresearched opinion) for something that experts (i.e. people who have dedicated their careers to studying the topic) have found through repeated studies.


March 1st, 2014
10:53 am

Clay – A more important point may be that there is a big difference between societal consensus and scientific consensus. Scientific consensus reflects the observations of scientific study, whereas societal consensus reflects the acceptance of narratives (sometimes for reasons of truth and other times for reasons of convenience). I am talking about scientific consensus, you are talking about societal consensus.

The Geezer

March 1st, 2014
10:56 am

It’s not the heat. It’s the humanity. I mean it’s the humidity.

Jed Clampett

March 1st, 2014
11:04 am

Mother Jones, a radical left wing publication that is scaring the common-sense out of people. The earth is 4.5 billion years old and global warming as many left wing scientist claim killed the dinosaurs, then whatever we do, we are doomed and there is not even 1% carbon in the atmosphere based on NASA science. The earths climate is controlled by the sun and if its getting hotter, aint a darn thing humans can do but pray. Solar flares, cosmic rays, dust, all are not controlled by man.


March 1st, 2014
11:21 am

Jed – It looks like you have misread the article: The article was cited by Mother Jones, but written by scientists at Harvard.
Also, it seems that you have an oversimplified understanding of how climate works. The system is much more complex than the sun just heating the earth and that being the climate. I suspect you already realize this, however, as Duluth, Minnesota is closer to the equator than Seattle, but has a significantly cooler climate.


March 1st, 2014
11:38 am

So, you are telling me that crime rates in Africa, are expanding due to the heat there! It has always been hot there! these man made global warming religion nuts are a dumb as a bag of roack! Too bad numbers of low information people will believe that crap!


March 1st, 2014
11:39 am

Jed- If it were true that the temperature of a planet was solely due to the heat from the sun, then temperatures on Venus and the Earth would be similar, as they are similar distances from the sun, relatively. But Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system, hotter than Mercury which is the closest planet to the sun. And why is Venus so hot despite having a similar orbit to Earth? It’s because it has a dense atmosphere of carbon dioxide that traps energy and reflects it back into the planet. And what are humans pumping into our atmosphere? Carbon dioxide. The idea that the temperature of a planet is only due to the sun and that humans can’t affect it is simply incorrect.


March 1st, 2014
11:41 am

“dumb as a bag of roack!” And accusing others of being “low information people”. Oh, the irony.


March 1st, 2014
11:52 am

JR – I that 97% figure on a site that is pro AGW…call me skeptical of that number :-)

Here is a link from Forbes that has a very different view on whether it’s a consensus or not…

The IPCC hurt themselves by falsifying data to fit an agenda. They admitted they did this.
I think the prudent thing to do is be skeptical of folks who have lied.


March 1st, 2014
12:11 pm

If increased temperatures do indeed lead to more violent crime ask yourself why the left, the purveyors of the climate change (f/k/a global warming) scare, work so hard to block your ability to defend yourself aginst the criminals.

At the same time they want to deny your right to own a gun they ‘feeeel’ that the poor underclass, the primary perpetrators of violent crime, has a claim on the money you’ve worked to earn…in the name of fairness and equality. Connect those dots.


March 1st, 2014
12:39 pm

CB – I’m not certain where you saw that 97% statistic, but it has been born out on a number of studies about the opinions of climate scientists (you see, real scientific studies are published in peer reviewed journals and then cited by news sources, not the other way around). The most prominent of these studies are a 2010 study out of Stanford in the Proceedings of that National Academy of Sciences as well as a literature review study published in 2013 in the Environmental Research Letter out of the University of Queensland. There are, however, several additional studies which I encourage you to research.

On to your Forbes article (a magazine dedicated to financial concerns rather than scientific concerns), I read through it and checked into the source cited in the article. Rather than surveying the breadth of people in climate science, they instead surveyed members of the APEGA (The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta for those of you who aren’t initiated). Now the APEGA, according to the study, is made up primarily of members of petroleum industry. Let’s set aside for a moment that this study has broken the cardinal rule of survey taking in not biasing your sample. The study surveyed engineers (whose expertise has no bearing on climate change) and geoscientists (which the paper defines as anything from climate scientists to economic geologists, who would have little professional expertise in the subject). In fact, the study was set up to intended to help the APEGA understand the beliefs of its own constituency, not the scientific agreement of climate scientists on climate change. This isn’t my opinion, this is actually all stated in the study ( Forbes has presented this information in a dishonest way not intended by the authors of the original study by presenting this as the general belief of the scientific community and by presenting engineers as scientists (not to devalue the efforts of engineers within their appropriate roles). Even with the selection bias, the inappropriateness of engineers and economic geologists, and the limited geographic reach of the study – 76% still said they believe climate change is happening (with only the “nature is overwhelming” group disagreeing). The issue of debate (as set by this flawed studied) is whether it will have a major economic impact.

I would like to make a broader response to that Forbes article as well. Taylor writes that climate change claims are “self-serving.” In fact, there is nothing further from the truth. Industry engineers with no climate science background posing as experts is self-serving.

I’m not sure what this claim of IPCC falsifying data. Please provide a link for this claim from the IPCC.


March 1st, 2014
12:47 pm

Actually, CB, that claim of IPCC falsifying data is so wrong I can’t let you off the hook there. The IPCC doesn’t even do its own original research. Their function is to draw conclusions from the existing peer-reviewed literature.

You seem like a reasonable guy from the way you responded to my original post. I truly hope you take the time to research this further.


March 1st, 2014
12:52 pm

It’s hilarious that people think that “the money people” are promoting global warming as a hoax. The “money people” are the big industries that will have to shell out bucks to clean their emissions and they are also the ones paying the radio hacks and others to cast doubt on global warming. You think humans can’t cause big changes in the environment? I invite you to go out and drink some Elk River water in West Virginia – or even some Chattahoochee water closer to home.


March 1st, 2014
1:34 pm

Political scientists, so called scientists who let their politics guide their science.


March 1st, 2014
1:34 pm

And in other news, the sky will fall in 34 years causing more crime too!

Opus X

March 1st, 2014
1:37 pm

Awesome. Another study to support concealed carry laws.

Mike Franklin

March 1st, 2014
1:39 pm

Global warming causes many other things as well. Increases in cases of male pattern baldness, ingrown toenails, split ends (hair) as well as the cost of health insurance (don’t blame Obama!) and the wait time to check out at your local cell phone store.

It has now been established by desk’perts from around the world that prior to the 20th century, hurricanes did not exist… summers were cool and winters were warm. before the 1950s, arctic ice extended as far south as Tennessee and ocean levels were low enough that a person could walk from Charleston, SC to the coast of Portugal without getting their feet wet.

There are no more doubts. We either surrender our rights to think otherwise or global warming will soon be causing trees and shrubs to shed their leaves in the fall!


March 1st, 2014
1:42 pm

JR – ok, I will clarify on the IPCC falsifying data.

The reports contain falsified data, that has been acknowledged. The reports were published by the IPCC. The IPCC doesn’t do it’s own research but they are responsible for the contents of their reports.

And I will look further into the consensus question. I did find one site addressing the ‘97%’ figure which has been repeated many times.
This is worth the read. The bottom line is the percentage that endorse AGW is shrinking while the group that has no position either way on AGW is growing. If there is a clear shift among the experts then that tells me there is no definitive, undisputed answer.

Just my .02.

Veteran Observer

March 1st, 2014
1:42 pm

What a bunch of bull! The Earth has gone through many cycles of cooling and warming so what! Many of these “scientists” are seeking dwindling amounts of grant money and attempting to drag governments, with the deep pockets,into the debate on their side! Everything Mother Nature presents us is a challenge as the dominant species on the planet! We have the intelligence and energy to create opportunity out of this! Yes, the oceans may rise, in a warming cycle, and flood some barrier islands that no one should be living on in the first place! However, ice and glaciers melting will create vast new habitable areas and give farmers new and fertile areas to grow food! There was a reason the Vikings named a vast new land, Greenland! There is also increasing evidence, as the glaciers retreat, that people once lived at elevations that are presently too cold! The next intelligent discussion should be that global warming increases food production for a new golden age for man!

I dropped my fried twinkie

March 1st, 2014
1:45 pm

So the US will become more like AFRICA? I think that sounds about right.


March 1st, 2014
2:51 pm

CB –

Thanks for the link. It has been a while since I had to really dig in and look at R squares, so that was a fun exercise. I think you may be conflating the “No Position” group with dispute about the existence of climate change (I really try to stay away from term global warming because it doesn’t describe the diversity of impacts). It would seem to me that as something moves towards consensus, it becomes less necessary to spell out a position on it in your abstract. Further there is a growing awareness in the scientific community and among policy advocates, that may positive steps can be taken (at least in terms in adaptation) without even having the discussion of anthropogenic origins. What was clearly shown to not be the case was in increase in the number of skeptical papers in peer-reviewed journals.

With the IPCC stuff, I only assume you are referring to the Climate Research Unit Email Hacking Controversy. Now setting aside the the fact that the emails were obtained through illegal hacking by climate change deniers trying to undermine good scientific woork, it was right that a thorough investigation was carried out as to the legitimacy of Prof. Mann’s work. The outcome of 8 different committees was that there was 0 evidence of fraud and that, in fact, the discussion contained within the emails demonstrated the rigor of the scientific processes. While it is true that the event did negatively impact public opinion (as the media loves scandal, but people doing their jobs doesn’t generate clicks), it did little to impact the scientific community. I encourage you to read the wikipedia on the topic for a good overview of the issues at play (


March 1st, 2014
5:48 pm

Peruse through the Dept of Justice Uniform Crime Statistics and you will see who is commiting most of the crime. If you need someone to go through all the data and summarize it for you, google “Color of Crime”.

In retrospect, probably wasn’t such a good idea to let those 30 million mexicans sneak across the border….


March 1st, 2014
5:50 pm

Global warming makes reporters write stupid stories about global warming


March 1st, 2014
5:59 pm

Keep up the good work, JR. (Although it’s hard for me to take seriously a journalist who illustrates his article with a girl in a bikini.)


March 1st, 2014
6:13 pm

Of course there will be more crimes in the next eight decades, there will be a lot more people and a lot more ‘bad guys’.


March 1st, 2014
6:58 pm


They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English.
I can’t even talk the way these people talk:
Why you ain’t,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be…
And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
And then I heard the father talk.
Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.
In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around.
The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.
These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.
$500 sneakers for what?
And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
Where were you when he was 2?
Where were you when he was 12?
Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol?
And where is the father? Or who is his father?
People putting their clothes on backward:
Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?
People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something?

Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
What part of Africa did this come from??
We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa …..

I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid.
I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don’t have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands . The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa . So stop, already! ! !
With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap ……… And all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem.
We have got to take the neighborhood back.
People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now.
We have millionaire football players who cannot read.
We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job.
Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.
We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..
We cannot blame the white people any longer.’

~Dr.. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed..D.


March 1st, 2014
7:28 pm

George Mathis, your stuff is getting wittier and wittier. If you stay on this curve, you’ll be our next Lewis Grizzard. (You don’t have a bad heart, do you?)


March 1st, 2014
8:58 pm

And then there is REAL science and then there is republican science.


March 1st, 2014
9:30 pm

I think Geezer may be onto something. It’s the humanity. Neither ‘global warming’ nor ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ proponents would disagree with you. Great observation! Plus you’ve found a common ground for conservatives and liberals to agree on!

Jed Clampett

March 1st, 2014
9:46 pm

No Lynn43, there is science and then Demokratic science that enslaves the ignorant with false data to steal from others. Just like Demokratics enslaved black people for hundereds and use Jim Crow, they got you in their camp. BO and the democrats are using the same tactics as Joseph Goebbels to blind the public and manipulating data to their perceived outcome. You are in more danger with the poles changing or someone out of work robbing you because of BO and Demokratic economic policies then global warming. Did you turn up the heat this winter and spread all that carbon.

Canoe Monster

March 1st, 2014
10:18 pm

Humans never satisfied with anything ,
and now they have modified there environment beyond there ability to do anything !!
The Reset Button Has Been Pressed !!

Forest Gump

March 1st, 2014
10:59 pm

How many times has the coastal plain of Georgia been underwater throughout earth’s existence? (More than a few times.)This warming and cooling cycle happens on a regular basis and there is not anything any of us can do about it. I think that is what really scares people like JR.


March 1st, 2014
11:06 pm

@Gump: if your name is a reference to the movie hero you’ve misspelled your own name.

Chuck Uuga

March 2nd, 2014
12:28 am

Colossal BS. Propaganda from the modern day neo-Communist left who have infiltrated and taken over most of the Democratic Party. Global warming is a joke…climate change is real. Both are completely different theories! Both are being used to reduce freedom as we know it.

Doctor J

March 2nd, 2014
7:31 am

It would be nice if 97% of climate scientists agreed on anything, particularly anthropogenic global warming, but they don’t. A large percentage, perhaps even greater than 50% oppose the theory, but they are regularly shouted down, harassed, and suppressed by the more vocal minority, or are ignored or ridiculed by the mainstream media. Anyone who felt confident about their scientific opinion would welcome a free and open debate on the subject, but that’s not what we have now.

It’s hilarious that you want to attack skeptics by pretending they are skeptical about the Holocaust. People like you thought that science was settled when it came to the Earth being the center of the universe, that gravitational acceleration was dependent on mass, and that Newtonian mechanics operated even at the speed of light. They ridiculed the other side. Copernicus, Galileo, and Einstein proved them wrong.


March 2nd, 2014
8:22 am

I wonder how many millions or billions of our hard earned tax dollars were waisted on this study?

Erwin's Cat

March 2nd, 2014
12:22 pm

97% of 79 scientist who volunteered to take the 2 question survey believe in man made climate change…anybody who cites that survey is either a Lemme or disingenuous at best

Hillary's Food Taster

March 2nd, 2014
5:35 pm

Since one rarely sees headlines about Igloo Invasion Robberies or Sled Hijacking it’s logical to assume that there is less crime when it’s colder than an Eskimo’s codpiece. Yes the climate is changing. It has been for 4.5 billion years and will continue for another 6 billion years when the sun turns into a Red Giant and totally destroys the inner solar system. That’s long term. What about short term such as the next few million years? Computer simulations by some climate scientists predict massive temperature increases as the level of carbon dioxide ejected into the atmosphere increases. Problem is the predictions of those simulations are spectacularly wrong. The average temperature of the Earth remains remarkably stable. We found out that some of the scientists have faked the data. And the model doesn’t include volcanoes, cosmic rays, the sun (large bright thing that appears in the sky that can’t be controlled by the government), variations in the Earth orbit, the number of people who eat in Mexican restaurants, ad infinitum. I have no idea how many genuine, board certified climatologists saluted the Global Warming flag when it went up the pole but I do know that number is decreasing daily as their theory falls apart. The argument being made for the dire and dreaded anthropogenic Climate Change would be more credible if it’s chief cheerleaders such as John Kerry would stop flying all over the world in jumbo jets spewing massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. PS I hate polar bears.


March 2nd, 2014
8:58 pm

The left has come unhinged and low-information people actually believe this crap. Sad. America is lost and no one is forming a search party.


March 2nd, 2014
9:02 pm



March 2nd, 2014
11:13 pm

I have been lacking in the wife department lately. By lacking, I mean I’m down to two wives…the last one to leave was Sylvia. I had to stone her death because she ‘discovered’ her bisexuality and tried to pull a threesome with the pastor of my now former church and the choir director, Linda.

Anyway, I found the perfect prospect for a bride. She’s 14, so she’s old enough to purchase for the right price.I’ve thought about approaching her father, but I need a proper show of my male prowess.

Knowing exactly what to do based on my knowledge of God’s Word, I headed into the city. After a while, I ended up on the ‘wrong’ side of town and started looking for the prize that would gain me the favor of that girl’s father. I started stoning any dark colored males that came into range. After a while there was some shooting and the police showed up. With my bag of foreskins secured, I narrowly escaped capture.

I had recently read the passage in 1 Samuel 18 about how David won the favor Micah’s father by gathering 200 Philistine foreskins. I handed them to my love interest’s father and admitted I was about 24 short of 200, and before I could continue he vomited all over the floor and kicked me out of his house. I guess no one respects tradition anymore.

It’s days like this I feel more like Job and less like David. Perhaps God will see fit to end my tribulation. Until then, I shall carry on in His name for the cause of Christ.


March 4th, 2014
12:14 pm

It is incredibly unfortunate that the world’s population continues to be baited into this global warming nonsense. I really am not a fan of Al Gore but I give him credit for creating and prolonging something for so long that has so little behind it. It has now reached a point where articles like this are commonplace but I actually give this article a bit of credit for stating that the warming may not be real according to some. Unfortunately we live in country that reads headlines and not much else.