As if a giant hole in the ozone and melting ice caps weren't enough reason to care about climate change, a new study reports that rising temperatures are leading us to have way less sex.
That's right: a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research posits that ever-increasing warm weather kills the mood, thereby leading to a drop in birth rates.
By studying 80 years of US fertility and temperature data, the three economists behind the paper found a pattern that linked temperature and birth rate: when it's hotter than 80 degrees F, there's a sizable decline in births. More specifically, birth rates dropped an average of 0.4 percent nine-to-ten months after a heat wave since hot weather leads to diminished "coital frequency."
Though that 0.4 percent only accounts for 1,165 fewer deliveries across the country, it doesn't look like people are making up for lost time during cooler weather: a sexual revival during subsequent, cooler temperatures only makes up 32 percent of the gap.
The study also predicts that if nothing is done about climate change, the period between 2070 and 2099 will experience 64 more days of 80-degree-plus weather than during the baseline period from 1990 to 2002, which had 31 of these "extra hot" days. This could result in a 2.6 percent decline in the country's birth rate or, 107,000 fewer deliveries a year.
To add even more water to this libido-killing fire, the study states "climate change will shift even more births to the summer months when third trimester exposure to dangerously high temperatures increases."
So. Our planet is getting warmer, we're having fewer babies and way less sex. If this isn't the kick in the pants we need to take action against climate change, what is?