Climate change melts glaciers, kills off wildlife, roils seas, and sparks calamitous weather disasters. It might also hurt your libido.
Three economists recently looked at 80 years of fertility and temperature data in the U.S., and found that the number of births drops significantly between eight and 10 months after a day when the mercury climbs above 80 degrees, Bloomberg reports. And it might be because hot weather diminishes our sex drive, according to the researchers from Tulane University, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and the University of Central Florida.
The research paper — titled "Maybe Next Month? Temperature Shocks, Climate Change, and Dynamic Adjustments in Birth Rates" — was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
"Temperature extremes could affect coital frequency," researchers said. "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."
People tend to make up for a lost day of sex when the temperatures cool, they said. But sex on cooler days is not making up for the decreased number of births.
"The decline in birth rates is a very serious issue for countries," Alan Barreca, one of the researchers on the study who's an associate professor at Tulane University, told The Independent*.
One of their suggestions: Set the mood with some A/C. "Based on our analysis of historical changes in the temperature-fertility relationship, we conclude air conditioning could be used to substantially offset the fertility costs of climate change," they wrote.
Source: Cosmo US