Atmosphere And Weather

A look at how Weather Affects Populations

Janet Farricelli CPDT-KA's image for:
"A look at how Weather Affects Populations"
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It must not be a coincidence that generally speaking, Northern populations tend to be laborious, offering more jobs and being generally wealthier economically, whilst Southern regions on the other hand, seem to offer less jobs, have more poverty and often even higher crime rates.

Crimes generally are reported to be higher in the summer months. There is a theory that this occurs because people become more irritated as the mercury column rises. The famous 1967 riots taking place in Detroit and Newark have been blamed on a heat wave lingering for days in these two cities.

The influences of hot weather with crime, may help explain why Southern States may generally suffer higher crime rates when compared to the North. These differences may be relevant in particular in Northern and Southern Italy, upper and lower France and the Northern and Southern United States. Another plausible reason explaining the higher crime rates, is that Southern states have lower rainfalls and the arid soil affected by drought, produce less opportunities for agricultural development negatively affecting the over all economy.

While it is a known fact that heat waves are often associated with higher crime rates, on the other hand, very cold climates may not grant less crime. According to the book ''Understanding Civil War: Evidence and Analysis by Paul Collier and Nicholas Sambanis, the cold Russian winter climates forcing most people to remain indoors causes a significant increase in drinking because of the lower amounts of outdoor recreational activities. It was estimated that for each Russian 10 degrees below the average winter and summer climates found in Europe, an increase in crime as much as 10% was observed.

Mild climates offering pleasant days year round generally positively affect its population. There are often plenty of activities year round to keep people occupied, in good shape and happy. Just think of Hawaii, Florida and other vacation resorts that are abundant with tourists and where most people would love to retire.

Lack of sunshine for long periods of time have negatively affected the lives of many Scandinavians. The winter blues, better known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) seem to affect a good amount of Scandinavians which may become depressed, sleep more hours, yet wake up tired and irritable. The use of artificial lights in the winter seem to somewhat help. Other populations with brisk winters and lack of sunshine are particularly vulnerable to the effects of SAD.

As seen, weather indeed may affect human populations. Their economy, their wealth and their general well being are often dictated by the influences of climate. Climate has also influenced populations to migrate throughout history, leaving harsh climates behind and eagerily looking for pleasant ones. Wars have taken place for fertile lands with mild climates. While no generalizations can be made, the influences of climate on the present and past populations cannot be ignored and should be considered as contributing factors in the making of civilizations.

More about this author: Janet Farricelli CPDT-KA

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