How Climate Change Could Mess With Your Sex Life

Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
Climate change has brought us a lot of bummers recently (ugh, Exxon). But here's one we didn't know about: According to a new report, a warmer climate could lead to less frequent sex, reports Bloomberg. For the working paper, published last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a team of economists went through eight decades of temperature and fertility data. They found that hotter days between 1931 and 2010 were correlated with birth rate changes in quite an interesting way. When the temperature went over 80 degrees, the researchers saw a substantial decline in birth rate between eight and 10 months later (a.k.a. the time it takes a bun to make it out of the oven). So, the authors suggest, we are apparently less likely to be into the idea of baby makin' when it's warmer out. The dip isn't permanent; birth numbers do climb back up after the initial decline — but they never get quite as high as before the heat wave. The researchers think air conditioning could be a game-changer, though, and that if more of us had AC, we'd probably see far less of a drop in both sex- and baby-having. Unfortunately, other climate-change-related problems don't seem to have quite as simple of a fix: The authors of a recent editorial in The Lancet remind us that climate change (and its causes) could have other serious effects on our health all over the world. For instance, elevated levels of air pollution in China were associated with increased risks for both lung cancer and heart disease. And as Bill Nye warned us last year, climate change will also affect the way diseases move throughout the world. In addition to extreme weather variations that we may or may not be adequately prepared for, a warming planet could make it more difficult for us to keep outbreaks of illnesses, such as Ebola, in check. So, we're sorry about your sex life, but not quite as sorry as we are about, you know, everything else.

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