Farmer suicides rise in India as climate warms, study shows

July 31, 2017 - 3:08 pm

NEW DELHI (AP) — Researchers who have studied decades of temperature and suicide data in India say climate change could lead more of the nation's farmers to kill themselves.

Researcher Tamma Carleton from the University of California, Berkeley, studied suicide data from India's National Crime Records Bureau between 1967 and 2013 along with data on temperature change and agricultural crop yields.

She found that for every 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degree Fahrenheit) of warming above 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) during India's growing season, there were 67 more suicides on average. The findings were published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Experts say the study underlines the increasing risk faced by farmers. India's average temperatures are expected to rise another 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050.

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