The reeling effects of the scorching hot summers and torrential rainstorms given rise to by climate change on the mental health of teens, and adults alike.


Aiden Kroger, Reporter

97% of scientists agree. First coined by scientific studies published near the mid 1990s, it became something of a mantra used by scrupulous climate activists and scientists for the nearly three decades since then in an attempt to promote initiatives against climate change. In that 30 years, it has taken the public by storm, the likes of which haven’t been witnessed in the past 3 centuries, leading to international collaborations to combat the causes of carbon pollution, evolving unequivocally into the biggest socio-political movement of our generation.

It’s been well established by the scientific community that different types of weather and meteorological factors, things like humidity or barometric pressure, have diverse effects on mental health. Scorching hot, sunny weather and rainfall correspond with higher aggression and irritability– you’ve likely caught wind of the unusual string of weather that’s been hitting the Quad City area in recent weeks, not to mention how almost daily it seems we hear of another act of unprovoked violence and aggression  “-it’s been a horrible weather year, so kids can’t get out as much, and when they do, they’re kind of restricted on what they can accomplish” West High’s school psychologist, Dr. Michael Carr, contributed about the potential factors that could be the cause of this. He expands, clarifying that “- depression sets in during the wintertime” being a time where kids are typically confined inside, ofttimes in an unstable home. In fact, rising temperatures, heatwaves, and more severe natural disasters from carbon emissions, as observed by John Davidson, MD, and Alexander McFarlane, MD, from the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2006, all attribute to enduring, at times permanent emotional distress. Including any and all of anxiety, depression, agitation, anger, despair, shock, conversion, and dissociation, which are often then supplanted by symptoms resembling that of PTSD or depression. “Then when Spring comes, this is a time when kids that’ve been cooped up get out, but also a time when kids realize they only have a couple days of school left, and their automatic meal security for most of the day is gone. If their home life is in upheaval, they also have to deal with that with no school break.”

It isn’t only found in other places, either. Over 50% of respondents in a published survey by our staff reported unexplained episodes of depression or irritability, ~35% of those reported that they could sense something different within themselves, yet could not put it into words. “I think there’s more to it. Social, economic stuff. I really think we need to provide more hands-on kinds of stuff.” Carr said, continuing from his point about impulse mechanics of a teen’s brain not fully developing till their mid-20’s, seemingly discussing what could be done about this. “I’m not an advocate of Iowa core curriculum for everyone. I just think that kids need to be able to, to be successful when they’re here. And sometimes that success comes in a trade, not necessarily in a history class or an English class.”