Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 185–208 | Cite as

Climate change and crime: monthly temperature and precipitation anomalies and crime rates in St. Louis, MO 1990–2009

  • Dennis MaresEmail author


This study provides insights on how climate change may already be impacting crime rates. Based on analysis of 20 years of monthly data from St. Louis, MO, this study finds that most major crime types are likely to be impacted by rising temperatures. Whereas previous studies on the impact of climate change have used annual data, the current study suggests that shorter time periods provide a more accurate assessment once seasonality effects are accounted for. What is more this study incorporates not just temperature data, but also precipitation data. Results indicate that the relation between climate change and crime is significant for most crime categories. While the strength of the relationship between temperature anomalies and crime may appear relatively mild, considering potential future warming, climate change may come to have a significant impact on crime rates. Theory and policy implications are discussed.


Climate Change Temperature Anomaly Crime Rate Violent Crime Precipitation Anomaly 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Illinois University – EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA

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