Current Climate Change Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 36–46 | Cite as

Climate Change and Psychology: Effects of Rapid Global Warming on Violence and Aggression

  • Andreas Miles-Novelo
  • Craig A. AndersonEmail author
Climate Change and Conflicts (E Gilmore and E Tennant, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Climate Change and Conflicts


Purpose of Review

An important question regarding rapid climate change concerns its likely effects on violence. Rapid climate change is likely to produce sociological, political, economic, and psychological changes that will increase the likelihood of violent behavior. This article examines relevant theory and research.

Recent Findings

We examine three lines of research: (a) how hot temperatures directly influence aggression and violence; (b) how rapid climate change indirectly increases adulthood violence proneness through its effects on physiological and psychological development; (c) and how ecomigration influences group-level aggression. We also discuss arguments against the effects of climate change on aggression and violence.


Research and theory reveal three ways that rapid global warming can increase aggression and violence. We describe a model showing the relationship between rapid global warming on antisocial behaviors and risk factors for aggression and violence.


Heat Temperature Violence Ecomigration Scarcity Aggression Conflict 


Compliance With Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Iowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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