It’s early November in New York City, yet it’s 70 degrees outside. The unusually warm autumn has certainly come with perks, such as an extended season for milkshakes and jean shorts, the ability to get fresh air without shivering and fewer people declaring their love of sweater weather. But, when the temperature rises, we cut back on one, widely cherished past time: sex. Or, that’s what history tells us.
In a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, as Bloomberg reported, economists compared 80 years of fertility and temperature stats and found that fewer people get down when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees (fahrenheit).
To be more precise, hot days corresponded to a 0.4 percent drop in birthrates nine months later. That’s 1,165 fewer American babies entering the world. And we don’t make up for the scaled-down relations, as birth rates don’t bounce back hard enough after heat waves to compensate for the decline in sperm-egg unions. But they do increase somewhat, which means more children are conceived in autumn and born in summer. And, as it turns out, summer babies statistically have a higher rate of poor health than babies birthed in cooler months.
Thanks to climate change, our birthrate troubles won’t melt away like the polar ice cap. Study authors projected temperature patterns down the road, based on climate change continuing along a severe trajectory. Between 2070 and 2099, according to their projection, the US could have more than twice as many 80-plus degree days than it had between 1990 and 2002, translating to a 2.6 percent birth-rate decline.
Either we’re all going to suck it up and start incorporating ice cubes into the bedroom more often, or suffer the consequences.