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Impact of climate variability and change on crime rates in Tangshan, China

Hu, X., Wu, J., Chen, P., Sun, T. and Li, D. (2017) Impact of climate variability and change on crime rates in Tangshan, China. Science of the Total Environment, 609. pp. 1041-1048. ISSN 0048-9697

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.163

Abstract/Summary

Studies examining the relation between climate and human conflict often focus on the role of temperature and have diverging views on the significance of other climatic variables. Using a 6-year (from 2009 to 2014) dataset of crime statistics collected in a medium size city of Tangshan in China, we find strong, positive correlations between temperature and both violent and property crimes. In addition, relative humidity is also positively correlated with Rape and Minimal Violent Robbery (MVR). The seasonal cycle is a significant factor that induces good correlations between crime rates and climatic variables, which can be reasonably explained by the Routine Activity theory. We also show that the combined impacts of temperature and relative humidity on crime rates can be reasonably captured by traditional heat stress indices. Using an ensemble of CMIP5 global climate change simulations, we estimate that at the end of the 21st century the rates of Rape (violent crime) and MVR (property crime) in Tangshan will increase by 9.5 ± 5.3% and 2.6 ± 2.1%, respectively, under the highest emission scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5). The gross domestic product (GDP) is also shown to be significantly correlated with MVR rates and the regression results are strongly impacted by whether GDP is considered or not.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:71999
Publisher:Elsevier

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