A strong relationship between temperature and mortality

I collated 2012 data from NOAA for the average monthly temperature in the lower 48, and from the CDC for the monthly crude death rate. I find it quite amazing to see how strong a correlation there is between these two variables; temperature “explains” 97 percent of the variance in this case. The causal mechanisms underlying this relationship are certainly more complex than this simple plot admits. But for now, I’ll just post this as a compelling example of how important environmental variables are in understanding human behavior and demography.CDR and Temp Lines CDR and Temp, 2012

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One Response to A strong relationship between temperature and mortality

  1. Claire says:

    Interesting, given that (at least it seems to me) that heat-wave related deaths make it into the news more than cold-related ones. This might imply that it’s the subsequent effects of temperature rather than temperature itself that are causing the variation (e.g. more road accidents, more falls on ice, more flu, more major family holidays).

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