Just because things are heating up outside, doesn’t mean they’re heating up between the sheets. In fact, it might be just the opposite.
According to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, climate change is causing more than just unseasonal scorchers—it’s also tanking birth rates. (Did you know Climate Change Is Also Considered a Medical Emergency?) Researchers looked at every especially hot day (anything over 80 degrees) in the United States between 1931 and 2010. On average, we get about 30 of those every year. They then looked at the corresponding birth rates exactly nine months after those dates.
The results: Higher temps meant lower birth rates—by about 0.4 percent. That’s about 1,000 fewer babies for every hot day! That might not seem like a ton, but in the U.S. alone, that could mean 100,000 fewer babies a year, considering current climate change models predict the number of super hot days could skyrocket from 30 a year to 90 a year. Crazy!
So what’s the link between warmer weather and lower birth rates? According to scientists, it’s twofold: how frisky you’re feeling and if you get busy during your peak fertility.
The former is pretty self-explanitary: On a 90-degree day, the last thing you want to do is get all hot and bothered. And for couples who are trying to get pregnant, missing the fertility window for the month due to a scorcher may mean putting off that pregnancy even longer. (Plus, if you miss sexy time, you won’t be able to take advantage of these Benefits of Sex That Have Nothing to Do with an Orgasm.)
On top of the don’t-touch-me-I’m-dying-in-this-heat attitude, scientists say hot weather might actually affecting fertility rates for men and women. Previous research has linked heat waves to decreased sperm and egg production and impaired early growth during pregnancy. Yikes!
Decreased friskiness and fertility all due to heat? Excuse us while we prepare our move to Alaska (or better yet, try one of the Cool Ideas for Sensationally Hot Sex).