Red Brick Daily Staff

Researchers from National Chiayi University, National Yang-Ming University, National Chen Kung University, National Health Research Institutes, and Academia Sinica have come to a shocking conclusion:

For every 1-degree Celsius increase in the intensity of Taipei’s “urban heat island effect (UHIE), the suicide rate among Taipei’s elderly population rises by 5.49% !

CNA reports the study investigated the correlation between UHIE and the suicide rate among people aged 65 and above in metropolitan Taipei from 2000 to 2008, using geographic information and statistical analysis as well as factoring in mitigating issues such as income, education, and marital status … before coming to the conclusion that there is a connection between Taipei’s seemingly ever-increasingly hot summers and suicide among the elderly.

CNA cited Wu Chih-da (吳治達), one of the co-authors of the study and an assistant professor from National Chiayi University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, as saying on Saturday that temperatures have been an important factor in the suicides.

“The increase in temperatures caused by UHIE in Taiwan can be serious, as Taiwan is densely populated and its population and industries are concentrated in cities, where crowded concrete structures make it hard for heat to dissipate,” Wu said.

Kaohsiung residents should be grateful, it appears, for winds from the nearby ocean that help blow away some of the city’s heat.