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FILE – In this Saturday, June 1, 2013, file photo, a young Indian covers his face to protect from the heat as he walks on a dried bed of the River Tawi on a hot summer day in Jammu, India. India is launching programs to protect people from extreme heat in two high-risk cities, after a devastating heat wave killed at least 2,500 people across the country last year. (Credit: AP Photo/Channi Anand, file)

A suicide epidemic among India’s farmers has shaken the country and contributed to a doubling of the nation’s suicide rate since 1980.

It’s a widespread and intensely personal issue, one that has been difficult to tease out the root source. Debt, mental health, lack of social services, weather vagaries and even media coverage have all been put forward as part of the problem. Now, recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that climate change could also be playing a role.

The findings attribute more than 59,000 suicides in India to rising temperatures since 1980. With the world expected to warm further, the results suggest that adaptation could play a key role in helping farmers.

“Suicide is a heartbreaking indicator …read more

Source:: Salon – Innovation

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