Background: There is concern about harmful effects of "global warming", characterized as an approximate 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit increase in a global temperature over the last 130 years or so. The present study tests global warming theory on a local level, for Texas.
Methods: Using an ecological design, average daily maximum air temperature ("temperature") in Texas for 1968-2013 was compared to age-adjusted all-cause mortality ("deaths") in Texas for the same years using Pearson correlation (n=46 years). The comparison was made for three race categories, where each category included all ages and both genders: white, black, and all races.
Results: There was 6.0 degrees Fahrenheit range for the years studied (74.9-80.9 degrees Fahrenheit). Correlations were moderate strength, inverse, and statistically significant, as follows. Whites: r=-0.589, p<0.0001; Blacks: r=-0.619, p<0.0001; and all races: r=-0.597, p<0.0001.
Conclusions: These correlations show that as temperature increased over these years, death rates unexpectedly tended to decrease. A limitation to the study is its (ecological) design, but is an initial step for future research.
Keywords: Global warming, death rates, environmental epidemology, urbanization