With more than 11 million adults and children camping each year in the U.S., and with the average winter camping trip lasting two and a half days, it’s fair to say that people love to go on outdoor adventures, despite the chilling cold. Yet, the National Weather service recently upgraded the lake effect snow watch for Central New York to a warning, the highest level of alert. With a potential snow accumulation of 12 to 18 inches, people may put off their winter camping trips.
The keyword there being “may.” A new study suggests that this cold weather isn’t that big of a problem for Central New Yorkers.
According to a new study, the hotter it gets outside, the unhappier people get, but they don’t get unhappier when it gets colder.
People’s happiness “is unaffected by cooler temperatures, but declines sharply above 70 degrees,” said the University of California at Berkeley study, which was published in the Energy Institute of Haas journal.
To give you a better idea of the difference, study author Patrick Bylis estimates that the drop in happiness between a 60-to-70-degree day and an 80-to-90 degree day is about the same as the drop in happiness from Sunday to Monday.
The study analyzed one billion tweets, and measured Twitter users’ levels of happiness based on words and emoticons. Baylis then compared the tweets to weather data at the time and location of each tweet.
Bylis stresses that the study is still just a working paper, and that he’s working to revise it based on the feedback of other economists. However, it could have implications for climate change. If some areas were to become permanently warmer, it might make the quality of life there far worse.
“For some areas,” he wrote, “this change would be the equivalent of replacing every Saturday and Sunday in a year with a Monday.”