Global warming to push billions outside climate range that has sustained society for 6,000 years, study finds

By Andrew Freedman, The Washington Post


Highlights

Humans have been living inside a “climate niche,” thriving in a certain temperature threshold. Evidence shows that as the earth warms every one degree Celsius, billions of people must migrate or adapt to the new climate. 

  • Humans have been living in a particular constrained climate, around an annual temperature of between 51.8 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit,  for the last 6,000 years that according to the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • If warming continues to happen on a large scale, then the human climate niche will be disrupted more in the next 50 years than it has during the past 6,000, inciting mass migration, famine, conflict, and other disruptions to 1 to 3 billion people globally 
  • Around 1% of the Earth’s surface experiences mean annual temperatures above 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit, and this surface area will expand as temperatures continue to rise. These regions notably are experiencing more population growth, meaning climate change will impact more and more over time
  • Neil Adger, professor of human geography at the University of Exeter warns that cities will be severely impacted:

“It is likely climatic changes will in effect move large cities and whole countries into temperature niches that present inhabitants would find unimaginable.”


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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/05/04/human-climate-niche/

Nina Turner
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