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29. PNAS Paper: The Future of Human Climate Niche


A paper entitled "Future of the human climate niche" was published in the multidisciplinary scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), on May 4, 2020. The paper demonstrates that, depending on scenarios of population growth and global warming, a niche suitable for human habitation will shift to higher latitudes on an unprecedented scale in the next 50 years, while population growth will occur in lower latitude regions. As a result, it is expected that a wide range of population distribution and climate mismatches will be amplified, and in the worst case scenario, one-third of the world's population or about 3.5 billion people will be exposed to mean annual temperature of 29 degrees or more. The regions most affected are the poorest regions in the world with low capacity to adapt to climate change, and climate change mitigation measures as well as improving human development should be a top priority.

Details are available at:

Xu C, Kohler T, Lenton T, Svebnning J, Scheffer M (2020). Future of the human climate niche. PNAS first published May 4, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1910114117

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Research Strategy Office)