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New PCIC Science Brief

PCIC is proud to announce the release of our newest Science Brief. This Science Brief covers a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by Xu et al. (2020), who use global climate model output, weather station data, estimates of historical global population density, and data on global gross domestic product  , crop and livestock production, to determine if there has been a human climate niche. They determine that such a niche has existed. Their results suggest that for the past 6000 years, human populations have lived largely in a fairly narrow range of climates and populations clustered around two temperature ranges, with most people living in a range of about 11°C to about 15°C for mean annual temperature and a smaller, but significant portion living in a range around 20°C to about 25°C.

They then examine how this niche may change in the future. They find that, under a high emissions scenario, this niche is projected to shift spatially more in the upcoming 50 years than it has in the past 6000, leaving a third of the projected future human population in regions where the mean annual temperature is greater than 29°C.

Read the new Science Brief.

Xu, C., et al., 2020: Future of the human climate niche. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117, 21, 11350–11355, doi:10.1073/pnas.1910114117.