Global Heating Caused by Climate Change Will Force Billions of People Out of Their "Climate Niche"

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Global Heating Caused by Climate Change Will Force Billions of People Out of Their "Climate Niche"

A recent study suggests that global heating caused by climate change will force billions of people out of their "climate niche," exposing them to extreme temperatures and weather events. With current action plans, the world is on track for 2.7 degrees Celsius of heating, resulting in approximately 2 billion people experiencing average annual temperatures above 29 degrees Celsius by 2030. This temperature level is unfamiliar to most communities in human history.

The study indicates that up to 1 billion people could choose to migrate to cooler regions in response to these conditions. However, even in areas remaining within the climate niche, more frequent heatwaves and droughts would still occur.

Taking urgent action to reduce carbon emissions and limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius would significantly decrease the number of people forced out of their climate niche. In this scenario, the study estimates that 400 million people would be affected, representing an 80% reduction compared to the 2.7 degrees Celsius pathway.

Unlike previous economic assessments that tended to prioritize the wealthy, this analysis treats every citizen equally. It reveals that countries with large populations and warm climates, such as India and Nigeria, will face significant challenges, with a substantial portion of their populations being pushed outside the climate niche. India, for example, is already experiencing severe heatwaves, and a recent study indicated that a significant number of heat-related deaths can be attributed to human-caused global heating.

Lead researcher Professor Tim Lenton from the University of Exeter emphasizes the importance of recognizing the human cost of climate change, not just its financial implications. This study takes into account all people equally, highlighting the significance of addressing the climate emergency to avoid substantial human suffering and displacement.

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