Future of the human climate niche

The paper “Future of the human climate niche” came just came out in PNAS.

We show that for thousands of years, humans have concentrated in a surprisingly narrow subset of Earth’s available climates, characterized by mean annual temperatures around ∼13 °C. This distribution likely reflects a human temperature niche related to fundamental constraints. We demonstrate that depending on scenarios of population growth and warming, over the coming 50 y, 1 to 3 billion people are projected to be left outside the climate conditions that have served humanity well over the past 6,000 y. Absent climate mitigation or migr


ation, a substantial part of humanity will be exposed to mean annual temperatures warmer than nearly anywhere today.


Xu, C., T. A. Kohler, T. M. Lenton, J.-C. Svenning, and M. Scheffer. 2020. Future of the human climate niche. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:201910114. [Full text]


The paper got much media attention. Some examples are below:

Read the article on the Wageningen University website (May 4, 2020)

Read the article in The New York Times (May 5, 2020)

Read the article in The Washington Post (May 5, 2020)

Read the article in The Guardian (May 5, 2020)

Read the article in USA Today (May 5, 2020)

Read the article on MSN (May 5, 2020)

Read the article in the New York Post (May 5, 2020)