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Durham e-Theses
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Changing climate space: A human perspective

HAKKINEN, HENRY,GEORGE (2013) Changing climate space: A human perspective. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Climate change is having great effects on species and ecosystems around the world, and these effects will only increase in the future as the climate globally warms and alters in its functioning. Humankind is unlikely to be exempt from the risks of rapid climate change, and
foreseeing and analysing these risks is important to future planning. We use ecological niche modelling techniques to investigate the links between humans, climate and risk in the future. We find that humans are extremely adaptable and inhabit nearly all varieties areas of climate regardless of its nature, although they are not distributed evenly. Cold and dry extreme environments, as well as extremely dry and hot environments, demonstrate markedly lower population densities than temperate climates. Tropically hot and wet climates possess some of the lowest and highest population densities even at the most extreme climate that is the limit of the climatic range available. Using this constructed description of humans and climate we project forward to the future and find that it is these most extreme climates that are most at risk of rapid climate change, and of developing novel or extinct climates in the future. Using created metrics of climate change risk, sociological elements are also introduced to investigate the
direct risk to human populations. Those areas that face the triple threat of high levels of climate change, high population density and projected growth, and low regional GDP and resources are highlighted as hotspots of human risk from climate change. These are particularly prominent in
central and South-East Asia, including many islands in Oceania, central Africa, the Amazon and the Andes.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Keywords:climate; change; space; human; ordination; novel; extinct; migration
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Biological and Biomedical Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Sep 2013 14:47

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