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Global maps of climate change impacts on the favourability for human habitation and economic activity

  • Füssel, Hans-Martin
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    This paper analyzes the statistical relationship between climatic factors and the global distribution of population and economic activity. Building on this analysis, a new method is developed for assessing geographically explicit impacts of climate change on the suitability of regions for human habitation and economic activity. This method combines information about differences in the conditional distributions of population density and economic activity across climate categories with climate change projections from an ensemble of general circulation models. In contrast to other cross-sectional analyses of the economic impacts of climate change, the method applied here does not require specific assumptions about the functional form of the relationship between climatic and non-climatic factors on the one hand, and population density and economic activity on the other. The results indicate that climate change will improve the habitability of some scarcely populated regions, in particular in Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, Mongolia, northern China, Tibet, and parts of Central Asia, but it will impair the habitability of many densely populated regions in the eastern USA, southern Europe, northern and southern Africa, eastern China, and parts of Australia. Most parts of India, South-East Asia and Oceania, Central America and northern South America, the Sahara and the Sahel are projected to experience climatic conditions during this century that have no geographical analogue in the present climate. Hence, a large majority of the world’s population is living in regions whose habitability is either projected to decrease or that are projected to experience globally unprecedented climate conditions within this century under a business-as-usual emissions scenario.

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    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29888.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29888
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    1. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Temperature and Income: Reconciling New Cross-Sectional and Panel Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 198-204, May.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00866436 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel & Williams, Larry, 2006. "The distributional impact of climate change on rich and poor countries," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 159-178, April.
    6. Robert Mendelsohn & Larry Williams, 2004. "Comparing Forecasts of the Global Impacts of Climate Change," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 315-333, October.
    7. Füssel, Hans-Martin, 2009. "New results on the influence of climate on the distribution of population and economic activity," MPRA Paper 13788, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Sebastian Kopf & Minh Ha-Duong & Stéphane Hallegatte, 2008. "Using Maps of City Analogues to Display and Interpret Climate Change scenarios and their uncertainty," CIRED Working Papers hal-00866436, HAL.
    9. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2008. "Climate Change and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century," NBER Working Papers 14132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Mendelsohn, Robert & Nordhaus, William D & Shaw, Daigee, 1994. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: A Ricardian Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 753-71, September.
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