The effects of climate change on different parts of the world is seen visually above in a map produced by a PhD student at McGill University. Jason Samson used climate and census data to draw a map of where climate change will likely have the greatest effects on the most number of people.
The map shows in red where the human vulnerability to climate change is greatest. Countries in yellow are expected to experience a more moderate effect on their populations. Blue indicates the least effected populations. Areas in white either lack data or people.
The bitter irony is that many of the places which may suffer the worse effects are places contributing the least to climate change causes.
“Take Somalia for instance,” said Samson in a McGill University press release. “Because it’s so hot there, it’s already very difficult to grow things, and it will only become more difficult if the temperature rises. It’s also clear that Somalia is not a big contributor of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere,” Samson said.
“Now thanks to this map, we have concrete quantitative evidence of the disparity between the causes and the consequences of climate change at a national level,” he added. To complete his research, Samson and a team of researchers at McGill used the same modeling techniques used to predict climate changes' effect on plant and animal populations.
Not surprisingly, the people closest to the equator are probably going to feel the biggest effects. People in regions to the north, such as the European Union and the United States, are predicted to experience far fewer effects.
The map and the research behind it were published online in the journal, Global Ecology and Biogeography.
IMAGE 1: Map of human vulnerability to climate change (COURTESY: Jason Samson, McGill University).