Map of Climate Change’s Human Impact Released

October 30, 2009

Clipboard01This climate change map developed by the UK government shows the predicted effects of a 4 degrees Celsius rise in global average temperatures on the way we live.  The map is interactive allowing the user to isolate different aspects of climate change and how they impact human activity.  It was launched at the Science Museum by Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Climate and Energy Secretary Ed Miliband and the UK’s chief scientist Professor John Beddington. The map considers the impact of extreme temperatures, droughts, effects on the water supply, agricultural productivity, the risk of forest fire, and sea level rise on human activity.  The results show a significant decrease in yields for all major cereal crops in all major regions of production.  In some low latitudes, yields could decrease by more than 20% putting 10 to hundreds of millions of additional people at risk from hunger.  It also shows half of all Himalayan glaciers will be significantly reduced by 2050, leading to 23% of the population of China being deprived of the vital dry season glacial meltwater. The map also shows where marine ecosystems will be fundamentally changed by ocean acidification.  This will greatly impact coastal communities relying on subsistence fishing of reef species, and could cause substantial losses in jobs and revenue for commercial fishing. The hottest days here in North America could rise by 18-22 degrees!  See for yourself how climate change will affect human activity and check out the interactive map here.