Research Highlights | Published:

Climate change

Warming will hit the poorest first

Nature volume 533, page 440 (26 May 2016) | Download Citation

As the climate warms over the coming decades, the poorest 20% of the world's population will see frequent temperature extremes sooner than the richest 20%.

Luke Harrington at Victoria University of Wellington and his colleagues used climate models to simulate the effect of rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on daily temperature extremes for the rest of this century. Low latitudes, where most of the world's poorest people live, will experience these changes in climate first. This is largely because these regions have less natural variability in temperature than mid-latitude regions, which are home to more of the world's wealthy.

Moving to a low-carbon economy will help poor communities the most, the authors say.

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