Climate Change Will Destroy Your Lifestyle

British climate projections show impact on global resources.

Aug 1, 2014
Outside Magazine
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Satellite imagery of the already water-strapped Colorado River, which feeds farmland growing the highest concentrations of produce in the country.    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr

The U.K. Met Office, Britain's official weather service, created a poster of maps showing how climate change will set in motion a domino-style disruption of human lifestyles. Working with various academic institutions and the U.K. Foreign Office, the Met Office produced a total of seven maps—one map showing current human dynamics and six maps predicting a less-than-pleasant future. Projections use data taken from the office's latest climate and impact models through 2100. 

The map of current human dynamics helps viewers make an important connection: those places we depend on for high agricultural yields, fish, and shipping routes are directly in climate change's line of fire. 

Six maps extrapolate upon what will happen to these trade routes and resources, accomplishing what many climate projections do not—they tell stories, exploring key ways in which we depend on current climate conditions to remain stable, and the repercussions of change. These maps—exploring flood frequency, drought, and demand for irrigation—imply two repercussions: the places growing our food will have too little water while the places that don't might drown, and populations stand to increase most in places with the most resources to lose. 

But even these maps can't show the extent of possible damage. The poster comes in the wake of a series of reports on the interconnectedness of resources, climate, and violence. Studies show that where climate events like drought and floods are prevalent, so too are civil wars, crime, and civilization collapse.

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