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Changing demographics may alter climate vulnerability – researchers

In the media

Professor Paul Routledge of the School of Geography was interviewed by J D Capelouto for Thomson Reuters Foundation News on the subject of climate change and population demographics. The story, which was also run by the Mail Online, follows the publication of a report that says scientists need to take a more nuanced view beyond population increase in order to predict more precisely how climate change will impact people in the future.

Data suggests that life expectancy in Europe could rise by almost 20 years by 2100, while Asia’s sex ratio, now skewed toward more boys, could almost even out over the same period, the scientists wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Such differences will be important for assessing the vulnerability of populations to climate change and could help avoid misleading conclusions, said Raya Muttarak, a demographer with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), based in Austria.

Prof Routledge, who studies geopolitics and climate change, said social and demographic sciences have taken a “significant backseat” in climate change research until recently.

“Some recent interventions have begun to open up what the social sciences of climate change would mean,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Those issues about vulnerability are absolutely critical.”

Read the full story here.