Human society is already, in small but significant ways, being shaped by global warming. So said a climatologist at the climate change congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Thursday.
Jean Palutikof of the University of East Anglia, UK, pointed to numerous studies warning that climate change is going to deeply transform our society, by increasing the death rate, for example, or changing the way we grow food. If you look in the right places, says Palutikof, it is already possible to see our behaviour changing.
Models and observations tell us which parts of the planet are most likely to feel the heat of climate change – so these "hotspots" are a good place to start looking for such changes. Palutikof focused on two locations: the maize fields of the US Midwest, and south-east Australia. Read on