Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
CLIMATIC EVENTS HAVE had an important impact on the geographical distribution of human populations in the past. Nowadays, the growing consensus among the scientific community on the reality of human-induced global warming has raised concern that millions of people could be displaced. Population geography has acknowledged for many years the role played by climatic factors in explaining the history of population and the emergence of cities. Thus, for mankind, the passage across the Bering Strait to America 13,000 years ago was possible due to the low sea levels of the Ice Age, while the Medieval Climate Optimum which lasted between the 8th and 13th centuries stimulated the population of Polynesia by making navigation relatively easy, thanks to regular winds and clear skies. The desertification of the Sahara and the Arabian Peninsula also played an important part in the densification of the population on the banks of the Nile and consequently ...