Apart from the obvious links to physical geography, the growth of so many branches within human geography which includes political, social and economic branches means that the Stern Review offers much scope for study. Moreover, the increasing uses of quantitative approaches lend themselves to areas like environmental geography, geomatics and demography and population studies. The links with science in a broad sense (ecology, geology) have never been stronger, nor the exploitation of mathematical methods (modelling, statistics) more relied upon, not least with the advent of remote sensing and GIS. Qualitative work has also developed with links to ethnography and anthropology and will be increasingly important in understanding the human response to our future.
This section therefore seeks to give a basic framework of areas where the Stern Review offers a starting point or a focus in its own right, with sub-sections looking at a set of illustrative topics.
The place of forests in particular and land use in general are key areas both as contributory to climate change but also as targets for impact. In a similar manner but far less well understood or obviously connected are the seas. Human activity whether in the form of developing culture or industry impacts on and will be impacted on by climate change, both physically and in social and political terms. Historically geography has often focused on migration e.g. from rural to urban centres and climate change will inevitably necessitate more and different migration for human and other life. The development indeed survival of nations, as well as individuals will be altered as climate change shapes new societies, politics, industry and life on the planet or as Stern puts it in the conclusions from the Review:
“Such a radical change in the physical geography of the world must lead to major changes in the human geography - where people live and how they live their lives.”
Geomatics and climate change
NASA Climate change resource reel
Modelling and GIS
GIS and climate change
Climate Change, Migration and Security
Climate change and migratory species (BTO & Defra)
Plant migration and climate change (PDF)