Just like insects, birds and animals, humans have a particular climate niche, scientists have found, with 6,000 years of human history demonstrating how society thrives when we stay within it and the turbulence that ensues when it is pushed out of this zone.

The study also finds a second band of temperatures that coincides with the region that benefits from the Indian monsoon, which helps support billions of people in South Asia. The average annual temperature in that region is between 68 and 77 degrees (20 to 25 degrees Celsius), the study found.

Tim Kohler

Study co-author Tim Kohler, professor emeritus of anthropology at Washington State University, says that while our technological progress has allowed us to settle virtually everywhere on Earth, and even in space, the study shows, “Our preferences (as opposed to our abilities) have long been for a rather narrow band of temperatures in which we typically have our densest numbers and greatest economic success.”

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