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Title: Spatially explicit global population scenarios consistent with the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways

Abstract

Here we report that the projected size and spatial distribution of the future population are important drivers of global change and key determinants of exposure and vulnerability to hazards. Spatial demographic projections are widely used as inputs to spatial projections of land use, energy use, and emissions, as well as to assessments of the impacts of extreme events, sea level rise, and other climate-related outcomes. To date, however, there are very few global-scale, spatially explicit population projections, and those that do exist are often based on simple scaling or trend extrapolation. Here we present a new set of global, spatially explicit population scenarios that are consistent with the new Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) developed to facilitate global change research. We use a parameterized gravity-based downscaling model to produce projections of spatial population change that are quantitatively consistent with national population and urbanization projections for the SSPs and qualitatively consistent with assumptions in the SSP narratives regarding spatial development patterns. We show that the five SSPs lead to substantially different spatial population outcomes at the continental, national, and sub-national scale. In general, grid cell-level outcomes are most influenced by national-level population change, second by urbanization rate, and third by assumptions aboutmore » the spatial style of development. However, the relative importance of these factors is a function of the magnitude of the projected change in total population and urbanization for each country and across SSPs. We also demonstrate variation in outcomes considering the example of population existing in a low-elevation coastal zone under alternative scenarios.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. City Univ. (CUNY), NY (United States). Inst. for Demographic Research
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1275965
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0006704; CHE-1314040
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; spatial population; population projections; Shared Socioeconomic Pathways

Citation Formats

Jones, B., and O’Neill, B. C. Spatially explicit global population scenarios consistent with the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084003.
Jones, B., & O’Neill, B. C. Spatially explicit global population scenarios consistent with the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084003.
Jones, B., and O’Neill, B. C. 2016. "Spatially explicit global population scenarios consistent with the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084003.
@article{osti_1275965,
title = {Spatially explicit global population scenarios consistent with the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways},
author = {Jones, B. and O’Neill, B. C.},
abstractNote = {Here we report that the projected size and spatial distribution of the future population are important drivers of global change and key determinants of exposure and vulnerability to hazards. Spatial demographic projections are widely used as inputs to spatial projections of land use, energy use, and emissions, as well as to assessments of the impacts of extreme events, sea level rise, and other climate-related outcomes. To date, however, there are very few global-scale, spatially explicit population projections, and those that do exist are often based on simple scaling or trend extrapolation. Here we present a new set of global, spatially explicit population scenarios that are consistent with the new Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) developed to facilitate global change research. We use a parameterized gravity-based downscaling model to produce projections of spatial population change that are quantitatively consistent with national population and urbanization projections for the SSPs and qualitatively consistent with assumptions in the SSP narratives regarding spatial development patterns. We show that the five SSPs lead to substantially different spatial population outcomes at the continental, national, and sub-national scale. In general, grid cell-level outcomes are most influenced by national-level population change, second by urbanization rate, and third by assumptions about the spatial style of development. However, the relative importance of these factors is a function of the magnitude of the projected change in total population and urbanization for each country and across SSPs. We also demonstrate variation in outcomes considering the example of population existing in a low-elevation coastal zone under alternative scenarios.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084003},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
number = 8,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084003

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3works
Citation information provided by
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  • Here we report that the projected size and spatial distribution of the future population are important drivers of global change and key determinants of exposure and vulnerability to hazards. Spatial demographic projections are widely used as inputs to spatial projections of land use, energy use, and emissions, as well as to assessments of the impacts of extreme events, sea level rise, and other climate-related outcomes. To date, however, there are very few global-scale, spatially explicit population projections, and those that do exist are often based on simple scaling or trend extrapolation. Here we present a new set of global, spatiallymore » explicit population scenarios that are consistent with the new Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) developed to facilitate global change research. We use a parameterized gravity-based downscaling model to produce projections of spatial population change that are quantitatively consistent with national population and urbanization projections for the SSPs and qualitatively consistent with assumptions in the SSP narratives regarding spatial development patterns. We show that the five SSPs lead to substantially different spatial population outcomes at the continental, national, and sub-national scale. In general, grid cell-level outcomes are most influenced by national-level population change, second by urbanization rate, and third by assumptions about the spatial style of development. However, the relative importance of these factors is a function of the magnitude of the projected change in total population and urbanization for each country and across SSPs. We also demonstrate variation in outcomes considering the example of population existing in a low-elevation coastal zone under alternative scenarios.« less
  • The exploration of alternative socioeconomic futures is an important aspect of understanding the potential consequences of climate change. While socioeconomic scenarios are common and, at times essential, tools for the impact, adaptation and vulnerability and integrated assessment modeling research communities, their approaches to scenario development have historically been quite distinct. However, increasing convergence of impact, adaptation and vulnerability and integrated assessment modeling research in terms of scales of analysis suggests there may be value in the development of a common framework for socioeconomic scenarios. The Shared Socioeconomic Pathways represents an opportunity for the development of such a common framework. However,more » the scales at which these global storylines have been developed are largely incommensurate with the sub-national scales at which impact, adaptation and vulnerability, and increasingly integrated assessment modeling, studies are conducted. Our objective for this study was to develop sub-national and sectoral extensions of the global SSP storylines in order to identify future socioeconomic challenges for adaptation for the U.S. Southeast. A set of nested qualitative socioeconomic storyline elements, integrated storylines, and accompanying quantitative indicators were developed through an application of the Factor-Actor-Sector framework. Finally, in addition to revealing challenges and opportunities associated with the use of the SSPs as a basis for more refined scenario development, this study generated sub-national storyline elements and storylines that can subsequently be used to explore the implications of alternative subnational socioeconomic futures for the assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation.« less