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How much could population trends influence climate? - Brian O'Neill (NCAR)

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Published on Oct 11, 2010

Related news: http://www2.ucar.edu/news/population-...

Changes in population growth and composition, including aging and urbanization, could significantly affect global emissions of carbon dioxide over the next 40 years.

NCAR scientist Brian O'Neill explains new research showing
that a slowing of population growth, following one of the slower growth paths considered plausible by demographers at the United Nations, could contribute to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

O'Neill led an international team of researchers who found that such slow growth paths by 2050 could account for 16 to 29 percent of the emissions reductions thought necessary to keep global temperatures from causing serious impacts. The effect of slower population growth on greenhouse gas emissions would be even larger by the end of the century.

The researchers caution that their findings do not imply that policies affecting aging or urbanization should be implemented as a response to climate change, but rather that better understanding of these trends would help anticipate future changes.

The research is a collaboration between scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

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