Jiang,+2009+_PAI_ - How Do Recent Population Trends Matter...

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Unformatted text preview: How Do Recent Population Trends Matter to Climate Change ? Leiwen Jiang and Karen Hardee April 2009 PoPulation action international uses research and advocacy to improve access to family planning and reproductive health care across the world so women and families can prosper and live in balance with the earth. By ensuring couples are able to determine the size of their families, poverty and the depletion of natural resources are reduced, improving the lives of millions across the world. 3 How Do Recent Population Trends Matter to Climate Change ? 4 INTRODUCTION Although integrated assessment models (IAM) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) consider population, along with economic growth and technological change, as one of the root causes of greenhouse gas emissions, how population dynamics affect climate change is still under debate. While policy debates around climate change engender lively discussion on a number of factors, population is rarely mentioned. Studies in the past decade have added significantly to understanding the mechanisms and complexity of population and climate interactions. In addition to the growth of total population size, research shows that changes in population composition (i.e. age, urban-rural residence, and household structure) generate substantial effects on the climate system. Moreover, studies by the impact, vulnerability and adaptation (IAV) community also reveal that population dynamics are critical in the near term for building climate change resilience and within adaptation strategies. This paper explores how global population dynamics affect carbon emissions and climate systems, how recent demographic trends matter to worldwide efforts to adapt to climate change, and how population policies could make differences for climate change mitigation and adaptation. In the past two decades, increasing scientific evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), the worlds leading body on climate change that includes over 2500 scientists from 150 countries, indicates that global warming is occurring, mostly due to greenhouse gas emissions that are related to human activity. That global warming is unequivocal is nearly certain (98% confidence level) (Houghton, Callander and Varney 1992). Furthermore, most of the warming is very likely due to greenhouse gas emissionswith a confidence level of greater than 90% (Parry et al. 2007). The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report provides for the first time concrete observations of the effects of climate change on human society. The report, produced in 2007, indicates that global warming and its subsequent adverse impacts present a grave challenge for humanity....
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This note was uploaded on 02/03/2011 for the course EEP 153 taught by Professor Marsh during the Spring '11 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Jiang,+2009+_PAI_ - How Do Recent Population Trends Matter...

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