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Study Links Population and Climate Change

A new scientific study indicates that reductions in projected population growth could significantly reduce projected carbon emissions and help to avoid the worst effects of climate change.  The study, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), concludes that by slowing population growth to the lower U.N. population projection for 2050, carbon emissions would be cut by 16 to 29 percent over the next 40 years. The report was prepared by an international team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. 

The team drew on data from 34 countries representing 64% of the world’s population to look at the effects of demographic change including aging, urbanization, and household size, something that has never been studied in relation to climate change. The study also found that demographic aging reduces emissions by up to 20% in the long term, mostly in developed countries. 

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/41/17521.full.pdf html