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Population Growth and Global Warming

John Bongaarts
Population and Development Review
Vol. 18, No. 2 (Jun., 1992), pp. 299-319
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1973681
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1973681
Page Count: 21
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Population Growth and Global Warming
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Abstract

Existing scientific assessments of the potential for climate change resulting from a manmade "greenhouse effect" have devoted relatively little attention to the role of demographic change. This study presents calculations that quantify the effects of population growth and other determinants of future emission rates of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas. An examination of the relative contributions of emissions from different world regions indicates that the developed countries have been the primary source of carbon dioxide in the past, but rapid population and economic growth in the developing world is expected to raise its emission rate above that of the industralized countries during most of the twenty-first century. Stabilization of emissions from the developed world alone will therefore result in only a modest decline in the projected temperature rise over the next century; efforts to curb greenhouse gas production in the developing countries will also be necessary to limit global warming.

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