Impacts of Urbanization as a Key Element of Socioeconomic Scenarios for Climate Change Research: Historical Experiences and Future Trends

Leiwen Jiang, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Brian C. O'Neill, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

A new set of alternative socioeconomic scenarios for climate change researches – the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) - include for the first time a more comprehensive set of socioeconomic conditions on population, GDP, urbanization, education, institutions, and other aspects of society. It can facilitate better analyses of mitigation and adaptation, but also raises new questions about the internal consistency of assumptions about different socioeconomic trends within each SSP for different regions. In this paper, we use urbanization as a starting point and assess the various patterns of interactions between urbanization and other elements assumed in the SSPs. We use historical statistics and data on future projections from the SSP database to study their relationship in the past, analyze the implied trends in each of the elements and their relationships assumed in the SSPs, and make recommendations on how to use urbanization projections in the socioeconomic scenarios of climate change research.

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Presented in Session 78: Urbanization and Climate Change