Science Population Growth and Climate Change

Published on June 12th, 2012 | by James Johnson


Population Emissions Examined, Certain Factors Matter More Than Others

Population Growth and Climate Change

Societal forces have the ability to cause global warming and now a new study published in Nature Climate Change examines how those forces may effect climate change in the future.

The study was conducted by University of Michigan professor Tom Dietz and his colleague Eugene Rosa from Washington State University. In their researcher they examine how various factors within population growth effect climate change.

For example they examined consumption, affluence, urbanization, trade, institutions, and culture.

According to Dietz

“How does population growth influence greenhouse gas emissions? Well, in looking at most nations of the world during the last few decades, we find that for each 1 percent increase in population, we get a bit more than a 1 percent increase in emissions.”

The study specifically found that some factors weigh more heavily on climate change, for example a larger number of households causes a greater impact than a larger increase in the number of people. That finding makes sense since more homes require heating, cooling and lighting.

On a positive note the researchers point to better technologies which could help slow the consumption problem as it continues to grow.

In the meantime the researchers say of their work:

“We plan to examine how forms of governance influence emissions, how the structure of international trade plays a role, how the structure of the domestic economy influences emissions and ultimately we hope to be able to look at the effects of policies.”

What influences do you think weigh most heavy on our environment?



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About the Author

James is a new media professional with more than half a decade worth of experience in the online writing space. He currently serves as the Associate Editor of and the Editor-in-Chief of He also serves as a resident writer for Splash Press Media. In his spare time James consults businesses regarding SEO and Content Development.

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