People are part of both the problem of climate change and the solution. The challenge is to quantify that statement. This article reviews some of what has been learned so far. In addition to numbers of people, population includes demographic attributes like age, sex, education, health, and familial status; demographic processes like birth, death, migration, the formation of unions and families, and their dissolution; and the spatial distribution of people by geographic regions and size of settlements, from rural to urban. This paper reviews what demographers expect of the human population from now to 2050, then describes how people collectively affect climate and how climate affects the human population. The focus is on the available quantitative information, its implications, and its limitations. Finally, the paper offers some recommendations for action.
Source: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society