FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Where Might We Be Living in 2025?

Columbia University's Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR) has created a map of projected population shifts between now and 2025. The map takes into account population migration trends, growth of certain populations, and possible evacuation of coastal areas threatened by rising sea levels.

Predictably, much of the world's future population growth will come from areas that are already densely populated, such as India and China. But some highly populated regions -- Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Japan, and Central and South America -- are projected to experience population declines within the next two decades.

"By bridging these two areas of demography — mapping and long-range, aggregate projections — we're getting a better idea of where people are likely to live in the future and why," said Stuart Gaffin, associate research scientist at CCSR and lead scientist on the project. "Hopefully, work like ours will play a central role in improving environmental policies around the world and in reducing natural hazard risks faced by the most vulnerable parts of society."

The map is expected to help climatologists, conservationists and others determine which populations are most susceptible to natural disasters and resource shortages in the coming years, as well as anyone else needing to understand how regional populations will change.

Source: ScienceDaily