IIASA demographer Raya Muttarak is invited to present from her research on population dynamics in the presence of global climate change in a virtual seminar organized by CUNY Institute for Demographic Research.
The human population is at the centre of research on global environmental change. On the one hand, population dynamics influence the environment and the global climate system through consumption-based carbon emissions. On the other hand, the health and well-being of the population are already being affected by climate change. A knowledge of population dynamics and population heterogeneity is thus fundamental to improving our understanding of how population size, composition, and distribution influence global environmental change and how these changes affect population subgroups differentially by demographic characteristics and spatial distribution. In the past 25 years, demographic research has enriched climate change research—with the key contribution being in moving beyond the narrow view that population matters only in terms of population size—by putting a greater emphasis on population composition and distribution, through presenting both empirical evidence and advanced population forecasting to account for demographic and spatial heterogeneity. What remains missing in the literature is research that investigates how global environmental change affects current and future demographic processes and, consequently, population trends. If global environmental change does influence fertility, mortality, and migration, then population estimates and forecasts need to adjust for climate feedback in population projections. Indisputably, this is the area of new research that directly requires expertise in population science and contribution from demographers.