The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the scenarios A1, A2, B1, and B2 in the year 2000. They estimate the impact of future population growths on the environment especially concerning harmful emissions. They represent different circumstances involving population, social, economic, technical, and environmental development in the 21 century. They apply two groups of differing trends. The first set is between strong economic values versus strong economic values. The second set is between globalization and regionalization.
- What do the four storylines predict about how the world’s population might change over the 110 years from 1990 to 2100?
A1 refers to a situation where there is a lot of economic growth and introduction of better technologies. A1 emphasizes the coming together of the four regions of the world. This leads to globalization. Under this story line, the population will rise slowly but steadily from 1990 at 5 billion to 2050 where it will be at its peak at 8.7 billion. The population will then decline thereafter until the end of the century where the population will be at its lowest (7.1 billion).
The A2 story line assumes an economic growth centered along regions. The A2 assumes that regions will be self-reliant and strive to produce their own local solution to problems. Under this storyline, the world population continue to increase all the way from 1990 to 2100. The population of 1990 was around 5.2 billion. This will increase at a high level to 2050 where the population will be 11.2 billion. The population will then increase slower the rest of the second half of the century. The population increases initially at around the same level with the A1 story line but does not fall after the 2050 mark. It instead continues to rise steadily throughout the remainder of the century. The reason for the increase in population all the way through under this scenario is that the fertility of the various regions are varied.
The B1 represents a world population inclined towards the service industry. This results in the development of technology that produces less waste. Under this story line, the world population will rise gradually until the year 2050 when it will be at its peak at 8.6 billion. The trend of the B1 is more or less similar with the A1 population trend. In addition, like the A1 scenario, the scenario assumes a converging humanity where all the regions of the world will be closer and more intertwined. The population will then fall slowly towards the end of the century where it will be at 6 billion at the close in 2100.
The B2 story line assumes a world where each region develops unique solutions to its problems. It also assumes the continuously increasing population over the period from 1990 to 2100. The population in 1990 was 5.2 billion. It will rise steadily until 2100 where it will hit 10.4 billion. The population increases at a rate slower that the A2. This is more realistic as it represents recently described population scenarios. The scenario creates an environmentally friendly population. The population under this scenario rises more quickly at the first half of the century and then slower during the second half.
- What are the proportions of total CO2 emissions from the four world regions predicted under the A2 scenario?
The A2 scenario represents a situation with heterogeneous regions in the world. There is increasing global population under this scenario all the way from 1990 to the end of the 21st century under this scenario. The economic and technologic growth is measured and more disintegrated among the regions of the world. There is less trade between the regions of the world because of the disjointed nature of the world. Technology spreads more slowly, and there may be a case where one region is able to create environmentally friendly technology thus reducing its carbon dioxide emissions. The regions unable to develop their own technologies will have more emissions such as the ALM region. There will be increased population due to the enhancement of family and communities, and this may lead to more demand of goods and more carbon dioxide emissions. There will be little improvements in energy efficient technology, and this could lead to more emissions of carbon dioxide. Nuclear technology exists in this scenario. In this scenario, less than 10 percent of the world’s population lives in the OECD90 regions. The A2 scenario considers the four regions in predicting the CO2 emissions.
The ALM region represents Africa, Middle East, and the Latin America. This region will witness a gradual rise in the Giga tons of carbon produced within the duration of the century. The region produced the least amount of carbon dioxide in 1990 at 1.45 Gigatons, and this will rise to 10.38 Gigatons by the end of 2100. This will be due to increased emphasis on the creation of wealth and the increasing population of the regions as compared to the populations of the rest of the regions.
The ASIA region represents the centrally planned Asia, the Pacific Asia and South Asia. This region will also have a slowly rising level of carbon dioxide. The Giga tons of carbon produced in 1990 were 1.53 and this figure will have risen to 12.38 by the end of the 21st century, which will be the highest among the four regions. This is attributable to the high population increase expected in the 21st century. This will mean more harmful emissions being released in the atmosphere.
The OECD90 region represents the areas of North America, the Western Europe, and the Pacific. This area will have a population rising steadily from a figure of 869 million to 1496 from the late 20th century to the end of the 21 century. This and the slow growth in technology will result in a slow rise in the level of CO2 produced. The region had carbon dioxide emissions of 2.83 billion Gigatons in 1990, and this figure will increase to 7.26 Gigatons in the year 2100. This slow rise is due to the slow increase in the population in the OECD90 region. There may also exist efficient technology, which will allow environmentally friendly production.
The REF region includes the area of central, Eastern Europe, and Newly Independent States of The Former Soviet Union. This region will show the least amount of CO2 released. This is due to the minimal increase in population and technological growth. This figure will rise from 1.3 Giga tons to 4.45 Giga tons by the year 2100, which is the lowest in all regions.
- Do any of the scenarios predict a reduction of CO2 emissions from 1990 levels over the next 90 years? If not what are the predicted changes in changes relative to the 1990 levels?
The A1 scenario shows a steady increase in the carbon dioxide emissions compared to the 1990 figures. The figure is more than the rest of the regions during the year 2010, 2020 and 2030. This is regardless of the scenario having less population during this period than A2 and A4. The figure then falls to below that of A2 but remains more that B1 and B2. By the end of 2100, the figure is 119 percent more than the 1990 figures. The A1 scenario shows these low figures because the convergence of regions leads to more cooperation and development of better and more efficient technologies.
The A2 scenario starts 1990 at the same figure as all the others. It is the only scenario whose figures rises continuously throughout the period, ending the 21st century with 438 percent more than the 1990 figures. This figure represents 33.43 Gigatons of carbon dioxide. The reason for the high rise is the self-reliance of each region to its own methods and technologies. This will lead to inefficient production and more carbon dioxide emissions.
The B1 scenario starts the 21st century with 42 percent more emissions than the 1990 figures. These figures continue to rise steadily as the population increases as compared to the 1990 figures. For example, the population in 2050 is 9.3 billion as compared to the 1990 population under the B1 scenario, which is 5.2 billion. These figures show a direct relationship between the population and carbon dioxide emissions.
The B2 scenario shows the least amount of the rise in carbon dioxide emissions when compared with the 1990 figures. The carbon dioxide emitted peaks in the year 2050 when the population is 9.3 billion. It then falls during the second half of the century regardless of the increasing population. This is true in 2100 when the carbon dioxide emitted is only 7 percent more than the 1990 figures. This figure is low considering that the population by this time has risen to 10.4 billion, the highest in the scenario. This shows that the creation of more efficient technology will lead to less carbon emissions whether the population increases or not.
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