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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
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CAN EARTH’S AND SOCIETY’S
SYSTEMS MEET THE NEEDS OF

10 BILLION PEOPLE?

SUMMARY OF A WORKSHOP

Maureen Mellody, Rapporteur
Board on Environmental Change and Society
and
Committee on Population
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Board on Life Sciences
Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                    OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS     500 Fifth Street, NW     Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

This study was supported by the Presidents’ Committee of the National Academies. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-30634-8
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-30634-5

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; Internet, http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Cover credit: Photo of crowd taken June 23, 2007, by photographer James Cridland (CC by 2.0), https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/613445810.

Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2014). Can Earth’s and Society’s Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People? Summary of a Workshop. M. Mellody, Rapporteur. Board on Environmental Change and Society and Committee on Population, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Board on Life Sciences, Division on Earth and Life Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
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STEERING COMMITTEE ON PREPARING FOR 10 BILLION ON THE PLANET: WORKSHOP ON SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE

WILLIAM ROUSE (Chair), School of Systems and Enterprises, Stevens Institute of Technology

JOHN BONGAARTS, Population Council

F. STUART (TERRY) CHAPIN, III, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska

W.G. ERNST, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University

HENRY C. HARPENDING, Department of Anthropology, University of Utah

STEPHEN POLASKY, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota

B.L. TURNER II, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University

MEREDITH A. LANE, Study Director

KEEGAN SAWYER, Program Officer

MAUREEN MELLODY, Rapporteur

MARY ANN KASPER, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
×

BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND SOCIETY

RICHARD H. MOSS (Chair), Joint Global Change Research Institute, University of Maryland, College Park

ARUN AGRAWAL, School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

JOSEPH ARVAI, Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy, University of Calgary

ANTHONY BEBBINGTON, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University

WILLIAM CHANDLER, Transition Energy, Annapolis, MD

F. STUART (TERRY) CHAPIN, III, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska

RUTH DEFRIES, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University

KRISTIE L. EBI, School of Public Health, University of Washington

MARIA CARMEN LEMOS, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

DENNIS OJIMA, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University

JONATHAN OVERPECK, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona

STEPHEN POLASKY, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota

J. TIMMONS ROBERTS, Center for Environmental Studies, Brown University

JAMES L. SWEENEY, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Stanford University

GARY YOHE, Department of Economics, Wesleyan University (until July 2013)

MEREDITH A. LANE, Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
×

COMMITTEE ON POPULATION

LINDA J. WAITE (Chair), Department of Sociology, University of Chicago

CHRISTINE BACHRACH, School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park

JERE BEHRMAN, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

JASON H. BOARDMAN, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado, Boulder

PETER J. DONALDSON, Population Council

KATHLEEN MULLAN HARRIS, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MARK D. HAYWARD, Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

CHARLES HIRSCHMAN, Department of Sociology, University of Washington

HILLARD S. KAPLAN, Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

WOLFGANG LUTZ, World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

ROBERT D. MARE, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles

SARA S. MCLANAHAN, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, Princeton University

BARBARA BOYLE TORREY, Independent Consultant

MAXINE WEINSTEIN, Center for Population and Health, Georgetown University

DAVID R. WEIR, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

JOHN R. WILMOTH, United Nations

THOMAS PLEWES, Director

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
×

BOARD ON LIFE SCIENCES

JAMES P. COLLINS (Chair), School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

ENRIQUETA C. BOND, Burroughs Wellcome Fund (retired), Marshall, VA

ROGER D. CONE, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

SEAN EDDY, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, VA

SARAH C.R. ELGIN, Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

DAVID R. FRANZ, Former Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Consultant, Frederick, MD

LOUIS J. GROSS, Institute for Environmental Modeling, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee

ELIZABETH HEITMAN, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

JOHN G. HILDEBRAND, Department of Neuroscience, College of Science, University of Arizona

RICHARD A. JOHNSON, GlobalHelix LLC, Arnold & Porter, LLC (retired), Washington, DC

JUDITH KIMBLE, Molecular Biology and Medical Genetics, University of Wisconsin–Madison

CATO T. LAURENCIN, Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and Institute for Regenerative Engineering, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington

ALAN I. LESHNER, Director’s Office, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC

KAREN E. NELSON, Director’s Office, J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD

ROBERT M. NEREM, Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology

CAMILLE PARMESAN, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin

ALISON G. POWER, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University

MARGARET RILEY, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts

JANIS C. WEEKS, Department of Biology, University of Oregon

MARY WOOLLEY, President’s Office, Research!America, Alexandria, VA

FRANCES E. SHARPLES, Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This workshop summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published summary as sound as possible and to ensure that the summary meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this workshop summary: F. Stuart (Terry) Chapin, III, Emeritus, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska; Eugenia Kalnay, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park; and Hassan Virji, Director, International START Secretariat, Washington, DC.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they did not see the final draft of the workshop summary before its release. The review of this summary was overseen by Kristie L. Ebi, ClimAdapt, LLC, Los Altos, California. Appointed by the National Research Council, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this summary was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this summary rests entirely with the author(s) and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18817.
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The Earth's population, currently 7.2 billion, is expected to rise at a rapid rate over the next 40 years. Current projections state that the Earth will need to support 9.6 billion people by the year 2050, a figure that climbs to nearly 11 billion by the year 2100. At the same time, most people envision a future Earth with a greater average standard of living than we currently have - and, as a result, greater consumption of our planetary resources. How do we prepare our planet for a future population of 10 billion? How can this population growth be achieved in a manner that is sustainable from an economic, social, and environmental perspective?

Can Earth's and Society's Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People? is the summary of a multi-disciplinary workshop convened by the National Academies in October 2013 to explore how to increase the world's population to 10 billion in a sustainable way while simultaneously increasing the well-being and standard of living for that population. This report examines key issues in the science of sustainability that are related to overall human population size, population growth, aging populations, migration toward cities, differential consumption, and land use change, by different subpopulations, as viewed through the lenses of both social and natural science.

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