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Forecasting Societies Adaptive Capacities to Climate Change

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Better predictions of population change

An ambitious new research effort has built models and a knowledge base to help predict changes in human populations and education in the 21st century. Researchers can use this information to improve climate change scenario modelling.

Climate Change and Environment

Researchers around the world are using models to understand how best to adapt to global climate disruption. For these models to be effective, researchers need more information about how population dynamics and education will influence the ability of societies to cope with climate change. The EU-funded FUTURESOC (Forecasting societies adaptive capacities to climate change) initiative aimed to use complex demographic models to predict social and demographic trends over the coming century. This information was collated into a resource to inform climate scenario models. FUTURESOC's major output was a 1 000-page volume containing knowledge about what will drive fertility, mortality, migration and education worldwide over the next 100 years. This was the result of input from more than 500 researchers gathered through online surveys and expert meetings on 5 continents. Other products of FUTURESOC include case studies and a theory called demographic metabolism. The project published 12 case studies on how education in a population reduced vulnerability to natural disasters. The theory of demographic metabolism put forward by FUTURESOC researchers uses the modelling of inter-generational change to predict future social change and ability to adapt to climate change. Overall, this research has provided scenario modellers with a powerful collection of resources with which to improve climate change adaptation models.


Education, climate change, scenario modelling, population dynamics, FUTURESOC

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