Climate Change Research ›› 2017, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (4): 327-336.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2017.028

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The Population Patterns over China Under the 1.5℃ and 2.0℃ Warming Targets

Wang Yanjun1, Jing Cheng1, Cao Lige2, Jiang Tong1, 2, Sun Hemin1, 2, 5, Huang Jinlong3, 4,   

  1. 1 Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, School of Geography and Remote Sensing, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
    2 National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
    3 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
    4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    5 Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China;
    6 School of Construction Engineering and Environment Research, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
  • Received:2017-02-16 Revised:2017-04-07 Online:2017-07-30 Published:2017-07-30
  • Contact: Su Buda


The Paris Agreement presents new challenges for the international community to address climate change, it also has a massive impact on China’s population, resources and environment under the background of global warming. Based on the 6th national census data in 2010, the shared socioeconomic pathways of IPCC and the population status and development policy in China were jointly considered to calibrate the parameters of population model. In this paper, the evolution and distribution of population in China by age, gender and education level are analyzed under global warming 1.5℃ and 2.0℃ targets. The research results show as follows: under global warming 1.5℃, the total population will increase by 44 million compared with 2010 under SSP1 and SSP4; under warming 2.0℃, the population will increase by 23 million and 67 million compared with 2010 under SSP2 and SSP3 respectively, and decrease by 12 million under SSP5. China’s population will peak in 2025?2035, the time period of 1.5℃ warming. Except the Northeast China, Sichuan and Anhui provinces, the majority of the provinces will have an increase in population compared with 2010 under warming 1.5℃; under global warming 2.0℃, population will increase in northwest, southwest and southeast coastal areas of China. In other parts of China the population will decrease. Population in most provinces will reach peak under global warming 1.5–2.0℃. Guangxi province will have the largest population under SSP3, up to 113 million. Guangdong province will have the largest population under all other pathways, up to 153 million. The proportion of elderly population over 65 will be higher in northeast than southwest of China. Under warming 1.5℃, the proportion of elderly population will reach 20% under SSP1 and SSP4. Comparing with warming 1.5℃, the aging trend will be further aggravated under warming 2.0℃. The proportion of elderly population will reach 36% under SSP5. Northeast China will face the most serious problem of aging. Pursue the target of limiting global warming well below 2.0℃ by adopting the green and sustainable development pathways (SSP1) is the scientific choice of future socioeconomic development strategy in China.

Key words: global warming of 1.5℃ and 2.0℃, shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs), population patterns, provinces, China

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