Title: Built-up area and population density: Two Essential Societal Variables to address climate hazard impact
Authors: EHRLICH DANIELEKEMPER THOMASPESARESI MARTINOCORBAN CHRISTINA
Citation: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY vol. 90 p. 73-82
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC107012
ISSN: 1462-9011 (online)
URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901117305695?via%3Dihub
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC107012
DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.10.001
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Scientists use Essential Climate Variables to understand and model the Earth’s climate. Complementary to the Climate Variables this paper introduces Essential Societal Variables those that are used to model societal processes and the impact of climate induced hazards on society. Climate impacts scenarios inform policy makers on current and future risk and on the cost for mitigation and adaptation measures. This paper introduces built-up areas and population densities, societal variables that are generated from Earth Observation image archives and from national population census data within the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) project. The layers are produced with fine granularity for four epochs, 1975, 1990, 2000, and 2015 and will be updated on regular basis with open satellite imagery. The paper discusses the relevance of population and built-up datasets for a number of policy areas, in particular, in understanding regional and global urbanization processes and in operational crisis management and risk assessment. The paper also provides examples of global statistics on exposure to natural hazards based on the two ESVs and their use in policy making. Finally, the paper identifies of the potential of using population and built-up areas for developing indicators to monitor the progress in Agenda 2030 indicators including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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