Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ORNL Model Explores Location of Future U.S. Population Growth

22.01.2015

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a population distribution model that provides unprecedented county-level predictions of where people will live in the U.S. in the coming decades.

Initially developed to assist in the siting of new energy infrastructure, the team’s model has a broad range of implications from urban planning to climate change adaptation. The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


ORNL

This 3-D visualization represents projected changes in U.S. population between 2010 and 2050 as predicted by a new Oak Ridge National Laboratory model. Areas seen in red indicate higher levels of population growth, whereas the vertical spikes signify population growth with new land development.

“We do a census every 10 years because those data help us do long-term socioeconomic planning,” said Budhendra Bhaduri, who leads ORNL’s Geographic Information Science and Technology group. “Population projection numbers are important, but many pressing societal needs also require an understanding of where people are going to be. This has always been a challenge; we’ve never had a good method to make future projections spatially explicit.”

The new model builds on years of research in the development of two other ORNL technologies that supply geographical distribution of population: LandScan Global provides one-kilometer resolution for the world and LandScan USA provides 90-meter resolution for the U.S. Incorporating regional variables such as land cover, slope, distances to larger cities, roads and population movement allowed the researchers to refine future population distributions by county.

“We took the U.S. national population total and downscaled to the county level to examine how local population growths vary geographically,” said ORNL’s Jacob McKee, the study’s lead author.

In the study’s projections for 2030 and 2050, the researchers set constraints for each contiguous U.S. county under a business-as-usual scenario based on historical conditions. The team’s analysis of this scenario found that sprawl growth was projected to be most prevalent in the following counties: El Dorado, CA, Maricopa, AZ, and Riverside, CA.

The researchers note that the current study presents one of many potential outcomes, and the model can be adjusted to consider additional variables and scenarios. For instance, extreme weather events or local investments such as new industries can drastically affect where people move, but these factors are impossible to predict decades in advance.

“Our research is a demonstration of a model that can be tailored to specific scenarios to measure population in different ways,” McKee said. “This is by no means a definitive answer of what’s going to happen.”

The researchers hope their model will aid in long-term planning efforts in a wide variety of fields.

“Changes in climate-induced disaster patterns, epidemiological events and infrastructure planning underscore the need to quantify and map the current population,” Bhaduri said. “Predicting the distribution of future populations allows for improved adaptation and mitigation strategies.”

This research, conducted as part of ORNL’s Urban Dynamics Institute, was funded by DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy. The researchers anticipate making the datasets accessible to the broader user community later this year. The article’s authors include ORNL’s Jacob McKee, Amy Rose, Eddie Bright, Timmy Huynh, and Budhendra Bhaduri.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov/

###

Image: http://www.ornl.gov/Image%20Library/Main%20Nav/ORNL/News/News%20Releases/2015/population_map_highres.jpg

Caption: This 3-D visualization represents projected changes in U.S. population between 2010 and 2050 as predicted by a new Oak Ridge National Laboratory model. Areas seen in red indicate higher levels of population growth, whereas the vertical spikes signify population growth with new land development.

NOTE TO EDITORS: You may read other press releases from Oak Ridge National Laboratory or learn more about the lab at http://www.ornl.gov/news .

Contact Information
MEDIA CONTACT: Morgan McCorkle
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Communications and Media Relations
(865) 574-7308; mccorkleml@ornl.gov

Morgan McCorkle | newswise

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>