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Integrated assessment of the ecological footprint of North America Senbel, Maged

Abstract

Recently developed analytical tools provide opportunities for revisiting old questions of scarcity and ecological limits. This research combines ecological footprint analysis with integrated assessment modeling. It sets out to reveal which of the factors of human consumption and ecological productivity have the most significant effect on the ecological budget of North America over the next century. Three choice variables were used to project four possible future scenarios. Under these scenarios North America is likely to experience an exponentially increasing ecological deficit. Only one scenario, which assumes considerable reductions in consumption, is likely to yield an ecological surplus through the next century. Among the different consumption categories, food is by far the most significant.

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