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Journal Article

Key determinants of global land-use projections


Stehfest,  E.
External Organizations;

Zeist,  W.-J. van
External Organizations;

Valin,  H.
External Organizations;

Havlik,  P.
External Organizations;


Popp,  Alexander
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Kyle,  P.
External Organizations;

Tabeau,  A.
External Organizations;

Mason-D'Croz,  D.
External Organizations;

Hasegawa,  T.
External Organizations;


Bodirsky,  Benjamin Leon
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Calvin,  K.
External Organizations;

Doelman,  J. C.
External Organizations;

Fujimori,  S.
External Organizations;


Humpenöder,  Florian
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Lotze-Campen,  Hermann
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Meijl,  H. van
External Organizations;

Wiebe,  K.
External Organizations;

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Stehfest, E., Zeist, W.-J.-v., Valin, H., Havlik, P., Popp, A., Kyle, P., Tabeau, A., Mason-D'Croz, D., Hasegawa, T., Bodirsky, B. L., Calvin, K., Doelman, J. C., Fujimori, S., Humpenöder, F., Lotze-Campen, H., Meijl, H. v., Wiebe, K. (2019): Key determinants of global land-use projections. - Nature Communications, 10, 2166.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_23170
Land use is at the core of various sustainable development goals. Long-term climate foresight studies have structured their recent analyses around five socio-economic pathways (SSPs), with consistent storylines of future macroeconomic and societal developments; however, model quantification of these scenarios shows substantial heterogeneity in land-use projections. Here we build on a recently developed sensitivity approach to identify how future land use depends on six distinct socio-economic drivers (population, wealth, consumption preferences, agricultural productivity, land-use regulation, and trade) and their interactions. Spread across models arises mostly from diverging sensitivities to long-term drivers and from various representations of land-use regulation and trade, calling for reconciliation efforts and more empirical research. Most influential determinants for future cropland and pasture extent are population and agricultural efficiency. Furthermore, land-use regulation and consumption changes can play a key role in reducing both land use and food-security risks, and need to be central elements in sustainable development strategies.