By 2050, the world’s population is projected to approach nine billion. With more people will come more developed land-a lot more.
Urbanization, agriculture, energy, and mining put 20 percent of the world’s remaining forests, grasslands, and other natural ecosystems at risk of conversion by 2050. With that kind of expansion, there are sure to be harms-namely clean water, clean air, and biodiversity.
Using publicly available global datasets, the researchers projected how terrestrial ecosystems would be affected by nine sectors: urban and agricultural expansion, fossil fuels (conventional oil and gas, unconventional oil and gas, and coal), renewable energy (solar, wind, and biofuels), and mining.