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Long-Term Trends in Global Material and Energy Use

Part of the Human-Environment Interactions book series (HUEN,volume 5)

Abstract

In the 20th century, the human population grew fourfold and the global economy grew 20-fold. This chapter explores how social metabolism has changed with these megatrends. It shows that material and energy use have grown faster than the population but less than the GDP, implying a growth in metabolic rates and some decoupling of resource use from economic growth. Since the beginning of the 21st century, global resource use has again accelerated, and much of the remaining world is transitioning from an agrarian to an industrial metabolic profile.

Keywords

  • Metabolic transition
  • Metabolic profile
  • Metabolic regime
  • Global material and energy use
  • Trade
  • Industrialization
  • Population
  • Economic growth
  • Decoupling
  • Material and energy flow accounting (MEFA)
  • Material stocks

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Fig. 8.1
Fig. 8.2
Fig. 8.3
Fig. 8.4
Fig. 8.5

Notes

  1. 1.

    At the global level, resource extraction and apparent consumption (resource use, DMC or DEC) of the resource are identical.

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Acknowledgements

This chapter is based on a presentation given at the Spring Meeting of the Materials Research Society in San Francisco (March 2013) and contains revised and updated text and figures from Krausmann et al. (2013). Global trends and patterns in material use. MRS Online Proceedings Library, 1545, (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9023020&fileId=S1946427413010750), reproduced with permission.

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Correspondence to Fridolin Krausmann .

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Krausmann, F. et al. (2016). Long-Term Trends in Global Material and Energy Use. In: Haberl, H., Fischer-Kowalski, M., Krausmann, F., Winiwarter, V. (eds) Social Ecology. Human-Environment Interactions, vol 5. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-33326-7_8

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