USGS - science for a changing world

Landcover Modeling

Bismarck, North Dakota
2006 to 2050 Land-cover Change
IPCC SRES A1B Scenario

The IPCC SRES A1B scenario is marked by very high economic growth and a convergence of socioeconomic conditions. Population growth is relatively low, but a convergence of global living standards results in a high per-capita demand for food, fiber, and energy. As a result, there is an increase in the human footprint on the landscape, with a decline in natural land covers such as grassland, forest, and wetland.

In the Bismarck, North Dakota area, populations remain low, with only relatively small increases in the urban footprint. However, land-use change in the region is still high, as the demand for agricultural commodities results in a substantial expansion of both cultivated cropland and hay/pasture. High energy demand and the demand for biofuels help to drive agricultural expansion. Technological innovation plays a role in the increased use of renewable fuel sources, including both traditional biofuel crops (corn, soybeans), as well as cellulosic-based biofuel feedstocks such as switchgrass or miscanthus. With the expansion of agricultural lands, grassland in the region declines. With a focus on economic growth over environmental conservation, some loss of remaining wetlands also occurs.

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Page Last Modified: March 21, 2016