Urban green spaces do not benefit the health of all

In general, the creation of parks and green spaces in urban centers has positive effects on the health of city residents.

ERASMUS+ Edu-BioMed News: ICTA-UAB organizes workshops in Jabal Moussa and Shouf Biosphere Reserves (Lebanon) addressed to university...

From next April, 29th to May, 2nd, about 40 professors and professionals from the higher education institutions from Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, France and Italy will meet in two Lebanese Biosphere Reserves (Jabal Moussa and Shouf) to discuss how to improve Moroccan and Lebanese higher education and academic research in the context of Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves (BRs).

ICTA-UAB researcher Antoni Rosell-Melé receives an ERC Advanced Grant

ICTA-UAB researcher Antoni Rosell-Melé has been awarded an Advanced Grant (AdvGr) from the European Research Council (ERC) to develop the project "New geochemical approach to reconstruct tropical palaeo-atmospheric dynamics" (PALADYN).

Urban Agriculture on Rooftops Provides Healthy, Fresh and Sustainable Food

​The implementation of urban gardens on building rooftops could produce fresh, healthy and sustainable agricultural food and guarantee the food sovereignty of cities, which are becoming increasingly populated.

Se prevén niveles de polen muy altos para esta primavera

Las polinizaciones de esta primavera y verano comenzarán en el momento habitual pero serán muy importantes.

Indigenous knowledge, key to a successful ecosystem restoration

Ecological restoration projects actively involving indigenous peoples and local communities are more successful. This is the result of a study carried out by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB).

Future changes in human well-being more likely to depend on Social Factors than Economic Factors

The changes in the perception of personal well-being that could take place in the next three decades, on a global level, depend much more on social factors than on economic ones.

Record-wet and record-dry months increased in regions worldwide: climate change drives rainfall extremes

More and more rainfall extremes are observed in regions around the globe – triggering both wet and dry records, according a new study involving ICTA-UAB researcher Finn Mempel.

Success at ICTA-UAB: Six ERC Grants In Three Years

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been awarded six European Research Council (ERC) grants in three years, from the end of 2015 to the end of 2018. Each project (of between 1.5 and 2 million euros) lasts for five years and allows the recruitment of a team of six or seven doctoral students and postdocs.

ICTA-UAB researcher Gara Villalba receives an ERC Consolidator Grant

The European Research Council (ERC) announced the recipients of its Consolidator Grant competition: 291 top scientists across Europe.

The ICTA-UAB awarded an Erasmus+ for running a project on higher education and research in Biosphere Reserves

For the first time since its founding, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been awarded approximately 1 million euros by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ funding scheme.

ICTA-UAB contributes to bridging science and society in the 100xCiencia.3

ICTA-UAB took part in the 100xCiencia.3 “Bringing Science and Society”, the annual event of the SOMMa Alliance held on November 15th at the CNIO in Madrid.

Citizens prefer landscapes that combine nature with built infrastructure

A pioneering study analyses the photographs shared by citizens in social networks to evaluate the aesthetic consideration of natural landscapes.

Co-managed small-scale fisheries lead to social and ecological improvements

The co-management model of small groups of fishermen contributes to a greater abundance and habitats of species.

Nace El Observatorio del Besòs: un proyecto de seguimiento de la calidad de los sistemas fluviales de la cuenca

La Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) a través del Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA-UAB), y el Consorci Besòs Tordera evaluarán el estado de calidad a largo plazo de la cuenca del Besòs gracias a la creación de la Observatorio del Besòs.

Shift in large-scale Atlantic circulation causes lower-oxygen water to invade Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Gulf of St. Lawrence has warmed and lost oxygen faster than almost anywhere else in the global oceans.

New ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide'

The new ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide' it is at your disposal now. With this document, we aim to help you discover the basics of the PhD programme, ICTA-UAB’s structure, etc.
News
Future changes in human well-being more likely to depend on Social Factors than Economic Factors

Date: 2019-01-28



 

The changes in the perception of personal well-being that could take place in the next three decades, on a global level, depend much more on social factors than on economic ones.

This is the result of a pioneering study developed by researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) and McGill University in Canada which, for the first time, uses a mathematical approach to project the subjective well-being of the world’s population.

The study, recently published in Nature Communications, offers an alternative perspective to future projections based on readily-quantified material outcomes such as per capita income, and includes other dimensions of life that are critical but difficult to quantify due to subjectivity. The well-being measurement is the self-reported life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll, which in 2017 had a global average of 5.24 out of 10.

Researchers applied a dynamic statistical model that combines economic variables (material) such as GDP per capita and life expectancy, with social variables (non-material) such as freedom, corruption, generosity and social support. With these variables, they were able to reproduce the most important current differences between countries, and use the observed changes between 2005 and 2016 to calibrate the model. This model was then used to project scenarios for global changes in self-reported life evaluations in year 2050.

Results show that the expected range of future changes in material variables tend to lead to modest improvements of global average life evaluations, from no change to as much as a 10% increase above present day. In contrast, scenarios based on non-material variables show a very wide range of possible outcomes, from a 30% rise in future global average life evaluations (in the most optimistic scenario of societal improvement) to a 35% decrease (in the most pessimistic scenario of societal decline). 

The greatest scope for non-material changes lies in the densely populated regions of India, China, Eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, since there is plenty of room for improvement in social matters.

“The results highlight the critical role of non-material factors such as social supports, freedoms, and fairness in determining the future of human well-being”, states ICTA-UAB researcher Eric Galbraith, who stresses that feasible changes in GDP are very unlikely to play an important role in changes of life self-evaluations within 30 years. “The observed changes from 2005 to 2016 show that non-material trends encompass more extreme positive and negative possibilities than the material trends”, McGill researcher Chris Barrington-Leigh explains.

The authors warn that the greatest benefits to be made potentially over the next decades, as well as the most dangerous pitfalls to be avoided, lie in the domain of social fabric. “Long-run policies that are overly focussed on income have narrow effects”, according to Barrington-Leigh. “If human well-being is the main goal of governments, their resources would be more wisely spent on policies chosen based on what really matters most for human experience."

Article
Barrigton-Leigh C. & Galbraith E. (2019). Feasible future global scenarios for human life evaluations. Nature Communications, 10(1):161
Available online at: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-08002-2

ICTA's Activities