Regional sustainable development of renewable natural resources using Net Primary Productivity on a global scale

Saket Dubey, Ashutosh Sharma, Venkatesh Kishor Panchariya, Manish Kumar Goyal, Rao Y. Surampalli, Tian C. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Renewable natural resources and ecosystem services constitute the fundamental support needed for the sustainable development of human beings. Emergy assessment coupled with Geographic Information System (GIS) has supported the creation of an effective framework needed towards sustainable development. Unprecedented global maps depicting the emergy distribution of renewable natural resources (e.g., solar radiation, wind, rainfall, and geothermal heat flow) are presented in this work, and a composite empower density (Em; sej/km2/year) map was generated. The entire world was classified based on land cover types, United Nations (UN) geoscheme regions, major river basins, and climate types. We identified the regions with abundant renewable emergy and compared these regions based on different renewable resources. We also used 24 different General Circulation Models (GCMs) to examine the impact of climate change on distribution of global resources. Moreover, the distribution of Net Primary Productivity (NPP) was related to emergy to understand the interactions between energy and the environment. Our results suggest that the Himalayan region and highland areas of South America, European Russia and Eastern Europe are rich in overall renewable resources, GCM projections suggest that a major part of the globe is expected to observe an increment in renewable resources. Most of the regions projecting a decrease in renewable resources (critical regions as the empower density is expected to decrease) have a moderate empower density/NPP ratio and therefore, climate change is expected to cause a moderate effect on the ecosystem of these regions. The results from this study can provide useful information to decision-makers in formulating the policy of renewable resources exploitation while ensuring minimal disturbance to the ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107768
JournalEcological Indicators
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergy assessment
  • General Circulation Models (GCMs)
  • Koppen-Geiger climate classification
  • Net Primary Productivity (NPP)
  • Regional sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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