New Study Finds Most Of Earth’s Landmass Will Be Phoenix Suburb By 2050

Illustration for article titled New Study Finds Most Of Earth’s Landmass Will Be Phoenix Suburb By 2050

SYRACUSE, NY—Forecasting the continued rapid growth of the metropolitan area in the coming decades, a study published Thursday by researchers at Syracuse University has found that the majority of Earth’s landmass will be Phoenix suburbs by 2050. “Projecting present growth trends forward, we were able to determine that 35 years from now, the suburban area surrounding Phoenix, AZ will have expanded to occupy nearly 70 percent of all land on Earth, or roughly 137 million square miles across six continents,” said study co-author Grace Parsons, explaining that the entire land area of North America would be subsumed by the suburban sprawl spreading out from Scottsdale by 2030, while new subdivisions on the outskirts of Glendale and Litchfield Park would continue expanding westward, crossing the Pacific Ocean and encompassing most of Asia over the following decade. “By the time the suburbs extend into the Southern Hemisphere in about 30 years, over two-thirds of Earth’s land will be counted among the working-class towns, affluent neighborhoods, commercial districts, and bedroom communities encircling Phoenix.” The researchers warned, however, that a lack of adequate transportation infrastructure in the Phoenix metro area could create problems for workers driving in from the suburbs, estimating that traffic congestion during rush hour could add as much as 1,200 to 1,400 hours to their daily commutes.