A report on Human overpopulation

Different projections of the future human world population
UN population estimates and projection 1950–2100
Global fertility rates as of 2020. About half of the world population lives in nations with sub-replacement fertility.
220x220px
Map of population density by country, per square kilometer. (See List of countries by population density.)
Table of population growth in England 1780–1810 in An Essay on the Principle of Population (1826) by Thomas Malthus, which would go on to be an influential text on Malthusianism.
American biologist Paul R. Ehrlich generated renewed interest in the topic of overpopulation with his 1968 book The Population Bomb.
Having one less child, on average, saves 58.6 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.
Growth in food production has been greater than population growth.
A family planning placard in Ethiopia. It shows some negative effects of having more children than people can care for.
American biologist Paul R. Ehrlich generated renewed interest in the topic of overpopulation with his 1968 book The Population Bomb.

Concept of a human population becoming too large to be sustained by its environment or resources in the long term.

- Human overpopulation
Different projections of the future human world population

36 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Thomas Robert Malthus, after whom Malthusianism is named

Malthusianism

6 links

Idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply or other resources is linear, which eventually reduces living standards to the point of triggering a population die off.

Idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply or other resources is linear, which eventually reduces living standards to the point of triggering a population die off.

Thomas Robert Malthus, after whom Malthusianism is named
The Malthusian catastrophe simplistically illustrated
Global deaths in conflicts since the year 1400
A chart of estimated annual growth rates in world population, 1800–2005. Rates before 1950 are annualized historical estimates from the US Census Bureau. Red = USCB projections to 2025.
Growth in food production has historically been greater than the population growth. Food per person increased since 1961. The graph runs up to slightly past 2010.
Wheat yields in developing countries since 1961, in kg/ha Largely due to effects of the "Green Revolution". In developing countries maize yields are also still rapidly rising.

A similar, more modern concept, is that of human overpopulation.

After World War II, newly implemented agricultural technologies, including pesticides and fertilizers as well as new breeds of high yield crops, greatly increased food production in certain regions of the Global South.

Green Revolution

6 links

Set of research technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production in parts of the world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s.

Set of research technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production in parts of the world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s.

After World War II, newly implemented agricultural technologies, including pesticides and fertilizers as well as new breeds of high yield crops, greatly increased food production in certain regions of the Global South.
Locations of Norman Borlaug's research stations in the Yaqui Valley and Chapingo.
New varieties of wheat and other grains were instrumental to the green revolution.
Wheat yields in least developed countries since 1961, in kilograms per hectare.
World population 1950–2010
World population supported with and without synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
M. King Hubbert's prediction of world petroleum production rates. Modern agriculture is largely reliant on petroleum energy.
Increased use of irrigation played a major role in the green revolution.

Such concerns often revolve around the idea that the Green Revolution is unsustainable, and argue that humanity is now in a state of overpopulation or overshoot with regards to the sustainable carrying capacity and ecological demands on the Earth.

SUVs are a popular type of vehicle

Overconsumption

4 links

Overconsumption describes a situation where the use of a renewable natural resource exceeds its capacity to regenerate.

Overconsumption describes a situation where the use of a renewable natural resource exceeds its capacity to regenerate.

SUVs are a popular type of vehicle
Waste generation, measured in kilograms per person per day
The worldwide prevalence of obesity in males (2008)- the darker areas represent a higher percentage of obese males
Great Pacific garbage patch

The discussion of overconsumption often parallels that of population size and growth, and human development: more people demanding higher qualities of living, currently requires greater extraction of resources, which causes subsequent environmental degradation such as climate change and biodiversity loss.

Ehrlich in 1974

Paul R. Ehrlich

3 links

American biologist, best known for his warnings about the consequences of population growth and limited resources.

American biologist, best known for his warnings about the consequences of population growth and limited resources.

Ehrlich in 1974
Ehrlich circa 2010
Graph showing changes in global human population since 10,000 BC.
The case against a population bomb: Since the 1950s population growth rate has decreased, and is projected to decline further.
Ehrlich speaking in 2008
Wheat yields have grown rapidly in Least Developed Countries since 1961, however, they have recently levelled off.
A large increase in global food production since the 1960s and a slowing of population growth have, within the current context of continued depletion of non-renewable resources, averted the scale of food shortage, famine and catastrophe foretold by the Ehrlichs.

Ehrlich has acknowledged that some of what he predicted has not occurred, but maintains that his predictions about disease and climate change were essentially correct and that human overpopulation is a major problem.

The Population Bomb

3 links

1968 book written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich.

1968 book written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich.

Graph of human population from 10,000 BC to 2017 AD. It shows the extremely rapid growth in the world population since the eighteenth century.

It predicted worldwide famine due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth.

A sampling of fungi collected during summer 2008 in Northern Saskatchewan mixed woods, near LaRonge, is an example regarding the species diversity of fungus. In this photo, there are also leaf lichens and mosses.

Biodiversity

5 links

Variety and variability of life on Earth.

Variety and variability of life on Earth.

A sampling of fungi collected during summer 2008 in Northern Saskatchewan mixed woods, near LaRonge, is an example regarding the species diversity of fungus. In this photo, there are also leaf lichens and mosses.
Distribution of living terrestrial vertebrate species, highest concentration of diversity shown in red in equatorial regions, declining polewards (towards the blue end of the spectrum) (Mannion 2014)
Apparent marine fossil diversity during the Phanerozoic
Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). The blue flowers are Centaurea cyanus and the red are Papaver rhoeas.
Amazon Rainforest in South America
The diverse forest canopy on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, yielded this display of different fruit
Agriculture production, pictured is a tractor and a chaser bin
Eagle Creek, Oregon hiking
Discovered and predicted total number of species on land and in the oceans
The Forest Landscape Integrity Index measures global anthropogenic modification on remaining forests annually. 0 = Most modification; 10= Least.
Deforestation and increased road-building in the Amazon Rainforest in Bolivia cause significant concern because of increased human encroachment upon wild areas, increased resource extraction and further threats to biodiversity.
Male Lophura nycthemera (silver pheasant), a native of East Asia that has been introduced into parts of Europe for ornamental reasons
The Yecoro wheat (right) cultivar is sensitive to salinity, plants resulting from a hybrid cross with cultivar W4910 (left) show greater tolerance to high salinity
Polar bears on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, near the North Pole. Climate change has started affecting bear populations.
Summary of major biodiversity-related environmental-change categories expressed as a percentage of human-driven change (in red) relative to baseline (blue)
A schematic image illustrating the relationship between biodiversity, ecosystem services, human well-being and poverty. The illustration shows where conservation action, strategies, and plans can influence the drivers of the current biodiversity crisis at local, regional, to global scales.
The retreat of Aletsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps (situation in 1979, 1991 and 2002), due to global warming.
Percentage of forest in legally protected areas, 2020, from the Food and Agriculture Organization publication The State of the World's Forests 2020. Forests, biodiversity and people – In brief
A great deal of work is occurring to preserve the natural characteristics of Hopetoun Falls, Australia while continuing to allow visitor access.

Edward O. Wilson prefers the acronym HIPPO, standing for Habitat destruction, Invasive species, Pollution, human over-Population and Over-harvesting.

Map of countries by fertility rate (2020), according to the Population Reference Bureau

Human population planning

2 links

Practice of intentionally controlling the growth rate of a human population.

Practice of intentionally controlling the growth rate of a human population.

Map of countries by fertility rate (2020), according to the Population Reference Bureau
World population growth rate 1950–2050
World population 1950–2010
World population 1800-2000
China's population distribution in 2012, 2015 and 2020

The practice, traditionally referred to as population control, had historically been implemented mainly with the goal of increasing population growth, though from the 1950s to the 1980s, concerns about overpopulation and its effects on poverty, the environment and political stability led to efforts to reduce population growth rates in many countries.

Chart published by NASA depicting CO2 levels from the past 400,000 years.

Human impact on the environment

1 links

Human impact on the environment (or anthropogenic impact) refers to changes to biophysical environments and to ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources caused directly or indirectly by humans.

Human impact on the environment (or anthropogenic impact) refers to changes to biophysical environments and to ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources caused directly or indirectly by humans.

Chart published by NASA depicting CO2 levels from the past 400,000 years.
Reduction of one's carbon footprint for various actions.
Human population from 10000 BCE to 2000 CE, increasing sevenfold after the eighteenth century.
Lacanja burn
Fishing down the foodweb
Urban sprawl in California
Soil erosion in Madagascar
Worldwide, the animal industry provides only 18% of calories, but uses 83% of agricultural land and emits 58% of food's greenhouse gas emissions.
A village palm oil press "malaxeur" in Bandundu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Child demonstrating for actions to protect the environment (2018)
Summary of major biodiversity-related environmental-change categories expressed as a percentage of human-driven change (in red) relative to baseline (blue)
The primary causes and the wide-ranging effects of global warming and resulting climate change. Some effects constitute feedback mechanisms that intensify climate change and move it toward climate tipping points.
Acid mine drainage in the Rio Tinto River
Smog in Beijing, China
Anti-nuclear protest near nuclear waste disposal centre at Gorleben in northern Germany
Kiviõli Oil Shale Processing & Chemicals Plant in ida-Virumaa, Estonia
The Wachusett Dam in Clinton, Massachusetts
Waste generation, measured in kilograms per person per day
Great Pacific garbage patch
Interstate 10 and Interstate 45 near downtown Houston, Texas in the United States
An Agent Orange spray run by aircraft, part of Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War
A composite image of artificial light emissions from Earth at night
The rate of global tree cover loss has approximately doubled since 2001, to an annual loss approaching an area the size of Italy.

Some scholars, environmentalists and advocates have linked human population growth or population size as a driver of environmental issues, including some suggesting this indicates an overpopulation scenario.

Eighty-plus years after the abandonment of Wallaroo Mines (Kadina, South Australia), mosses remain the only vegetation at some spots of the site's grounds.

Environmental degradation

2 links

Deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as quality of air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution.

Deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as quality of air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution.

Eighty-plus years after the abandonment of Wallaroo Mines (Kadina, South Australia), mosses remain the only vegetation at some spots of the site's grounds.
Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil's Maranhão state, 2016
Ethiopia's move to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam's reservoir could reduce Nile flows by as much as 25% and devastate Egyptian farmlands.
Graph of human population from 10000 BCE to 2000 CE. It shows sevenfold rise in world population that has taken place since the end of the seventeenth century.
The rate of global tree cover loss has approximately doubled since 2001, to an annual loss approaching an area the size of Italy.
Water pollution due to dairy farming in the Wairarapa in New Zealand
A stream in the town of Amlwch, Anglesey which is contaminated by acid mine drainage from the former copper mine at nearby Parys Mountain

The loss of biodiversity has been attributed in particular to human overpopulation, continued human population growth and overconsumption of natural resources by the world's wealthy.

Population decline

1 links

Reduction in a human population size.

Reduction in a human population size.

This rapid increase in global population caused Malthus and others to raise the first concerns about overpopulation.