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Describe the global growth and geographical distribution of human population. Discuss the impacts that this growth has on both land and water resources?

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Introduction

Environmental Science 36E1 People and the Environment Autumn 2002 Student 1117083 Environmental Science 36E1 People and the Environment Autumn 2002 Student 1117083 Essay Title: Describe the global growth and geographical distribution of human population. Discuss the impacts that this growth has on both land and water resources? In the year 1999 the worlds population reached the 6 billion mark and the United Nations predict that by the year 2025 this will rise to 8 billion with a further rise in 2050 to 9.3 billion before it starts to stabilise at about 10.5 / 11 billion. (Fig 1.0) This exponential growth is a phenomenon that has only really come about during the last three hundred years or so. During prehistoric time the growth of the global population was very slow. However in the last 350 years, human population has dramatically increased, with most estimates indicating that about 90% of the worlds population growth has occurred during this time. Looking at the growth rate on a global scale we can form many opinions relating to the reasons for such an increase. The population growth can be directly attributed to advancements in health care, and hygiene that has resulted from scientific developments that have occurred from the mid eighteenth century to the present day. ...read more.

Middle

An additional factor relating to the population growth is that of an ageing population. The developed world has during the last fifty years or so been contributing to this phenomenon. With trends showing that the developed worlds youth populace is decreasing and the elderly populace is increasing. Fig 3.0 Population Pyramids 1999 and projected for 2050 Developed Countries - Source United Nations Of the many issues that relate to a growing population, water / land use and its availability are two of the most hotly debated amongst world governments. It is a fact that the developed world uses far more of the world's land and sea resources than the developing world for less population. The land use per person in a high-income country is on average six times greater than that of low-income countries, and since 1960 the demand on land has become increasingly greater and has already, according to the WWF exceeded the productive capacity that the globe has to offer. The amount of global resources required by the populace can only decrease if the populace itself decreases. With trends showing that population is increasing this is not going to happen. Fig 4.0 WWF Ecological Footprint, by region and income group 1999. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a growing demand for sustainable development but the requirements of the planet's survival are often outweighed by the demands of the population. * Greater agricultural activity means a greater strain on the world's freshwater resources with an estimated 70% of the world's freshwater resources being consumed by agriculture. Of this 70% approximately 40% is wasted. * An estimated quarter of the world's fisheries are over fished. * Approximately 14.6 million hectares of the world's natural forests are being converted to urban usage each year. * More than 2 billion people in the developing world rely on biomass energy, which includes firewood, animal dung and agricultural residues. With increasing demands being made on the planet to provide for its growing population of humans there are many natural resources struggling to sustain themselves 'naturally'. It is for this reason that our global governments have been forced to act on the sustainability of the planets ecosystems. Change in land use, over polluting the atmosphere, over fishing, increased industrialisation and urbanisation has all had an impact on the biodiversity of the environment. It is only through education leading to a greater understanding of the global problems faced by an increased population that we can begin to control the exponential growth of the populace and begin to manage the biodiversity of the planet. ...read more.

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3 star(s)

A good attempt to answer the question posed. This essay uses figures well and refers to them in the text, as well as giving references at the end. This answer could have been strengthened by linking back to the question posed in each paragraph demonstrating how the information given was helping to answer the question.
3 stars.

Marked by teacher Molly Reynolds 20/08/2013

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