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Describe the varying impact of population on three main areas.

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Introduction

Joleen Moret 12th January 2003 Environmental Studies Describe the varying impact of population on three main areas. It is said that World population is currently growing by about eighty million people each year. The world's population officially reached six billion in 1999, and has doubled since 1960. Human numbers are expected to increase, leading to a global population of over eight billion in 2030. The United Nations statistics suggest that by 2050, ninety percent of the worlds people will live in a developing country. The dramatic increase in population during this century has been cited by some as proof that the Earth is overpopulated. Biologists and environmentalists argue that human numbers have already exceeded the Earths carrying capacity. Economists argue that the planet can sustain an almost infinite number of human beings. One thing for sure is that people are afraid that the Earth is being rapidly ruined by our ever growing world population. Population growth puts enormous pressure on the Earths natural resources, as every day we generate more waste, use more resources and do more damage to the environment. Deforestation has been linked with population growth and continues to be a major environmental problem that affects the entire world. Countries such as Brazil and Indonesia have the largest deforestation rates in the world. ...read more.

Middle

Human numbers and lifestyles compel habitat destruction, and the pressure on land for building and agriculture further contributes to the concerns for biodiversity. As wetlands are drained or filled to create farmland, commercial and residential real estate, more species are being lost. Urbanisation has dramatically increased the rate of biodiversity decline through habitat loss and change. The construction of roads and new towns destroy and alter vast areas of natural habitats worldwide. According to a study of fifty countries by Paul Harrison, those with the greatest population density retain the least wildlife habitat. Many marine ecosystems are also in decline and threatened due to human numbers and their behaviour, factors influencing this are water diversion, pollution, sedimentation from upstream soil erosion, over-harvesting, coastal development and introduced species. With population increasing and half of the world's population living within one hundred kilometres of coastlines many environmentalists are saying that coastal development is one of the most pressing issues that are damaging biodiversity. Marine species provide a large percentage of humans protein supply, they also absorb large amounts of CO2 and are said to hold the important pharmaceutical advances. Shrinking fish stocks, extinction of freshwater species, and the decline of coral reefs are all indicators showing the increasing threat to marine biodiversity due to human activities. ...read more.

Conclusion

Depletion of the ozone layer allows more ultraviolet radiation to hit the world's surface; scientists believe that this will cause damage to plants, mammals, insects, birds, and will be a direct link to an increase in skin cancer for humans. It is also believed that global warming will lead to rising sea levels and natural disasters such as hurricanes, heat waves, storms, flooding and droughts that will threaten people, communities and global food supplies. People in industrialized countries generate the majority of carbon emissions, but as the developing countries are where the majority of population growth will occur in the next several decades the emissions will significantly increase. The United Nations Population Fund projects that developing countries will double their carbon dioxide emissions by 2025. The connection between population growth and environmental damage is easy to see and understand. When we have more people, we need more food, more housing, and more fuel. If population grows faster than resources scarcities will occur, people will go hungry, be homeless and without wood for fuel many will be cold. Resource scarcities due to population growth can cause a number of problems such as migration, social, religious, and ethnic tensions and wars. It seems that over population will lead to loss of life in many ways; the loss of bio-diversity, our forests, and human beings. It seems as though virtually every important issue we confront today is caused or contributed to, by population growth. ...read more.

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