The impact of population growth on the environment.


The world population is increasing at an alarming rate. This not only will effect on the living standard of mankind but also cause the environmental degradation and shortage of natural resources including production of agriculture, shortage of fresh water and the loss of biological diversity.

Humans and other living organisms rely on the natural resources for their survival. Because of the growth in population the resources for every individual are decreasing. Often people think that the environmental deterioration happens because of the pollution in the environment. This is only one factor but the actual problem is something else.

The environmental deterioration is far more complex and dangerous phenomenon then the anticipated narrow view of pollution. The population size and the rate at which population increase in developed countries as well as in developing countries are the most important factor in environmental degradation. As the population increases the utilization of the natural resources maximizes and leads to the shortage of food, water and other necessities of life.

The current population of the world is about 7.5 billion as of (August, 2017) and it is projected to be 10 billion by the year 2040, as estimated on the current growth rate of 1.5 percent per year. This estimated figure of population growth should be an alarming signal to a call for action concerning the utilization and management of the resources. The Erosion of farmland, excessive use of both the surface and the groundwater, dwindling supplies of finite fossil fuels, and escalating extinction of plant and animal species imperil the ability of the earth’s resources to meet the needs of such enormous numbers of humans. The increasing number of population demand more resources and the necessities of life. More food is required, more land is required for farming. Genetic modifications have been made to fulfill the demand by processing the food, processed quick growth of animals and the use of genetically modified (GMO) seeds in farming and agriculture sector causing severe degradation in environment which eventually resulted global warming.

The current and future availability of adequate supplies of fresh water is in danger. The natural collectors of fresh water such as rivers and lakes vary in distribution all over the world and is been frequently shared within and between the countries. All the surface water supplies, those in warm regions, are diminished by evaporation. The reservoir water experiences yearly an average loss of about 24 percent. All agricultural farming requires a massive amount of water during the production season. Let’s take the example of a corn crop it will take up to about 5 million liters/ha of water during the production season in order to produce about 7500 kg/ha of grain. To supply that much amount of water to the crop, not only 8 million liters (800 mm) of rain fall per hectare is a must, but a significant portion of that rainfall must fall during the production season. The biggest threat to maintaining fresh water supplies is the overdraft of surface and groundwater resources that are used to supply the needs of the rapidly growing human population and of the agriculture which provides its food.

In addition to the land, water resources, agriculture and livestock species, human beings depends very much on the presence and functioning of approximately about 10 million other species that exist in our ecosystems and nature. Humans have not yet developed technologies that can provide the substitutes for the functions performed by wild biota.

Increase in population growth plays a pivotal role in decreasing per capita land forest and water reservoirs. Because of this intense utilization of the resources, they are diminishing very quickly. As the population grows people need more land and other resources. They need land and because of the minimal resources they are forced to utilize forests land and in doing so, they are damaging the important factors of environment.

Human behavior illustrates a strong will to survive and achieve a better quality of life. However the term better quality of life vary for every individual depending on the mind set and society. To control the degradation of environment and to protect natural resources some precautionary measures needs to be taken. Population control laws need to be implemented globally. In some countries there are laws for population and birth control and they are implemented, but in many countries there are no proper laws have been made to address this issue. Especially in developing and under developed nations this issue is not addressed properly. The population of these countries is increasing at a very rapid rate. With the implementation of laws related to the controlled population growth globally not only can prevent the natural resources and improved environment but also increase the per capita land and income. This will benefit them both as economically and ecologically. People will experience improved and healthy environment given they will play their part positively.

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