Lecture 10-Human population growth

Lecture 10-Human population growth - ESPM 1011: Lecture 11...

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ESPM 1011: Lecture 11 Human Population Growth Read Textbook Chapter 8 Population growth is important because it accelerates all other human impacts on the environment (more people = more people having a deleterious impact) For the last 200 years, our population and economy has exhibited exponential growth. I argue that this can’t reasonably continue for the next 200 years, at least not at the rates we’re currently experiencing: 1. Current world population: 6.7 billion Current growth rate: +1.2% per year Would increase to 67.6 B in 200 years Space per person would decline from 4.7 to 0.5 acres. 2. Current U.S. population: 303 million Current growth rate: +0.9% per year (mostly from immigration) Population would increase to 1.8 Billion in 200 years Space will decline from 6.0 to 1.0 acres per person 3. Current (07) U.S. GDP: $13.8 trillion Current growth rate: +4.9% per year (about $45 K per capita) Would increase to $197,231 T in 200 years ($109 M per capita!) 4. Current U.S. deficit: $9.1 trillion Current growth rate: +7.6% per year Will increase to $20,965,000 T in 200 years $11.7 Billion per capita!! Clearly, none of these future projections is very likely. All of these represent examples of runaway exponential growth, when the ecologically more likely scenario is for growth to slow due to feedback mechanisms (i.e., logistic growth of Chapter 5). Population Growth is primarily an issue in the 3 rd (Developing) World: “Out of every 100 persons added to the population in the coming decade, 97 will live in developing countries." Hania Zlotnik, 2005 India, China, and SE Asia have especially large populations right now. Africa is predicted to join them, and will have the largest population growth in the next 50 years. Fertility rate is strongly (inversely) correlated with average GDP.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ESPM 1101 taught by Professor Arnold during the Spring '08 term at Minnesota.

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Lecture 10-Human population growth - ESPM 1011: Lecture 11...

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