Study suggests the world's population will be unsustainable by 2100, population control won't help
Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 4:18 PM - A new study suggests that the world's natural resources won't be able to sustain the planet's population by 2100 and even drastic measures -- like population control -- are unlikely to help.
"The planet’s large, growing, and overconsuming human population, especially the increasing affluent component, is rapidly eroding many of the Earth’s natural ecosystems," the study's authors write.
"We examined various scenarios for global human population change to the year 2100 by adjusting fertility and mortality rates (both chronic and short-term interventions) to determine the plausible range of outcomes. Even one-child policies imposed worldwide and catastrophic mortality events would still likely result in 5–10 billion people by 2100. Because of this demographic momentum, there are no easy ways to change the broad trends of human population size this century."
The research, led by Professor Corey Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide and Professor Barry Brook of the University of Tasmania, suggests that a series of measures may need to be taken to mitigate the Earth's growing population.
Currently, there are about 7.1 billion people on Earth -- and projections based on current fertility rates suggest that could rise to 25 billion by 2100.
Data suggests that the number of offspring the average woman has is 2.37, and reducing that to 2 would lead to 777 million fewer people by 2050.
Still, the authors say the global population will take years to stabilize.
Humanity will also have to deal with environmental issues, like climate change and the loss of biodiversity, long before 2050 the authors point out.
Instead of focusing on the population, "the corollary of these findings is that society's efforts towards sustainability would be directed more productively towards reducing our impact as much as possible through technological and social innovation," Bradshaw is quoted as saying by Newsweek.
Such technologies could include reducing greenhouse gases and preserving the earth's ecosystems, the authors suggest.
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