World Population Density Interactive Map
Scientists discover that the world contains dramatically more trees than “The negative relationships between tree density and anthropogenic land use a tree population of only 35 billion, leading to just 28 trees per person. More than 80 percent of the world's old-growth forests have been destroyed, taking with them Seeing the Forest for the Trees Population Connection staff. histories and phylogenetic relationship of many extant human populations have been explored using microsatellite loci (Bowcock et al., ; Deka et al., ;.
The population begins to shift away from dependence on agriculture as a livelihood and agriculture uses more capital and technology and less labor. In addition, food, fuel, and timber needs may be met through imports from other areas of the country and world. Thus, the northeastern part of the United States, almost entirely deforested by the middle of the 19th century, is now largely reforested because people abandoned agricultural uses of the land and now import most of their food and fuel and some of their timber.
Both population and per capita consumption may continue to increase but are no longer associated with local forests and land use. This pattern is also occurring in parts of Europe and some countries in the former Soviet Union.World Population
In a few large Asian countries, aggressive forest policy in the recent past has more than offset losses of forest cover from agricultural expansion and development.
In spite of significant human population increases during the s, India addedhectares net through tree plantation programs. The general principle from the experience of countries as different as the United States, China, and India may be that after going through an initial deforestation phase, the combination of the scarcity of forest products and rising economic fortunes can lead societies to value, replant, and manage forests.
The Majority of the World's Population Lives in This Circle
Ecosystem and Biodiversity Challenges It is important to note that planted forests are very different from original forest cover in terms of species composition planted forests are often monoculturesecosystem functions, and their ability to support a wide range of plant and animal species and withstand stress such as drought and disease.
More than half of remaining forested land is found in less-developed countries, and many tropical forests are in areas with high population growth rates, high poverty, low access to reproductive health services, and rapid migration. For instance, in sub-Saharan Africa, human population density is greatest in area with the highest number of species of birds, mammals, snakes, and amphibians.
Some of these species are threatened with extinction. Climate Change Uncertainty A critical wild card in the population-forests equation is global, regional, and local climate change, which can alter temperature and precipitation patterns sufficiently so that the existing forest cover type can no longer be supported.
Population and environment: a global challenge
This is particularly true in areas with significant dry seasons, where even a slight decrease in rainfall can produce more frequent and more destructive forest fires, preventing the regrowth of certain species and favoring others, or even changing the ecosystem permanently from forest to grasslands.
The demographic characteristics of an area may facilitate this change by producing a more flammable mixture of fields and forests or by providing fire sources. In the long run, climate change is also likely to change the nature of human demands on forests, particularly in agricultural communities. Food and Agriculture Organization, Committee on Forestry, Ageing populations are another element to the multi-faceted implications of demographic population change, and pose challenges of their own.
For example between andJapan's proportion of people over 65 grew from 7 per cent to more than 20 per cent of its population.
This has huge implications on the workforce, as well as government spending on pensions and health care. Increasing lifespans are great for individuals and families. But with more generations living simultaneously, it puts our resources under pressure. Population income is also an important consideration. The uneven distribution of income results in pressure on the environment from both the lowest and highest income levels. They may also be forced to deplete scarce natural resources, such as forests or animal populations, to feed their families.
On the other end of the spectrum, those with the highest incomes consume disproportionately large levels of resources through the cars they drive, the homes they live in and the lifestyle choices they make. On a country-wide level, economic development and environmental damage are also linked.
The Majority of the World’s Population Lives in This Circle
The least developed nations tend to have lower levels of industrial activity, resulting in lower levels of environmental damage. The most developed countries have found ways of improving technology and energy efficiency to reduce their environmental impact while retaining high levels of production. It is the countries in between—those that are developing and experiencing intense resource consumption which may be driven by demand from developed countries —that are often the location of the most environmental damage.
Population consumption While poverty and environmental degradation are closely interrelated, it is the unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, primarily in developed nations, that are of even greater concern.
For many, particularly in industrialised countries, the consumption of goods and resources is just a part of our lives and culture, promoted not only by advertisers but also by governments wanting to continually grow their economy.
Culturally, it is considered a normal part of life to shop, buy and consume, to continually strive to own a bigger home or a faster car, all frequently promoted as signs of success. It may be fine to participate in consumer culture and to value material possessions, but in excess it is harming both the planet and our emotional wellbeing. More clothes, more gadgets, bigger cars, bigger houses—consuming goods and resources has big effects on our planet. The environmental impact of all this consumption is huge.
The mass production of goods, many of them unnecessary for a comfortable life, is using large amounts of energy, creating excess pollution, and generating huge amounts of waste.
To complicate matters, environmental impacts of high levels of consumption are not confined to the local area or even country. This enables them to enjoy the products without having to deal with the immediate impacts of the factories or pollution that went in to creating them.
On a global scale, not all humans are equally responsible for environmental harm. Consumption patterns and resource use are very high in some parts of the world, while in others—often in countries with far more people—they are low, and the basic needs of whole populations are not being met.
The reverse was also true—for example the population of North America grew only 4 per cent between andwhile its carbon emissions grew by 14 per cent. Individuals living in developed countries have, in general, a much bigger ecological footprint GLOSSARY ecological footprintThe impact of a person or community on the environment, expressed as the amount of land required to sustain their use of natural resources. The ecological footprint is a standardised measure of how much productive land and water is needed to produce the resources that are consumed, and to absorb the wastes produced by a person or group of people.
Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1. This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year. Global Footprint Network When Australian consumption is viewed from a global perspective, we leave an exceptionally large 'ecological footprint'—one of the largest in the world.
While the average global footprint is 2. To put this in perspective, if the rest of world lived like we do in Australia, we would need the equivalent of 3. Similarly, an American has an ecological footprint almost 9 times larger than an Indian—so while the population of India far exceeds that of the United States, in terms of environmental damage, it is the American consumption of resources that is causing the higher level of damage to the planet.
What is the solution? How do we solve the delicate problem of population growth and environmental limitations? Joel Cohen, a mathematician and author characterised potential solutions in the following way: Advances in food production technologies such as agriculture, water purification and genetic engineering may help to feed the masses, while moving away from fossil fuels to renewable power sources such as wind and solar will go some way to reducing climate change.
In the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP released a report titled ' Decoupling 2 ', which explored the possibilities and opportunities of technology and innovation to accelerate decoupling, and an analysis of how far technical innovation can go.
Funding and research should be a high priority in these areas, but we must accept that technology can only do so much, and is only part of the solution. Investing in clean energy is one way to reduce our environmental strain on the planet. Birth rates naturally decline when populations are given access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, education for boys and girls beyond the primary level is encouraged and made available, and women are empowered to participate in social and political life.
Continuing to support programs and policies in these areas should see a corresponding drop in birth rates. Similarly, as the incomes of individuals in developing countries increase, there is a corresponding decrease in birth rates. This is another incentive for richer countries to help their poorer neighbours reach their development potential. Providing a health, educational or financial incentive has also proven to be effective in combating some population issues. However, there are debates about incentive programs such as paying women in India to undergo sterilisation.
Opponents question whether accepting these incentives is really is a choice, or whether the recipient has been coerced into it through community pressure or financial desperation. Education is the foundation for our future, and not only because it helps to reduce unsustainable birthrates.
Fewer forks can also cover another complicated area—the option of seriously controlling population growth by force. China has done so in the past and attracted both high praise and severe humanitarian criticism.
This is a morally- economically- and politically-charged topic, to which there is no easy answer. Less is more The better manners approach seeks to educate people about their actions and the consequences of those actions, leading to a change in behaviour.
This relates not only to individuals but also governments. Individuals across the world, but particularly in developed countries, need to reassess their consumption patterns. We need to step back and re-examine what is important and actively find ways to reduce the amount of resources we consume. Taking shorter showers, saying no to single-use plastics, buying less, recycling our waste and reviewing our mode and frequency of travel may seem trivial, but if millions around the world begin to do it as well, the difference will begin to add up.
Being a good global citizen can include anything from reducing your plastic consumption to volunteering and helping others. Developing countries should be supported by their more developed neighbours to reach their development goals in sustainable, practical ways. In reality, there is no single, easy solution. All three options must be part of a sustainable future.
Where to from here? Population is an issue that cannot be ignored. While we can all do our bit to reduce our own global footprint, the combined impact of billions of other footprints will continue to add up.
There are many who believe that if we do not find ways of limiting the numbers of people on Earth ourselves, then Earth itself will eventually find ways of doing it for us. Interestingly, despite population increase being such a serious issue, the United Nations has held only three world conferences on population and development inand Conclusion With more than 7.