Impact of the human population on the environment
Doesn’t the title “Impact of human population on the environment” sound familiar? It most probably does, since we are witnessing this in our world everyday. The population is increasing day by day in contrast to the earth’s life span which has been decreasing as out population grows.
There was a time, when cities were not densely populated, when birds use to chirp every morning, sky was blue, people could see the stars clearly in the night sky and rivers flowing were not toxic and polluted. (This is what my grandparents say, as I haven't witnessed this to that extent in my life span of 12 years)
In recent times, everything has changed, the way earth is getting polluted, people dying due to droughts, animals getting extinct.
The consequences of increase in human population on the environment are diverse. Some of these consequences have been associated with land fragmentation, soil degradation, air pollution, pressure on water resources, and alteration of earth’s climate among others.
Now Lemme explain you some Environmental effects of overpopulation
- Climate Change
One of the most negative impact that overpopulation has had on the environment is clearly seen these days. The cumulative difference in the temperature or conditions of the Earth, largely due to the levels of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and the greenhouse effect. Scientists all across the world are worried about the changing global weather cycle and constant rise in the average world temperature.
- Farming Impacts
Humans need food in order to live, with the advancement of time and with the increasing population, demand for food has risen. There were more mouths to feed than there was food and to overcome this difficulty, farmers with the support of the government started cutting the forest in order to increase their hold on land that was fit for farming. As a result of this practice, forests started to shrink at a great pace thereby damaging the environment and natural habitat of animals at the same time.
Farming impacts are not limited to cutting down of the forests only, farmers in different parts of the world burn stubble after the harvest of the crops. It downright results in a large amount of smoke and pollution mixing in the environment which contains toxic chemicals.
- Depletion Natural Resources
As the population increases, the burden on natural resources increases too. There are some natural resources that are abundant in nature like air, sunlight, and water while there are also natural resources that are scarce and have limited supply like fossil fuels, coal, and minerals.
The most common pressures causing deforestation and severe forest degradation are agriculture, unsustainable forest management, mining, infrastructure projects and increased fire incidence and intensity. Greatly accelerated by human activities since 1960
- Extinction of Animal Species
Humans have committed genocide on the species level. The last great extinction was from an asteroid, and we’re causing the next one (the 6th Great Extinction). As the human population grows, we destroy more habitat, kill more animals for food, release more pollution into the atmosphere, soil, and water supply, all of which increase the rate of extinction of species. An article by Guardian said this:
“Under a “natural” rate of extinction, the study said that two species go extinct per 10,000 species per 100 years, rather than the one species that previous work has assumed. Modern rates of extinction were eight to 100 times higher , the authors found. For example, 477 vertebrates have gone extinct since 1900, rather than the nine that would be expected at natural rates.”
- Depletion of Fresh Water
Availability of fresh water is one of the greatest threats posed by overpopulation. When infrastructure development cannot keep up with population growth, water shortages and sanitation issues can occur. Almost one billion people lack access to clean water, and more than twice that many do. not have toilets. If we see these days underground water are getting finished as in lot of countries, underground water is used for supplying to the whole area. This also leads to earthquakes and other disasters, as the ground dries up. There are many other factors on this.
Here is a good article on this: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/7/3/1264/htm
This all simply shows that how we are affecting the earth, how we are making the situation difficult for the upcoming generation.
The increasing population numbers and growing affluence have already resulted in rapid growth of energy production and consumption. The environmental effects like ground water and surface water contamination, air pollution, global warming and etc are of growing concerns. We have to start taking care of it.
Some more good articles to read
We have to take a step forward and try saving the place where we live, where humans have been living for millions of years.