Population growth is the increase in the number of humans on Earth. For most of human history our population size was relatively stable. But with innovation and industrialization, energy, food, water, and medical care became more available and reliable.
Consequently, anthropoid population over time rapidly increased, and continues to do so, with dramatic impacts on global climate and ecosystems. We will need technological and social innovation to help us support the world’s population as we adapt to and mitigate climate and environmental changes.
Human population growth impacts the Earth system in a variety of ways, including:
Increasing the extraction of resources from the environment. These resources include fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal), minerals, trees, water, and wildlife, especially in the oceans. The process of removing resources, in turn, often releases pollutants and waste that reduce air and water quality, and harm the health of humans and other species.
Increasing the burning of fossil fuels for energy to generate electricity, and to power transportation (for example, cars and planes) and industrial processes.
Increase in freshwater use for drinking, agriculture, recreation, and industrial processes.
These are some of the ways humans have adversely affected the environment. As the human population continues to grow unchecked, it will be our ability and our desire to restore the environment.