Food Security

National Geographic features global human population growth

National Geographic

National Geographic magazines (photo credit: Chris Nixon’s photostream on Flickr).

The January 2011 issue of National Geographic has an informative feature article and photo gallery about the growth of world population, which is expected to reach seven billion before the end of this (new) year.

‘By 2050 the total number [world’s population] could reach 10.5 billion, or it could stop at eight billion–the difference is about one child per woman. UN demographers consider the middle road their best estimate: They now project that the population may reach nine billion before 2050–in 2045. The eventual tally will depend on the choices individual couples make when they engage in that most intimate of human acts, the one Leeuwenhoek interrupted so carelessly for the sake of science.

‘With the population still growing by about 80 million each year, it’s hard not to be alarmed. Right now on Earth, water tables are falling, soil is eroding, glaciers are melting, and fish stocks are vanishing. Close to a billion people go hungry each day. Decades from now, there will likely be two billion more mouths to feed, mostly in poor countries. There will be billions more people wanting and deserving to boost themselves out of poverty. If they follow the path blazed by wealthy countries–clearing forests, burning coal and oil, freely scattering fertilizers and pesticides–they too will be stepping hard on the planet’s natural resources. How exactly is this going to work?’

Read the feature article in the National Geographic: 7 billion, January 2011.

Look at the accompanying National Geographic photo gallery on population growth: Seven billion, January 2011.

Read a recent ILRI News Clipping post on a related article in the Economist: The good news about population growth: The rate is slowing, January 2011.

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