Today's Match: Planet vs. Population
and Exponential Population Growth on a Stressed Out Planet
Human Caused Climate Change:Human caused climate change will affect both human and non-human species within our Earth system. As humans burn fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas to produce energy, byproducts are released into the atmosphere. There byproducts are called Green House Gases or GHG's. Scientist have derived a strong correlation between the amount of GHG's in the atmosphere and the temperature of the planet. The major GHG's are Carbon Dioxide(CO2), Methane(CH4), Water Vapor(H20), and Nitrous Oxide (N20). As the amount of GHG's increase in the atmosphere, and the amount of trees we cut down increases, so does the average temperature. As the average global temperature rises, even two degrees, the climate changes significantly. Since the industrial revolution humans are burning more fossil fuels than ever before, which puts a lot of pressure on the Earths system as well as disrupts the global carbon a cycle. The global carbon cycle is a fragile cycle that allows for the recycling of earths resources, it is the pathway between the major carbon sinks such as the ocean, the atmosphere, and the sediments such as fossil fuels. The Intergovernmental Panal for Climate Change (IPCC) a group of scientists that gather and organize the best scientific research available about our climate system and climate change for policy makers are warning both politicians and the general public about the extensive consequences of climate change. Unfortunately, developed countries whom have the largest output of GHG's and use the most amount of resources are the countries that are predicted to receive the lowest amount of negative consequences. Climate change has brought about much political controversy as well, resulting in very little progress being made to find solutions to divert and adapt to the negative consequences of climate change.
Exponential Population Growth:
Every second, on average, somewhere on this earth, four to five children are born. In that same second, two people die. This means that approximately 2 humans are gained every second, which adds up to be approximately 74 million people add each year. At this rate, the populations on earth will double in a 50 year period. As far as we know, the planet has never sustained this many people, and many scientist believe that at this rate of population growth we will soon hit heads with out planets carrying capacity. Carrying capacity is the amount of beings that can live in a certain area, with the appropriate amount resources for survival. Once a space meets its capacity, a sudden die off will occur or the space will become inhabitable. The problem lies in the fact that there are more and more people on this planet yet the planet is not getting any bigger or producing anymore natural resources. Many question whether or not there will be adequate resources for the future generations. Every person on the planet depends of food, water, energy, oxygen and other life-support systems, but we all use the resources differently. The average human being in a westernized country such as the United States use nearly 5 times the amount of resources as an person in an rather undeveloped country such as Africa. The inequity of resource dispersal, human rights which allow the right to bear a child freely in many developed countries, fertility views among cultures, and the possibility catastrophic dieback or mass extinction.