Overpopulation essentially means that there are more humans than the earth can sustain. Humans have exceeded our earth's carrying capacity with our current lifestyles.
Human population growth has largely occurred as a result of improved medical care and technology. The more people living on the earth, the larger the human population, and the greater the strain on resources such as food, water, energy, and space.
Impacts of population growth are diverse.
|Food||Food supplies may not always be able to match population expansion. Current population size has resulted in a degradation of arable land in order to provide food and other services, making the providing of food even more difficult.|
|Water||Population growth increases the demand for water, but many polluting human activities make it difficult to keep water supplies safe for drinking and bathing. Primarily in developing countries, the challenge of adequate and safe water supply has resulted in the deaths of millions every year. On top of that, oceans and their coastlines have been polluted, and fisheries over-exploited, decimating aquatic ecosystems and species.|
|Land||Primarily due to overpopulation, half of the world's forest cover, or 10 million hectares per year, has been razed, cut, burned, and bulldozed to the ground. As natural resources are mined or cut from local ecology to produce infrastructure for humans' increasing population, approximately 66% — or 2/3 of the world's biological species — are declining in population. Not only does this impact biodiversity and habitat availability, but it also reduces carbon sinks like forests, which can absorb carbon dioxide and slow global climate change.|
|Air||Climate change worsens as air pollution increases, primarily from overpopulation demanding more burning of fossil fuels. As the earth's heating and cooling systems intensify, it may lead to rising sea levels, more frequent and intense natural disasters, flooding, and droughts. Population growth's increase in air pollution is also causing more airborne heavy metals, which when breathed in, cause health problems and even death.|
In response to such severe impacts and the speed of population growth, people are building facilities and infrastructure to support how fast populations have grown in such a short time period.
Private companies and policymakers are attempting to develop sustainable strategies, plans, and technologies to respond to increasing population demands.
Some countries are discussing, or even enforcing, child limitation laws to enforce population stabilization or even decline.
Scientists and engineers are developing models, through analysis of current effects, to better understand potential futures and to develop technology to mitigate or eliminate challenges posed by population growth.