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New analysis says the population of the planet will not stabilize at nine billion. There is an 80% probability that global population will keep rising this century, reaching 12.3 billion.

According to the US journal Science, this has alarming implications for political stability, food security and climate change, since greater numbers of people mean greater demands on agricultural land, water and fuel.

In fact, women in Africa are still having larger families (contraceptives are not available and mortality linked to HIV infection has been reduced).So, by the end of the century, Africa will have to feed between 3.5 billion and 5.1 billion.

In Asia, population will peak at 5 billion in 2050, while growth in North America, Europe and Latin America are expected to stay below 1 billion in each region.
The study makes no reference to the climate change, but population, economic growth and global warming are inexorably linked.

Most greenhouse-gas emissions and climate-change predictions have been based on the long-standing assumption that the planet’s burden of humans will peak around 2050, and then begin a slow decline.

But recent research suggests that while climate change will open more land in higher latitudes for potential crop growth, the gains will not be great, because the conditions for multiple harvests in the tropics will be reduced. Moreover, land available for crops is disappearing under cement as the world’s cities grow.

But these are all projections, rather than predictions. Armed with such information, governments could take steps to ensure a more secure future.

One way to stop the fertility decline could be helped by better access to contraception, and by the education of women, especially in country like Africa where the increasing of people could lead to resource shortages, which in turn could affect population size through unexpected mortality, migration or fertility effects.


The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

Friday, 19 September  2014

(Source: China Dialogue)