Related topics: genetic variation

Ecological complexity and the biosphere: The next 30 years

In 1972, the report Limits to Growth showed that business as usual on a planet with limited resources and a rapidly expanding human population can only end up in unsustainable growth and collapse. The report was inspired ...

Mortality caused by heatwaves in China has increased since 1979

Since the beginning of the summer in 2022, China has been sweltering under the worst heatwave in decades. A number of people in Zhejiang, Henan, Jiangsu, and Sichuan provinces were diagnosed with thermoplegia, the most severe ...

Balancing protein in your diet could improve water quality

Balancing how much protein you eat with the amount your body needs could reduce nitrogen releases to aquatic systems in the U.S. by 12% and overall nitrogen losses to air and water by 4%, according to a study from the University ...

Aquaculture drives aquatic food yields to new high

The production of wild and farm-raised fish, shellfish and algae reached record levels in 2020, and future increases could be vital to fighting world hunger, the Food and Agriculture Organization said Wednesday.

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World population

The term world population commonly refers to the total number of living humans on Earth at a given time. As of 29 July 2009, the Earth's population is estimated by the United States Census Bureau to be 6.774 billion. The world population has been growing continuously since the end of the Black Death around 1400. There were also short term falls at other times due to plague, for example in the mid 17th century (see graph). The fastest rates of world population growth (above 1.8%) were seen briefly during the 1950s then for a longer period during the 1960s and 1970s (see graph). According to population projections, world population will continue to grow until around 2050. The 2008 rate of growth has almost halved since its peak of 2.2% per year, which was reached in 1963. World births have levelled off at about 134-million-per-year, since their peak at 163-million in the late 1990s, and are expected to remain constant. However, deaths are only around 57 million per year, and are expected to increase to 90 million by the year 2050. Since births outnumber deaths, the world's population is expected to reach about 9 billion by the year 2040.

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