The start of 21st century saw the natural resources being under intense pressure, threatened public health, and overall development. Water shortages, water and air pollution, deforestation, destruction of coastlines, and land degradation, has been experienced through population growth. Population growth has made environmental conservation become a global challenge. More people means that the demand for coal, gas, and oils, which are extracted from the earth’s surface, will increase the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, leading to global warming (LeDoux). Global warming is believed to be a problem of rapid population growth, as cutting of trees discourages absorption of the greenhouse gases. This study will assess the link that exists between population growth and the escalating environmental problems.
Growing population is essential in order for farmers to expand the market for export production. However, additional stress is placed on agricultural soils, as more pesticides, irrigation water, and energy production is required to meet the demand (Chiras 149). In each decade, there is an increase on the production of fertilizers and other complex chemical substances in industries, which are harmful to the soil. This practice has a major impact on environment, as many microorganisms in the soil are destroyed in the process. Agricultural runoff also poses threat to drinking water for both human beings and animals. Runoff substances that include nitrates, phosphates and other chemicals, which are prayed in agricultural lands, contaminate almost 50% of lake water in the US (Pimentel, et al. 654).
The population growth that is experienced in the LDC (less developed countries) is claimed to be a threat to global climate. According to Chiras, loss of rainforests in these areas has been proved to cause a rise in carbon dioxide levels, which causes global warming (149). Deforestation in Central Africa has created an intense effect on rainfall patterns around several European countries, as trees have the capacity to soak up the greenhouse gases, which accelerate global warming. The high speed of forest exploitation in Cameroon to enhance agricultural production has become an environmental concern, as forests are also habitat for primitive Pygmy population (Gbetnkom 558). Trees also provide soil cover, and when depleted, the earth service would become bare, resulting to a desert. No one would prefer to stay in the desert.
Today, approximately half of the population in the world resides in urban areas, a situation that increases the strain on space. Most of the heavily populated urban areas lack proper sanitation, which lead to disease epidemic. Population growth has resulted to growth of cities, which, in turn, has encouraged technological advancement. Increase in industrial processes has become hazardous to environment in the form of air and water pollution. Road transport within major world cities, such as Chicago, New York, London, Tokyo, and Shanghai, has increased the emission of carbon into the atmosphere, which causes global warming. Air pollution usually aggravates asthma, which may lead to death (Pimentel, et al. 656). Chemical release from industries is detrimental to ecosystems, and their exposure may result to serious human diseases, which include cancer, altered metabolism, and birth defects.
In conclusion, population growth is essentially connected to numerous environmental problems. As the world population continues to rise, the pressure on natural resources would also increase, leading to severe environmental problems. Human population has caused a rise in mechanized lifestyle, which has contributed immensely in global warming. Deforestation has resulted to deserts and destruction of animal habitats. Use of fertilizers and pesticides to increase farm production has resulted to erosion of chemicals into water bodies that provide humans and animals with clean water. The rise of lifestyle diseases is partly due to environmental destruction caused by rise in population. Thus, environmental problems can be resolved through population control.
Chiras, Daniel D. Environmental Science. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2013. Print.
Gbetnkom, Daniel. “Deforestation in Cameroon: Immediate Causes and Consequences.” Environment and Development Economics 10.4 (2005): 557-72. ProQuest. Web. 30 July 2014.
LeDoux, Larry, “Does Population Growth Impact Climate Change?” Scientific American. Earth Talk, July 29, 2009. Web. 30 July 2014
Pimentel, D., et al. “Ecology of Increasing Diseases: Population Growth and Environmental Degradation.” Human Ecology 35.6 (2007): 653-68. ProQuest. Web. 30 July 2014.