Human overpopulation is among the most disturbing environmental problems. It is gradually promoting the forces behind global warming, environmental pollution, extinction, and others at speeds faster than their rate of recovery. Below are some of the effects of overpopulation on the environment.
Loss of freshwater
About 75% of the earth is covered with water and 97.5% of that is the ocean and 2.5% is fresh water. Most of the freshwater resources are either unreachable or too polluted. Freshwater ecosystems and the various communities found in lakes, rivers, and wetlands may be the most endangered of all. Vulnerable fish species mostly from the freshwater are threatened with extinction. Freshwater ecosystems have lost a greater proportion of their species and habitat than ecosystems on land and in oceans.
Overpopulation has a major effect on the world’s wildlife. As the demands for land grows, so does the destruction of the natural home of animals such as the forest. The forest is home to many wild animals of all kinds and so when the forest is destroyed, the animals also get destroyed too. Everyday manhunts for meat and the more they hunt, the more the risk of extinction of the hunted animals.
As the population grows so does the number of resources needed to keep so many people alive. Food, water, and fossil fuels are the major resources on earth. Food is important to man and animals as without it, there will be no life. Water is important to man, animals, and plants. Plants need water to grow and produce food for animals. Without water, there will be no life. Fossil fuels serve as major sources of energy. Fossil fuels come in different forms like coal, firewoods, petroleum, and others. A study has shown that the world’s ecosystem changed more rapidly in the latter half of the twentieth century than at any other point in history because of the increased use of these resources.
Increased intense farming
As the population has grown over the years, farming practices have allowed producing enough food to feed large numbers of people. However, intensive farming methods also cause damage to local ecosystems. This can cause problems in the future. Intensive farming is also considered a major contributor to climate change due to the machines required. This effect will likely increase if the population continues to grow at its current rate.
Faster climate change
Overpopulation directly relates to climate change particularly as larger nations like China and India continue to develop their industrial capacities. They know rank as two of the three largest contributors to emissions in the world alongside the United States.