A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.
The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.
To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
"By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable" if current trends continue, Clay said.
The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.
But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years -- tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations -- and add more strain to global food supplies.
People tend to move up the food chain as their incomes rise, consuming more meat than they might have when they made less money, the experts said.
There are more dire predictions, outlined by the Village Voice, including pollution so bad one won't be able to study the stars from Earth and all the fish will have been eaten.
Currently the world population is 6.9 billion.
Zlotnik said that overall population growth "is inevitable." As a result, natural resources such as fossil fuels, timber, minerals, and water will likely be severely depleted in many regions. Population growth also compounds global challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss.
Feeding the world's expanding population will increase water demand 70 to 90 percent by 2050 without improved agricultural methods, according to the U.N. World Water Development Report.
Daily Mail has more.
Population growth is expected to be highest in African and South Asian states, while incomes are also expected to rise in these countries by up to four times.
The globe's population will use and compete for fewer and fewer resources. Yet, those with philosophies & political agendas say we cannot fund global family planning. May they all be alive in 2050, fighting for a drink of clean water.
The United Nations, World Wildlife Fund and the AAAS must never heard of the job called web developer and considered hiring a few. All of them have the worse websites, for one cannot find the original press release or an updated report on global population estimates and their effects on global resources (food, water, air) or even a video of this conference. Regardless, there are plenty of statistics, data and projections to validate the claims of these Scientists that the globe will simply have too many people for it to sustain, given current resources and supplies.