Observed on the 11th day of July every year, World Population Day is an annual event, which seeks to raise awareness on population issues and how it’s impacting the world. It is well known now, how human encroachment has destroyed the delicate equilibrium of nature.
According to the UN, roughly 83 million people are added to the world population each year. In an urge to explore, more and more, we have unfortunately disturbed the natural balance of our world.
Listed below are some of the effects overpopulation has had on our environment
A massive decline for our co-inhabitants on this planet
Since we were on the rise, constantly, our delicate co-inhabitants got their spaces shrunk. According to a notable report by the WWF, we have eliminated 60% of the wildlife on this planet. If we had to put the figures in terms of the human population, it would be equivalent to annihilating North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China, and Oceania. Our vast consumption of resources has destroyed the web of life, which took billions of years in the making.
An ailing planet
According to NASA, (https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/), the planet’s average temperature has risen around 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit, with the major warming happening in the last 35 years, and 2016 being the warmest. The reason for these high temperatures is increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions.
Along with the rising temperatures, there has been alarming data for other phenomena as well like oceans demonstrating warming of more than 0.4 degree Fahrenheit, shrinking ice sheets, melting glaciers, diminishing snow cover, rising oceans, coral bleaching, increasing deforestation, acidification of the oceans and the planet enduring extreme events, unrecorded so far.
Staggering depletion of natural resources
Overpopulation has progressively depleted resources for mankind with rising population density resulting in a number of factors like lack of access to clean drinking water, a loss of ecosystem, rising unemployment, extreme hunger due to rising income inequality, high child mortality rate, overcrowding of compact places, lowered living standards, shortage of supplies, lowered wages, rising crime rate, etc.
A rise in health-related issues
The denser the population, the easier the spread of contagious diseases is. Environmental changes, along with the rise in population, have resulted in the emergence of infectious diseases with antimicrobial resistance. Diseases like Tuberculosis, Malaria, Cholera, and Dengue have developed multiple drug-resistant strains due to unregulated use of the drugs owing to overpopulation. Also, the large formations of unprocessed waste have aggravated the issue with rising diseases. There has been an increase in the pollution of air, water, soil, etc. which has resulted in a spate of related diseases. According to one of the studies from Reuters, air pollution is the major cause of early deaths in India. About 1.81 million deaths were caused by air pollution, 0.6 million from water pollution and 95K deaths led to the pollution itself.