How Many People Are On Earth?
- 1 How many people are in the world 2099?
- 2 When did Earth hit $1 billion?
- 3 Who was the 8 billionth baby?
- 4 Can Earth hold 1 trillion humans?
- 5 What will the world look like in 100 years?
- 6 How much longer can Earth support life?
- 7 What will happen in 2100?
Do we have 8 billion humans?
On November 15, 2022, according to the demographers at the United Nations Population Division, the 8 billionth person on the planet was born. That 8 billion mark is an estimate — there is no real-time census of everyone alive on Earth at every given moment, which means there’s a margin of error.
- But someone is or will be Baby 8 Billion.
- He or she is most likely to be born in India, which had more than 23 million births in 2021, and which is projected to pass China as the world’s most populous country by mid-2023, according to data released by the UN on Wednesday.
- And he stands a better than even chance of being a he, since boys naturally outnumber girls at birth by a rate of about 105 to 100 ; in India, due to a mix of cultural preference for boys and access to sex-selective abortion, that rate is closer to 108 to 100,
With an average life expectancy in India of just under 70 years today and rising, our hypothetical Baby 8 Billion stands a decent chance of being alive to witness the dawn of the 22nd century. How many other human beings will be there with him to see the calendar turn to 2100? If you think it’s tricky to count the number of people alive today, accurately projecting global population nearly 80 years into the future is near impossible, requiring countless estimates about birth rates, death rates, and movement — “sex, death, and migration,” in the words of the demographer Jennifer Sciubba,
- Estimated global population in 2000 stood at 6.09 billion, which would have been a surprise to the UN demographers of 1973, who projected that it would be almost 410 million larger by the turn of the millennium — an overestimate bigger than the current population of the United States,
- The best guess we have — the medium scenario, according to UN demographers — is that by 2100, global population will have leveled off at around 10.4 billion.
What that number means — and whether you even believe it — says a lot about what you think about the future of the planet, about the global power structure decades from now, and even about the purpose of being human. For those who see every additional human being as one more consuming, carbon-emitting unit on a hot and crowded planet that is already well past its carrying capacity, the idea of 8 billion people — let alone 10.4 billion — is the last mile marker on the road to a climate and environmental catastrophe.
It’s an old fear that dates back to the grim prophecies of the 18th-century English cleric and economist Thomas Malthus, who wrote that “the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.” He has thus far been proven wrong — even with a global population more than 7 billion people larger today than in Malthus’s time, life is a whole lot better and longer on average — but his influence can still be felt in certain corners of environmentalism.
It’s the animating idea behind one of the most influential modern treatises on the topic: the 1968 book The Population Bomb, But another group sees that 10.4 billion and fears we’ll never actually get there. They pay less attention to the seeming enormity of 8 billion, and more to the slowing pace of population growth, which is still increasing, but at less than 1 percent a year — its slowest rate since at least 1950.
In virtually every corner of the globe, people are having fewer babies than their parents and grandparents did. Two-thirds of humanity lives in an area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 children per woman, the rough level a population requires to replace itself through births alone. That includes the US, where fertility has generally been below replacement level since 1971 and where population in 2021 grew at its slowest rate since the nation’s founding,
It also includes China, where the nation that enforced the coercive one-child policy out of fears of overpopulation is now in a desperate struggle to turn around its rock-bottom fertility rates. Even if global population does reach 10.4 billion by 2100 or earlier, the UN projects it could actually begin to decline after.
Should global fertility fall more than expected, that decline could begin sooner and appear sharper, That would put our species on a path we’ve never walked before, outside of temporary dips from war, disease, or famine. Population worriers see an aging world of empty cradles, sapped of innovation and youthful energy, one where “population collapse due to low birth rates is a much bigger risk to civilization than global warming,” as Elon Musk — who, with eight children and counting, seems to be doing his best to turn the problem around single-handedly — tweeted last year,
They fear an “underpopulation bomb” with a very long fuse. The truth is that human population is complicated, and there may be 8 billion ways to be wrong about it. Fevered fears about overpopulation ignore the fact that the carrying capacity of the Earth is not and never has been fixed,
- Technological advances, improved efficiency, and changing consumption patterns allow us to get more people out of the same amount of planet, a possibility Malthus, writing at a time when human population had taken tens of thousands of years to reach just 1 billion, simply couldn’t imagine.
- But those who fret about underpopulation miss the fact that demographic trends for the entire planet don’t move in a single direction.
Even as most rich nations face aging and eventual decline, the very young populations of sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South Asia are set for decades of booming population growth, Trends may point to the last person in Japan dying in 2500, but Nigeria is on pace to pass the US with more than 400 million people by 2055,
- Just as shifting technology enables us to get more out of the planet, advances in automation and life expectancy could get more productivity out of every worker, postponing the economic drag of fewer young people.
- And if the world finds a way to sustainably increase migration flows from the poor but young and growing countries of the Global South to the rich but aging and eventually shrinking nations of the Global North — think of it as solving a trade deficit, but for people — we could successfully manage a global demographic imbalance that only seems likely to grow.
Population matters. If humans have become the dominant force on this planet in the age of the Anthropocene, demography will shape that force. It will shape the number of people producing carbon emissions, the number of people who need to be fed, the number of people who come up with the innovations we may need to solve both of those challenges.
It will shape the age structures of entire nations, their geopolitical clout, their economic power. Over a long enough period, it will shape what kind of future we have, and whether we have a future at all. Just as climate models give us a decent forecast of what the Earth itself will be like decades past today, demography gives us a glimpse into what humanity will look like in the future.
And just as climate models are a product of both the impersonal forces of our planet and the energy and environmental policies we pursue, population is a product of both the unchangeable trends of the past and the choices nations make today around family policy, migration, and technology.
How much population can the earth support?
“The power of population is so superior to the power of the Earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.” The late-18th century philosopher Thomas Malthus wrote these ominous words in an essay on what he saw as the dire future of humanity.
- Humans’ unquenchable urge to reproduce, Malthus argued, would ultimately lead us to overpopulate the planet, eat up all its resources and die in a mass famine.
- But what is the maximum “power of the Earth to produce subsistence,” and when will our numbers push the planet to its limit? More importantly, was Malthus’ vision of the future correct? Earth’s capacity Many scientists think Earth has a maximum carrying capacity of 9 billion to 10 billion people.
One such scientist, the eminent Harvard University sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson, bases his estimate on calculations of the Earth’s available resources. As Wilson pointed out in his book “The Future of Life” (Knopf, 2002), “The constraints of the biosphere are fixed.” Aside from the limited availability of freshwater, there are indeed constraints on the amount of food that Earth can produce, just as Malthus argued more than 200 years ago.
Even in the case of maximum efficiency, in which all the grains grown are dedicated to feeding humans (instead of livestock, which is an inefficient way to convert plant energy into food energy), there’s still a limit to how far the available quantities can stretch. “If everyone agreed to become vegetarian, leaving little or nothing for livestock, the present 1.4 billion hectares of arable land (3.5 billion acres) would support about 10 billion people,” Wilson wrote.
The 3.5 billion acres would produce approximately 2 billion tons of grains annually, he explained. That’s enough to feed 10 billion vegetarians, but would only feed 2.5 billion U.S. omnivores, because so much vegetation is dedicated to livestock and poultry in the United States.
- So 10 billion people is the uppermost population limit where food is concerned.
- Because it’s extremely unlikely that everyone will agree to stop eating meat, Wilson thinks the maximum carrying capacity of the Earth based on food resources will most likely fall short of 10 billion.
- According to population biologist Joel Cohen of Columbia University, other environmental factors that limit the Earth’s carrying capacity are the nitrogen cycle, available quantities of phosphorus, and atmospheric carbon concentrations, but there is a great amount of uncertainty in the impact of all of these factors.
“In truth, no one knows when or at what level peak population will be reached,” Cohen told Life’s Little Mysteries, Slowing growth Fortunately, we may be spared from entering the end-times phase of overpopulation and starvation envisioned by Malthus.
- According to the United Nations Population Division, the human population will hit 7 billion on or around Oct.31, and, if its projections are correct, we’re en route to a population of 9 billion by 2050, and 10 billion by 2100.
- However, somewhere on the road between those milestones, scientists think we’ll make a U-turn.
UN estimates of global population trends show that families are getting smaller. “Empirical data from 230 countries since 1950 shows that the great majority have fertility declines,” said Gerhard Heilig, chief of population estimates and projections section at the UN.
Globally, the fertility rate is falling to the “replacement level” — 2.1 children per woman, the rate at which children replace their parents (and make up for those who die young). If the global fertility rate does indeed reach replacement level by the end of the century, then the human population will stabilize between 9 billion and 10 billion.
As far as Earth’s capacity is concerned, we’ll have gone about as far as we can go, but no farther.
10 Species Our Population Explosion Will Likely Kill Off What’s the Dollar Value of a Human Life? Why Are More Boys Born than Girls?
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How many people are in the world 2099?
World Population Projections
When did Earth hit $1 billion?
Milestones by the billions –
The UN estimated that the world population reached one billion for the first time in 1804. It was another 123 years before it reached two billion in 1927, but it took only 33 years to reach three billion in 1960. Thereafter, it took 14 years for the global population to reach four billion in 1974, 13 years to reach five billion in 1987, 12 years to reach six billion in 1999 and, according to the United States Census Bureau, 13 years to reach seven billion in March 2012.
- The United Nations, however, estimated that the world population reached seven billion in October 2011.
- According to the UN, the global population reached eight billion in November 2022, but because the growth rate is slowing, it will take another 15 years to reach around 9 billion by 2037 and 20 years to reach 10 billion by 2057.
Alternative scenarios for 2050 range from a low of 7.4 billion to a high of more than 10.6 billion. Projected figures vary depending on underlying statistical assumptions and the variables used in projection calculations, especially the fertility and mortality variables.
Long-range predictions to 2150 range from a population decline to 3.2 billion in the “low scenario”, to “high scenarios” of 24.8 billion. One extreme scenario predicted a massive increase to 256 billion by 2150, assuming the global fertility rate remained at its 1995 level of 3.04 children per woman; however, by 2010 the global fertility rate had declined to 2.52.
There is no estimation for the exact day or month the world’s population surpassed one or two billion. The points at which it reached three and four billion were not officially noted, but the International Database of the United States Census Bureau placed them in July 1959 and April 1974 respectively.
Who was the 8 billionth baby?
Experience: I gave birth to the world’s ‘8 billionth baby’ Vincent and I met just before Christmas in 2021 at his kiosk in Quiapo, a bustling district in Manila in the Philippines. We got to know each other on Facebook. I went to his workplace one day and asked him to fix my mobile phone.
- We had an instant connection.
- I started seeing him as much as I could and introduced him to my family, including my two children from a previous relationship.
- We moved in together and our love blossomed.
- I found out I was pregnant in March 2022.
- He continued working as a street vendor, selling cellphone cases and chargers, while I stayed at home looking after the children.
Sales are unpredictable – sometimes they’re good, but often they’re not – so Vincent started to sell online, too. Times were tough; money became so difficult that we ate salt or soy sauce mixed with rice for our meals. I gave birth on 15 November last year, the day the UN projected the,
It was surreal. It was just past midnight and as soon as the baby was delivered, we were surrounded by people, and the press interviewed me straight away. The Philippines Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) chose our baby as their symbolic 8 billionth baby, and brought a banner, cake and toys.
We decided to name her Vinice after Vincent’s nickname, Vin. We were so happy that we were able to have baby Vinice without any complications, even if life has been difficult for us. We’ve endured a lot of hardship, so we’re very grateful for the gifts Popcom gave us.
- Vincent hadn’t slept for a couple of nights leading up to the birth as he was so excited, so afterwards when they brought over a huge box with a cake in it, he was really confused and his mind was all over the place.
- The nurse explained that it was to mark Vinice being the 8 billionth baby, but he thought they were asking him to pay 8bn pesos (£120m) for the cake.
He even thought that our baby might be inside the box – he was afraid to open it. We were shocked and overwhelmed by the reception. A few other babies were chosen by health agencies across the world, but Vinice has captured the international media’s attention.
One of the biggest channels in the Philippines interviewed us, and we’ve been sponsored by a local diaper brand who sorted the hospital fees, organised a celebration for us and paid for the baby’s clothes and food. Since then, Vinice’s story has travelled across the globe and been reported in the biggest newspapers in the world: we still can’t believe all the attention she’s received.
We’ve done a lot of interviews since. The hospital knew about the media interest and kept our details private to make sure people wouldn’t flock to our house. We were really nervous every time there was a photoshoot or interview – we didn’t expect our baby to be so high profile.
Our family are also surprised at how and why she was chosen to be the 8 billionth baby. They were so excited to meet her. She’s doing OK, but is always hungry. Her room is covered in Hello Kitty decor as I’m a huge fan and it matches the rest of the house. The strange thing is that when I went into labour, the first hospital we tried to go to didn’t let us in because it was full.
We had to rush to another hospital in San Andres, which was getting ready to choose the 8 billionth person. Maybe it was destiny that this happened. The experience seems like a dream for all of us and we’re positive about the future. We have surpassed the challenges brought about by the pandemic, and we’re truly blessed that she was born healthy and without any complications.
I believe that this is the most special gift that we have received from God. Sign up to Inside Saturday The only way to get a look behind the scenes of the Saturday magazine. Sign up to get the inside story from our top writers as well as all the must-read articles and columns, delivered to your inbox every weekend.
Privacy Notice: Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our, We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google and apply. after newsletter promotion Maybe when Vinice grows up, the “8 billionth” title might become a big thing for her.
- There’s a chance her siblings might be a little jealous, but hopefully that won’t happen.
- We hope that Vinice might be granted a scholarship from the government, and we’re so grateful for the financial assistance we’ve received so far.
- Whatever happens, we hope that she has a good education and is able to realise her aspirations: that’s more important than a symbolic title.
As told to Do you have an experience to share? Email, : Experience: I gave birth to the world’s ‘8 billionth baby’
Can Earth hold 1 trillion humans?
A trillion is a thousand billions. There are about 8 billion people now. That would be 125 times as many people as are on Earth now. Most scientists put the ‘carrying capacity’ of Earth at around 10 billion people.
What will the world look like in 100 years?
Interview with a climate scientist – We conducted an interview with Professor Dr. Grosjean, He is a professor at the University of Bern and director of the climate research center in Bern.1. Close your eyes and describe what the world would look like in 100 years according to your personal imagination and research knowledge In 100 years, the world’s population will probably be around 10 – 12 billion people, the rainforests will be largely cleared and the world would not be or look peaceful.
We would have a shortage of resources such as water, food and habitation which would lead to conflicts and wars. Unless every person on Earth changes something 2. How would the climate develop? The climate has always changed but the fluctuations have remained within a relatively narrow range over the last 10 000 years.
Since about 1970, the global climate left the range of natural fluctuations, becoming warmer and more extreme. This would continue.3. What is your opinion on climate change? Global warming is one of the greatest threats. I myself would not experience these changes as much as my children and grandchildren would.
- It is high time that young people take to the streets and protest loudly.4.
- What Impact will climate change have on the world in 100 years? In all countries it will be around 6-8 degrees warmer.
- Hamburg will have a climate like that of southern Italy today, in areas with water shortages it will be even drier.
The Arctic will have thawed and the glaciers in the Alps will have largely disappeared. Many cities located on the coast would be submerged under the ocean.5. What could be done about? We should reduce and even avoid everything that produces greenhouse gases and promote renewable energy.
- For example: Instead of driving a car – use public transport or a bicycle.
- Flying only for professional reasons – holiday flights one time every 10 years and cancel weekend flights.
- More ideas in the pdf document below) 6.
- What else would you like to say on this subject? Get involved and fight for a future worth living for, your future.
Talk to the people around you. There is no reason why today’s adult generation should be allowed to take a leave and let today’s young generation fight alone. For the whole interview (in German) please click Klima in 100 Jahren (PDF) Demonstrations on the street / (c) unsplash.com, Markus Spiske
How much longer can we live on Earth?
Sign up for Scientific American ’s free newsletters. ” data-newsletterpromo_article-image=”https://static.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/4641809D-B8F1-41A3-9E5A87C21ADB2FD8_source.png” data-newsletterpromo_article-button-text=”Sign Up” data-newsletterpromo_article-button-link=”https://www.scientificamerican.com/page/newsletter-sign-up/?origincode=2018_sciam_ArticlePromo_NewsletterSignUp” name=”articleBody” itemprop=”articleBody”> The species Homo sapiens evolved some 300,000 years ago and has come to dominate Earth unlike any species that came before. But how long can humans last? Eventually humans will go extinct. At the most wildly optimistic estimate, our species will last perhaps another billion years but end when the expanding envelope of the sun swells outward and heats the planet to a Venus-like state, But a billion years is a long time. One billion years ago life on Earth consisted of microbes. Multicellular life didn’t make its debut until about 600 million years ago, when sponges proliferated. What life will look like in another billion years is anyone’s guess, though one modeling study published in 2021 in Nature Geoscience suggests that Earth’s atmosphere will contain very little oxygen by then, making it likely that anaerobic microbes, rather than humans, will be the last living Earthlings. If surviving to see the sun fry Earth is a long shot, when is humanity likely to meet its doom? Paleontologically, mammalian species usually persist for about a million years, says Henry Gee, a paleontologist and senior editor at the journal Nature, who is working on a book on the extinction of humans. That would put the human species in its youth. But Gee doesn’t think these rules necessarily apply for H. sapiens. “Humans are rather an exceptional species,” he says. “We could last for millions of years, or we could all drop down next week.” Opportunities for doomsday abound. Humans could be wiped out by a catastrophic asteroid strike, commit self-destruction with worldwide nuclear war or succumb to the ravages caused by the climate emergency, But humans are a hardy bunch, so the most likely scenario involves a combination of catastrophes that could wipe us out completely. Pick Your Poison Some species killers are out of our control. In a 2021 paper in the journal Icarus, for example, researchers describe how asteroids comparable to the one spanning 10 to 15 kilometers in diameter that killed off the nonavian dinosaurs hit Earth approximately every 250 million to 500 million years. In a preprint paper posted on the server arXiv.org, physicists Philip Lubin and Alexander Cohen calculate that humanity would have the ability to save itself from a dino-killer-sized asteroid, given six months’ warning and an arsenal of nuclear penetrators to blow the space rock into a cloud of harmless pebbles. With less warning or a larger asteroid, Lubin and Cohen suggest that humanity should give up and “party” or “move to Mars or the Moon to party.” Currently, the biggest asteroid that scientists know of with the potential of striking Earth is called (29075) 1950 DA. It is a mere 1,300 meters across and has a one-in-50,000 chance of hitting our world in March 2880, according to a 2022 risk analysis by the European Space Agency, Incoming space rocks aside, many threats to humanity are of our own making: nuclear war, the climate emergency, ecological collapse. Our own tech might do us in in the form of sentient artificial intelligence that decides to snuff out its creators, as some AI critics have suggested. An all-out nuclear war could easily destroy humanity, says François Diaz-Maurin, associate editor for nuclear affairs at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The last time humans dropped nuclear bombs on one another, only one country, the U.S., had nuclear warheads, so there was no risk of nuclear retaliation. That’s not the case today—and the bombs are a lot bigger. Those bombs, which struck the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, packed the equivalent of 15 and 21 kilotons of TNT, respectively. Together they killed an estimated 110,000 to 210,000 people, A single modern-day, 300-kiloton nuclear weapon dropped on New York City, for example, would kill a million people in 24 hours, Diaz-Maurin says. A regional nuclear war, such as one between India and Pakistan, could kill 27 million people in the short term, whereas a full-scale nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia could cause an estimated 360 million direct deaths, he adds. The threat to humanity’s very existence would come after the war, when soot from massive fires ignited by the bombings would rapidly alter the climate in a scenario known as nuclear winter. Fears of nuclear winter may have receded since the end of the cold war, Diaz-Maurin says, but research shows that the environmental consequences would be severe. Even a regional nuclear war would damage the ozone layer, block out sunlight and reduce precipitation globally. The result would be a global famine that might kill more than five billion people in just two years, depending on the size and number of detonations. “That possibility of destroying humanity is still here and real,” Diaz-Maurin says. Death by ecological contamination or the climate emergency would be slower but still within the realm of possibility. Already humans are facing health stressors from chronic pollution that have been exacerbated by the additional heat brought by climate change, says Maureen Lichtveld, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. Hotter temperatures force people to breathe more rapidly to dispel warmth, which draws more pollution into their lungs. The climate emergency also deepens existing problems around food security —for instance, persistent drought can devastate cropland—and infectious disease. “The interconnectedness of climate change and health inequities and inequities in general is what is impacting our global population,” Lichtveld says. The Perfect Storm Will these inequities eventually lead to a species-wide downfall? It’s not easy to calculate the likelihood that, say, the climate emergency will kill us all, says Luke Kemp, a research associate at the Center for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge. But it’s probably not realistic to consider risks individually anyway, Kemp says. “When we look at the history of things like mass extinctions and societal collapses, it’s never just one thing that happens,” Kemp says. “If you’re trying to rely on a single silver bullet to kill everyone in a single event, you have to write sci-fi.” The end of humanity is far more likely to be brought about by multiple factors, Kemp says—a pileup of disasters. Though apocalyptic movies often turn to viruses, bacteria and fungi to wipe out huge swathes of population, a pandemic alone is unlikely to drive humanity to extinction simply because the immune system is a broad and effective defense, says Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. A pandemic could be devastating and lead to severe upheaval—the Black Death killed 30 to 50 percent of the population of Europe—but it’s unlikely that a pathogen would kill all of humanity, Adalja says. “Yes, an infectious disease could kill a lot of people,” he says, “but then you’re going to have a group that are resilient to it and survive.” Humans also have tools to fight back against a pathogen, from medical treatments to vaccines to the social-distancing measures that became familiar worldwide during the COVID pandemic, Adalja says. There is one example of a mammalian species that may have been entirely wiped out by an infectious disease, he says: the Christmas Island rat ( Rattus macleari ), also called Maclear’s rat, an endemic island species that may have gone extinct because of the introduction of a parasite, “We are not helpless like the Christmas Island rat who couldn’t get away from that island,” Adalja says. “We have the ability to change our fate.” If infectious disease contributes to the downfall of humanity, it’s likely to be as just one piece of a larger puzzle. Imagine a world pushed to upheaval by sea-level rise and disruption to agriculture from climate change. The humans of this climate-ravaged world attempt a geoengineering solution that goes wrong. The situation worsens. Resources are scarce, and a bunch of countries have nuclear weapons. Oh, by the way, the mosquitos that carry yellow fever now range as far north as Canada in this scenario. It’s not hard to see how the human population could decline and disappear in the face of an arsenal of challenges, according to Kemp. Worst-case scenarios are understudied, Kemp says. In climate science, for example, there is a lot of research into what the world might look like at two or three degrees Celsius warmer than the preindustrial average but very little looking at what an increase of five or six degrees C might look like. This is partly because scientists have a hard time predicting the effects of that much warming and partially because climate scientists feel pressure from politicians not to appear alarmist, Kemp says. Models of future worst-case scenarios also tend to do an inadequate job of predicting the cascading effects of a disaster. “The general field of existential risk is relatively new, nascent and just understudied,” he says. There are questions as to how much humans should worry about something as big-picture as extinction. While some see the question as pressing—controversial tech billionaires such as Elon Musk and Peter Thiel have funded organizations dedicated to studying the risks of transformative technologies —others argue that today’s problems are urgent enough. Already humans are heating the globe, overexploiting and destroying nature, using land and water unsustainably and creating chemicals that are harmful to all life, often in service to the globally well-off, says Sarah Cornell, who studies global sustainability at the Stockholm Resilience Center at Stockholm University. “Today’s reality is that some human beings are undermining or even destroying living conditions of many, many other people,” Cornell says. “From a human-scale perspective, this is an existential crisis already, not a risk somewhere up ahead.”
How much longer can Earth support life?
Conjectured illustration of the scorched Earth after the Sun has entered the red giant phase, about 5–7 billion years from now The biological and geological future of Earth can be extrapolated based on the estimated effects of several long-term influences.
These include the chemistry at Earth ‘s surface, the cooling rate of the planet’s interior, the gravitational interactions with other objects in the Solar System, and a steady increase in the Sun’s luminosity, An uncertain factor is the pervasive influence of technology introduced by humans, such as climate engineering, which could cause significant changes to the planet.
For example, the current Holocene extinction is being caused by technology, and the effects may last for up to five million years. In turn, technology may result in the extinction of humanity, leaving the planet to gradually return to a slower evolutionary pace resulting solely from long-term natural processes.
- Over time intervals of hundreds of millions of years, random celestial events pose a global risk to the biosphere, which can result in mass extinctions,
- These include impacts by comets or asteroids and the possibility of a near-Earth supernova —a massive stellar explosion within a 100- light-year (31- parsec ) radius of the Sun.
Other large-scale geological events are more predictable. Milankovitch’s theory predicts that the planet will continue to undergo glacial periods at least until the Quaternary glaciation comes to an end. These periods are caused by the variations in eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of Earth’s orbit.
- As part of the ongoing supercontinent cycle, plate tectonics will probably result in a supercontinent in 250–350 million years.
- Sometime in the next 1.5–4.5 billion years, Earth’s axial tilt may begin to undergo chaotic variations, with changes in the axial tilt of up to 90°.
- The luminosity of the Sun will steadily increase, resulting in a rise in the solar radiation reaching Earth, resulting in a higher rate of weathering of silicate minerals, affecting the carbonate–silicate cycle, which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
In about 600 million years from now, the level of carbon dioxide will fall below the level needed to sustain C 3 carbon fixation photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C 4 carbon fixation method to persist at carbon dioxide concentrations as low as ten parts per million.
However, the long-term trend is for plant life to die off altogether. The extinction of plants will be the demise of almost all animal life since plants are the base of much of the animal food chain on Earth. In about one billion years, the solar luminosity will be 10% higher, causing the atmosphere to become a “moist greenhouse”, resulting in a runaway evaporation of the oceans.
As a likely consequence, plate tectonics and the entire carbon cycle will end. Following this event, in about 2–3 billion years, the planet’s magnetic dynamo may cease, causing the magnetosphere to decay and leading to an accelerated loss of volatiles from the outer atmosphere.
Can Mars support life?
The search for life beyond Earth is a core motivation of many missions to explore the Red Planet and in this new video, a NASA scientist takes a close look at the question driving it all: Is there life on Mars? NASA has a number of missions in operation at the surface of Mars that are intensely engaged in the search for traces of life.
Primary among these missions are the rovers Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012, and Perseverance which set down on the Martian surface in 2021. The latter of these has been collecting cores from rocks from the Jezero Crater where minuscule traces of life may have been trapped. “We’re just now getting instruments onto the Martian surface that can help us understand these potentially habitable places and we can ask deeper questions about the potential for habitability in those rock cores,” Heather Graham, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in the 1-minute video released on Dec.28,
“We’ve been looking for life on Mars for a long time.” Related: How Mars microbes could survive in the salty puddles of the Red Planet NASA’s Perseverance rover, seen here with its small helicopter Ingenuity in the background in a selfie, is collecting samples of Mars for eventual return to Earth. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS) NASA scientist Heather Graham is an organic geochemist and research associate based at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland who studies the connections beween biotic and abiotic systems. Her research focuses on “agnostic biosignatures,” which NASA describes as evidence of living systems that may not share commonalities with life on Earth.
Graham’s research has focused on the development of tools and techniques that can help us identify evidence of living systems that may have biochemistry different than life on Earth, also known as “agnostic biosignatures.” As they investigate Mars and aim to study other solar system planets for traces of life, scientists need detection methods that suppose a common heritage with life on Earth.
These methods could also help scientists understand life deep within the Earth where life could be very different than that at the surface of the planet as a result of following different evolutionary lines for billions of years. “And while NASA hasn’t found any evidence of life now, we’ve found lots of evidence that Mars could have supported life in the past,” Graham explained.
“There are lots of pieces of evidence that say there was once a huge ocean on Mars and an atmosphere that could have supported life.” One of the most important lines of evidence that suggest Mars could have once supported life is the fact that the now dry and arid planet once harbored an abundance of water, a key ingredient for life.
The fact that the 45-kilometer-wide (28-mile-wide) Jezero Crater was once flooded with water and was home to an ancient river delta is the reason NASA chose it as the landing area for the Perseverance rover. Around 4 billion years ago the river channels in Jezero spilled over the crater walls creating a lake, also filling it with clay minerals from the surrounding area. This illustration sows what Jezero Crater on Mars may have once looked like in the ancient past when it was covered in water. The region is a dried up delta now. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) On Earth, our magnetic field stops harmful radiation from stripping away the atmosphere and protects life on the planet’s surface.
- Mars is believed to have lost its water when it lost its magnetic field around 4 billion years ago.
- Without an atmosphere, there was nothing to prevent Mars’ water from evaporating and then being lost to space.
- This radiation also made the existence of life at the surface of Mars unfeasible.
- Yet, there is a chance that liquid water could still exist beneath the surface of the planet and thus Graham thinks that if life still exists on Mars it would also be beneath the planet’s outer layers.
The advantage of a subsurface dwelling would be layers of rock and soil providing protection from harmful solar radiation once delivered by the Red Planet’s magnetic field. “There are places that are potentially habitable, like the deep subsurface. There are places underground that could have fluids in them or organisms could live, and they’d be protected from the radiation that’s so harmful on the surface,” Graham explained.
- So is there life on Mars? Not that we’ve found yet, but there’s still a lot of Mars left to explore.” Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook,
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What is 0.24% of the world population?
Kazakhstan population is equivalent to 0.24% of the total world population. Kazakhstan ranks number 66 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population. The population density in Kazakhstan is 7 per Km 2 (19 people per mi 2 ).
What will the population be in 2300?
Population models generally don’t extend beyond 2100 because high uncertainty makes it very difficult to project demographic trends far into the future. An interesting recent study, however, uses sophisticated models to provide a rough idea of what our far-future population might look like.
What will happen in 2100?
Climate: Adapt Until We Change – Getty Images In 2023, our planet is in trouble. Two centuries of fossil fuels have led to multiple environmental concerns that we are only now beginning to understand. By 2100, the world’s sea level is predicted to rise anywhere between one foot to 12 feet, putting billions of people at risk.
- Despite these dire warnings and well-founded fears, humans have always had a knack for adaptation.
- First is solving the biggest problem—pollution.
- If fossil fuels are no longer around, then what will be powering our world in 2100? Hydro, electric, and wind are all obvious choices, but solar and fusion tech may prove the most promising.
The classic joke about fusion energy is that widespread adoption is always just “20 years away” but private and government-funded projects are in mad pursuit of this carbon-free energy source that would effectively create the “perfect battery.” But capturing the Sun’s rays is only the first step, we still need to figure out a way to store it.
But if fusion remains out of reach, we’ve always got the Sun, Although solar is already an important cog in any modern energy grid, in the year 2100, solar could play a much more central role. John Mankins, former chief technologist for NASA Human Exploration & Development of Space, explained that it will be “solar power satellites with long-range wireless power, delivering vast amounts of affordable solar energy to global markets” that will be cleanly powering our planet decades from now.
But capturing the Sun’s rays is only the first step, we still need to figure out a way to store it, By 2100, says disaster resilience expert and managing director at Deloitte Josh Sawislak, we very well could have solved this problem by making everything a solar power collector, from the paint on our house to the asphalt on the road.
- People will then store this energy in a small, portable solar power device about the size of a modern-day smartphone.
- I’ll have a small device that I could run my car on,” says Sawislak.
- The Sun’s energy will be so useful to the future humans, that carbon power will disappear—almost.
- Carbon-based power by 2100 will be like gas-lighting today,” says Sawislak.
“You are going to see it. just in places that are trying to be historic.” Getty Images While the large-scale manipulation of the atmosphere and environment remains controversial, many scientists think that it’s worth exploring if we want any hope of keeping Earth human-friendly. Although the idea of massive machines extracting pollution and pumping life-saving mixtures sounds great, that vision comes saddled with a lot of caveats.
- The big concern is catastrophic consequences by manipulating our atmosphere.
- In 2007, Harvard researchers concluded that geoengineering was just too risky right now —but what about in the 22nd century? What would such future technology look like? Maybe they’ll be fleets of large drones blanketing the upper atmosphere and emitting tons of extremely fine dust-like material into the sky above us? Or maybe it will be machines “that can efficiently remove greenhouse gases not only from point-sources, but also from the atmosphere on a large enough scale to halt and reverse global climate change,” says Lisa Alvarez-Cohen, professor of environmental engineering at Berkeley.
But we don’t have to wait for a new century for this kind of tech. In fact, it’s already in the works.