Effects of overpopulation on the environment
Depletion of Natural Resources
The human population keeps increasing, exhaustible natural resources such as arable land, coral reefs, freshwater, fossil fuels, and forests continue to drop sharply.
This creates competitive demand for vital life-sustaining resources and contributes to an incredible decline in the quality of life.
Accelerated Habitat Loss
Overpopulation will increase the loss of ecosystems such as Wetlands, Wildlife, Rain forest, coral reefs, aquatic life forms, and grasslands.
Ex: Once 14% of the entire earth is covered with rain forest now it is only 6%.30% of ocean reefs are lost since 1980 due to acidification and global warming. More than half the original wetlands have been lost.
Amplified Climate Change and Global Warming – The more the number of people, the more the number of vehicles and industries would be. Furthermore, more population tends to increase the use of energy sources such as coal and firewood which contributes to increased greenhouse gas emissions.
Hence, because of the accumulation of human-generated greenhouse gases and carbon footprint in the atmosphere, the planet has continued to witness amplified global warming and climate change. The effects of climate change and global warming are resulting in extreme hunger, drought, flooding, and loss of habitat.
Loss of Biodiversity
Overpopulation has caused encroachment into frontier forests and destruction of natural ecosystems that have led to the mass extinction of species.
The number of threatened species persists to multiply in number whereas some have completely gone extinct. This is because of human activities such as acidifying water, overexploitation of natural resources, pollution, overfishing, poaching, and destruction of natural systems which are necessary for the survival of different species.
Decrease of fresh water
The unrelenting nature of overpopulation on the earth has destroyed most of the world’s fresh systems. Most of the lakes, streams, rivers, and groundwater making up freshwater have been polluted.
According to the global outlook of water resources, these activities influenced by overpopulation have only left less than 1% of the planet’s freshwater readily accessible for human utilization.
Water vulnerability is already affecting many overpopulated nations, especially in some developing countries, as the demands for water tend to be more than accessible water.
Millions of fish species from freshwater ecosystems are on the verge of extinction. Thus, as human inhabitants rise in number, so will the problem of quality freshwater accessibility.
Lower Life Expectancy and Diminished Quality of Life
Overpopulation lowers the standards of living since it creates stress on the vital resources for survival and increases the difficulty of accessing the consistent supply of quality food, water, energy, health, security, and shelter. Consequently, it makes the poor become poorer, and they often opt for poor living conditions to survive.
Eventually, it gives rise to lower life expectancy. The situation is serious in developing nations such as southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa where most of the poor populations submit to inadequate and poor diets.
Rise in Unemployment, Crime Rate, and Violence
In overpopulated nations, the available job is fewer than the overall job-seeking population. This contributes to high levels of unemployment.
In turn, lack of unemployment leads to elevated crime rates because of theft, drug cartels, and militia groups which are exploited as options for attaining basic resources and necessities such as food, good living standards, and wealth.
Violence and conflicts arise when people start competing for the available limited resources.
Increased Intensive Farming
As the population has grown over the years, farming practices have evolved to produce enough food to feed larger numbers of people.
However, intensive farming methods also cause damage to local ecosystems and the land, which may pose problems in the future.