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Future Human Population Growth

The Green Revolution allowed population to grow extremely large; growth in the future may depend on new advances.

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Earth without People

Earth without People

Credit: Martijn.Munneke
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/martijnmunneke/2852580681
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

The towns around Chernobyl, like Pripyat, were abandoned after the nuclear disaster in 1986. What would happen to the rest of the built world if humans disappeared?

Amazing But True!

Credit: Original uploader was Kadams1970 at en.wikipedia
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pripyat01.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Abandoned town of Pripyat in northern Ukraine [Figure2]

  • Earth would be quieter without people. The energy-driven motors would cease to work and make noise.
  • Things would not be at all like they are now. The built world humans have created would slowly disintegrate. Today, the attention humans give to man-made systems and natural enviornments allows for preservation.
  • Things would not be at all like the way they were before Europeans arrived.
  • A new normal would appear with a new set of ecosystems and natural ways to deal with pollution, or avoid it.

Show What You Know

With the link below, learn more about a world without people. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Why does it seem like people have spent the past two hundred years keeping water out of New York?
  2. What would erosion do over time?
  3. What changes would be seen in the animals in New York from what is seen now? How would animals be different from what was seen before people of European descent came into the area?
  4. What would happen to the pollution, toxic waste and nuclear power plants?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Martijn.Munneke; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/martijnmunneke/2852580681; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Original uploader was Kadams1970 at en.wikipedia; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pripyat01.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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