by LiveScience Staff
The human population is exploding. Earlier this year, the United Nations released a new report that said the global population was on pace to reach 11 billion people by the end of the century — a full 800 million more people than were expected by 2100 (with a range between 9 million and 13 million), and a whopping 4 billion more than call Earth home today. The bump in the predicted number was made in part because birthrates in sub-Saharan Africa are not dropping as fast as predicted.
All of those people mean a lot of extra mouths to feed, more strain on water supplies, a lot more trash and human waste to put somewhere and an increased threat of a major deadly global pandemic, among other problems.
As part of a weeklong series, LiveScience is taking a look at what impact a population of 11 billion might have on our Pale Blue Dot, and in what ways humans might need to adapt. The series explores food security, water security, climate change, Earth's animals, disease outbreaks, sanitation and space travel.
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