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  • Hey there, welcome to Life Noggin.

  • There are currently over 7 billion humans inhabiting the Earth and that value is increasing exponentially.

  • So that has a lot of people wondering including me: "How many people can the Earth even hold?”

  • It's estimated that, by the end of the century, the human population will be over 10 billion.

  • And scientists are unsure whether this will be sustainable or not.

  • To see why, let's start off by talking about my favorite subject: food.

  • If you were to take all the land being used to raise livestock and put it on one continent, it would take up all of Africa.

  • In fact, it would actually be greater than Africa--between 8 to 9 billion acres.

  • And if we did the same thing for crop production, it would take up an area about the size of South America.

  • But, after a while, the soil in these areas will degrade, meaning its fertility decreases.

  • And it erodes, rendering it useless for growing crops.

  • And not only that, but scientists are unsure if farmers could even maintain their current crop yields due to changes in the environment.

  • See, the global average of carbon dioxide emissions per person is about 5 metric tons per year.

  • But for Americans, that average is closer to 17 metric tons per year.

  • And remember, this is per person.

  • So, if we have about 3 billion more people living on this planet, and they all adopt a lifestyle similar to an American, the effects of global warming will be worsened even more.

  • In fact, it's projected that the temperature of the Earth will increase by 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century.

  • And with that increase comes more extreme weather conditions, which would inevitably disrupt food production.

  • So yeah, you know, not good.

  • Now, this can be partially remedied by everyone adopting a vegetarian diet, and reclaiming the land to grow more crops instead of raising livestock.

  • But the crops won't be enough to feed an infinite number of people.

  • In fact, some scientists predict that it would only be enough to feed 10 billion people.

  • And more than likely, most people won't switch to a vegetarian diet.

  • After all, bacon is a beautiful thing that exists.

  • And bacon on pizza, oh my God.

  • But what about the amount of available water?

  • Humans are currently using up about 30 percent of the Earth's accessible renewable water supply, with the rest being used for agriculture.

  • And the water available to some people in countries like Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Haiti isn't even clean enough to drink.

  • So, the amount reaching humans would have to increase with an increasing population.

  • So, to answer the original question: the Earth may be able to hold a large number of people, perhaps even over 10 billion.

  • But the quality of those people's lives would be much different than they are right now.

  • So how many humans do you think the Earth can hold?

  • Or do you think we're already there?

  • Let me know in the comments below.

  • Make sure you come back every Monday for a brand new video.

  • As always, I'm Blocko and this has been Life Noggin.

  • Don't forget to keep on thinking!

Hey there, welcome to Life Noggin.

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How Many People Can The Earth Hold?

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    Cindy Lin posted on 2020/08/21
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