Human Population Growth Could Cause Extinction of Many Birds and Mammals In Next 40 Years
By Sam Goodwin | Jun 20, 2013 04:11 AM EDT
The rapid growth of human population could lead to the extinction of many birds and mammals within the next 40 years, state researchers from the Ohio State University.
Earlier this month, the United Nations released a report predicting that the human population will increase by 1 million over the next 12 years and will reach 9.6 billion by 2050 and could reach 11 billion by 2100. This growing population could lead to the extinction of many birds and mammals within the next 40 years, state researchers from The Ohio State University in a press release after conducting a thorough research.
Though growth in population is predicted mostly in developing countries, the United States has been ranked sixth in the world in terms of new species expected to be threatened by 2050. The study says that the world can see a rise of 3.3 per cent in the number of threatened species, which can go up to 10.8 by 2050 including extinction.
Previous studies have been conducted on how the growing human population poses a serious threat to many birds and mammal species; this is the first study that links this growth to the extinction of such species.
For the study, researchers used a model that had earlier been used based on 2000 data to predict the effect of population growth on species and their future existence. The predictions were published in 2004. In 2010, the predictions were confirmed to be accurate and the effectiveness of the model was guaranteed. The same model was used containing data on 114 countries, to extend their predictions to the middle of this century.
“Our projection is based on human population density alone. It doesn’t take into account climate change, industrialization or wars,” said Jeffrey McKee, professor of anthropology at Ohio State and lead author of the study. “So the actual numbers that we predict for 2050 will be very different because everything we do will exacerbate the problem.”
Researchers also stated that the top country predicted with new species threats by the middle of the century is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where more than 20 species might face extinction in that time frame.
Apart from these predictions, the model also predicted that countries expected to witness a decline in human population growth will also experience an average reduction in threatened species, as much as 2.5 percent.
The findings are published in the journal Human Ecology.