What is the theoretical maximum sustainable population limit.

I would like to know what the upper limit on human population could be based only on the theoretical calculations of human consumption and ability to supply that consumption using only terrestrial means.

4

Answers


  1. 0 Votes

    Carrying capacity is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely – given food, habitat, water, and other necessities avialable in the environment.  In population biology, carrying capacity is defined as the environment’s maximal load – which is different from the concept of population equilibrium.  For some species that may include insufficient space, or even sunlight. 

    For humans – there are more complexities, such as sanitation or medical care and yes technology is an important factor that enters into the dynamics of carrying capacity.  Agriculture, fossil fuels have artificially increased the carrying capacity of the world as have land reclamation, green houses and fish farming etc.

    In theory based on your question, without any technological interventions, I believe that we would have already surpassed our carrying capacity as a species.

  2. 0 Votes

    There are a lot of different estimates from different sources, but the largest estimate is around one trillion human beings. More common, and more sensable guesses usually hover around four to sixteen billion, meaning we very well may be way over capacity already. The median of all current expert estimations is ten billion, however, a number we are expected to reach by 2050.

  3. 0 Votes

    Various theories on this matter exist, however, the general consensus is that the current human population of 7 billion surpasses the sustainable limit.  The amount of people the Earth can provide for is based on how many natural resources are available to each person.  At the rate of the European standard of living (taking into account that people of developing countries would use less resources and Americans use more), there are about enough natural resources to provide for 2 billion people.  Keeping this standard of living in mind, people generally use about 50% more resources than the Earth can provide, a rate of consumption that is no longer sustainable.

  4. 0 Votes

    We are already over the sustainable population limit.

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