Running out of food
With the world population growing by the second, can we survive with the resources on planet Earth?
Monday, January 24, 2011 - 20:07
Finite resources, such as water and food, are a major concern in the upcoming years. One billion people on Earth are struggling with hunger. The number of hungry people is expected to increase in the coming years due to the rapid population growth.
Global population has surged in the last decade and has triggered major concerns in regards to our natural resources. The growth in population has led to the clearing of 80 percent of rain forests, the increase in carbon emissions and the loss of wildlife. As the population continues to increase from 6.5 billion people to an estimated 9.4 billion in 2050, scientists are voicing concerns about water-stressed and water-scarce conditions. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) emphasizes that a country's ability to feed itself depends on three factors: availability of arable land, accessible water and population pressures. Not all countries can meet these standards and FAO believes that trade will play a big part in the future.
Scientists can increase food production by 70 percent by 2050, but the problem will be whether the hungry will actually receive the food that is produced, especially at a reasonable price. Climate change may create a problem for food distribution. The weather and the climate in 50 years could change dramatically in different areas of the world. The green revolution of the 1960s and '70s curved the hunger problem, but created environmental problems. The use of chemical fertilizers and heavy irrigation resulted in the degradation of the land and soil. Will the same problems persist in the upcoming years?
International trade will play a vital role in feeding the world's population. The FAO expects that a greater number of people in developing countries will remain hungry and environmental problems due to agriculture will grow more serious. Many will focus on the breadbasket states in America, such as Iowa, to supply food all around the world. Iowa may play a major role in food production for the world in the coming years.
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