The future looks bright for humanity.
It may be a time when we can expect to have more people on Earth, but it may also be a period of rapid population decline.
According to new projections from a leading international think tank, population will grow at its slowest pace in nearly three decades, and we’re likely to reach the tipping point.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) expects that population will drop to 9.3 billion by 2060, a level that would be roughly twice as high as in the mid-1980s.
“We’re approaching a tipping point,” said Peter Gleick, the director of UNFPA, speaking at the World Population Summit in Jakarta.
He said it’s likely that by the end of the century we will have about 5.6 billion people.
That’s a rate of growth of 1.7% per year, which is roughly what you’d expect for a population of that size.
The slowest rate of population growth was in the late 1980s, at just 0.2%.
Population growth, however, is not a linear process.
We can expect more births, fewer deaths, and more children to the population, Gleick said.
If the population continues to grow rapidly, we could be heading for a mass extinction event.
“The world is entering a tipping-point phase,” Gleick told attendees at the event.
As we continue to have population growth, we are likely to witness mass extinctions, Gleik said.
“You might see a mass extinction,” he said, “and you might also see an extinction event.”
What are we looking at?
Global population growth is the fastest on record.
It’s expected to be nearly 10% higher in 2060 than it is today, according to the UNF, which projects that global population will be 6.9 billion by then.
That means that the world is currently growing at a rate faster than the planet’s oceans, the atmosphere, and the sun.
This is happening at a time where humanity is facing major challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, conflict, and poverty.
The UNF has a wide range of projections of what the world will look like by the year 2100.
But the most dramatic prediction is a 1.8% global growth rate, according a study published earlier this year by the University of Oxford.
That was based on the latest data from the United Nations, which also showed that human population is growing faster than at any point in the last 40 years.
This means that we are headed for a global population of 7.7 billion by 2100.
This number is likely to rise as global populations expand and people leave the planet, said Peter Pomerantz, a senior scientist at the UN and co-author of the Oxford study.
Pomeranthes is also the director general of the UN’s Population Division.
He told Axios that the rate of world population growth will be higher than the world’s oceans.
He believes that global warming is also likely to accelerate the rate at which we grow.
“There are more warming events in the oceans,” he explained.
“They’re getting hotter, and that has an impact on the oceans.”
Pomerantly, we’re now on track to see a massive mass extinction of species.
Pomersantz said that it is possible that this could happen in just a few generations, but that it could be several centuries.
“If we have a lot of mass extirpations and people don’t want to come back, that could lead to a massive population loss,” he told Axos.
The current rate of global population growth could be accelerating, and it could also accelerate the extinction of some species, which are threatened with extinction by humans.
“These are all the things that we’re trying to keep in mind,” Pomerants said.
The worst case scenario would see a rapid population crash, he said.
He also pointed out that it’s not as if we’re in a perfect world.
“Some species are not going to survive, and others might not survive,” he added.
What we can do?
We have a big plan for the world to meet the challenges that we face, including adapting to a changing climate, adapting to more extreme weather events, and dealing with the issues of climate change.
We have some great ideas, said Gleick.
We’re going to have to change our thinking in terms of what we’re looking for in our world, and what we value, Gleid said.
We also need to work together to get the job done.
“When we talk about the future, we need to think about how we can get there,” he continued.
“It’s not about me, it’s about you, and how we get there.”
The UN has set the goal of having 1.2 billion people by the middle of the next century.
“This is going to be the most ambitious development in the history of mankind,” said Pomerannes.
But we need help.