Numbers and the Future

Our world population at the moment is at 7.3 billion people, but this number is ever increasing.

According to the United Nations (UN), this number is expected to reach 11 billion by 2100. WORLDIn our current situation, our energy usage stands at 524.076 quadrillion British thermal units (btu’s), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. We can’t one hundred percent accurately predict what our energy usage will be in 84 years; even the above graph shows how the truth could vary from our predictions with varying lines of future population growth. However, there are closer predictions that I think are easier to grasp because they are in our near future. It’s hard to grasp a future number that I most likely won’t be around for, but using a date like 2035 seems more graspable. According to the UN, by 2035 global energy consumption will increase 50 percent.

Finding this statistic, I found it interesting how the UN connected this number to water usage. They state that with the 50 percent global energy increase there will be an 85 percent increase in water usage. An increase in population means an increase in agriculture meaning more water needs to be used for this purpose (according to the UN, a 19 percent increase by 2050). Energy requires water in order to be produced so as energy usage increases water usage increases. But there is a finite amount of water on the planet and only one percent of that is fresh water.Our water supply and usage is negatively affected by rising sea levels caused by global warming.

ScenarioSLRGraph

Sea levels are projected to rise one to four feet globally by 2100. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if sea levels rose 2 feet globally by 2100, levels in New York would rise 2.3 feet. New York would not be the only city effected; all coastal cities would be drastically changed. This trail I went on from population to sea level showed me just how interconnected all of these problems are. Any increase in any aspect of life on earth will affect another aspect; no change is isolated.