Human Geography: Earth in Peril

In this interactive, world maps reveal the human footprint on Earth’s water, air, climate, forests, and animal habitats. Examine geographical connections between population growth and environmental degradation across the globe.

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  1. Cities: By 2030, what percentage of the global population will live in cities?  How will this impact the environment?
  2. Water: What percentage of the earth is covered in water? What percentage is “drinking water”? What do experts recommend we do?
  3. How do consumption and rapid population growth affect our planet’s natural resources?
    1. Growth: What is the estimated population in 2050? Where will 98% of the growth occur?
  4. Air: How much as carbon dioxide emissions increased in the last 200 years? Who are the biggest polluters (which countries?)
  5. Climate: Over the next 100 years, what will happen to the earth’s temperature? Why? What could happen to cooler areas?
  6. Forests: What are frontier forests? Modified forests? What percentage of the world’s remaining forests are endangered?
  7. Land: What is causing agricultural topsoil to diminish? What percentage of the land is used for housing? Farming and forestry? Pasture areas?
  8. Habitats: The coral reefs are home to ___% of sea life? What is coral reef bleeching a sign of, and what is the end result?

This feature originally appeared on the site for the NOVA program World in the Balance.

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