This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

Population Growth

Population growth

The course of the growth of human numbers is well known. This world-wide, long-timescale graphic conceals a number of variations which need explanations. For example, there have been times of slow growth or even negative growth: hunter-gatherer populations grow very slowly; world pandemics like the Black Death of the 14th century, or the introduction of European diseases into Latin America with the Spanish and Portuguese conquests decimated native populations; some European nations are in the early 21st century declining a little. The effect of HIV/AIDS is to slow growth rates but not as yet put them into reverse. But the overall story is one of inexorable rise. There seems to have been a take-off in the 16th–17th centuries, possibly due to better nutrition ...

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