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Human population reduction is not a quick fix for environmental problems

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, October 2014
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Citations

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73 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
450 Mendeley
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3 CiteULike
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Title
Human population reduction is not a quick fix for environmental problems
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, October 2014
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1410465111
Pubmed ID
Authors

Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Barry W. Brook

Abstract

The inexorable demographic momentum of the global human population is rapidly eroding Earth's life-support system. There are consequently more frequent calls to address environmental problems by advocating further reductions in human fertility. To examine how quickly this could lead to a smaller human population, we used scenario-based matrix modeling to project the global population to the year 2100. Assuming a continuation of current trends in mortality reduction, even a rapid transition to a worldwide one-child policy leads to a population similar to today's by 2100. Even a catastrophic mass mortality event of 2 billion deaths over a hypothetical 5-y window in the mid-21(st) century would still yield around 8.5 billion people by 2100. In the absence of catastrophe or large fertility reductions (to fewer than two children per female worldwide), the greatest threats to ecosystems--as measured by regional projections within the 35 global Biodiversity Hotspots--indicate that Africa and South Asia will experience the greatest human pressures on future ecosystems. Humanity's large demographic momentum means that there are no easy policy levers to change the size of the human population substantially over coming decades, short of extreme and rapid reductions in female fertility; it will take centuries, and the long-term target remains unclear. However, some reduction could be achieved by midcentury and lead to hundreds of millions fewer people to feed. More immediate results for sustainability would emerge from policies and technologies that reverse rising consumption of natural resources.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 323 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 450 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 5 1%
United Kingdom 4 <1%
Sweden 3 <1%
Brazil 3 <1%
Germany 2 <1%
Australia 2 <1%
Switzerland 2 <1%
Netherlands 2 <1%
Italy 2 <1%
Other 10 2%
Unknown 415 92%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 100 22%
Researcher 84 19%
Student > Master 76 17%
Student > Bachelor 54 12%
Student > Postgraduate 21 5%
Other 78 17%
Unknown 37 8%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 138 31%
Environmental Science 111 25%
Social Sciences 35 8%
Engineering 15 3%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 14 3%
Other 81 18%
Unknown 56 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 867. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 22 October 2020.
All research outputs
#8,837
of 16,088,037 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#320
of 86,586 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#87
of 234,834 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#2
of 934 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,088,037 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 86,586 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 29.0. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 234,834 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 934 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.