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Carrying capacity


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Basic carrying capacity presentation, with key definitions and examples. Data are always changing on carrying capacity estimates. This uses data that is about 8 years old, but it is useful if you explain this to your students from the start.

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Carrying capacity

  1. 1. Carrying Capacity"The maximum number of individuals of a"The maximum number of individuals of agiven species that can be supported….given species that can be supported….on a sustainable basis. "on a sustainable basis. "
  2. 2. In population ecology….….. the carrying capacity is thepopulation size at which the populationgrowth rate equals zero.
  3. 3. What is the Carrying Capacity of Earth2 billion or 40 billion?Some scientists say 2 billion others say 40 billion!When scientists say that the carrying capacity of theEarth is 2 billion, the scientists know we have 6.9billion already…. So what’s up???
  4. 4. What the scientistsWhat the scientistsare really sayingare really sayingis, that…, that…..…….if you add up all the supplies in the world,.if you add up all the supplies in the world,and divide them up according to the amountand divide them up according to the amountthat a typical American uses,that a typical American uses,then there is only enough for 2 billion peoplethen there is only enough for 2 billion people..
  5. 5. We have almost 7 billion people…!… so the amount of fuel, water, electricity, just not enough to go around.Some people are left out.We know this is the case because, only about1.2 billion people live in higher developedcountries while the other 4.8 billion peoplehave to make do with less.
  6. 6. When some scientists say the carrying capacityof Earth is 40 billion, they are saying that…….IF the richer people give up all their luxuriessuch as cars, electricity, education, cleanwater, meat etc.That would allow us to provide minimumamounts of supplies to a much larger numberof people.
  7. 7. In fact, scientists sayIn fact, scientists say,,we could provide minimum supplies towe could provide minimum supplies to40 billion people40 billion peopleIFIF no oneno one lived a luxury modern life stylelived a luxury modern life stylelike the average Americans of 2001like the average Americans of 2001.