In the Ecological Footprint Analysis, the issue of the carrying capacity of the Earth is an important one. Let’s first discuss the definition of the carrying capacity of the earth and then we will estimate what the carrying capacity of the earth is.
What is the meaning or definition of carrying capacity of the earth?
The carrying capacity of the earth is the supportable population, given the food, habitat, water and other necessities available within the earth. Imagine the earth as a giant ecosystem, the carrying capacity of the earth is carrying capacity of the earth’s ecosystem or the natural resources needed to sustain the same standard of living. There are many factors that need to be taken into account when estimating the carrying capacity of earth such as medical care.
Carrying capacity of earth with population growth
One of the biggest problem in the increase of Ecological Footprinting is the population growth. When there are more mouths to feed, you need more food, more air, more sunlight, more water, and more everything. So, the question of the carrying capacity of the earth become, how many people can the earth actually support and sustain the same standard of living?
The problem is that the Earth’s total area of biologically productive land and fresh water sources (i.e. the carrying capacity of the earth) is finite. These resources need to be shared among a growing population. In some countries, an average person uses a lot more of the earth’s natural resources than others. Usually the more developed a country is, the more resources its people use.