The world's population is forecast to hit 7 billion in 2011, the vast majority of its growth coming in developing and, in many cases, the poorest nations.
The world population is the total number of living humans on Earth. As of today, it is estimated to number 7.123 billion by the United States Census Bureau (USCB). The USCB estimates that the world population exceeded 7 billion on March 12, 2012. According to a separate estimate by the United Nations Population Fund, it reached this milestone on October 31, 2011.
The world population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine and the Black Death in 1350, when it stood at around 370 million. The highest rates of growth – global population increases above 1.8% per year – were seen briefly during the 1950s, and for a longer period during the 1960s and 1970s. The growth rate peaked at 2.2% in 1963, then declined to below 1.1% by 2012. Total annual births were highest in the late 1980s at about 138 million, and are now expected to remain essentially constant at their 2011 level of 134 million, while deaths number 56 million per year, and are expected to increase to 80 million per year by 2040.
Human geography is one of the two major sub-fields of the discipline of geography. Human geography is a branch of the social sciences that studies the world, its people, communities and cultures with an emphasis on relations of and across space and place. Human geography differs from physical geography mainly in that it has a greater focus on studying human activities and is more receptive to qualitative research methodologies. As a discipline, human geography is particularly diverse with respect to its methods and theoretical approaches to study.
Geographical knowledge, both physical and social, has a long history. In the history of geography, geographers have often recorded and described features of the Earth that might now be considered the remit of human, rather than physical, geographers. For example Hecataeus of Miletus, a geographer and historian in ancient Greece, described inhabitants of the ancient world as well as physical features.
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Environmental science is a multidisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, (including but not limited to ecology, physics, chemistry, zoology, mineralogy, oceanology, limnology, soil science, geology, atmospheric science, and geography) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems. Environmental science provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems.
Related areas of study include environmental studies and environmental engineering. Environmental studies incorporates more of the social sciences for understanding human relationships, perceptions and policies towards the environment. Environmental engineering focuses on design and technology for improving environmental quality in every aspect. Environmental scientists work on subjects like the understanding of earth processes, evaluating alternative energy systems, pollution control and mitigation, natural resource management, and the effects of global climate change. Environmental issues almost always include an interaction of physical, chemical, and biological processes. Environmental scientists bring a systems approach to the analysis of environmental problems. Key elements of an effective environmental scientist include the ability to relate space, and time relationships as well as quantitative analysis.