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Q: How do climate and population affect one another?

A: Rapid population growth exacerbates vulnerability to the negative consequences of climate change, and exposes growing numbers of people to climate risk. Population growth is also one of the drivers of the growth of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. More at Population Action International

A: The world’s population doubled in the past 50 years and is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, ( according to the United Nations. “Every single person on the planet should have the knowledge and ability to choose for themselves if and when they want to have children and how many, says Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director for the Center for Biological Diversity. More at MPR news

A: More people means more demand for oil, gas, coal and other fuels mined or drilled from below the Earth’s surface that, when burned, spew enough carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere to trap warm air inside like a greenhouse. According to the United Nations Population Fund, human population grew from 1.6 billion to 6.1 billion people during the course of the 20th century. (Think about it: It took all of time for population to reach 1.6 billion; then it shot to 6.1 billion over just 100 years.) During that time emissions of CO2, the leading greenhouse gas, grew 12-fold. More at Scientific American