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Science. 1995 Jul 21;269(5222):341-6.

Population growth and earth's human carrying capacity.

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Laboratory of Populations, Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Earth's capacity to support people is determined both by natural constraints and by human choices concerning economics, environment, culture (including values and politics), and demography. Human carrying capacity is therefore dynamic and uncertain. Human choice is not captured by ecological notions of carrying capacity that are appropriate for nonhuman populations. Simple mathematical models of the relation between human population growth and human carrying capacity can account for faster-than-exponential population growth followed by a slowing population growth rate, as observed in recent human history.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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