GEOG030 Chapter 3 Notes.docx

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GEOG 030
Petra Tschakert

Chapter 3: Human Population • 3 million years ago – first humans on Earth (Homo habilis) o used simple tools • At least a million years ago – humans (Homo erectus) expanding their populations through Europe and Asia • 1.3 million years ago - modern human species (Homo sapiens) appeared inAfrica and stayed there for many years • 40,000 - 50,000 years ago - Homo sapiens extended its population to Europe,Asia andAustralia • 13,000 years ago - The first humans known to live in the Western Hemisphere Agricultural Revolution • humans were able to capture only a small part of the ecosystem’s total biological production as food for their own consumption as hunters and gatherers o consumed about 0.1% of the biological production in the ecosystems in which they lived • This changed after theAgricultural Revolution, which enabled people to create their own small ecosystems for food production. o increased the percentage of the ecosystem’s biological production that was available for human consumption o the carrying capacity for humans increased • TheAgricultural Revolution started in the Middle East because that region had the most plants and animals suitable for domestication. • Any significant new improvement in agricultural technology generated a rapid increase in carrying capacity, and the human population of that region increased to the new carrying capacity over a period of centuries. • Population pressure = the stress of limited food supply o motivated people to develop additional improvements in agricultural technology, or adopt more productive agricultural practices from neighboring people o increased carrying capacity o population continued to increase – positive feedback loop of population and technology • “no free lunch” – the cost of more food is more work Industrial Revolution (18 Century) • Highly productive crops, which were previously restricted to particular regions of the world where they originated, were quickly spread around the world by European trade and colonialism, giving farmers an expanded ‘menu’ of highly productive crops from which to choose • accompanied by a scientific revolution and new agricultural technologies that increased agricultural
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