This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Is It Hot Enough For You? We're Setting Global Heat Records

The news came out today that 2015 was the hottest year on earth since records have been kept, going back to the 1880s. Everyone has the story, with CNN noting the following:
Last year was the Earth's warmest since record-keeping began in 1880, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA said Wednesday.
It's been clear for quite some time that 2015 would steal the distinction of the hottest year from 2014, with 10 out of the 12 months last year being the warmest respective months on record -- and those records go back 136 years.
The map below from BBC News shows the places on earth where the heat records have been shattered--this is not some isolated event.

The proximate cause is of course our dramatic increase in the use of carbon fuels, but that is inextricably linked with population growth. Future sustainability obviously requires that we bring a halt to population growth and reverse the trend of carbon fuel use. In both cases, the sooner, the better.

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