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Population Connection


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Type

  • Presentation Slides

Regional Focus




Human Impacts on the Environment

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  • This slide presentation thoroughly describes the impact of the human population on the environment, especially related to anthropogenic climate change. 
  • The slides provide basics about the carbon cycle, findings from recent climate reports, and graphs to demonstrate the role of various countries and industries in greenhouse gas emissions over time. 
  • The slides show how population growth, land use, and climate change are intricately linked, and include information on biodiversity loss, deforestation, and renewable energy.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource is incredibly comprehensive in describing how climate change and human interactions with the environment are linked. 
  • Reputable resources are linked throughout the report, providing evidence in the form of data and graphs to illustrate various issues related to climate change.
  • This serves as a great opportunity for students to practice their scientific literacy.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Learners should understand that burning fossil fuels leads to the emission of greenhouse gases, which cause climate change.
  • Reading line graphs and bar charts is a necessary skill to understand the evidence presented in these slides.
  • Learners should be familiar with ecological vocabulary such as ecosystem, restoration, deforestation, renewable energy, etc. 


  • As this resource is very large and comprehensive it will most likely need to be used in different sections throughout a longer unit or course. Consider using some of the information and sources in the slides as a jumping off point to learn about different topics such as agriculture's impact on climate change, deforestation, renewable energy, or human impacts from fossil fuel usage.
  • Social studies and history classrooms could use the information in these slides to begin to examine the impact of human population growth on the environment over time.  There are also many connections that could be drawn to gender equity and access to reproductive healthcare.
  • Consider having students process the information in this resource by dividing different topics presented between groups and having them present on what they learn through reading and further research on their topic.
  • This could serve as an excellent resource for a class working on research papers related to climate change.
  • Additional resources related to human population growth include Anthropocene: Human Impact on the Environment and this video about human population growth.
Scientist Notes
In a changing climate, this resource investigates the connection between population expansion and food security. There are no erroneous scientific assumptions and it is well-sourced. The information on pages 37 and 40 is accurate, but it seems dated and needs updating. The resource is most strongly advised for use in the classroom.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.9-12.12 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • Geography 1 (D2): Students understand the geography of the United States and various regions of the world and the effect of geographic influences on decisions about the present and future by using inquiry to predict and evaluate consequences of geographic influences.
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