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Thierry Roge

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The United Nations estimates that in one week, on October 31, 2011, the world's population will reach 7 billion. Just 200 years ago, there were only 1 billion people on the planet, and over the next 150 years, that number grew to 3 billion. But in the past 50 years, the world's population has more than doubled, and it is projected to grow to 15 billion by the year 2100. As the UN points out, this increasing rate of change brings with it enormous challenges. Meeting the basic needs of so many will meaning growing, shipping, and distributing more food while providing more clean water, health care, and shelter -- all without inflicting too much further damage on our environment. [42 photos]

A baby gestures minutes after he was born inside the pediatric unit at hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on October 21, 2011. According to Honduras' health authorities, about 220,000 babies are born in Honduras each year and the cost of having a baby delivered at the public hospital is $10. (Reuters/Edgard Garrido)

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ONE, TWO, THREE, POUR: Women poured hot water into cups for tea before the closing session of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday. (David Gray/Reuters)

WASHING UP: A Somali refugee, fleeing the fighting in Libya, washed clothes at the Choucha transit camp, near the Tunisian border town of Ras Jedir Monday. (AFP/Getty Images)

SHATTERED: An Iraqi soldier sat in the rubble of a suicide bomb attack in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday. The early morning attack on an Iraqi army intelligence battalion headquarters killed 10 Iraqi soldiers and wounded 30 people. (Ali Mohammed/European Pressphoto Agency)

‘HERE’S WHAT I THINK’: ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, left, talked with Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker at the start of an intergovernmental ministerial meeting on the European Stability Mechanism at the European Union council headquarters in Brussels Monday. (Thierry Roge/Reuters)

WARY: A sign reading ‘No evacuation possible’ on a building in Newbury, Mass., refers to the nuclear power plant in nearby Seabrook, N.H. Anxiety over Japan’s quake-crippled nuclear reactors has triggered calls from U.S. lawmakers and activists for review of U.S. nuclear energy policy. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

REFUGE IN A STORM: North African migrants arrived with an Italian export at the southern Italian island of Lampedusa Monday. Thousands of Tunisians have fled their country this year in the wake of the uprising that toppled longtime ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

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