Rate of environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, say scientists


While suffering in the heat in Brisbane, Australia, the past 48 hours, I have been re-thinking the whole debate about climate change and how little is being done by our leaders. It seems to me that many of us are just happy in our little pockets of the world, as long as we feel comfortable and climate change issues do not affect us. Scientists are telling us in more studies that things are getting serious. We are seeing more physical destructions such as violent storms, long periods of drought, very high temperatures, all happening right before our eyes. Reuters reported climate migration numbers are increasing at an alarming rate across Asia and India. In the Pacific Islands, people from small, low-lying islands low-lying countries are also migrating.  So, in the big picture, we know MORE about our own destructions to this planet than we have ever before. The media even reminds us what we are doing, daily. Why are we not reacting?

2014 was the hottest year ever recorded. These figures finally challenged the climate skeptics. Is that alone, not scary enough? Does it not mean anything to us? Do we care and as humans, does it matter that we only have ONE planet to live on? I wanted to pick up this topic again and share this Guardian article about how we have accelerated the rate of our destruction to our planet. Please read and share the link below.

Humans are ‘eating away at our own life support systems’ at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years, two new research papers say.

2000
The view from the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory in the middle of the Amazon forest. Researchers say that of the nine processes needed to sustain life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels. Photograph: Reuters

Humans are “eating away at our own life support systems” at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years by degrading land and freshwater systems, emitting greenhouse gases and releasing vast amounts of agricultural chemicals into the environment, new research has found.

Two major new studies by an international team of researchers have pinpointed the key factors that ensure a livable planet for humans, with stark results.

Of nine worldwide processes that underpin life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels – human-driven climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land system change and the high level of phosphorus and nitrogen flowing into the oceans due to fertiliser use.

Environmental authorities probe central China pollution
View of aluminium-polluted water, which flows into the Yuanjiang River, in Taoyuan county, Changde city, central China’s Hunan province, 19 November 2014. Photograph: Imaginechina/Corbis

Researchers spent five years identifying these core components of a planet suitable for human life, using the long-term average state of each measure to provide a baseline for the analysis.

They found that the changes of the last 60 years are unprecedented in the previous 10,000 years, a period in which the world has had a relatively stable climate and human civilisation has advanced significantly.

Carbon dioxide levels, at 395.5 parts per million, are at historic highs, while loss of biosphere integrity is resulting in species becoming extinct at a rate more than 100 times faster than the previous norm.

Read more here:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/15/rate-of-environmental-degradation-puts-life-on-earth-at-risk-say-scientists#img-1

6 thoughts on “Rate of environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, say scientists”

  1. You have presented a very in-depth look at environmental threats to our planet, Joycelin. It makes for interesting and worrying reading. Regarding climate change, I know that tests continue as scientists argue as to whether the rapid temperature rises are purely caused by human activities or not. I think they need more data (over more years, probably) to know whether the rise is due to the earth’s natural cycles throughout time. I don’t doubt that the population explosion and everything associated with iit – including industrial and agricultural activity – has accelerated climate change in more recent times. Land degredation through drought and over cultivation / animal rearing is very worrying. Then there’s pollution of land and oceans, deforestation, animal extinctions and so on . . . Endless problems, which I know you care deeply about. Thank you for the excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

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