Our Earth and It's Climate

Published: 2019-12-01
Views: 1206
Author: bollobollo
Published in: Agriculture

There are now more than 7 billions of us. Until 1800, there were 1 billion of us. We crossed 3 billion in the 60s. Many scientists believe that the maximum carrying capacity of the Earth is 9 to 10 billion, a number which we will be reaching in the next 30 years. At the current growth rate, it is expected that our population will be around 9.7 billion according to the United Nations report.

Our demand for resources is exceeding the supply from the ecosystem, creating an overshoot in the system. After all, our ecosystem has a specific regeneration and carrying capacity. And to meet these growing demands, more resources need to be exploited. More trees will be cut down not just for farming but for settlement too. The excessive demand for food leads more and more to the practices of intensive farming. While, for now, the demand is met through such practices but at the same time, this method leads to the destruction of natural habitats of plants and insects, genetic erosion of crops and livestock and degradation of the soil.

The coverage of rainforests has reduced to 6 per cent from 14 per cent and within the next 40 years, the remaining will be consumed too at the current rate. Not only do rainforests provide habitat to huge species of plants and wildlife, but they also stabilize the world’s climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, and maintain the water cycle.

With deforestation, we are losing the environment’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide and on the other, a lot of species are becoming extinct. It is estimated that the rate of extinction is around 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural extinction rate. The sixth mass extinction (the Holocene extinction) in the Earth’s history is currently underway.

Estimations indicate that 1.8 billion will be living in places plagued by water scarcity by 2025. The explosion of the population has put considerable stress on the freshwater supply, which accounts for 2.5 per cent of all the water. Only 1 per cent of the total freshwater is available for use. While the amount of freshwater remains fairly consistent over time, the use of it, according to the UN, has grown more than twice the rate of population rise in the last century.

At the current rate of extraction, the oil will not even last the next 50 years according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Natural gas, phosphorus and coal will dwindle to extinction too.

Lastly, the biggest threat to ecology and biodiversity, global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 at the current rate, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report. The degradation that we are doing upon the environment is causing the warming, which in turn is affecting every sphere of the ecosystem. Species are getting extinct, polar regions are melting at an unusual rate, sea levels are rising, agricultural production is severely affected, freshwater sources will be depleted, among many far-reaching implications that global warming will do to every organism on the earth.

Our consequences are only speeding up our path to extinction. Serious actions are needed before we reach the irreversible tipping points in the global climate system.

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