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Viewings: 3389Two weeks ago, UNEP, the United Nations Programme on environment, has published a very pessimistic report. It says that in the last five years of progress in the implementation of the greater part of the 90 most important environmental projects is practically not observed. Do mankind came close to "the point of no return " " followed by...
...the complete extinction of the us as a species?
The earth has never stood still - not only in terms of their position in the Solar system, our planet since its beginning was constantly changing, whether physical changes (for example, erosion or icing) or biological. For several thousand years we live in a quite definite established climate, beyond which the planet was published only once - during the last Ice age, the peak of which occurred 20 thousand years ago. Although the face of time is no more than a minute coffee break for a year of work.
The fact that the global climate is changing, concerned scientists is much less than the speed with which this happens. All living things have the ability to adapt, but the planet as if I wanted to play with their inhabitants catch-up - the Earth is changing very, very fast, so we are at risk for it to not be in time.
This sobering conclusion made by scientists, who published the results of his research in early June in the journal Nature. An international team of experts reviewed all previous study environmental changes and concluded that now our planet is just approaching the critical point, which outlined the results of human activity, urbanization and agriculture.
The earth is already faced with a turning point - like mass extinction of dinosaurs and the Ice age, but the idea that it might have something to happen now, when we live on it, really scared. "It will be a new world in a biological sense, " says Anthony Barnoski, Professor of integrative biology at the University of California and the lead author. - This can occur for the period change of several generations".
As mankind has changed the planet? For a start, only in the last century the Earth's population increased four times, and today is growing by 77 million a year. That is, the growth rate of the population of Homo sapiens today is three times higher than recently, 400 years ago. We drastically changed almost 43 percent of the Earth's surface cities and agricultural lands, and the remaining 57 percent crossed in all directions of the road.
It is very very significant changes - when at the end of the last Ice age planet remained without ice, the clothes, the area of exposed area amounted to about 30 percent of the total land surface of the Earth. Further, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by more than one third of the ocean became more acidic and species of animals and plants disappeared so much that many scientists believe here it is, the sixth wave of extinction. And these changes are increasingly active.
Does this mean that we have approached the critical point closely? No one can say for sure, and ecologists have repeatedly blamed for premature alarmist predictions in the past. However, the authors Nature note that by 2025, half the surface of the Earth will be changed man, and this may mean that the way back to habitable planet - will be gone. "Hindsight definitely gives us to understand that Yes, it really can happen, " explains Barnoski. - I think, if we want to avoid unpleasant surprises, we need to stay away from these 50 percent".
Unfortunately, manage it so far so good. A few weeks ago UNEP, the United Nations Programme for the environment published a report, which says that for the last five years of progress in the implementation of the greater part of the 90 most important environmental projects is practically not observed. Significant progress was made only four points from these 90. And hope that the summit "Rio +20" will help to change the situation, small. "This accusation, - categorically declares the Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner. - We live in an era of irresponsibility, evidence of which can be found in this report".
In some parts of the world - the Himalayas in Nepal, Africa South of the Sahara, the hottest and driest regions of the American Southwest, is the tipping point may have already occurred. But the worst thing is that critical point, we all learn only when we reach there, and return be nothing.
At the same time, some may ask - and what a terrible at that critical point? Yes, nature is not static, but people change, adapting to external conditions. Moreover, every year there are open, are able to correct the damage that people put on the environment. For example, reducing the amount of arable land is possible to compensate the so-called "vertical farms" (more about them, see the article "Farm will turn over and go to town"). There are also developments which can make it possible to live in deserts, and other little use so far.
As for the extermination of animals and plants - Yes, they are, of course, a pity, but the process of evolution, man is unable to stop. Therefore there are no bases to consider, that on a place of the extinct species will come other, more adapted to living alongside humans (to recall the process of displacement of black rats grey, which began not without human intervention). And they, taking the empty niches in the ecosystem, will completely replace those who dropped out of the evolutionary races (had mammals and birds to completely replace the extinct dinosaurs).
All this, of course, so, however, such skeptics do not take into account an age-old rule that works for all living beings. It says: "Every species, changing their environment, in the end makes it unsuitable for its own existence". However, the writers, the brothers Strugatsky formulated this principle more gracefully: "the Future is created by us, but we do not belong". And people, radically changing their habitats, are also at risk of being under the effect of this inexorable law.
The examples are not far to seek, it is enough to recall the usual succession is a logical shift of plant communities. It starts, for example, with deforestation. The empty place photophilous grass and bushes (like nettle, Ivan-tea and raspberry)that do not need a lot of organic matter in the soil - they are willing to settle for less. However, growing at this place, they through the litter and the mortality, increased humus layer, that is, make the soil more fertile.
Eventually at some point humus becomes so much that at this place already can normally grow trees - they simply do not have enough nutrients. But, "gnezditskii" in this area, they displace "pioneers", shading them - because the trees above, the crown they have a very branchy, and almost all the light catch exactly what they are. In the end, photophilous "pioneers ' provided the trees all the necessary conditions, disappear from this ecosystem, and they are replaced with different herbs that can grow in the shade of the trees.
The same thing can happen to humanity - activities that modify the environment, may lead to the occurrence of the species for which the new conditions will be very favorable. And this kind may not have intelligence for successful survival and competition with people reasonable behavior is not required. Very foolish, but numerous and disciplined termites, for example, are driven from the place of the inhabitants of entire villages and cottage settlements, destroying walls and foundations of the houses and to cope with these invasions people, despite their experience and reason, still can't.
And now, having arisen in the conditions created by the people, this kind can just start to compete with man for resources and to oust him from all anthropogenic (and then and natural ecosystems. To fight these "invaders" and will be extremely difficult for them, as well as for people anthropogenic communities are normal environment to which they are adapted, not worse. Therefore, in order to destroy this "attack", people will have to destroy what they had created thousands of years - cities, factories, fields, etc. Well, you know it's unlikely someone will go, at least voluntarily.
So, as you see, in order to prevent the implementation of this gloomy scenario, people just need to reduce the load on nature. Only then will there be hoped that the future is created by people, will belong to them. At least for a while...
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