Massive developments and industrialization will continue to be the norm to cater to the ever-growing population, which is currently about 7.7 billion. But these advances, unfortunately, according to science, will also be the drivers behind many changes that continue to threaten our survival on earth.
And now, it is time for us, instead of being scared of the signs from the impact of these changes, to do something about these negating changes and take a hold of our future.
This post will discuss two such devastating changes that need to be addressed now.
1) Global Warming
From all scientific revelations and evidence, the average temperature of the earth is rising, warming the earth at an unprecedented rate. Data, as at 2015, has shown that temperature has risen by 1.8F above pre-industrial levels denoting a potential shift in climate. And this climate change seems unprecedented because, according to scientific data, it could be one of the fastest in the past 65 million years.
The global climate change is not only supported by scientific revelation, but also obvious physical observations are indicating that earth is warming at a rate that has never before been seen. For example, while many African countries are naturally associated with heat because they are closer to the equator, cold regions in developed countries now experience warmer temperatures too. And this is because a large amount of heat is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere by the increased greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane and ozone to mention these few, in what has been referred to as global warming.
Many scientists have been raising concerns over global warming for a long time, but some folks, even in government, have always laughed it off as just another way of creating unnecessary scientific concerns or maybe as a source of grant money for research and scientists well being. The topic of climate change is believed to be such a hoax that it is being removed from some schools curriculum even in some developed nations.
Unfortunately, climate change, caused by global warming, is not just an unnecessary concern or a lie, but it is a huge cause of concern for all of us. There have been obvious shifts in the weather pattern, for example, there is a noticeable increase in the intensity of rainfall, resulting in the flooding in many places, and this is in addition to patterns of storms, snow, and drought to mention these few. Countries in the cold region are now prone to diseases and parasites like malaria, which could not have survived in the region many years back.
But, most of us already know this given the attention that has been drawn to the topic. But what some of us do not know, however, is that this is just a picnic as scientists continue to learn more about global warming. Relatively recent discoveries have revealed that we are just 1C away from the verge of a runaway global warming, which would result in a rapid pathway to very hot conditions, in what many scientists have termed the hothouse earth.
When this happens, countries around the equator may become inhabitable due to extreme heat, and sea level is expected to rise higher by 197 feet to what it is currently. This will drown out many coastal cities. Recently, the first mammal, an Australian Bramble Cay Melomys, A brown rat is said to have gone extinct due to sea flooding of its habitat—a small coral island in the Great Barrier Reef.
Another troubling effect of global warming is the heating up of permafrosts with the consequent release of its contents. By the way, permafrosts are soils, rocks, and grounds that are frozen for two or more years. These permafrosts are usually found in higher latitudes and higher elevations like the alpine region. Some permafrosts were frozen, as far back as 2.6 million years ago, with different contents in them including some viruses. The troubling thing is that some of these permafrosts are starting to melt as a result of global warming, which if continued, could expose the world to the risk of dangerous viruses.
2) Dwindling Insect population
While global warming has been a well-discussed issue for a long time now, there is another devastating development looming around the corners that has recently been drawn to our attention. Scientists believe that the planet is on the verge of sixth mass extinction, and insects seem to be the worst hit.
Though research has shown a huge loss on the part of larger animals, the annual 2.5% annual rate loss of the insects’ population is quite alarming and very troubling. This is because insects are vital to the proper operation of all ecosystems, as they serve as food for other creatures, and they are also pollinators and recyclers of nutrients. If the plummeting population of insects continues, it would have a catastrophic repercussion on the ecosystem. Many birds, amphibians, fish and reptiles that feed on insects would starve to death with a trickle-down impact on humans.
More than we know, the presence of insects, among other things, help maintain the balance of the planet’s ecosystem. At the current rate at which the insect population is disappearing, according to scientists, these insects may not be around in the next century.
It Is Not Too Late!
Though, truly unfortunate that these insects and other animals are dying off due to dominantly human influence, such as the use of chemicals on farmlands, overpopulation, and of course, the greenhouse gas increase that is causing global warming. Fortunately, it is not too late as these effects could be reversed since they are man-made. But it is important that we act now, and take immediate actions to reduce the rate at which these factors are affecting us and the environment, including the insect population.
Yes, we have and are taking steps to mitigate our impact on the environment especially with the enactment of various treaties like the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, but these are not enough to alleviate these major threats to our lives and the earth’s ecosystem. We must all endeavor to do our part, no matter how small, to address this concern as our lives may really depend on it.