21/08/2013

Environment

Uncategorized 

No Comments

EnvironmentDid you know that most of the world’s glaciers will have melted by the year 2025? Did you know that coral reefs are dying due to overfishing, resulting in the extinction of several fish species? Did you know that the Northern White Rhinoceros are basically extinct but only then of them remain captive because hunting by poachers?

Humans and nature

We don’t want to scare you, nor do we want to portray a pessimistic view of this world. We do however want to raise awareness for causes we think are important for all of us. Knowing that there are actually animals out there that are so endangered they need human guards 24/7 to protect them from being killed saddens us. The Northern White Rhinoceros is just one example of the many species out there that are considered endangered or even extinct because of human interference with nature.

But why do humans exactly seem to have such a big influence on nature and wildlife in general. Aren’t we part of this very nature ourselves? Many animals have been able to survive throughout thousands and thousands of years mainly because of biological adaptation. Things like camouflage, group hunting and poison are all results of evolution with only one thing in mind: survival of the fittest.

Humans however have somehow focused on cultural adaptation instead of biological adaptation. A long time ago, humans began to develop bigger brains in comparison to their bodies, which led to new abilities like ‘learning’ and ‘adapting on a conscious level’. Over time, this has allowed us to colonize pretty much every ecosystem type on Earth. Besides this, cultural innovations have allowed human population to grow exponentially for the last couple of decades and this has led to some serious environmental issues.

The infographic below shows you some statistics of how humans run the world:how-humans-run-the-earth_502911be6fcce

Global warming

On top of all this comes the everlasting global warming issue. You may have heard it all before and you may even be tired of it, but the fact is that global warming is occurring right now.

Earth is showing many signs of worldwide climate change. The average temperature has climbed with almost 1.4 degrees Celsius worldwide since 1880. According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for  Space studies, much of this happened in the last couple of decades.

The rate in which global warming is occurring is rapidly increasing. The last 20 years of the 20th century turned out to be the hottest in the last 400 years, and possibly even in the last couple of millennia. According to several climate studies by the United Nations, 11 of the last 12 years (up to 2007) were among the hottest since recorded climate history.

Global warming is mostly felt (and seen) around The Artic. The average temperature in Alaska, Northern Canada and Siberia has raised more than twice the global average, namely 3 degrees Celsius.  Scientists even believe that by the year 2040, some Artic area’s shall have their first ice-less summer every recorded by human history.

Perhaps the clearest signals of global warming can be seen underwater. Coral reefs are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature. It is hard to believe that the worst coral reef bleaching ever recorded in human history back in 1998 was a coincidence. More details about global warming can be found in the video below: