Get the answer of: What Caused Mass Extinctions ?
It becomes clear that there is an intense amount of interconnectivity between the aspects of the biosphere. At the cellular level, there is a symbiotic effect and it continues up throughout the chain of organisms all the way to the biosphere levels.
This interconnectivity can have positive effects, but it can also lead to massive upheavals within the species. The result of these upheavals can be minor or they can be very dramatic. The worst case scenarios often result in the end of a species. When dramatic changes occur to an environment very fast, the organisms may not always be able to adjust quickly enough to the changes.
What is often the result? The mass extinction of one or more species may be the final consequence. Tampering with the environment can have long range consequences, both for the organisms, as well as the plants.
Often, these extinctions happen fairly quickly, but the recovery from them can take millions or billions of years. Additionally, the recovery does not mean that the lost species are ever returned. These extinctions provide a purging of the biosphere.
Scientists have concluded that there have been at least five of these dramatic changes that resulted in mass extinctions. Most have been a result of changes in the environment, primarily cooling. One of these is the purging of dinosaurs. Yet a majority of these were the result of natural corrections within the biosphere itself. So when did humans start having a greater effect on the biosphere?
To put it simply, the human population began to have the greatest effect when they became more organized as a people. For example, hunting alone results in the extinction of 15,000 to 30,000 species every year.
Unsustainable use of resources alters the biodiversity of the planet and can reduce or eliminate a species habitats. When habitats disappear, the extinction of a species can happen very quickly. No one would disagree that when someone’s home is destroyed, it can reduce their chances of survival.
Let us think of it in terms of a domino effect. When one domino is pushed over, the chain reaction begins. In the same way, pushing one domino, such as deforestation, has also begun a chain reaction with much larger consequences.
Most species struggle because their homes are being destroyed far too quickly, giving the species no time to adapt to a new habitat. The overarching environment is attempting to adjust to all the changes being made by humans and as a result of human activity.
Yet the adjustments are very dramatic, causing various conflicts between nations fighting for the most basic of resources, such as water and food. The resources that they do have available are often quickly depleted, without thought of sustainability or long term effects.
The nations that are not as developed find themselves trying to support growing populations without the access to the necessary assets. They are also ill-prepared to deal with the changes in the climate and the resulting significant weather events.
Many would argue that humans did not create all of this change, that some of it is part of the natural progression of the biosphere. Yet even if that is true, humanity does create a footprint on the biosphere, for good or for evil. Our actions do have consequences.
Some of these consequences are being felt now but will also be felt by future generations if corrections are not made to the course humanity is currently on. Symbiotic relationships are in jeopardy, not just for individual species, but for life on the planet as a whole.
Throughout the last several decades, humans have begun to change how they interact with their home. Finding sustainable ways to fish, grow food and maintain the forests are just a few of the ways people are changing their course to benefit the biosphere. Does this mean that more cannot be done?
No, in fact governments and individuals are producing energy in a more sustainable way. Most importantly, these official channels are changing their viewpoint about how the earth should be treated. It does not mean that the extinctions will stop overnight. But by creating the change we wish to see, we as individuals can have a greater impact on how the world and its organisms are cared for.