Human beings have been living on Earth for tens of thousands of years and for the better part of it, we did so without causing any damage to Mother Nature. It’s true that most ancient civilizations, such as the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Mayans, the Mesopotamians, the Persians, the Indians, and the Native Americans among others, lived for a very long time in perfect harmony with the natural environment. However, the large increase in the global population and the Industrial Revolution (and the subsequent mass migration of multiple populations to urban areas) drastically changed things for the worse. In particular, the environmental pollution associated with these events has had some adverse ecological changes on the planet for almost two centuries now.
The extremely harmful effects of human activity on our planet’s biophysical environment are more alarming than ever before and most scientists keep warning government leaders about the catastrophic effects this could have for us. So, if we want to continue surviving as a species we must reconsider several things and learn how to live in harmony with each other as well as nature, and respect the environment. The following 25 Alarming Ecological Changes in this Century are not just risks anymore, but horrifying and threatening realities for the present and near future.
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More than 40 percent of Americans have expressed concern in the past few years about wildlife conservation and associated environmental issues, such as endangered species, animal and plant extinction, coral bleaching, the introduction of invasive species, poaching, and the loss of natural animal habitats resulting in relocation and a break in the food chain.
Water covers over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface but only a small part of it is fresh (2.5% to be exact). Consequently, water pollution is considered one of the most important ecological problems. Water pollution affects drinking water, rivers, lakes, and oceans all over the world.
Soil contamination is when the concentration of chemicals, nutrients, or elements in the soil becomes more than it normally or naturally is, as a result of human action. An official study released by the Chinese government has shown that almost a fifth of China’s soil is contaminated while the US’s soil isn’t much better.
Our current global population is 7.2 billion and growing. Earth’s total resources are sufficient for about 2.5 billion people at the current demand. We are already using two to three times more of the Earth’s natural resources than is sustainable. A desolate, dry Earth won’t be a fun place for our children and later generations to live.
Ozone depletion and the damage to the Earth’s ozone layer caused by CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) has been a problem worrying the scientific community for a few decades now but in the past decade its negative effects have been more noticeable than ever before.