Global ecosystem services versus endless human activities


By Peter Makwanya

ECOSYSTEMS are a geographic area where plants, animals and other organisms, as well as weather and landscapes work together from a bubble of life. Ecosystems contain biotic or living parts, factors or non-living parts. Biotic factors include plants, animals, and other organisms. These play an important role in recharging the earth so that it is always rejuvenated with species from nature.

Human activities described as anthropogenic, human-induced or human-induced climate change, or resulting from unsustainable behavior of people towards the environment, remained a source of concern.

Anthropogenic is generally used in the context of emissions that are produced as a result of human activities, whether regulated or unregulated.

The irony behind the talk show is that every year world leaders come to a place designated for their Conference of the Parties (COP) to deliberate on their lifestyles that have changed the atmosphere of the world, to talk about their own behaviors that they have no answers to.

Anthropogenic climate change emissions are greenhouse gases (GHGs) associated with human activities such as gases from the combustion of fossil fuels, which include oil, coal and gas, deforestation and land degradation.

All of these human-induced activities have resulted in ecological consequences due to accelerated warming activities leading to climate change.

Due to the levels of global warming of the last century, recent studies have shown the effects of climate change on ecological systems. For this reason, global climate change can be seen as contributing to the negative impacts of a wide range of ecosystems. Globally, anthropogenic activities related to climate change negatively impact plants, animals, water, populations of creature species, land, soils and insects and agents of change do not. don’t seem to care much.

According to previous reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1996), the Earth’s climate has warmed by three to six degrees over the past hundred years. For this reason, climate change has had far-reaching effects on species and ecosystems across the world according to different geographic areas. Vast hectares of forest land have been destroyed in Africa and the Amazon, due to commercial logging, construction of new settlements, clearing of forests for agriculture and burning.

Millions of hectares of forest are felled and burned each year for the clearing of pastures, settlements and cultivated land, among others.

In addition, the excess carbon emitted during forest destruction, landscape degradation, forest fires, exposed bacteria and other terrestrial microorganisms can release more than twice the amount of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse. These gases, which are emitted by destroyed ecosystems in the air, modify the composition of the atmosphere and accelerate global warming activities.

These are the result of human greed and the population explosion, the more people there are, the more space they need for the settlements. These cause large-scale desiccation and water stress due to loss of forest cover.

Brazil’s National Amazon Research Institute estimates that deforestation releases four times more carbon into the atmosphere than the country’s fossil fuels. In Africa, we have seen the destruction of forests in the Congo Basin, of hardwoods in Gabon, Namibia, Mozambique and the Zambezi Valley.

These human activities are mainly carried out by multinational companies which have developed a shady relationship with the environment.

Forest fires have contributed to large-scale pollution, including scorching creatures that live in trees and under soils and on the earth’s surface whose job it is to break down leaves, twigs and grass into humus necessary for moisture retention.

Forest fires are also considered a major source of pollution resulting in large-scale GHG emissions. The loss of trees means that there would be nothing left to absorb carbon, provide fresh air, and stop soil erosion.

Droughts and extreme weather conditions also weaken the ability of trees to control aggressive insects such as beetles which can pierce trees, obstructing the passage for the absorption of mineral salts, causing them to dry up and die.

Climate change has severely affected the water sector in Zimbabwe and other countries south of the Sahara. The IPCC (2007) predicted that a 3.10The increase in temperature of C in the 21st century, as well as a reduction in rainfall in southern Africa of about 15%, will have negative impacts on the water sector, agriculture and ecosystems. Reduced river flows will result in less inflow into reservoirs, resulting in reduced storage. The Kariba dam is one example. Water shortages will have a negative impact on food security, the water supply of cities, including the quality of water for human consumption, will be affected. Uncoordinated land use practices will contribute to the quantity and quality of river flows, thus threatening aqua-life and river ecosystems.

The lack of a constant, fixed planet to plan for means there is more uncertainty and crops are affected, leading to water stress and reduced yields, reduced seasonal production and nutrient scarcity. .

That is why it is recommended to switch to more drought tolerant varieties that do not deplete moisture and also mature early, as growing seasons become unreliable and unpredictable.

Crops find it difficult to thrive under conditions of extra carbon in the atmosphere compared to woody vines which can thrive under conditions of extra carbon due to the greater amount of energy spent on photosynthesis. Corn and peanuts can hardly produce more at temperatures ranging from 350C up.

Anthropogenic climate change has also affected the rearing and grazing patterns of livestock and wildlife, leading to human-wildlife conflict. Amphibians and reptiles are high risk species due to their cold blooded nature as they must maintain cool temperatures.

Frogs are the most threatened in the world due to the effects of pesticides and other chemicals. These affect their modes of reproduction. Scientists also noted that climate change has contributed to the depletion of frog communities, including their extinction.

Floods and droughts have contributed to the crushing of butterfly populations.

Mosquitoes have turned out to be the only insect to thrive under the effects of climate change. Many parts of Africa remain potentially dangerous in tropical environments in particular, due to the extreme heat and humid conditions. Malaria is also moving to previously untouched parts of the African highlands.

Several studies have also shown a considerable decline in mouse populations due to the fragmentation of the trees and hedges where they like to live. While winters interfere with mouse hibernations, hot summers contribute to stressful scenarios in mouse communities.

All of these communities and colonies of small creatures discussed above seem unnecessary or inconvenient to people, but they help the world to take shape, to continue and in moderation.

  • Peter Makwanya is a climate change communicator. He writes in a personal capacity.


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