Human population numbers have increased on earth at an alarming rate and it is our actions on the planet that affect the in the world around us.
Most notably we are responsible for the reduction of the world’s biodiversity by 50% as a recent World Wide Fund estimate shows (WWF 2014). Due to our increasing numbers we must frequently fragment species’ habitats for living space or destroy them completely. When species’ habitats are disrupted they often have nowhere else to go or some species die out and the food chain for others is disrupted and thus larger animals are affected
We also destroy species’ habitat to feed ourselves. Our growing numbers also demand that we need more food and our main methods of production is agriculture which clears great areas of land from its natural habitat to make way for our monocultures of single crops. The pesticides and fertilisers we use on these crops leech into the water ways and create algal blooms which deprive species of oxygen in the water. As species lower down in the food chain die so do larger ones.
An even larger culprit is animal agriculture which is the breeding of farm animals for meat dairy and eggs. It contributes the most to this pesticide and fertiliser pollution and also affects our grain status as great areas of land must be cleared to grow soy beans or other grains to feed the animals.
Perhaps one of the quickest and most alarming ways in which we affect the planet and hence the species around us is our burning of fossil fuels. We burn fossil fuels to run all the machines and industries around us releasing CO2 into the atmopshere. The levels in the atmosphere are higher than they have been in millions of years and are directly leading to the acidification of the of the oceans. This eats away at coral reefs and all the species that feed on or around the coral also suffer and may go extinct.
Another way in which we drive extinction is by introducing to other areas which change how the ecosystem works by becoming the dominant species or preying on another species until it goes extinct.
In addition we often hunt many animals to extinction. This is evident with the example of the black Rhino in Africa which recently went extinct because we hunted it for its horn which is illegal but a great black market. Many species go extinct because we exploit them for things such as their fur or tusks or something else we fancy. Through this they suffer and many go extinct.
Much of the extinction around us is directly due to our actions and our growing population numbers. It is also very dependent on the unsustainable ways in which we live.
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