Anthropocene and the Global Change

Anthropocene and the Global Change.

Anthropocene and the Global Change

Extinction is generally said to have taken place after the death of the last organism of a given species (BBC, 2016).Through assessment of fossils, scientists have proved that mass extinction is not a new process but rather species have been dying since time immemorial. These mass extinctions are events when a large number of organisms belonging to a particular species die in masses within a short duration (BBC, 2016). Therefore, this paper will compare the historical events of extinction, analyze the relation between biodiversity and extinction, and also discuss Anthropocene.

Paleontologists claim that over the last four billion years since life began, five unique episodes of mass extinction have already occurred (BBC, 2016). The largest extinction took place during the Paleozoic era, about 240 million years ago, whereby almost ninety percent of oceanic species such as placoderms were wiped out (BBC, 2016). Two other prior extinctions of tiny marine creatures like graptolites had occurred during Ordovician and Devonian periods, more than 360 million years ago. During the Triassic period about 205 million years back, another massive extinction occurred which eliminated many species of amphibians and reptiles (BBC, 2016).

The most memorable extinction occurred some 65 million years ago during the Mesozoic era which wiped out dinosaur species from the earth. This gave rise to the current Cenozoic era which researchers have claimed to be the worst spate (BBC, 2016). This because unlike previous extinctions which resulted from natural calamities such as volcanic eruptions and climate changes, present crisis originate from human activities. Research shows that 99% of the currently threatened species is as a result of human practices such as the introduction of exotic species and global warming (BBC, 2016). Also, present extinctions happen rapidly whereby thousands of species have been lost over the last fifty years while past extinctions happened over hundreds of thousands of years (BBC, 2016).

Biodiversity is a term that refers to the variation of life on earth at different levels of the ecosystem (BBC, 2016). Considering the fact that biological resources help to retain a healthy ecosystem, a rich diversity apparently means more resourceful opportunities which will sustain economic development. As a result, a declining biodiversity is a social concern. The society appreciates its value by initiating necessary conservation and sustainable development strategies such as recycling and climate stability from greenhouse emission. Some of the crucial factors that are affecting biodiversity include; habitat changes due to population increase and climate changes resulting from human activities due to technological advancement in industrialization (BBC, 2016). Industrialization has also led to overexploitation of natural resources and pollution. Therefore, policy changes need to be implemented which aims at restricting humans from engaging in activities that directly threaten the survival of certain species.

Anthropocene refers to the present geological period whereby human activities are the main influencer of climate and the earth system processes (Osborne & Traer, 2013). Human civilization is the main driver that has impacted the environment. This is because it has resulted to various consequences such as pollution and greenhouse gas emission. The land has been deforested and sea level has risen resulting in massive extinction of species. Through human activities, we have raised global temperatures leading to a rise in sea level, air pollution due to overexploitation of natural resources is almost eroding the ozone layer and water pollution has resulted to oceanic acidification(Osborne & Traer, 2013). If administrators do not take any action to solve the crisis, they will be observed in the history of fossils some million years to come (Osborne & Traer, 2013). In order to define a new geological era, a global spike must be incorporated into the upcoming geological records, just the way dinosaur extinction is represented by golden spike (Osborne & Traer, 2013).



BBC. (2016). Big Five Mass Extinction Events. Retrieved from

Osborne, M. & Traer, M. (2013). Generation Anthropocene Is Upon Us. Retrieved from

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Anthropocene and the Global Change

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