Ecosystems change

by AlexandraGevry on March 13, 2018 - 10:12pm

In the article ‟Humans causing catastrophic ecosystems shifts, study finds”, the author, Thomson Reuters, discusses that human dominance over the natural environment has caused many changes in world ecosystems. Human activities have a devastating impact on ecosystems. As the author mentioned, the damage and exploitation of wildlife and natural vegetation by human beings has left ecosystems in bad shape. Unfortunately, at least 468 creatures have been eliminated from the planet since 1990, including the Costa Rican golden and Yangtze. Also, some organisms are killed off by ecosystem changes or over-exploitation. Jan Zalasiewicz, a professor of paleobiology at the University of Leicester, and co-author of the study, claimed that only creatures domesticated by humans will thrive in the future. There are several animals that are critically endangered, such as the humpback whales, Sumatran elephants, Sumatran orangutans, pangolins, leatherback turtles, Amur leopards, mountain gorillas, Sumatran rhinoceros, Sumatran tigers, Hawksbill turtles, black rhinoceros, Sumatran elephants, Baiji dolphins, Western lowland gorillas, and saolas. As the authors mentioned, climate change, the burning of fossil fuels and the loss of biodiversity are proving that humans are exploiting the earth's natural wealth. Furthermore, the article mentioned that global warming as a phenomenon is just the beginning. Since 1990, species extinctions and other changes are far more advanced. For example, extinction rates for vertebrates is 10 to 100 times higher than normal levels. We learned from the article that today's shifts, compared to the past, are including climate change, ocean acidification, and the loss of biodiversity. They have created a new type of nature. Briefly, the author, Zalasiewicz, said in the article that humans caused ecosystem changes.

When we read this article, we realize how fragile ecosystems are and how humans have devastated the environment. In my opinion, it is very sad to see that in some regions of the world the wildlife was unique and exotic, but unfortunately, with the changing environmental shifts due to pollution, global warming, abuse of resources, industry, things have changed. In fact, global warming is such a big issue, and it is obvious that future generations will not have the privilege of witnessing these beautiful, unique, and wild creatures as we have in our lifetime.


This article is very interesting because it sees the changing ecosystem as a new ecosystem rather than as a destroyed system. It is not about the article being pessimist or optimist, but rather about it being a new way of life. Climate change is often associated with loss of biodiversity, but in this article, it sees it in a new approach. Rather than saying that our ecosystem’s degradation will cause a decrease in all animal species, it theorizes that domesticated animals, such as dogs and cats, will thrive in the future. This is interesting as it is those same animals that were domesticated centuries back. In addition, this article puts the focus on the impacts of humans on animals through climate change. It compares one species impact on another one, showing how the wealth and thriving of one causes the destruction of the other.

Like the de-Growth movement, it asks for a reform, a new system. Rather than seeing the climate change as an end, it sees it as a phenomenon that will shape the world in a very limited and restrained way. We will be forced to deal with the scarce resources at hand. It doesn’t see global warming as an end in itself. We will simply have to adapt to what we have. The author also explores this article in a particular anthropocentric point of view. As seen in class, humans use their ecosystem as resources for wealth rather than as an environment they depend on.

This summary interested me because it is a subject that can’t let anybody indifferent. There are a lot of endangered species at the moment and already too much that has been qualified as extinct, at least 468 like you said. However, cause of these extinctions are humans and this is why this subject is even more important. You said that only animals domesticated by humans will thrive in the future which is catastrophic for the earth future. The Earth is an incredible planet, and biodiversity is one of the reasons for this claim. Moreover, it is not only bad for the beauty for the planet, but also for its future. All the ecosystem change because of pollution, global warming and other causes are dangerous for the planet and humanity at the same time. The extinction of many animal species is a warning that we should take if we want future generations to have a good quality of life on this planet.

Your summary interested me since I believe that it is important for human to know what impact we have on the ecosystem. I liked that you gave a lot of example and numbers because it really makes us realize the harm we cause to our own planet. I found it sad and ironic like you said that we destroy wildlife of many regions of the world because it is what makes the planet unique and that’s what human being appreciate the most. We destroy what we love and what we need. We need to be careful with how we take care of our ecosystem for the good of the planet and to allow future generations to witness these beautiful, unique, and wild creatures. I would like to add that it is sad that because of some of the country that is destroying the ecosystem especially the vegetation have no choices but to do it because of poverty. Therefore, I believe that developed countries should take measures to help the economy of less developed countries and also double the effort to make a difference in their own countries.

When reading your summary, the statement that human beings play a major role in negative impacts of worldwide ecosystems captured my interest, due to the over exploitation of wildlife and natural vegetation as you have mentioned, which creates a direct conflict between the humans and the ecosystems that I totally agree on being an important issue linked with us as human beings. There are in fact many factors to animal extinctions, but it is accurate to say that most of those factors are associated with human actions upon our own ecosystems such as pollution, abuse of resources the industry and many others. As for the fact that only creatures domesticated by humans will thrive in the future, I understand the claim, but we never know exactly how our ecosystems will develop to be in the future and which specific species will thrive. Also, I agree with the fact that our ecosystems are very fragile and vulnerable and the impacts of global warming on the future of our planet are an important issue.

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