How are Humans Responsible for the Degradation of Biodiversity?

We humans, knowingly or unknowingly, are causing severe harm to our biodiversity, and we must realize it soon because, without biodiversity, there would be no humans on Earth. As human civilization kept growing, it led to an increase in human population, technological advancement, increased industrialization and overutilization of available resources resulting in the degradation of biodiversity. If we do not change the way we use the help of our Earth, there will be a time when humans lives can no longer be sustained on Earth. It is high time now that we realize how our actions affect biodiversity and what can we do to protect the remaining biodiversity left on the Earth.

Importance of Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the term given to describe the variety of life on Earth and its natural patterns. It is the result of evolution, biological processes, and human influence. Biodiversity involves the diversity of genes, species within ecosystems, and ecosystems in the biosphere. It includes species that are rare or endangered but every little thing- from human to microscopic organism.

We humans might not realize how vital biodiversity is, but we would not exist without it. Humans benefit from biodiversity in many ways as it provides them with food, water, oxygen, energy, medicine, controlled climate change, and many other things which are yet to be discovered. Thus, we must protect it at any cost!

Impact of Human Activities on Biodiversity

There is no precise method of measuring the total impact that humans are making on biodiversity, notwithstanding numerous activities by humans are causing a diminishing in biodiversity. Actions like an increase in urbanization, overpopulation and pollution directly impact a decrease in biodiversity, while economic, socio-political, scientific, technological, and cultural and religious factors have an indirect impact. 

Overpopulation is considered a critical factor in accelerating the biodiversity problem. By 2050, the world’s current population of 7.3 billion is expected to rise to 9.7 billion— 2.4 billion increase that could endanger the Earth. The continuous increase in population expands the need for resources to survive, eventually causing an issue. With it comes a need to change everyday natural surroundings over to land for human utilization. People are likewise chopping down trees to account for residential complexes and multiplexes. Through deforestation, the planet loses forest cover and a massive number of creatures and incredible plant biodiversity because of the obliteration of their natural habitats. The World Bank reported that the net loss of global forest between 1990 and 2016 was 1.3 million square kilometres. People are clearing woods fundamentally for agricultural reasons because of the expansion in the population pressure. At least 23 per cent of Earth’s land is being used for agriculture (31 per cent of all land is unfarmable).

Subsequently, pollution caused by various human activities is another factor leading to the further depletion of biodiversity. Air pollution and water pollution have extensive adverse consequences on biodiversity. Contamination from consuming petroleum derivatives like oil, coal, and gas can stay noticeable all around as molecule poisons or tumble to the ground as acid rain. Acid rain, which is essentially made out of sulfuric and nitric corrosive, causes fermentation of lakes, streams, and delicate woodland soils and adds to more slow backwoods development and tree harm at high rises. Furthermore, chemical pollutants, for example, pesticides and herbicides, drain into soils and watersheds. Some fish species, like salmonids, require little freshwater streams to produce. Contaminated streams bring about the surrender of traditional growing regions and, at last, in the deficiency of salmon populaces. Species’Species’ affectability to pollution is variable. In any case, numerous species are defenceless against the aberrant impacts of contamination through the grouping of harmful synthetic substances in top predators of the food chain and disturbance of predator-prey collaborations.

Extinction of Species

Right now, the Earth is going through its sixth mass extinction, the just one driven by humanity. Many animal groups, including 25% of mammals and 13% of birds, are imperilled. As the need for resources expands, human action invigorates the intrusion and obliteration of habitat through land clearing, poaching, over-chasing, and a worldwide temperature alteration, all of which speed up species extinction. Albeit half of the Earth’sEarth’s landmass is committed to human use; overpopulation requires further development for private and business purposes. Accordingly, almost 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been deforested, imperilling 10% of the world’s biodiversity for dairy cattle farming.

Climate Change

Carbon dioxide delivered from consuming non-renewable energy sources and biomass, deforestation, and agricultural practices add to ozone-depleting substances, which keep heat from getting away from the Earth’s surface. With the increase in temperature anticipated from expanding ozone harming substances, there will be higher air contamination levels, more prominent weather fluctuation, and changes in the circulation of vegetation in the landscape. A few species will not adjust to these progressions in the climate and will get terminated. Notwithstanding, it is expected that many plants and animal species will scatter to higher latitudes and altitudes as the temperature increases. Subsequently, any barriers in the landscape, such as highway and metropolitan regions that prevent development to more friendly conditions, will bring about biodiversity loss.

Conclusion

Biodiversity is an issue that influences everybody, and, in this way, everybody ought to know about their impact on biodiversity. As biodiversity diminishes on Earth, so do the odds of human endurance. In this manner, teach individuals on living in harmony with the climate. Ensure that the public authority makes laws that guarantee biodiversity for the future and not centre around limited resources. If people become wiped out, it will probably be their very own aftereffect activity or absence of movement. Ideally, people will understand this before it is past the point of no return.

Individuals should be taught how their everyday rehearses put a strain on the scarce natural resources and their commitments to the consumption of resources. The principal motivation behind making mindfulness is to urge individuals to protect and re-establish the natural environment by engaging in preservation endeavours.

REFERENCES

Hostetter, Trish., “Human Impact on Biodiversity.”” 21st November, 2005. Accessed on 4th July 2021.

https://www.goshen.edu/bio/Biol410/bsspapers05/Trishahostette.htm

Rinkesh. “”What is Depletion of Natural Resources.”” Accesses on 4th July 2021.

https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-depletion-natural-resources.php

Shraddha Rajbhar is a first-year student pursuing a bachelor's degree in Economics from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. She has a keen interest in Economic Affairs and Management and her hobbies are baking, playing tabla, and painting and she is always looking up to explore and learn new things.

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