Scientists performed a sweeping survey, analyzing fossils from all over the world and they combined the data with the temperature records for the last 20000 years. What resulted suggests that our planet is on the brink of suffering yet another transformation in terms of terrestrial ecosystems.
The last ice age left a deep impression on our planet. Once it ended, the sea levels started to rise as the glaciers receded and the average temperature of Earth rose by a whopping 7 degrees Celsius. This had the planet’s ecosystems completely changed.
From what was once a barren ground covered by ice, forests started to grow. Hickory and oak slowly and steadily took the place of the thick layers of pine, scrub replaced woodlands and savanna transformed in the desert. As temperatures soared, they utterly changed the landscape, having drastic ecological shifts.
This Thursday, researchers reported in Science that history is doomed to repeat itself. After making a sweeping survey of the global fossils and temperature records from the last 20000 years, scientists believe that the present ecosystems are at risk of another transformation, even more rapid, unless we start taking an aggressive stance against climate change.
Stephen Jackson, ecologist and the director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Southwest Climate Science Adaptation Center and also the lead author of the study said that “Even as someone who has spent more than 40 years thinking about vegetation change looking into the past… it is really hard for me to wrap my mind around the magnitude of change we’re talking about”.
“It is concerning to me to think about how much change and how rapidly the change is likely to happen, and how little capacity we have to predict the exact course,” he continued. “Which creates very large challenge for all of us out there who are trying to manage wildfire, fish, water, soil, endangered species — all those different ways in which natural ecosystems affect us.”
Laura grew up in a small town in northern Quebec. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Laura is an advocate for people with disabilities.