Environmental problems in the modern world

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Many historical collapses of evolution and causes of extinction

Many historical collapses of evolution have been caused by environmental issues. The main causes include excessive consumption and population growth among wealthy individuals, as well as poor technology choices. However, advancements in civilization offer a chance for disaster avoidance. Extinction is a phenomenon that results in a reduction or widespread alteration of the diversity of multicellular creatures on Earth. It is worth to note that small mammals are less exposed to extinction than the large species. Documented evidence has proved that majority of all the lately extinct animal species were homoeothermic, upholding a constant and raised body temperature which demands for a high food intake, exposure to predators, and extended foraging periods. Moreover, over the last 500 years' extinction of mammals, it is highly attributed to anthropogenic influences. However, small species that comprises of many animals are more resistant to elimination than middle and large sized species.

Global extinctions

For an extended period, the world faces a growing worry of an ever-increasing population and global extinctions of various species. A large-scale effort to measure losses of biodiversity hindered by inconsistent of the required data. For instance, the reported cases in 2004 for global extinction in insects is lower than the recorded figure for large mammals, birds, snails, plants, and fish (Thomas et al., 2004). Paleontologists depict extinction as a period when the world is likely to lose the majority of its species within a short interval, this scenario it's evident in the past for five times across 540 years ago; therefore, this makes biologists declare that the sixth mass extinction may be on its way. Currently, the extinction rate across the world are higher than the expected rate from fossils archive (Barnosky et al., 2011). Mass extinctions have continuously enhanced evolution and life of human and other species. The majority of groups that manage to survive mass extinctions do not get well in diversity, but they get into decline for an extended period of time. Charles Darwin was of the opinion that struggles to exist, and competition for space and food referred to as biotic interactions were of great significance in promoting extinction and evolution than in the environment.

Current global extinctions related to global warming

According to Strassburg et al. (2012) anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions produced during the process of deforestation. Also, studies have proved it as the greatest cause of species extinction. Moreover, reduction of gas emissions produced through deforestation and forest degradation has become a climate change an option to mitigation. The process of deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) provides more benefits for biodiversity conservation. Above all, continued past deforestation is expected to result in significant number extinction of species. With adequately funded, designed and implemented programs, carbon-based forest conservation plays a role in climate change and biodiversity conservation. At large, this could help to control extinctions of species (Strassburg et al., 2012). Currently, the majority of species biodiversity are endangered and suffers anthropogenic extinctions. The world is experiencing massive extinction. However, with the current "sixth extinction wave," it may prove to be the most devastating and most rapid (Ceballos et al. 2010). In the past centuries, some human actions such as overharvesting, destruction of environments, toxic releases, and transportation of invasive species have led to a great decline in biodiversity. According to Ceballos et al. (2010), the previous five mass extinction occurred during the Permian, Triassic, Ordovician and Cretaceous geologic period. The above extinctions maintain commonalities which are as follows: their effect was not random as the whole group of species lost while others remained unaffected, they also caused a disastrous loss of global biodiversity; also their unfolding in the background of their evolutionary time happened rapidly. Some examples of anthropogenic extinctions indicate a problem that led to their extinction in a case of the last 500 years. Ceballos et al. (2010) point out as in the examples below that shows extinct mammals, such as 76 species of Steller sea cow are extinct, two living in captivity, there is a possibility of 29 being extinct, 134 birds such as the passenger pigeon already declared extinct. There have been 21 cases of reptiles being considered extinct, Also, for the case of Amphibians 159 golden toad are extinct. While in fish 91 species are as well considered extinct. Therefore, the majority of animal species have so far been documented gone in the current extinction wave (Ceballos et al. 2010).

Global warming and climate change

Over an extended period, the average level of global temperature has been rising at a very rapid rate. However, many species have managed to respond to climate changes across their history of evolution positively. Studies have revealed that there has been a consistent shift in temperatures which affects some species with varieties ranging from grasses to trees, and molluscs to mammals. According to Root et al. (2003), there has been a significant impact of global warming already visible in plants and animal populations. The rapid rise in temperature particularly in the destruction of habitat might simply interrupt the connection of species and hence cause invention of the community of species which reflects the possibility of extinctions. Throughout the history of the world, climatic conditions have been varying. Recently, global warming portrayed as is highly caused by the human industrialization developments. NASA (2015) explains that since 1880, the global temperatures have increased meaningfully to what scientists refer to the current record. Concerning the above, the greenhouse emissions coming from industries, vehicle, and energy production have continuously raised temperatures.


There is need to make forecasts for species and human beings as well as to gain a flexible way to involve a relationship between a given species and its environs. Also, there is need to find steady forecast extinction rates which are in good relation to global warming. Further, to consider how to improve the predictions. The components of environmental change are primary reasons for projected climate change as well as biological diversity losses. There is need to call for immediate action and adapt to better conservation practices. Climatic changes contest against the good practice of conservation with the need to answer many uncertainty and directional change. Adaptation to climate change requires implementation of several measures including both long and short-term measures.


The loss to humanity in the current extinction wave is disastrous, every part of diversity lost is a representation of our environment. The population is held responsible for supplying an important ecosystem that maintains food supply control, recycling of nutrients to enable proper generation of soils, crop pollination, pests control, and sequestration of carbon. Moreover, the sixth wave of extinction threatens our moral senses as well as our evolution survival. Studies have proved climatic disruption eventually will raise the extinction of species and population rate. Global warming has become a debatable topic that requires the international community to resolve it seriously.


Barnosky, A. D., Matzke, N., Tomiya, S., Wogan, G. O., Swartz, B., Quental, T. B., ... & Mersey, B. (2011). Has the Earth/'s sixth mass extinction already arrived?. Nature, 471(7336), 51-57.

Ceballos, G., García, A., & Ehrlich, P. R. (2010). The sixth extinction crisis: loss of animal populations and species. Journal of Cosmology, 8(1821), 31.

NASA, N. (2015). Find 2014 Warmest Year in Modern Record. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Release 15, 10.

Root, T. L., Price, J. T., Hall, K. R., Schneider, S. H., Rosenzweig, C., & Pounds, J. A. (2003). Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants. Nature, 421(6918), 57-60.

Strassburg, B. B., Rodrigues, A. S., Gusti, M., Balmford, A., Fritz, S., Obersteiner, M., ... & Brooks, T. M. (2012). Impacts of incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation on global species extinctions. Nature Climate Change, 2(5), 350-355.

Thomas, J. A., Telfer, M. G., Roy, D. B., Preston, C. D., Greenwood, J. J. D., Asher, J., ... & Lawton, J. H. (2004). Comparative losses of British butterflies, birds, and plants and the global extinction crisis. Science, 303(5665), 1879-1881.

April 13, 2023

Environment Problems

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