our impact

Picture by: Jplenio
Found on Pixabay

In the article “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene” the authors discuss how human impact is drastically changing the earth. It is highlighted that “human activity now rivals geological forces in influencing the trajectory for the Earth system has important implications for both Earth System science and societal decision making” (1). The “sum total of human impacts on the system needs to be taken into account for analyzing future trajectories of the Earth System” is also emphasized (1). The article goes on to discuss how our way of life has greatly increased CO2 in the atmosphere. They also mention that only through “deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, protection and enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, efforts to remove CO2 from the atmosphere” can we help stabilize the earth (5). But they also discuss that we are going to have to adapt to unavoidable impacts of global warming that is already occurring. They also share what is at stake: “severe risk for health, economies, political stability, and ultimately, the habitability of the planet for humans” (5). The part of the article that was most jarring for me was the large uncertainty about what could happen in the future, all the unknowns. We know it is going to be destructive and the window to limit the worst of it is slowly dwindling.

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