Nowadays, human activities rival the forces of nature in causing changes to the Earth’s system. This gives rise to a new geological period known as the Anthropocene. According to research, for the past 4.5bn years, natural forces have been the dominating influences on the system of our planet. However, for over the past six decades, human forces have driven exceptionally more rapid rates of change.
A recent study has even developed a mathematical equation called “Anthropocene Equation” to specifically calculate and describe these impacts of human activity on earth. This equation showed that the climate change caused by people today is 170 times faster
than natural forces.
Natural forces have driven a 0.01 degrees Celsius rate of change per century while the greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans just over the past 45 years “have increased the rate of temperature rise to 1.7 degrees Celsius per century, dwarfing the natural background rate,” says Professor Will Steffen of the Australian National University, a climate change expert and one of the researchers of the study.
“We are not saying the astronomical forces of our solar system or geological processes have disappeared, but in terms of their impact in such a short period of time they are now negligible compared with our own influence,” Prof Steffen further explains.
While other forces operate over millions of years, we are having as much impact as these but only over a very short timeframe. This demonstrates the intensity of how humans are affecting Mother Earth and how we can do so much about it.
“The human magnitude of climate change looks more like a meteorite strike than a gradual change,” he says.
Failure to reduce these harmful changes could “trigger societal collapse”. The Earth is our home- we should not be the ones to neglect it. This world has lived for quite some time and it would be a shame to this human race if we, of all the possible things, will cause its perish.