A new study shows that people’s ‘footprint’s on the earth are increasing in most places. The consequences will be environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.
The climate magazine Cicero discussed the recent study, which shows that only a small portion of land now can be said to be untouched by human activity.
“Footprint” increased from 1993 to 2009 in most places, including in areas with high biodiversity.
Human activities influence the deterioration of the environment, as visible in the decline in population or species loss, according to the updated analysis, backed by other research from Oscar Waiting at the University of Northern British Columbia.
75% of the earth
Oscar Venter’s research group estimates that in 2009, there were human footprints on 75 percent of the land’s surface (excluding Antarctica).
The largest contributions come from population density, roads, and farmland.
Areas with negligible footprints are now found only at northern latitudes, in some deserts, and in the remotest parts of the Amazon rainforest and the Congo.
Growth degrades the environment
The report’s authors believe there is intense cause for concern, especially in areas of high biodiversity, but find it encouraging that a diminishing footprint is visible in some countries.
This is the case for richer countries and countries where there is strict control of corruption.
The research concludes that although there are certain positive signs, human footprints are noticeable almost everywhere.
This shows the major challenges encountered in achieving continued socio-economic growth without degrading the environment, writes the magazine Klima.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today