An ecological crisis takes place when alterations to the environment of a population or species destabilize its survival. Here are some of the possible causes of the ecological crisis:
- Overpopulation of some species
- Degradation of any abiotic factor of the ecosystem
- Increased pressure due to predation
- Atmospheric pollution
Changes in the climate have serious impacts on the ecosystems. As the global temperature is rising, the decrease has been found in snow-fall all over the earth. The sea levels, on the contrary, are rising. Ecosystems are bound to change or at least evolve for being able to cope with the present temperature. Consequently, many wild birds and animal species are forced to move out of their primary habitat.
Polar bears, for example, are endangered. They require ice to hunt seals, their main food. But, ice caps are fast melting, shortening the hunting periods of polar bears with each passing year. So, the result is that polar bears are unable to connect enough fat to keep them alive throughout the winter. So, they fail to reproduce at a normal, healthy rate.
Wetland and freshwater ecosystems are unable to cope with extremely increased temperatures. This climate change can have devastating effects on trout, salmon and other aquatic creatures. There are species that have succeeded in adapting to the changed conditions. But, there are several other species that are unable to adapt and therefore, are on the verge of extinction.
Nature has its own way of balancing things. In the forests, predators take care of the issue of animal overpopulation. They have a key role to play in keeping pollution under control. But, environmental crisis has disrupted the natural balance.
In their absence, animal overpopulation is difficult to monitor.
As an environmental crisis in increasing, a wide range of species is dying. Every year, at least 17000 species completely vanish from the earth. The speed of extinction is indeed depressing.
Seven million square kilometers of the world’s tropical forest has disappeared in the past 50 years. Majority of this land is the unproductive land of poor quality. If we succeed in turning these barren lands into dense forests, those forests can capture the excess carbon dioxide that has increased the temperature of the earth. So, the benefit that reforestation will have on biodiversity is huge.
Solutions to the great ecological crisis
Let us have a look at some simple yet effective ways of dealing with an environmental crisis:
- Using alternative sources of energy such as wind power, solar power and hydroelectric power as opposed to fossil fuels. The renewable sources of energy like solar power and wind power are not subject to depletion. Moreover, they will not release carbon dioxide.
- The second solution is driving environment-friendly vehicles like electric cars and electric bikes for reducing air pollution.
- We can also stop using plastic products and start using green products.
- Recycling waste materials to produce new materials is another great idea in the current time of ecological crisis.
- Education is the most important tool.