Its Impacts on and Transformations of Ecosystems and Life
Pp. 36-41 (6)
Rising affluence and world population demands increasing supply.
Consequently, mass extraction, processing, and shipping of mineral raw materials and
other goods has spread over the world. The huge anthropogenic turnover of materials
caused by socio-economic metabolism and by all kinds of effects and interactions
resulted in problems for the ecosphere. The transformations of natural environments
turned out to be detrimental to biodiversity, to ecosystem services, and to life in
general. Fauna and flora were exposed to greater adaptive pressure. Dissipative and
dispersive use of natural products created huge amounts of waste and of toxic sites,
resulting in health problems, fatalities, and enormous economic costs. Several
planetary-scale tipping points, which occurred with further biodiversity loss, radiative
CO2 forcing, dieback of rainforests and loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet, were
approached and partly transgressed, because regulatory natural forces cannot
compensate for the magnitudes of human activities. Emerging system pressures and
rising global connectedness have resulted in risk societies, which are characterised by
latent conflicts with sustainability, dependencies, higher disparities, environmental
degradations, and less precise system predictabilities, as well as the awareness of these
problems, documented e.g. by the creation of Earth Overshoot Day.
Adaptive pressure, Anthropogenic turnovers, Contamination,
Dependencies, Ecologic counterparts, Environmental health, Risk, Socioeconomic
metabolism, Tipping points, Waste.
Environmental Geology, Munich, Germany.