Recent investigations carried out in order to determine how marine ecosystems are responding to on-going changes in environmental conditions have unveiled some very troubling pieces of information.
Thus, it seems that, although various marine plant and animal species have become extinct in the past centuries as well, this time humans alone are to blame for major transformations in terms of biodiversity dynamics.
As several researchers who looked into this issue explain, changes in global weather patterns and ocean acidification are not phenomena that only began to manifest themselves in the modern world.
However, whenever they occurred over the past 500 million years, there was always the possibility of linking them to natural causes.
Although some of the environmental conditions that caused countless species to become extinct throughout the evolution of our planet's ecosystems are still actively influencing the natural world nowadays, what worries scientists is the fact that human activities are first and foremost to blame for their presently shaping out a new biodiversity map.
The official website
for the ARC Center of Excellence quotes Professor John Pandolfi, who supposedly recently commented of his and his co-workers' activity in this field as follows: “Currently, the Earth is again in a period of increased extinctions and extinction risks, this time mainly caused by human factors.”
Furthermore, “We wanted to understand what had driven past extinctions of sea life and see how much of those conditions prevailed today. (…) We are seeing the signature of all those drivers today – plus the added drivers of human overexploitation and pollution from chemicals, plastics and nutrients.”
The only good news seems to be that, as evidence shows, marine wildlife can make a full recovery once environmental conditions once again suit its preferences, even if such aquatic ecosystems require millions of years to pass before they can be restored to their former glory.
According to the same source, the researchers involved in putting together these findings so as to reach a conclusion on the future of our oceans fear that, but for human society taking immediate measures, biodiversity may very soon suffer some very dramatic losses.