Global warming affects entire ecosystems far more than natural climate change

One more proof that man-made global warming is far more harmful to nature than natural variations in climate: a study by the Florida Natural Museum, in collaboration with several conservation organizations in Europe, find that entire communities of mollusks and other individuals in the Adriatic ecosystems. they have undergone natural changes with relative ease, but are dying en masse due to man-induced climatic variations.

Scientists have analyzed about 70,000 mollusk fossils that correspond to two major periods of variation in the Earth’s temperature: the last glacial age (between 100,000 and 25,000 years ago) and the current climate. The results: Human activities in the Adriatic region affect ecosystems far more than changes in salinity, temperature, and sea level when they occur naturally.

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Climate change that occurred during the ice ages naturally did not affect marine species as much as global warming caused by humans (Image: Netta Arobas /)

“It is discouraging to consider the fact that 120,000 years of major climate change have not affected these ecosystems as much as man-made global warming over the last few centuries,” said the group’s lead author, Michał Kowalewski, who also leads The paleontology department. . Invertebrates in the American Museum.

Rafal Nawrot, a postdoctoral student at the University of Vienna, Austria, explains that the Adriatic ecosystems have a number of man-made factors that have led to very large changes, such as changes in terrain that have generated a rate of higher sedimentation. “Things like this have been happening since the Roman Empire: the increase in agriculture led to higher rates of erosion. »

The expert says that although human alterations have been taking place in these environments for some time, it is the most modern comforts that are responsible for an increasingly problematic progression to the detriment of the terrain.

“The influx of fertilizers into rivers and estuaries has created reactions of oxygen depletion in both salty and freshwater environments. Pollution in cities creates a toxic mixture for marine life and cargo ships are full However, perhaps the most problematic for the Adriatic shellfish is the most problematic for the Adriatic shellfish are the fishing companies that drag nets on the seabed, eliminating fish species and other organisms. deep water, “he says.

Until then, researchers had no data showing recent natural disturbances to compare them with information gathered about human-caused damage and climate variations from more distant periods.

“Looking at the fossil record, we were able to gather a natural rate of change. If the current Adriatic community falls outside this average, it’s probably our fault,” said Daniele Scarponi, co-author and associate professor at the University of Bologna.

In terms of methodology, the team retrieved information about the natural climatic changes caused by the ice ages that the Earth has experienced. During these periods, sea level rose and fell in a cycle of water trapped and released by huge glaciers.

During the last ice age, the sea finally receded about 120 meters (m), effectively “killing” the northern Adriatic Sea, exposing a land line so firm that in practice it would be possible to walk from Italy to Croatia, reportedly. Boots. The molluscs most closely related to the northern region were, however, little affected.

In a “artificially” heated world, however, this poses a number of problems that the natural change of the Ice Age does not pose. Changes in salinity, oxygen, and other essential components that, given the missing data, can stop most marine life.

In addition to showing the problems – and the fault – of global warming, the study shows that human beings should think not only of global solutions to the problem, but also of local and regional concepts.

The full material is available in the scientific journal Biology of global change.

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