Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Where are we going with the environment?

Climate change is not the only thing affecting the environment. Some of the other issues we have been forced to address in the past are acid rain, ozone depletion, pesticides and even over-fishing. We humans have managed to make a mess of the environment and its is going to take some real effort to make things better.

Earth Day is one of those things we do to help bring attention to the situation. Earth Day this year falls on April 22 and events are planned worldwide.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has 25 sites in the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network for the purpose of in-depth studying of various ecologies around the world. The ecologies include diverse regions to provide a picture of the planet. Places located within the U.S. include such places as acid rain lakes in the Adirondacks, the Arctic in northern Alaska, the Pacific Ocean off the U.S. West Coast, the desert region around Phoenix, Arizona and river basins in Wisconsin. NSF held an annual mini-symposium on February 21 of this year to discuss where these ecologies are going.

Off course, there is bad news. Things are changing and not many of the changes are for the better. Some of these environments will take hundreds of years to recover from the damage done to them. The good news is that some of them are recovering. We are making a difference in some areas. Acid rain is a good example. We have managed to make some significant improvement here since the 1990s.

This is something we need to focus on when we discuss climate change. The climate is changing due to our actions. But, we can change the way we do business and maybe reverse some of the damage. At least, we can work to slow down the rate of change.

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