Utne Blogs > Environment

Predicting Drastic Changes in Ecosystems

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Environment, ,

Desert PhotoEcosystem changes like droughts and desertification are often thought of as a gradual processes, slowly taking place over hundreds of years. In fact, scientists have found that drastic changes in ecosystems can happen quickly and often unpredictably. A small nudge can be enough to shift an ecosystem from a grassland into a desert. “We don’t know where the thresholds are,” ecologist Marten Scheffer told Momentum magazine. “But we know they’re there and that we cross them.” Scientists are now trying to figure out how to predict these drastic changes in the climate, how to handle them once they happen.

Source: Momentum 

Image by Rui Ornelas, licensed under Creative Commons. 

vladimirorlovsky_2
4/24/2010 7:40:58 PM

Droughts, desertification; plutonium and mercury pollution..etc... no big deal, ...well, that's 20-century-problems! read this: `..H1N1 then vanished from humans until 1977, when it mysteriously reappeared, probably as the result of a lab accident. It then continued to evolve as one of three seasonal flu strains...` until about year 2000 `BioScientists` had very primitive tools to `play` with DNA of living Viruses, but NOW... boy---ooo-boy at some point; some of them`accidently` will jump free...ecosystem on planet Earth WILL have d-r-a-s-t-i-c changes!! and ..i'm afraid, humans will NOT survive it.. fiction? ...i'm afraid, not, but cruel reality, and expected result of unlimited stupidness and the greed of human race.


vladimirorlovsky_2
4/24/2010 7:34:25 PM

Droughts, desertification; plutonium and mercury pollution..etc... no big deal, ...well, that's a 20-century-problems! read this: `..H1N1 then vanished from humans until 1977, when it mysteriously reappeared, probably as the result of a lab accident. It then continued to evolve as one of three seasonal flu strains...` until about year 2000 `BioScientists` had very primitive tools to `play` with DNA of living Viruses, but NOW... boy---ooo-boy at some point; some of them`accidently` will jump free...ecosystem on planet Earth WILL have d-r-a-s-t-i-c changes!! and ..i'm afraid, humans will NOT survive it.. fiction? ...i'm afraid, not, but cruel reality, and expected result of unlimited stupidness and the greed of human race.


tom hendricks
12/4/2009 11:04:59 AM

Look up the term 'Punctuated Equilibrium'