(NaturalNews) Large-scale, commercial agriculture, among other things, is taking a toll on the planet, particularly in America’s Heartland, and is threatening the existence of life on Earth, according to an international team of researchers.
Published in the journal Science, their study called, “Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet,” identifies and defines Earth’s systemic limits, or planetary boundaries, and the changes they can withstand while still being able to support human life.
About 50 percent of the processes needed to maintain Earth’s stability are being compromised by human activity, with significant life-altering changes occurring in four of the nine systems.
One of the most affected systems involves chemical agriculture and biogeochemical cycle changes, including the state of the nitrogen-phosphorus cycle. While both elements are crucial for plant and animal life, an overabundance of nitrogen and phosphorus can have damaging effects, including contamination of our water supply.
Earth’s nitrogen-phosphorus cycle “significantly compromised,” threatening the water we drink and our ability to produce food
The rise of large-scale, industrialized agriculture has led to a substantial increase in the amount of chemicals entering our ecosystems, according to Phys.org, resulting in phenomena such as toxin-producing algal blooms.
When phosphorus-based fertilizers drain from fields into neighboring lakes and rivers, it can lead to the sudden growth of algae, causing the decline or death of other essential organisms.
This type of pollution can absolutely ruin an entire water supply, preventing humans and animals from using it.
“This kind of problem is likely to become much more common,” said Professor Elena Bennett from McGill’s School of the Environment, who assisted in the study’s research on the nitrogen-phosphorus cycle.
“We will see more lakes closed, will have to pay more to clean our water, and we will face temporary situations where our water is not cleanable or drinkable more and more frequently,” Bennett said. “That’s what it means to have crossed this planetary boundary. It’s not a good thing for any of us.”
Midwest can still maintain productive crops while reducing its fertilizer use, scientists say
The study’s U.S.-based researcher, Steve Carpenter, who is also director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology, explained that nitrogen and phosphorus levels are unevenly distributed across the globe, with the Midwest experiencing the most nutrient pollution. Other regions, such as Africa, are severely lacking these two essential elements, prohibiting them from growing the food that they need.
Planetary boundaries represent Earth’s threshold beyond which there will be irreversible change
The planetary boundaries identified by researchers represent the tipping point beyond which there will be irreversible and abrupt environmental change. The nine planetary boundaries are as follows:
1. Climate change
2. Change in biosphere integrity (biodiversity loss and species extinction)
3. Stratospheric ozone depletion
4. Ocean acidification
5. Biogeochemical flows (phosphorus and nitrogen cycles)
6. Land-system change (for example deforestation)
7. Freshwater use
8. Atmospheric aerosol loading (microscopic particles in the atmosphere that affect climate and living organisms)
9. Introduction of novel entities (e.g. organic pollutants, radioactive materials, nanomaterials and micro-plastics).
Chemtrails and radiation likely crossing Earth’s planetary boundaries
Earth’s climate, biosphere integrity (a concept covering loss of biodiversity/species extinction) and land-system (i.e. deforestation) are the other three processes currently being severely threatened by humans.
Practices and events such as cloud seeding and Japan’s Fukushima meltdown are also playing an important role in crossing Earth’s planetary boundaries. Chemtrails, the visual release of silver iodide and chemicals into the sky, is likely affecting Earth’s atmospheric aerosol loading, disrupting the planet’s natural climate and its living organisms.
The introduction of “novel entities,” such as radioactive material, is also shaping Earth’s stability. The radiation emitted from Fukushima’s 2011 meltdown, as well as other radioactive events, is likely playing a key role in crossing some of Earth’s planetary boundaries.
Written by Julie Wilson