It is long known that the Earth is heating up due to abuse of natural resources by humans. But for the first time a mathematical equation has been developed to showcase the influence of human activity on planet earth. The equation or the conclusion states that the humans are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than nature.
This new way to look at climate change has been devised by Professor Will Steffen. Steffen is a climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University. This was published in the journal The Anthropocene Review.
The report states that for the past 4.5 billion years, astronomical and geophysical factors have been the dominating influences on the Earth system. The Earth system is defined by many factors including interactions and feedbacks with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and upper lithosphere.
Even with more than 10,000 years on the planet Earth, humans have never been this destructive. In the past six decades human forces has caused rapid changes in Earth System at a tremendous rate. This has given rise to a period known as the Anthropocene.
Steffen and his co-researcher, Owen Gaffney from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, came up with an “Anthropocene Equation” to make people understand the impact of this new period of humans on Earth.
Gaffney said that they have developed the new equation by calculating the rate of change of Earth’s life support system. This Earth life support system includes the atmosphere, oceans, forests and wetlands, waterways and ice sheets.
According to Steffen these natural forces have driven a rate of change of 0.01 degrees Celsius per century.
But the Greenhouse gas emissions especially by humans in the last 45 years have made sure that the rate of temperature rises to 1.7°Celsius per century. This clearly makes the natural forces to look tremendously small.
This represented a change to the climate that was 170 times faster than natural forces.
Image Credit: theconversation.com
Please Note: Originally published in The Guardian