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  • Aaryan Doshi

Leaving Our Mark: Exploring Anthropocene Footprints


Leaving Our Mark: Exploring Anthropocene Footprints image: adobe firefly

Not only are humans leaving their mark on the environment through the use of industrial processes and maniacal resource consumption, but there are other ways as well.



Fossil fuel combustion and land use practices are two of the most common consequences of human activity and our way of living.



Fossil fuel combustion is caused by humans through different activities like extracting, transporting, and using fossil fuels. The main way we do this is by burning coal, oil, and natural gas in power plants to make electricity and in industrial processes. Oh, and by the way, both homes and businesses use fossil fuels to heat and cool their spaces. When humans burn fossil fuels, they release a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and carbon dioxide (CO2) are a few examples of these greenhouse gases. These gases are really good at holding onto and trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and the increase in global temperatures. And you know what happens when global temperatures go up? It leads to more frequent and intense weather events like rising sea levels and disturbances to ecosystems.



It's pretty crazy how our land use practices can really mess with the environment. When cities grow, they end up causing habitat loss and messing up ecosystems. When we build things like roads, buildings, and parking lots, we often have to change the natural ecosystems into developed land. So basically, what happens is that a lot of natural land gets divided into smaller, isolated parts, which leads to fragmentation. In addition to making ecosystems more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, fragmentation hinders the mobility of animals and decreases genetic diversity. It's unfortunate that urban development often means losing natural habitats like trees and forests. When there's less green space, it leads to more CO2 being released into the air, which speeds up climate change.



Oh, by the way, did you hear last week about this new city being built from scratch on the outskirts of Bay Area? A shining example of land use practices!



References:


Magallon, S. (2023, September 1). Company releases first renderings of a new city proposed for Solano County. NBC Bay Area. https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/company-releases-renderings-new-city-propose-solano-county/3308546/

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