Land Use’s Impact on Climate Change Underestimated

A new study in the journal _Nature_ demonstrates scientifically what those with
ecological intuition may have known for some time: that the state of the land
has major impacts upon climate. In the United States the growth of cities and
agriculture in particular has been a major component of changing climate. This
study indicates that together agriculture and other land use changes have had a
significantly greater impact upon climate than was previously thought. Given
that the global ecological system is composed of ecological subsystems that
constantly interact, share energy and materials; this is hardly a surprise.
Terrestrial and atmospheric ecosystems are tightly coupled. The global
ecological system upon which we are utterly dependent is greater than the sum
of its parts – though the failure of any one part has the potential to send the
whole system careening into collapse. The danger with both land degradation
and climate change lies in the potential for sudden and irreversible cataclysmic
shifts in state as thresholds in the degree of human caused impacts are
surpassed. It is highly unlikely that significant progress will be made in
conserving either forests or climate without moving forward simultaneously with
the other.
This is why Forests.org is committed to maintaining, free of charge, the World's
largest and most used forest conservation (http://forests.org/) and climate
(http://www.climateark.org) portals. The efforts are predicated upon the well
established truth that the Earth has reached the point whereby human caused
land degradation and air pollution threatens the Planet and all its occupants.
The inevitable fate of any species that destroys its environment is extinction.
In the case of humanity, global ecosystem collapse will seem slow and be
painful, but death of our species is inevitable with current trends. Continue to
ignore the environment and it will go away – taking us with it.

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