Do Human Innovations Support The Essentials of Life on Earth?

Water and nutrients are essentials for the evolution and sustainability of life on earth. The magic, secrets and drivers of life on earth are not human inventions. Human innovation is merely restricted to accelerating the natural metabolic processes on earth, e.g. production of food in agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries, beyond natural rates and limits. The growing global population and the underlying industrial and economic systems continue to fuel the so-called human innovation towards a never ending spiral for more and more unsustainable consumption of the natural resources.

Humans can not servive on earth without clean water, healthy environment and sustainable food production. However, these requirements can only be fulfilled through sustained production and consumption of energy and natural resources for supporting the basic needs for humans, e.g. housing, education, health, transport and communication. What originally started for the benefits of human developments turned out to major threats for human survival because of increasing waste and pollution from use and abuse of the natural resources.
Humans have interfered in the natural functioning and metabolism of all life forms on earth with negative impacts on essential and global biogeochemical cycles. Examples are: global warming as resulted from malfunctioning of the global carbon-cycle. Degradation in O-cycle (oxygen cycle) is also remarkable because of unfit and polluted air in urbanized living areas, in particular cities as result of expansion of traffic and transport systems and random industrial activities; poor access to oxygen in aquatic systems because of eutrophication in aquatic systems and excessive use of fertilizers on land; enhanced photo-reactions in the atmosphere with the associated negative impacts of tropospheric production of ozone.

Declining reserves of natural phosphorous, are among emerging threats, because of increasing production and use of this limited natural resource with irreversible impacts on P-cycle. Agricultural and industrial nitrogen inputs to the environment currently exceed inputs from natural N fixation. The impacts of anthropogenic N-inputs have significantly altered the global N-cycle over the past century. Global atmospheric N2O have increased from pre-industrial levels where most of which are due to the agricultural sector.

Human activities have major effects on the global S-cycle. The burning of coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels has greatly increased the amounts of sulphur in the atmosphere,?ocean and depleted the sedimentary rock sink, i.e. instead of being burned at steadily rates. Over most polluted areas there has been a 30-fold increase in sulfate deposition. The enhanced sulphur and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere is causing negative impacts through acidification of aquatic systems with global negative feedback effects on aquatic life and vegetation.

All in all quality of global land-water resources are under accelerating threats from pollution  and waste. 



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