The Industrial Revolution Essay

1505 words - 7 pages

The Industrial Revolution, beginning in the early 18th century, set the stage that allowed for a major turning point in history. All areas of daily life were impacted by new methods of technology and new ways of thinking. Mass production blossomed with the invention of machines and tools, textile manufacturing took off, increased road and canal building occurred, and use of many new energy sources took place (Schmidt 1930). This historical landmark in time also allowed for increased human population sizes that could be sustained through improved agricultural methods that allowed for increased crop production, and also allowed for the development of cities. Humans were able to transform and ...view middle of the document...

Jha and Bawa (2005) address why some spatial scales are subject to higher rates of deforestation than others, is there a linkage between human population growth rate and deforestation rates in these areas? This is an important question because a better understanding of why deforestation occurs at higher rates spatially will allow the affects of deforestation to be better addressed. Next, Webb et al. (2005) detail how deforestation affects vegetation, climate, and species diversity and a correlation is found between all factors. The last two articles corresponding to this progressive ecological concept have a more fine tuned approach as to how deforestation and extensive land transformations are affecting earth’s ecosystems. Freedman et al. (2010) approach how deforestation has caused morphological differences in bird species, and decreased species fitness and diversity. Finally Hahn et al. (2014) explore the influence deforestation, logging, and fire have on the dynamics of malaria in Brazil.
Humans have become the most dominant shapers of earth’s ecosystems, Vitousek et al. assert in a paper published in 1997 (Vitousek et al. 1997). Vitousek et al. were particularly interested in the impacts that human population growth is having on the biosphere. Vitousek et al. analyze different ways in which humans have altered the earth, specifically addressing land transformation, oceanic and biotic changes, and alterations of biogeochemical cycle. Because of research such as that of Vitousek et al. we are more aware of how our actions are detrimentally affecting the biosphere. For each of the above categories Vitousek et al. compare and contrast differences over time to show how drastic changes have been made.
Human alteration of the landscape for cultural, economic, and social reasons has had the greatest impact on the biosphere. Extensive land transformation began taking place when agricultural became popular because domestic crops sufficiently provided food for a growing human population. Currently approximately 10% to 15% of land has been converted to crops. Land has also been de-graded for housing domesticated farm animals, and for urban industrial purposes including building construction. Humans, have transformed a range of 35% to 50% of land mostly by deforestation, to make room for industrial, agricultural, and economic reasons.
Human impact on ocean ecosystems is comparable to that on terrestrial ecosystems. In 1997 60% of the human population lived near coastal waters using 8% of the ocean’s primary productivity; this percent increases to 25% in upwelling areas and 35% in temperate shelf systems. For humans living near coastal waters, 50% of water masses have been transformed by human activity. For example over fishing the top trophic levels of food webs has caused an increase of toxic algal blooms that release allelopathic chemicals that harm other organisms.
Significant alterations have been made to the biogeochemical cycles by...

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