Earth - the last 750 million years

Beebo Brink

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As 2019 winds down, you can reflect on past history by reviewing millions of years of geological change. Tends to put our tiny little slice of time into perspective. Species come, then they go, continents shift and new eras are born. Puny humans, we're just a blip.

Interactive map: Ancient Earth

 

Beebo Brink

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Fun watching where I live get twisted around as I go back in time.
One of the fascinating aspects of that geographic shifting is the way that it affects mass extinctions. When land masses were separated into small areas, drastic changes in climate could more easily lead to extinctions because life-forms had no place to migrate. With the more current arrangement of continents -- running mostly north-south -- animals could follow their preferred climate by moving up or down from the equatorial zones.

In modern times, however, human habitation and urbanization has created new barriers to animal and even plant migrations, so they're not adjusting as easily to climate change. They're trapped in ecozones that are becoming more inhospitable.
 
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Sid

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We only witness the time needed for a blink of the eye from the total world history and future.
We simply don't know what will happen next with this grain of sand catapulting trough the Universe.
 

Beebo Brink

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We only witness the time needed for a blink of the eye from the total world history and future.
We simply don't know what will happen next with this grain of sand catapulting trough the Universe.
This is how I've made peace with the catastrophic consequences of climate change that humans have triggered and will continue to exacerbate until the oil runs out or we kill ourselves off, whichever comes first. We're playing out the ebb and flow of ecosystems that have existed for so much longer than our minds can grasp. We're not all that different from the first lifeforms that pumped out so much oxygen that they triggered Snowball Earth. Success can be a killer. Literally.
 
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OrinB

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With the more current arrangement of continents -- running mostly north-south -- animals could follow their preferred climate by moving up or down from the equatorial zones.

In modern times, however, human habitation and urbanization has created new barriers to animal and even plant migrations, so they're not adjusting as easily to climate change. They're trapped in ecozones that are becoming more inhospitable.
I recently found out about this European project that is using one of the most divisive experiences of recent times and turning it into a useful project to assist diversification of wildlife: https://www.europeangreenbelt.org/

It’s a small step in a larger calamity. fuck I wish we could still be part of the EU!!
 

danielravennest

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In modern times, however, human habitation and urbanization has created new barriers to animal and even plant migrations, so they're not adjusting as easily to climate change. They're trapped in ecozones that are becoming more inhospitable.
Humans also accidentally and purposefully move living things around. Accidentally gives us invasive plants and animals. Sometimes moving things on purpose (Kudzu) becomes invasive. Agriculture, forestry, and gardening are quite capable of moving plants and animals to new zones. The problem is these activities don't move whole ecosystems, which include all the living things in the soil, and the geology beneath that.