Every living thing has an impact on its environment. Therefore a human impact on the environment is inevitable. By simply existing, all species including ourselves – will imprint their mark on the world around them. What differentiates us from other species is our ability to greatly overburden our environment with very few limits. The information regarding our human impact is vast and impossible to cover in one article but I will attempt to cover a basic overview. For 200 years we’ve been conquering Nature.
Now we’re beating it to death. – Tom McMillan Water Pollution Perhaps the most obvious examples of a negative human impact on the environment is water pollution. It’s obvious we need water to survive but few people realize how much we need and just how much is available. Consider these facts from the United Nations Environment Programmer: Of all the water on Earth, only 2. 5% of it is freshwater. * Of that 2. 5%, less than 1% is available to us. * Humans each require up to 13 gallons (50 liters) a day of fresh water for drinking. Joking and cleaning. This does NOT take into account the countless gallons of water needed to grow food or care for animals. * 70% of all rosewater usage goes to irrigation. According to Organic Farming Research Foundation, only 2% of farms are organic. This means almost 69% of our freshwater supply is being contaminated by chemical pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers, while also compounded with fossil fuels and emissions from heavy farming machinery. These chemical compounds contribute to acid rain.
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Since very little can live in an acidic environment, acid rain has harmful effects on plants, animals, and aquatic life, as well as humans and even buildings, statues or other objects. Acid rain also contaminates our limited freshwater supply, and hush the cycle of water pollution continues. According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 45% of assessed stream miles, 47% of assessed lake acres, and 32% of assessed bay and estuarine square miles were not clean enough to support uses such as swimming or fishing.
The following reasons and possible sources for this include: Photo Source: Alan Lifting * Sediments, pathogens and habitat alterations from agricultural activity and hydrological modifications (such as dams) * Excessive nutrients, metals and organic enrichment from agricultural activity and atmospheric deposition the movement of pollutants from one environment to another, such as from water to air) * Heehaw metals (primarily mercury), excess nutrients and “organic enrichment” from industrial and municipal discharges (“treated” or untreated waste water released from sewer plants and industrial factories into natural water sources) These points listed above lead to a poisoned and uninhabitable environment for plants and aquatic life, as well as affect land animals and humans reliant on these systems for survival and other land- bound plant life in need of clean water for growth. Land Pollution Land pollution, the degradation of the Earth’s surfaces and soil, is caused by human activity and a misuse of natural resources. Causes of land pollution and degradation include: * Urban sprawl: Natural habitats are removed to make room for communities, usually with inefficient or irresponsible planning. Urban sprawl generally results in a waste of land area for unused development (such as excessive roads, decorative and unused areas, etc).
Poor agricultural practices: Animal manure runoff from CAF?? (Confined Animal Feeding Operations), the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and actinides, the practice of growing monoculture’s (only one crop season after season) and the deforestation required to expand farm land all contribute to degradation and pollution. * Personal consumption: Our modern culture’s desire to have more, bigger and better “things”, as well as our relationship to and habit of waste, has lead to striping of the land, excessive mining and pollution from industrial activities. * Industrial activities: The production of chemical-laden plastics, poor quality of products, unethical practices (such as illegal dumping), and extreme emissions affect both surrounding and far- caching areas.
None of this takes into account illegal dumping, diminishing landfill space, litter, overproduction of synthetic materials, radioactive waste and more. I photo Source: malingering All land pollution is caused by a human impact on the environment and thus can be averted by our actions alone. Two of the necessary actions must be proper planning and proper usage of natural resources. F-or instances, animals could be taken out of CAF?? and allowed to graze on mountainous or wooded areas unsuitable for buildings or crops. Using organic and sustainable farming techniques can eliminate our need for chemical applications. Clean energy, such as wind or solar power, can slowly begin to replace coal or nuclear plants.
And as consumers we can lessen our human impact on the environment by demanding better quality products, environmentally ethical practices from industries and a shift toward sustainable energy. Air Pollution One bit of good news about our human impact on the environment is that air pollution is lowering and air quality is increasing. According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, is once 1990 to 2008: * Ozone decreased 14% * Lead decreased 78% * Nitrogen dioxide decreased 35% Carbon monoxide decreased 68% * Sulfur dioxide decreased 59% However, 127 million people still live in areas that exceed quality standards. And some of the quality standards are far from ideal, such as ozone. The question is: what amount of air pollution is really okay?
Shouldn’t we be striving for technologies or practices that virtually eliminate major polluters, such as: Photo Source: Michael Cave??CNN * Better public transit, electric cars, rail, and city planning etc to replace heavy commutes, fossil fuels, air travel and unlikable communities * Retrofitting or otherwise upgrading existing factories with greener cosmologies such as solar panels or air filtration systems * Removing animals from factory farms and raising them on natural diets and rotating pasture to reduce methane emissions and pollution The greatest human impact on the environment we can have is to vote with our pocket book and our actions. By supporting companies that use greener technologies, we can start a trend toward better solutions.
By getting involved in community planning and zoning We can have a global impact on a local level. And by buying less “stuff”, eating less animal products and sourcing our food from sustainable farms, we can spread the word that better solutions do exist and they don’t have to cater to mega-corporations and lobbyist pressure. The Consequences Of A Human Impact On The Environment Man make a death which Nature never made. – Edward Young What most of us fail to realize is that we will never truly destroy Earth. The planet will always remain and its nature will change and adapt to the conditions. But we have evolved to rely on the very particular conditions currently in place.
We have specific water and food requirements, can only tolerate certain temperature ranges and we must have an abundance of lean, breathable air. Just look at how the environment is affecting human health already. Thus the question is not whether the Earth can withstand a human impact on the environment. The real question is will we so change the environment as to drive ourselves (and other species) to extinction? Ready To Get Stepping? All of this information about the human impact on the environment is great to help you understand and formulate your own opinions to the issues, but the most important part is not your opinions; it’s how those opinions change your lifestyle. Don’t find fault. Find a remedy. – Henry Ford
If you’re ready to get started, I’d recommend the following Steps first: * Top Ways To Go Green: These should be your starting points. They are the no-duh things and most Of them are very easy to implement. * Going Green At Home: For most of us, our homes are probably our biggest carbon footprint. Pop over there to learn easy ways to save water, energy and other resources. * Or you can skip back toothy Go Green? To learn more. You might like: The Definition of Green Living (And Greenmailing) Top Ways To Go Green 33+ Eucalyptus Oil Uses and Benefits For Women Only: Self-Care and a Glowing You 5 All-Natural, Antiviral Essential Oils Enhance the Holidays with Essential Oils – FREE Tell-class! Have fun!
Stay up-to-date with Human Impact on the Environment by subscribing to our feed! Top of Form Email: Bottom of Form Or read more about this offer here. #1-169 For references on this or other pages, please visit environmental articles. Please read our disclaimer regarding all health opinions shared on this site. 91 19 20 9785 New! Comments Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. Start Here * What Is Green Living? Human Effects on the Environment More Sharing Serviceberry I Share on faceable Share on bebop Share on twitter Share on email Email Share on print Print As humans occupy every continent, we have changed the environment around us in countless ways.
Many changes have been beneficial and many have been adverse, here we discuss deforestation as we can see directly many of the effects widespread deforestation has had on ecosystems. Deforestation Deforestation is the rapid destruction of woodland. Although it can occur due to natural catastrophe it is most commonly caused by human intervention. Deforestation has been occurring since humans have been able to cut down Reese, but it has increased greatly over the last century. The major reasons for deforestation are: * Obtaining hardwood (e. G teak) for furniture. * Obtaining softwood for paper and other wood products. * Clearing areas for cattle farming. * Clearing areas for agriculture. * Clearing areas for arbitration, including road building. Some effects of * Changes in nutrient cycles. Less carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis, leading to a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. * Less oxygen is released into the atmosphere as less photosynthesis occurs. Fewer trees means less transpiration, which may lead to a less humid atmosphere since less water evaporates from soil than from leaves. Climatic changes With a drier atmosphere there are knock on effects to the water cycle resulting in less rainfall. With fewer trees to protect the soil there is a more rapid heating of the soil. This can lead to thermal gradients occurring resulting in an increase in wind intensity and frequency. Reduced soil fertility Removal of trees, particularly deciduous ones, removes the major source of nutrients for the soil.
There may be as much as a 90% loss of nutrients through deforestation. There is likely to be an increase in soil erosion as the bare soil is exposed directly to wind and rain and there are no trees roots to stabilize the soil structure. Flooding and landslide Under normal conditions most of the rain falling on woodland is absorbed either through the leaves or the roots. If the trees are removed the water accumulates in the soil, increasing instability and resulting in possible landslips. As the rain water is not being absorbed, it can run off the area into adjacent rivers and lead to flooding. Destruction of species Many species are endemic to forested areas.
If large areas of forest are lost hey will be unable to move from one area to another, this will result in isolated populations, which may lead to a decrease in genetic diversity. There are many medically useful plants in forest habitats, these will be lost due to deforestation. There are many undiscovered species, particularly plants and insects that may have uses for humans. Due to deforestation, these possible uses may never be discovered. Effects of Human Activities on Environment Climate Change Just about a year back, I came across an article in which environmentalists expressed their concerns that if the Gangster glacier (that feeds river Ganges) pet melting at its current rate, the river Ganges would soon dry up.
River Ganges is the holy river of India, which has served as a lifeline for centuries for millions of people on its banks. Rivers have played an important role in the survival of mankind, and many of them are fed by glaciers. Global warming refers to the increase in the temperatures of the earth due to release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane from industries and vehicles. This phenomenon is causing the glaciers to melt at an alarming rate. Not just the Gangster, but even the polar ice caps are melting at a faster ate than they can form. The result is increase in the sea level, and it poses a danger of drowning the low-lying areas.
Some of the areas that may go under the sea if the sea levels kept increasing include Bangladesh, parts of Africa and even major cities like London and New York! Depletion of Ozone Layer The stratosphere has a layer Of ozone that protects us from the harmful ultraviolet (XIV) rays of the sun. Exposure to these rays cause skin cancer and cataracts. However, the ozone layer filters out the dangerous IV rays from sunlight as it enters the earth’s atmosphere. The chlorofluorocarbons (CIFS) hat are man-made chemicals are released in the atmosphere through CUFF containing aerosols, refrigeration equipment, foam and as by products of certain industrial processes. As these chemicals are released, they rise into the atmosphere and break down the ozone molecules that form the ozone layer.
There is an ozone hole in the Antarctic stratosphere that is causing great concern to environmentalists all over the world. Because of the ozone holes in the upper atmosphere, the Earth receives excessive ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This is harmful for trees and plants (and for animals and human beings who depend on plants). The IV rays can destroy a certain type of bacteria known as Contractible that are important for a number Of economically important crops. Researchers are even predicting that excess level of IV rays could lead to the death of the phytoplankton, that are an important component of the food web of the oceans. Pollution Industrialization has been the hallmark of human progress.
However, with industries have come a host of toxic gases that are being released into the atmosphere even as I write this article and you read it. Industries release gallons of liquid waste into the seas and rivers. Some of the effluents percolate down and reach the ground water and pollute it to the extent that it can’t be used by human beings for drinking or cooking. Intensive agriculture and excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides are destroying the natural land and driving animals away. Besides adding to air pollution, the innumerable vehicles running on the roads add to noise pollution that has led to an increase in stress, anxiety and problems related to hearing. Water pollution has led to a decrease in the number of various aquatic animals.
Several aquatic life forms are on the verge of extinction. Migratory birds are known to change their course due to pollution or change in weather. Respiratory diseases in human beings is another price that we are paying for polluting the environment. Acid rains can kill trees, destroy crops and fish life in lakes and streams. Ingestion or inhalation of toxic substances increases the chances of having life-threatening diseases like cancer. Increasing population, industrialization and need of land for development of expanding cities has led man to cut down forests selfishly. Not only are the forests home to a large number of animals, trees are also an important impotent of the water cycle.
The roots of plants hold the soil together and prevent soil erosion. The global forest cover has shrunk to half its area in the last 1 1 ,OHO years. During the period between 1 990 and 2000 itself, the yearly loss of natural forests was 16 million hectares. Deforestation at such alarming rate has been a cause of constant worry for environmentalists the world over. ‘Biodiversity’ plays an extremely important role when it comes to maintaining the life on Earth. Extinction of Species The variety and interdependence of all living things has led to the evolution of world. Man has been killing animals right since the time he acquired the skill of hunting.
Although in those times, hunting was the means for survival, human beings continued to kill animals even after they had learned to cultivate crops. The relentless hunting by human beings, sometimes for the hide of a cheetah or the tusks of the elephants, or simply to cook the tasty shark fin soup, has wiped out the existence Of a large number of animals in just a century. Besides hunting, human activities like environmental pollution and deforestation has led to the extinction of a large number of animals and lands due to loss of habitat. Recent studies have shown that in North America, 37 animal species have become extinct in the last 50 years due to human activities. Loss of habitat led to the extinction of the Bali subspecies of tiger in 1937.
According to the 2008 annual ILIAC (International Union for Conservation of Nature) report, there were 1 6,928 animal and plant species that are threatened of extinction and the list keeps increasing every year. Despite the indiscriminate exploitation of nature by some people, there are a handful of those that are relentlessly working to reverse the detrimental effects of human activities on the environment. The World Wildlife Fund, European Environment Agency and the National Geographic are some organizations that run programs for the preservation of nature and educate and inspire people to conserve all life forms be it flora or fauna. Here is a small list of activities that can help reestablish the ecosystems. How can Humans Improve Damaged Ecosystems Passing and implementing strict laws for industries and colonies.
Those who are responsible for polluting air and water should be severely punished. Creating protected wildlife reserves. Certain species that are on the verge of extinction should be declared as ‘protected species’ by respective governments. Breeding certain species, and releasing them afterwards so that they can live in their own habitat. Preserving and creating proper habitats. Planting as many trees as possible. Reforestation or re-greening the damaged areas can help avoid desertification of land. Creating awareness by celebrating ‘Earth Day’, ‘Green Day’, ‘Tree Day’, etc. Eliminating foreign species can help native species of plants to grow. Cleaning the rivers, ponds and lakes.
Avoiding use of plastic bags. Separating dry and wet garbage, composting, using wet garbage as manure. Avoiding use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Using innovative and different energy forms like solar energy, wind energy, etc. Limiting the use of vehicles by following the rule of carpool, taking stairs, walking or taking a bike ride whenever possible. Eating local products can help avoid wastage of gas and air pollution; as food products are transported by trucks, trains, ships or airplanes. They are processed with machines which require electricity to run. We have overworked the planet. Still, we can stop environmental degradation by following certain rules.
Creating awareness about the duties and susceptibilities Of the citizens Of EARTH is equally important. Now that we know how humans affect the environment, let us not sit back leaving all the responsibility of conserving our planet on a handful of people. Each one of us can make a valuable contribution towards preserving our environment. Let us do our own bit, for, in the well-being of the environment lies the key to our survival. Read more at Puzzle: http://www. Puzzle. Com/articles/how-do- humans-affect-the-environment. HTML Look around. Does the summer seem hotter than it was last year? Does it seem like the monsoon has given up on a schedule and does just as it leases? Does it seem weird that there are freak storms and floods?
Do you see the green cover rapidly shrinking on Planet Earth and the pollution levels rising? You aren’t the only one who’s witnessing all this. It’s happening the world over. Alarming climatic changes, deforestation, destruction of habitat, and extinction of species as well as rising pollution levels are only some of the current environmental issues that we are faced with. Ironically, humans have to combat several such ‘man-made’ effects that have harmed Mother Nature in many ways, over the years. ‘What you sow is what you reap’. Ring a bell? Resisting the temptation to get all condescending, let’s get an insight into some Of the major environmental issues that We need to deal with currently.
Current Environmental Issues Global Warming Global warming is one of the major issues that we are being faced with today. The term signifies an increase in the atmospheric temperature near the earth’s surface, which is caused due to various reasons. Scientists are of the opinion that a rise in the carbon dioxide levels will further aggravate the situation. The greenhouse effect causes the earth’s heat to be trapped in the atmosphere, which results in the increase in temperatures. Global warming has thus caused a change in the climate of the earth, causing temperatures to rise. This, in turn, has an effect on various species dependent on the basic laws of nature. A change in the same makes survival a difficult issue.
A warmer earth also causes changes in the rainfall patterns and thus affects humans, plants and animals as well. Ozone Depletion Chlorofluorocarbons (CIFS) are considered to be the main cause Of ozone depletion. The term ozone depletion implies a decline in the quantity of ozone in the earth’s stratosphere. The loss of ozone in the lower stratosphere was first recorded in Antarctica in the sass. As we all know, the earth’s atmosphere is composed of many layers; ozone forms one such layer in the stratosphere. CIFS are used in aerosol sprays as well as air conditioners. These, when released into the atmosphere add to the ozone depletion. The ozone hole in the Antarctic is caused primarily due to these CIFS.
Due to ozone depletion, humans are faced with various other problems such as dealing with the harmful effects of IV rays. These affect not only humans, but also affect plants and various species of animals as well. Pollution is something that we face on an everyday basis. It is probably a problem that we may have become immune to, given our fast-paced lives and the fact that it is being treated as a hackneyed issue, where a lot is spoken about but nothing concrete is ever done. Air pollution occurs with the addition of harmful chemicals into the earth’s atmosphere. The main pollutants of air are carbon monoxide, CIFS (Chlorofluorocarbons), nitrogen oxides and Suffer dioxide. Water pollution is caused when wastes are released into the water and contaminates it.
Soil pollution takes place when the soil is contaminated due to various industrial activities. Noise pollution occurs when the noise levels (honking, loud speakers, etc. ) crosses the normal decibel level. This can have a harmful effect on one’s hearing and lead to more severe after-effects, both physical and psychological (fatigue, irritation, stress, etc. ). Loss of Natural Resources With the alarming rate of increase in population, the loss of natural resources has become one of the major concerns. Issues like deforestation, animal extinction, shortage of water, lack of space and food are only some of the concerns brought on by the lack of resources.