The Earth is a big (thick) blanket, and humans are adding heat to it as they burn fossil fuels. One way that the Earth may become unstable is if too much heat is added to the atmosphere.
This could lead to changes in climate, increased pollution and even a rise in sea levels.
Recently, there have been debates among scientists about how much of an effect global warming will have on the environment since some believe that all it has done so far is cause natural disasters like floods and storms while others believe climate change will eventually lead to more drastic environmental impacts.“
1. Global warming –
Anthropogenic global warming is the observed century-scale rise in the average temperature of Earth’s climate system and its related effects.
Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming.
2. Deforestation –
Deforestation is the clearance of forests on a large scale. These forests are usually replaced by either agricultural land or urban use, or sometimes abandoned as wasteland.
Deforestation is usually contributed by the overharvesting of timber, and clearing land for agricultural use.
Habitat loss caused by deforestation leads to biodiversity loss and subsequently, any possible forest regrowth is unlikely in cleared areas, except for natural regrowth.
Global human activity has resulted in deforestation on a massive scale, for example, 8.3 million hectares (32,000 sq mi) were lost in 1990 (in Indonesia), and 50 million hectares were lost from 1980-2000.
3. Pollution –
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment.
It can refer to substances directly released to the environment such as chemical pollutants, or to secondary pollutants which are not intentionally introduced, such as airborne dust.
Pollution can be spread via wind and water droplets, or transported by air through atmospheric diffusion and it affects humans (both directly and indirectly), animals, plants, buildings and the Earth’s natural ecosystems or surfaces.
Some forms of pollution are recognized by solid, liquid, gas or radiation-containing poisonous chemicals.
Other forms of pollution have no easily detectable characteristic; for example thermal pollution may be dispersed in water sources as heat or light due to human activity i.e. concrete/building foundations.
Pollution can also be a social issue and a chronic problem. It is argued that this is due to the fact that the environmental factors that take part in pollution are difficult to uproot.
This can make it very hard for people to avoid pollution in their daily lives because their surroundings will have high levels of it.
The effects of pollution have been felt by many humans around the world, including but not limited to those who live in an urban environment or those who live near other people’s factories or farms.
The types of negative effects caused by pollution include death, cancer, skin irritation and lung problems, eye irritation and respiratory problems.
Other severe effects that might result from pollution include birth defects, lowered immune system function and even death.
4. Over-population –
Overcrowding is one of the main causes of pollution. When many people live in a limited area, they produce more waste than if that same population were spread evenly over a larger or infinite area.
Even though some pollutants can be cleaned up, like trash and pollution caused by humans, some will last for an extremely long time.
This is because a lot of these pollutants are non-biodegradable and are toxic to living organisms.
Some examples of these pollutants are radioactive products from nuclear power plants and mercury from abandoned thermometers.
5. Pollution of the oceans –
deforestation and the impoundment of water from the melting snow, raging rivers and melting glaciers.
This has led to increased levels of pollution of the ocean’s ecosystem, which may have effects that are not easily discernible until many years later.
This has been most evident in polluted oceans, where high levels of certain pollutants have been found.
These major waves of pollution have occurred in the last century with an increase in human population and industrialization over this time period.
One example is “a dramatic increase in ‘spills'”, such as oil spills from transoceanic tankers.”
6. Unsustainable agriculture –
Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fiber and other desired products by the cultivation of certain plants and their progeny in controlled environments.
Agriculture is done on both small and large scales.
All farming to some degree involves an investment of human labor and a variety of tools in order to clear land, plant seeds or young trees, tend the plants, protect them from pests and diseases, control weeds, harvest any desired crops, and collect/distribute/sell the crop.
Selective breeding as one form of agricultural technology has been practiced for thousands of years; although it employs artificial selection rather than natural selection.