ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS :
HOW DO OUR ACTIVITIES AFFECT ENVIRONMENT?
- Environment is significant in the cycle of life as it is composed of the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal or plant survives or operates.
- The environment is constantly changing and so the environmental issues that are causing these changes need to be identified for awareness.
- As phenomena like natural disasters, warming and cooling periods, different types of weather patterns, etc increase people need to be a lot more cautious with the way they lead their lives along with the types of environmental issues the planet is facing.
- People all over the world face new environmental issues every day that make them prone to disasters in the present and future times.
CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
- Greenhouse is a small warm house made of glass used to grow plants. It traps the sun’s rays and keeps the heat from escaping.
- Likewise, the atmosphere traps heat next to the earth.
- The greenhouse effect produces the relatively warm and hospitable environment near the earth’s surface so that humans and other life-forms develop and prosper.
- It is a natural process that involves physical, chemical and biological processes which combine and interact to shape the earth’s climate.
- The natural greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour trap energy from the sun and act like a big blanket around the earth, keeping it warm.
- Humans however, create extra greenhouse gases causing more heat to get trapped causing the earth’s temperature to rise, causing Global Warming.
- So, global Warming is defined as the recorded increase in the average temperatures of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans.
- It affects the weather patterns on Earth and causes Climate Change resulting in higher sea levels, more rainfall and severe droughts and floods.
DEPLETION OF OZONE LAYER
- Ozone (O3)is a molecule formed by three oxygen atoms.
- While O2 is essential for all aerobic forms of life, O3 is a deadly poison.
- At a height between 15 kilometers and 60 kilometers, there is a layer of ozone gas (O3) in the upper atmosphere which performs n essential function.
- Ozone layer absorbs most of the harmful ultraviolet radiations coming from the sun and prevents them from reaching the earth, like a pair of sunglasses.
- UV radiation is highly damaging to organisms, for example, it is known to cause skin cancer in human beings.
FORMATION OF OZONE LAYER:
- The higher energy is UV rays split apart some molecular Oxygen (O2) into free Oxygen(O) atoms.
- These atoms then combine with the molecular oxygen to form ozone
- The depletion of ozone layer is due to the use of chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons.
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) are the chemicals which are widely used in refrigeration (refrigerators and air conditioners) as coolant; in fire extinguishers an in aerosol sprayers.
- Chlorofluorocarbons contain chlorine which when released into the air react with ozone gas present in the ozone layer and destroy it.
- Due to this, the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere has become thinner, allowing more ultraviolet rays to pass through it to the earth.
- Water pollution is the introduction of solid, liquid or gas into waters which changes the physical, chemical or biological condition of the water.
- It may also be caused due to placing any matter where it might fall, descend, be washed or blown, into any waters (e.g. soil which may wash into a creek).
- Water becomes overloaded with too much of pollutant and the aquatic organisms cannot keep up with their cleaning responsibilities causing death and rapid growth in some cases.
- Air pollution is caused due to industrial and certain domestic activity that use fossil fuels like in power plants, industries, transportation, mining, construction of buildings, stone quarries.
SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
- Solid-waste management is the discipline that is associated with controlling the generation, storage, collection, transfer and transport, processing, and disposal of solid waste so that it is in accordance with the best principles of health, economics, engineering, conservation, aesthetics, and other environmental considerations, and is also responsive to public attitudes.
- Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land use. Such non-forest land use may be logged area arable land, urban use, or wasteland.
- As prices of raw agricultural products reduce on an international basis, pressure for poor rural agriculture to expand their land and production increases.
- This has many negative consequences on the environment and consequently on harvests by reducing the long-term viability of this solution as a supplement to income.
- Deforestation also means degradation that reduces forest quality including density and structure of the trees, the species diversity and the genetic diversity, the ecological services supplied, the biomass of plants and animals.