Environment refers to living organisms physical surrounding. Therefore, our environment should be a point of concern as it directly affects us. However, the environment is worsening as time goes on. For that reason, we need to pay much attention to our environment so as to prevent the situation from becoming worse in the future. This will not only help to safeguard our planet but also make us live a life free from health problems associated with the environmental damage.
For us to protect our environment, we need to first understand the environmental problems we are facing.
1. Global warming
Global warming involves temperature increase in the earth's surface and atmosphere. This temperature increase is caused by greenhouse gases that are emitted from human activities. Some of the greenhouse gases are carbon (IV) oxide, methane, ozone, water vapor, nitrogen (I) oxide among others.
Research shows that the earth's temperature has increased by almost 10c for the last century. This increase was catalyzed by the industrial revolution.
Some of the easiest ways to reduce greenhouse gases is by avoiding use of carbon elements and planting trees. Trees act as sinks of these greenhouse gases.
Pollution refers to the act of contaminating the natural environment making it unsuitable place to live. Things that pollute the environment are called pollutants. These pollutants cause adverse effect to air, water and soil.
Air pollution result to acid rain, water pollution causes death of sea living creatures while soil pollution impoverishes soil from essential nutrients.
Proper treatment of waste is the proper solution for the increasing pollution. This waste may be in the form of tangible items or in gas form.
This involves cutting down of trees. Trees provide us with fresh air as well as attracting rainfall. This means that deforestation leads to air pollution- as there are no sinks of greenhouse gases besides causing droughts which translate to other calamities such as famine.
Deforestation is something that is caused by human actions. Considering that trees are used in making timber and medicine, it can be concluded that it cannot be easily avoided. However, we can avoid unnecessary cutting of trees and plant more trees so as to conserve our environment.
4. Ozone layer depletion
Ozone layer is an invisible region in the earth's stratosphere which is responsible for preventing sun's UV radiations from reaching the earth surface. Ozone layer depletion is becoming a point of concern as we are increasingly being exposed to these UV radiations. These radiations have negative effect to our health and are caused by increased emissions of greenhouse gases.
5. Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl refers to the process of spreading cities to the rural areas. Urban sprawl results in setting up industries in the rural areas. Considering that most industries are located in the urban areas, the level of pollution in the urban area is higher (because of toxic industrial processes).Therefore, setting up industries in the rural areas spread this pollution to the environmental friendly areas.
This involves extraction of minerals from the earth surface. Minerals themselves have no adverse effect on the environment- what is associated with them is the one causing great environmental concerns. Minerals bring environmentally hazardous elements to the earth surface. Besides, mining involves processes which have a negative effect to the environment. This causes danger to the organisms inhabiting the earth.
7. Climate change.
This is another major cause of environmental concern. This involves extended period of change in weather patterns. Some of the causes of climate change are beyond our control while others are consequences of our own deed. Some of human activities that cause climate change involve burning of fossil fuels and cutting down of trees.
As we saw earlier, burning of fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases which result to global warming while deforestation result to reduced levels of rainfall.
8. Acid rain
Acid rain form when the rain's water molecules combine with poisonous gases existing in the air. This rain then pours to the surface of the earth causing adverse effect to the soil and existing water bodies. Acid rain result to death of sea living creatures without forgetting that it increases soil acidity.
Let us treat poisonous emissions from toxic processes. This will prevent not only air pollution but also soil and water.
Overpopulation refers to a condition where the number of people exceeds what the earth can comfortably accommodate. Resources being scarce, overpopulation introduces competition for these resources. Some of these resources include water and food. Overpopulation has resulted to increased need of food. For this reason, fertilizers are being utilized so as to boost soil fertility. These fertilizers cause damage to the environment.
10. Genetic engineering
This involves manually adding new traits to an organism. Genetic engineering is beneficial to an organism as it protects them from infections and increase food production. However, it also comes with its limitations. Genetically modified crops can have an adverse effect to a living organism as the manually added genes may be dangerous to living organisms.
From the discussed environmental problems, it is evident that most of these problems are caused by our own activities. We should therefore work hard to conserve our environment as this will not only help to safeguard our health but also for other living creatures. This will translate to better lives of the coming generations.
Environmental conservation starts with me and you.