How Do Humans Have An Impact On The Environment – Find out how people are changing the environment, from acid rain to cutting down too many trees, and what the consequences of our actions are.

The environment is a complex web of interdependent ecosystems, and people significantly affect its health and well-being. Although we depend on the environment for survival and well-being, our actions often lead to unintended and harmful consequences.

How Do Humans Have An Impact On The Environment

How Do Humans Have An Impact On The Environment

From pollution and deforestation to climate change and habitat destruction, our environmental impact is wide and significant. Here we will explore how humans affect the environment, the consequences of our actions, and how we can mitigate our impact and protect the planet for future generations.

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Survival used to mean repopulation. That, however, is quickly becoming the opposite as we reach the maximum carrying capacity our planet can sustain, so some experts claim. Overpopulation has become an epidemic since death rates fell, medicine improved, and industrial farming methods were introduced, keeping humans alive for much longer and increasing the total population.

The effects of overpopulation are believed to be severe, one of the most powerful being environmental degradation. Humans need a lot of space, whether for farmland or industries, which also take tons of space. An increasing population leads to more clearing, resulting in severely damaged ecosystems. Without enough trees to filter the air, CO₂ levels increase, potentially harming every single organism on Earth.

Another issue is our dependence on coal and fossil fuels for energy; the larger the population, the more fossil fuels are used. The use of fossil fuels (such as oil and coal) leads to a large amount of carbon dioxide in the air, threatening the extinction of thousands of species, which adds to the effect of forest depletion.

Humanity is constantly needing more space, which destroys ecosystems and increases CO₂ levels, further destroying the fragile environment. Although processed materials are needed to power the cities, the previous assessment tells us that the planet can only sustain so much damage until it begins to harm us. However, many other experts point out that human population levels are not really a concern, with others claiming that we need more people!

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Corruption is everywhere. From the rubbish thrown out on the motorway to the millions of metric tonnes of pollution pumped into the atmosphere

Pollution is so bad, to date, 2.4 billion people do not have access to clean water sources. Humanity continuously pollutes indispensable resources such as air, water and soil, which require millions of years to replenish.

Air is arguably the most polluted, with the United States alone producing 147 million metric tons of air pollution each year. In 1950, smog was so bad in LA that ground-level ozone (an atmospheric gas that’s great in the atmosphere, not so much on the ground) was more than 500 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) – well above the National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 75 ppbv (6.6 times more to be exact).

How Do Humans Have An Impact On The Environment

People thought they were under foreign attack as the smog burned their eyes and left the smell of bleach. It was then that the destructive effect of aerosols was discovered. Although air quality in the United States has improved slightly, the rate in developing countries continues to decline as smog continues to block the sun in a thick shroud of pollution. This is just one of the issues we must address soon.

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Global warming is arguably the most significant cause of the impact on the environment. The most obvious causes are from CO₂ levels from respiration to more harmful causes such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation.

. The highest level of CO₂ in recorded history before 1950 was around 300 parts per million. However, current measurements of CO₂ levels have exceeded 400 PPM, obliterating all records dating back 400,000 years.

As temperatures rise, arctic land ice and glaciers melt, which causes sea levels to rise at a rate of 3.42mm per year, allowing more water to absorb more heat, which melts more ice, creating a positive feedback loop that will cause the oceans to rise 1-4 feet by 2100.

Climate change is closely linked to the historical development of industry and technology. As global temperatures increase, Earth’s weather patterns will change significantly. Although some areas will experience longer growing seasons, others will become wasteland as water will be depleted in large areas, turning once-flourishing regions into deserts.

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The increase will affect weather patterns, promising more intense hurricanes in terms of size and frequency and intensifying and extending droughts and heat waves. But air pollution doesn’t just affect the environment.

The evidence is mounting that poor air quality, and rising temperatures are ruining fragile ecosystems, even leading to higher rates of asthma and cancer in people.

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) have made a significant contribution to human survival and prosperity. GMOs are selectively bred crops or crops with DNA implanted directly into them to give the crop an advantage, whether to maintain cooler temperatures, require less water, or produce more yield.

How Do Humans Have An Impact On The Environment

But GMOs are not always intentional. For years humans have used glyphosate, a herbicide designed to eradicate weeds – the greatest threat to any plant. However, just as humans have a learning immune system, some weeds have developed resistance to 22 of 25 known herbicides, with 249 weed species fully resistant, according to the latest scientific report.

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A “super weed” threatens farmlands by choking out crops. One of the only solutions is to cultivate the land, turn the soil over to kill the weeds and give the planted crops an early advantage.

The disadvantage of digging is that it causes the soil to dry out faster and kills good bacteria, making its fertile life significantly shorter. To replenish the depleted soil, fertilizer is used, which presents a new set of problems for the environment and can be disastrous for local agriculture in the long term.

Ocean acidification is caused when CO₂ dissolves into the ocean, bonding with seawater and creating carbonic acid. The acid lowers the pH levels in the water, essentially changing the Ocean’s acidity by 30% in the last 200 years, according to analysis – a level the ocean has not been at for over 20 million years.

The acidity depletes the calcium concentrations, making it difficult for crustaceans to build their shells, leaving them vulnerable without their armor. Between global temperature rise of one degree and ocean acidification, scientists say a quarter of all coral reefs are considered damaged beyond repair, with two thirds under serious threat. The death of coral reefs is a serious concern.

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Coral reefs are home to 25% of aquatic life, many of which are responsible for the natural filtration of the ocean and the production of necessary nutrients essential for life under the sea. However, acidification is not the only aquatic threat, as other human activities are causing serious changes. Things like plastic pollution and overfishing are wreaking havoc on our oceans.

There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Not only is litter introduced into the oceans, but also the excessive amounts of fertilizers that find their way into the sea through rain, floods and winds or are dumped too much for the biggest producer of oxygen we have.

Fertilizer contains nitrogen, an essential element for plant growth –  but that doesn’t limit it to what it was intended for. Phytoplankton and algae thrive off nitrogen, causing excessive growth in so-called “red tides” or “brown tides” in areas with high concentrations of nitrogen. Brown tides are caused by the rapid growth of billions of algae, which depletes bodies of water of oxygen and causes the poison to build up in all life that eats it, including fish and birds. But water pollution doesn’t stop there.

How Do Humans Have An Impact On The Environment

Millions of tonnes of rubbish are dumped into the ocean every year. As the litter mainly consists of plastics, it is largely insoluble. The waste accumulates in large vortices across the sea.

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Marine life, including loggerhead sea turtles, are tricked into thinking they are eating food when it is just a floating plastic bag or other toxic plastic that will starve or suffocate any unfortunate animal that mistakenly ingests it .

Pollution is the main threat to aquatic life and is the main cause of reduced biodiversity. This is sad, given that water and water life forms are some of our most vital natural resources. But as mentioned above, overfishing also damages our oceans.

Fishing is not inherently bad for our ocean. But when not properly regulated, it can harm our oceans and our people. Globally overfished stocks have tripled in half a century, and today, a third of the world’s assessed fisheries are being pushed beyond their biological limits, says the WWF. Even more so, billions of people depend on fish for protein.

With an exponential expansion in humans, more food, materials and shelter are being produced at amazing rates, mostly derived from forestry.

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Forests are cleared to make way for new humans, which in turn causes more people; you can see the problem. According to international data, an estimated 18 million acres of trees are clear-cut each year to make way for new developments and timber products – just under half of all the trees on the planet


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