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Human Impact on the Natural Environment

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A new stage in the relationship between nature and man began with the beginning of the industrial revolution. The rapidly developing scientific and technological progress, combined with the same idea of ​​human superiority and the need to take as much as possible from nature, ultimately led to what we have now. Humanity is on the verge of an environmental disaster. But we, like all other living things on the planet, are still inseparable from the biosphere. The framework of the natural environment in which we can exist is quite narrow. We need a certain air temperature, sunlight, the composition of the atmosphere, soil and water – this is the ecological environment in which evolution took place throughout our history. Yes, a person knows how to adapt to new living conditions. But only to known limits. And the speed of such adaptation is not too high. As practice shows, disastrous changes in the natural environment are much faster, which means that if these changes are not stopped, humanity will face difficult times. The influence of man on nature: we do not need anything, we are not sorry for anyone.

The “crown of creation”, armed with technologies, machines and mechanisms, has been actively influencing nature for many years, sometimes without thinking about what consequences this could lead to. Hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of the harmful effects of human activity on nature are known, and recently, changes on a global scale are increasingly appearing that threaten the planet as a whole. Air pollution affects global warming and climate change on the planet. The main “participants in the process” are heating plants and thermal power plants, non-ferrous and ferrous metallurgy enterprises, chemical production, car exhausts, coal and oil production and processing. Today, about 400 million tons of soot, ash, and dust enter the atmosphere. In addition, vapors of mineral acids, organic solvents, freon and others are released into the environment. As a result of such emissions, a greenhouse effect arises leading to a gradual increase in average annual temperatures. Since the beginning of the last century, the average surface air temperature has been increasing annually by 0.007 ° C, and scientists call the critical limit an increase in the average annual temperature by 2 ° C [2], that is, almost halfway has already been passed. Global warming causes the melting of the ice belt in the Arctic and Antarctica, an increase in the level of the World Ocean, and an increase in the frequency of floods. If the situation does not change, then in the future it is quite possible the onset of a new ice age.

The destruction of forests affects the state of the atmosphere and violates the water regime of our planet. The rivers located in the felling zone are shallowing, their bottom is silted up, and this leads to the destruction of spawning sites and a reduction in the number of different species of fish. Groundwater reserves are significantly reduced, and therefore, the soil dries up, which is easily washed away by rain streams and blow off winds that are no longer held back by forests. With deforestation, all living creatures that inhabit them perish. Very few of them are able to leave and adapt to life in a new place. For example, some types of sloths living in actively cut down forests of the Amazon basin are able to live only in these places – resettlement is impossible for them. Pollution of the oceans is another problem that is very acute for humanity. Due to pollution, the organoleptic properties of water change, heavy metals, chlorides, sulfites, radioactive elements appear in large quantities in it, the amount of oxygen dissolved in water decreases. More than 15 million tons of oil products fall into the ocean annually [3], since disasters involving oil tankers and drilling platforms have long been commonplace. All wastes are dumped into the ocean and the spaces of the ship plowing it – from passenger to cargo. Radioactive waste falling into the ocean as a result of accidents at nuclear power plants is very dangerous – let’s recall Fukushima. Pollute the ocean and plastic waste. They form entire islands on its surface that threaten the lives of marine inhabitants. The largest garbage island is in the Pacific Ocean.

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The area of ​​this island is estimated to be from 700 thousand to 1.5 million square kilometers, and it goes 10 meters in depth [4]. Most of the garbage – 80% – is of coastal origin, and ship waste and fishing nets make up about 20%. Animals and fish take plastic for food and swallow it. Plastic does not dissolve even under the influence of gastric juice, which inevitably leads to the death of living things. The remains of fishing nets often include seals, dolphins, and whales. They cannot be released without assistance and often die. The situation with freshwater reservoirs is not much better. The runoff of industrial enterprises and sewage from settlements led to the ecosystem being irreparably damaged in many rivers and lakes.

The European Elba River, due to the massive discharge of toxic substances by factories in Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, has long been given the status of the most polluted river in Europe. And this is far from the only example. Soil pollution. Harmful substances enter the soil. This is partly due to the activities of industrial enterprises, and partly due to the desire of man to improve crop yields. Fertilizers are not only beneficial, but can also cause enormous damage to the environment. Lack of proper processing of household garbage and its accumulation at landfills of solid household waste, and in vernacular dumps, lead to the fact that all the harmful substances washed out by sediments enter the soil, poisoning it and all living things nearby.

Today, the illegal destruction of animals is also one of the important environmental problems. Poaching has destroyed some species of animals and birds, while others are on the verge of extinction. Note According to the World Conservation Union, over the past 500 years, 844 species of animals and plants have disappeared from the face of the Earth. And the current extinction of animals is considered the largest since the extinction of dinosaurs [5]. Despite protection measures, the introduction of rare species in the Red Book, the creation of national parks, barbaric shooting for the sake of profit is still flourishing. Especially outrageous is the so-called trophy hunt, common in Africa. For a fee, anyone can kill just for fun a beautiful living creature – an elephant, a lion, a tiger … And if poaching is illegal, then trophy hunting is absolutely legal. These are far from all environmental problems that man created for himself. There are many more, and they grow like a snowball.

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Human Impact on the Natural Environment. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/human-impact-on-the-natural-environment/
“Human Impact on the Natural Environment.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/human-impact-on-the-natural-environment/
Human Impact on the Natural Environment. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/human-impact-on-the-natural-environment/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Human Impact on the Natural Environment [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/human-impact-on-the-natural-environment/
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