Earth is one of the most beautiful planets of the solar system. It supports life and hence is home to numerous species. But today, our planet is suffering from several complicated situations among which environmental issues are the most important and dangerous ones. Today water, air, soil, and everything is polluted. Because of the increasing population and the irresponsible behavior of humans, the environmental conditions are becoming worse day by day. Here is a list of environmental issues today, which if not taken care of in time may end up with the destruction of our planet.
List of Environmental Problems
The list of environmental problems has grown to a great extent in the past few years. It has become very important to get these problems fixed before it is too late. Following are some of the major and serious problems being faced by the world.
Global Warming and Climate Change
Global warming is directly connected to the percentage of CO2 present in the earth's atmosphere. The earth gets its warmth from the green house effect. But due to the increasing percentage of greenhouse gases, the temperature of the earth is increasing day by day. This has resulted in the depletion of glaciers which in turn are responsible for the increasing sea level. If the temperature keeps increasing at such a rate, then slowly the entire land will be submerged in water.
Forests are an important part of the ecological cycle. They are a good source of oxygen, rainfall, moisture, etc. But deforestation has brought about a drastic change in the ecological balance of the earth. It takes years for a tree to grow and every year approximately 16 million hectares of forests are cut down for various purposes. This has resulted in a climate shift, less rainfall, soil erosion, danger to wild animals etc.
Today, there are many options of energy sources such as petroleum, biofuel, coal etc. But all these sources are non-renewable sources and will get depleted in the coming years if their consumption is not checked. Apart from the energy crisis, resources such as coal and petroleum are contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases. Due to the excess usage of these energy sources, not only are the sources getting depleted, but they are also adding to the greenhouse gases which in turn are adding to the global warming conditions. So, many countries are searching for alternative energy sources such as wind energy, solar energy, nuclear energy, etc., which may help in the future. But to get totally dependent on these resources and ensure their proper functioning may take some time.
Ozone Layer Depletion
Ozone is a protective layer which saves the earth from harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. But due to the emission of the CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon) gases the ozone layer is getting depleted. If the emission of these gases and other harmful gases are not checked, the ozone layer will disappear very soon. This may expose the living beings to harmful radiations which can cause life-threatening diseases like skin cancer.
There are many types of environmental pollution: water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution, noise pollution, etc. All these pollutions are very harmful and can cause a serious impact on living beings. Air pollution is related to the emission of harmful gases in the earth's atmosphere which is resulting in global warming. Water pollution on the other hand, is related to the dumping of waste materials in the water which causes harm to the aquatic as well as terrestrial life. Soil pollution is also related to the dumping of waste material in the soil which causes degradation of the soil. Now comes noise pollution, which is related to the high frequency sound ways which are harmful for the ears.
The world has progressed a lot but with this progress, the amount of harmful and toxic wastes have increased. This problem has topped the list of environmental issues in America. Many industries which have waste materials like mercury, lead, motor oil, etc. do not process them properly and dump it in land or water which further results in the toxification of soil and water. This waste may also include radioactive waste which is very difficult to neutralize. This is a very serious current environmental issue.
Oil spill has become a major cause for the extinction of many marine species. This is mainly caused due to carelessness, accidents, wars, natural disasters etc. Many oil industries have contributed to this environmental issue. Though there are many ways to clean up the spilled oil, by the time the work starts and gets completed, many marine animals and birds lose their life. There are many incidents which show the effect of oil spills on animals, human beings and the environment. The biggest oil spill in the world history was a result of Gulf war and it took place in the Persian Gulf where more than 420 million gallons of oil was spilled by the Iraqi forces just to stop the American soldiers from landing.
Depletion of Resources
Resources can be classified into renewable and non-renewable resources. Though renewable resources can be regenerated, over usage may lead to an imbalance in the supply of it. Resource depletion has also been included in the list of major environmental issues as it plays a very important role in our daily life. Overpopulation, erosion, pollution, mining, overfishing, industrial development, deforestation, over-consumption or unnecessary usage of the resources are some of the reasons behind the depletion of resources. This problem may cause irreparable damage to the environment.
Experts consider overpopulation to be the worst among the other environmental issues. According to the estimation of the United Nations World Population Prospects report, the current population is growing by 74 million people per year approximately. This is a very serious problem as with the increase in population their needs will also increase. Insufficient land, resources, food, and other basic necessity may give birth to many other problems and may also contribute to the existing ones. Hence, it is very important to keep an eye on the growing population not just for the sake of the environment but for the existence of our planet.
Many countries say proudly that they have nuclear weapons. But the fact is, nuclear weapons have become one of the most dangerous environmental issues today. The amount of nuclear weapon we have can destroy the entire earth in a few seconds. There are many disadvantages of nuclear power. Water is used to cool the reactors which then mixes up with the other water bodies and by this, it adds to the problem of global warming. The waste which is produced is so dangerous that even a small amount of nuclear waste can harm a big area and affect the living beings. The misuse of nuclear power has become a threat to the survival of life on earth.
Go Green to Save Earth
To save the planet you should go green. 'Go green' is a concept which was put forward in the year 2002 in California. It is meant to save the planet. Following are some of the points which may help you to get an outline of this concept.
- Save energy to reduce the energy crisis and to save nature. Switch off all electrical appliances when not in use. Try to avoid non renewable energy sources and concentrate on renewable energy like solar energy.
- Water is life. We cannot survive without water. Hence save water. Preserve rainwater and stop water pollution.
- Use things which are not harmful to nature and can be recycled. Stop using plastic bags and bottles. Use eco-friendly things.
- Save trees, avoid using papers. Plant trees.
- Try to use electronic appliances which are not harmful for nature. Use cold water for washing clothes and for other things which can be managed easily.
- Avoid using gas and oil for your vehicles. Try to use bicycles or go walking for short distances.
- Control overpopulation. Concentrate on the concept of family planning.
These issues need to be discussed and proper steps should be taken in order to save the planet. The list of environmental problems given above may look small but the problems discussed in this HelpSaveNature article are enough to slowly, but surely destroy the entire earth. So, concentrate on the tips to save the environment and join hands to protect it.