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Modern Intensive Agriculture: Impacts on then Environment.

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Charlotte Seaman. Modern Intensive Agriculture: Impacts on then Environment. Intensive agriculture is the primary subsistence pattern of large scale populous societies. It is the result when much more food is being produced per acre. The first intensive agricultural societies were the ancient civilisations Egypt, India, North China, and Western South America. Today intensive agriculture is the primary food production pattern in all developed nations except those too cold for any form of farming outside of the greenhouse. Over the last century, large scale agricultural techniques have spread rapidly throughout the world with introduction of machines driven by internal combustion engines and the availability of commercially produced fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. The use of expensive mechanised farming equipment is to reduce labour costs and increase production. There are many reasons why agriculture has had such an impact on the environment. Throughout my essay I will be looking at these reasons. Genetically Modified food (GM) is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption, using the latest molecular biology techniques. ...read more.


Genetically modified foods have the potential to solve many of the world's hunger and malnutrition problems, and to help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yields and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides. Agriculture in Europe has changed more radically and rapidly than almost any other economic sector over the past 35 years. In 1960 around 15.2 million people were employed in the agricultural sector in the six countries which made up the European Economic Community. By 1987 this had dropped by two-thirds to 5.2 million. Across the European Union today only 10 million are employed in agriculture. The drift of people away from agriculture and the land has led to a fall in the number of farms and an increase in farm size and degree of specialisation. These factors, together with intensification, have had a significant impact on the environment. Farmers are now using more fertiliser, pesticides, seed and feedstuffs than ever before and the consequent pollution of groundwater from nitrates and pesticides is approaching dangerous proportions. ...read more.


As trees and plants are cleared away, the moist canopy of the tropical rain forest quickly diminishes. Less evaporation means that more of the Sun's energy is able to warm the surface and, consequently, the air above, leading to a rise in temperature. Many of the rain forest plants and animals can only be found in small areas, because they require a special habitat in which to live. This makes them very vulnerable to deforestation. If their habitat is destroyed, they may become extinct. Every day, species are disappearing from the tropical rain forests as they are cleared. We do not know the exact rate of extinction, but estimates indicate that up to 137 species disappear worldwide each day. The loss of species will have a great impact on the planet. We are losing species that might show us how to prevent cancer or help us find a cure for AIDS. Other organisms are losing species they depend upon, and thus face extinction themselves. Charlotte Seaman. www.internationalism.org/wr/246_britag.htm www.nuaf.org/no6/18_20:htm www.newscientist.com/hottopics./gm. Waugh. D. 1995 Geography An intergrated approach. 2nd Edition. ...read more.

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