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The consequences for the physical environment of land use change are almost always negative, discuss

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Introduction

The consequences for the physical environment of land use change are almost always negative, discuss. The physical environment is constantly, directly and indirectly being affected by land use change, more often than not this is negative. As technology has advanced the sheer scale of land use change has accelerated to the point where a quarter of Holland lies below sea level and in the last 5 years 37000 square miles of the Amazon rainforest was destroyed, that's roughly an area of Wales and Scotland combined. The urbanisation of London has created an urban heat island effect where temperatures in the centre of the city can vary from the greenbelt by as much as 6 degrees Celsius. This is due to a number of factors, the release of heat from buildings, the emission of pollutants from cars and heavy industry, a lack of surface water (compared to the countryside) and the absence of strong winds to re-shuffle the heat around an area (this is because tall sky scraper buildings absorb the energy from the winds via friction). Since the cities are warmer because of all these factors more people will use air conditioning units to keep cool, which ironically helps heat up the environment even more. ...read more.

Middle

whether Brazil should be allowed to do this at the expense of the rest of the world, for now it is tolerated (to an extent). Deforestation in the rainforest has had many negative environmental impacts. Firstly an awful lot of the world's trees are in the Amazon rainforest, and when they are cut down it increases the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, since trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, meaning that all animals have a smaller oxygen supply. This could be avoided if the rainforest was cut down in a sustainable way, by planting trees elsewhere as you cut them down. The loss of trees has also meant a loss of habitat for many animals in the rainforest. Areas of the rainforest have been cut down and designated for agriculture, this is a good idea in principal since the rainforest is very nutrient rich however, rainforests have nutrients replaced very quickly, and once the trees are cut down the soil will become infertile quickly, the heavy rain experienced in the rainforest climate also means that any top soil will be washed away, previously this wasn't a problem because the canopy would protect the ground below by interception. ...read more.

Conclusion

These gravel pits were left to naturally fill with water to become lakes, and there are now 137 lakes in total. It is now an SSSI and used as a water park, each lake is sold to the highest bidder as long as it is in keeping with the general aim of the people who manage all the lakes (the Cotswold water park society) to keep a careful balance between development, recreation and nature conservation. Initially the extraction of gravel cam be detrimental to wildlife since there is noise pollution which can frighten the animals, and also remove their habitat, however the gravel pits are left with sloping sides (to make it easy for animals to enter and leave the lakes) and have created a new habitat for animals. This has been so successful that beavers have bred there for the first time in the UK for over 500 years. In conclusion a lot of land use changes are negative for the physical environment, they can cause pollution and a loss of habitat, but man is not always bad, there are numerous cases where SSSIs and nature parks have helped preserve the environment, or enrich it. ...read more.

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