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The Effect of Humans on the Environment

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Introduction

The Effect of Humans on the Environment Human activity has a huge impact on the environment, and because of the increase in global population in the past century there has been an increase in the effect on the environment. Such things include more land being used for agriculture, transport, housing and other developments. With a growing population there is an even bigger impact on our environment, which comes from economic factors and industrial requirements. Between 1945 and 1975, there was the 'Green Revolution', and this brought a doubling of world food production. The agricultural chemicals, such as fertilisers and pesticides, had a lot to do with this success. The fertilisers made it possible to grow crops where the soil was previously too poor. Their use dramatically increases crop yields, but artificial fertilisers can cause pollution if they drain into rivers and streams. Also there are the pesticides, and these have been used to kill unwanted insects that eat crops, weeds that compete with crops, and fungi that cause disease. ...read more.

Middle

They are also adding to the 'greenhouse effect', and cause the ozone layer to become thin. This layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Not only does the air get polluted, but also the rivers and seas do as well. Pollutants, like fertilisers, drain from the land into our rivers. Domestic and industrial pollutants are often discharged straight into our rivers. The biggest single pollutant that we have is sewage, and it can encourage the growth of algae and bacteria, which use up lots of oxygen. This leads to the result of many fish and small invertebrates to die. Our rivers empty out toxic wastes into the sea and this is not a good thing as it causes further pollution, like: 1. The fertilisers and sewage encourage the growth of toxic algae 2. Pesticides are becoming concentrated in the tissues of shellfish 3. Radioactive chemicals are found in high concentrations around coastal nuclear power stations 4. ...read more.

Conclusion

Scientists have already developed a type of plastic called Biopol. Microbes in the soil can break this down. ICI (Zeneca) is Britain's largest chemical company and scientists there, put bacteria into fermenters with glucose and other nutrients. The microbes make a chemical that can be turned into Biopol. As plastic is used in packaging and is a major pollutant this is a good idea to get rid of it, although when decomposing Biopol produces carbon dioxide. Also to help to try and stop pollution: 1. People should use public transport more so that fewer vehicles are on the road, and so less pollution is being caused. 2. Aerosol cans should not be used as much, so our ozone layer does not become harmed 3. Our rivers should not be filled with fertilisers or toxic wastes from humans 4. We should burn less of our fossil fuels as when doing this it gives off carbon dioxide, which builds up and adds to the greenhouse effect. Also we should burn less of our fossil fuels as they are very important to us and will soon run out. ...read more.

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