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The Impact of Man on the Environment.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Table of Content Introduction.............................................................................................................................Page 4 Biotic & abiotic factors..........................................................................................................Page 5 Ecology.......................................................................................................................................Page 6 Ecosystem..................................................................................................................................Page 7 Nitrogen cycle..........................................................................................................................Page 8 Nitrogen fixation.....................................................................................................................Page 9 Nitrogen in decomposer food chain..................................................................................Page 10 Environmental issues..............................................................................................................Page 11 Species extinction & human population..........................................................................Page 12 Urbanisation, Deforestation & Industrialisation.............................................................Page 13 Pollution.....................................................................................................................................Page 15 Air pollutants............................................................................................................................Page 16 Chlorofluorocarbons................................................................................................................Page 17 Greenhouse & Global warming...........................................................................................Page 18 Conservation.............................................................................................................................Page 19 IMPACT OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES IN OUR ENVIRONMENT Introduction on Environmental Degradation Environmental degradation is one of the biggest threats that the Planet Earth is facing actually. This degradation is taking place at a frightening rate. Environmental degradation is the process where the natural environment is so seriously affected that the biodiversity of the region is adversely affected. Earth is considered to be our home, which is a place where we are having our basic needs and wants. However, destroying Earth will be equal as destroying ourselves and our resources. If we poison its air, we cannot breathe; if we foul its water, we cannot drink; if we annihilate its plants and animals, we cannot eat, nor can we maintain the equilibrium of nature. Environment is our surroundings made of man-made resources and natural resources, though portions of the natural resources have been ravaged. Basically, the state of nature deteriorates through human activities such as deforestation, pollution and industrialisation. But however, even some natural processes can cause natural degradation. Human activities alter both the abiotic and the biotic environment in many ways. For example, energy use increases the air temperature around the cities, mining and effluent disposal release dissolved minerals into waterways, farming increased the population of agricultural and pest species, but decreased the population of most wildlife. EARTH Biotic Components Abiotic Components * Unicellular Organisms Light * Multicellular Organisms Temperature & atmosphere * Non-cellular Organisms Moisture & salinity Biotic factors These are living things including unicellular, multicellular & non cellular organisms. Unicellular ones are made up of only one cell, for example bacteria. ...read more.

Middle

Urbanisation The development of towns and cities makes less and less land available for wildlife. In addition the crowding of growing populations into towns leads to problems of waste disposal. The sewage and domestic waste from a town of several thousands of people can cause disease and pollution in the absence of effective means of disposal. When fuels are burned for heating they produce gases which pollute the atmosphere. There is a need of larger surface areas of land for the housing purposes. When no spaces are available, then people opt for cutting of trees. Therefore, deforestation problem is directly related to urbanisation, as well as industrialisation. Industrialisation In some cases, an increasing population is accompanied by an increase in manufacturing industries which produce gases and other waste products which can damage the environment. The effects of the human population on the environment are complicated and difficult to study. In their ignorance, humans have destroyed many plants and animals and great areas of natural vegetation. Industrialisation also has a great demand for land surfaces. Deforestation Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world's land area. The world's rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. Forests are cut down for many reasons, but most of them are related to money or to people's need to provide for their families. The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture. Farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Often many small farmers will each clear a few acres to feed their families by cutting down trees and burning them in a process known as "slash and burn" agriculture. Logging operations, which provide the world's wood and paper products, also cut countless trees each year. Loggers, some of them acting illegally, also build roads to access more and more remote forests-which lead to further deforestation. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a result, the concentration of CO2 has increased. And is likely to go on increasing as we burn more and more fossil fuel. Conservation Coal, oil, natural gas and minerals cannot be replaced once their sources have been totally depleted. Estimates of how long these stocks will last are unreliable but in some cases e.g., lead and tin, they are less than 100 years. By the time that fossil fuels run out, we will have to have alternative sources of energy. Even the uranium used in nuclear reactors is a finite resource and will one day, run out. The alternative sources of energy available to us are hydro-electric, nuclear, wind and wave power, wood and other plant products. The first two are well established; the others are either in the experimental stages, making only small contribution, or are more expensive than fossil fuels. Plants products are renewable resources and include alcohol distilled from fermented sugar, which can replace or supplement petrol, and sunflower oil, which can replace diesel fuel; and wood from fast growing trees. In addition. Plant and animal waste material can be decomposed anaerobically in fermenters to produce biogas, which consists largely of methane. Recycling As minerals and other resources become scarcer, they also become more expensive. It then pays to use them more than once. The recycling of materials may also reduce the amount of energy used in manufacturing. In turn this helps to conserve fuels and reduce pollution. Manufacturing glass bottles uses about three times more energy than if they were collected, sorted, cleaned and re-used. Recycling the glass from bottles does not save energy but does reduce the demand for sand used in glass manufacture. Waste Paper can be pulped and used again, mainly for making paper and cardboard. Newspapers are deinked and used again for newsprint. One tonne of waste paper is equivalent to perhaps 17 trees. So collecting waste paper may help to cut our import bill for timber and spare a few more hectares of moorland from the spread of commercial forestry. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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