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What are the greatest challenges facing planet Earth in the 21st Century?

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What are the greatest challenges facing planet Earth in the 21st Century? Throughout the 21st century it is easy to see that more and more challenges confront the Planet. It would be difficult to say which is the most important or serious as each concerns a different part of the world. It is clear that the planet is changing and it is happening at alarming rate. People around the world are suffering from Poverty and malnutrition while others fear about the demand for natural resources and how much time we have before they run out. Population growth is a huge matter in countries such as China and India where as in Australia depletion of the ozone layer is a big worry. However, we have been aware of the most of these problems for a while and for me the biggest challenge to face the earth yet is climate change. A big cause of climate change is global warming from greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. Human impact is causing more greenhouse gases to be produced by burning fossil fuels and deforestation and this is causing them to get trapped in the Earths atmosphere making the temperature rise. ...read more.


As the population increases there is more demand for food and this is also a problem with global warming. There will be more droughts making it hard to grow crops and importing from other countries will start to become more expensive. Some policies have been introduced in the past to try and control the population such as Chinas one child policy. However, such policies have not been accepted by other nations as they seem to breech human rights. Other nations such as Singapore now suffering from an ageing population are trying to increase their population which is not helping the population crisis. Cities are growing larger and larger the natural land around them is being turned into homes and office buildings. Cities are becoming more and more overcrowded and job opportunities are harder to find with a rising number of the population becoming unemployed. The Economic trend from 1975 to 2003 showed that from 1979 to 1989 the average Unemployment rate was 4.7%; 1990 to 2000 the average unemployment rate was 5.1% reaching 5.5% between the period 2000 and 2007 therefore the rate of unemployment is increasing gradually, this will continue increase will the population growing and will cause many problems. ...read more.


We use CFC's as refrigerants, aerosol spray propellants, as solvents in electronic chemistry, and in the expansion of polystyrene foam. This CFC's drift into the atmosphere and release chlorine. Through these reactions the ozone is broken down. This affects both the humans and the eco systems. Even minor problems of ozone depletion can have major effects. Every time even a small amount of the ozone layer is lost, more ultraviolet light from the sun can reach the Earth. This leads to damage of the cornea and other aspects of the eye and is a big cause of skin cancer. It also, inhibits growth of certain plants such as rye and wheat and stresses marine ecosystems as high levels of UV kill plankton. In Conclusion, it has been shown that the Planet does not face just one issue but has a number that concern the planet. Global Warming is the challenge that associate with other concerns like ozone depletion and rapid population growth but poverty is a matter that we have been facing to decades now. People are now becoming more and more aware of the issues facing the planet are trying to do something about however a lot more will need to happen if we want to reverse the damage we have done. ...read more.

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