Humans, the definition of life on earth. What would life be without human activities. Unknown to many, a significant portion of all human activities have a devastating effect on life here on earth. As much as the human activities ensure the survival of several species, it leads to the death of several other forms of life, and devastates the earth. Human activities have immensely affected the environment in consideration of cutting down of trees, extinction of wildlife, exhaustion of natural resources as well as contamination of water, air and land. Humans, for many years, have brought significant effects on the environment. Nevertheless, the effects have radically augmented as a result of population growth, industrialization and farming activities from the time of industrial revolution. The focal point of the essay is mainly on how these human activities have greatly affected the human, animal and plant life and the entire ecosystem negatively.
The unavoidable process of land acquisition due to population growth has led to more people cutting down trees so as to have settlement and farming lands. This has immensely culminated to incalculable soil erosion, extinction of wildlife, and a decreased supply of oxygen and lesser environmental carbon dioxide emission. Most of the cleared terrain is being exploited for farming so as to provide for the ever increasing population. In the bid of augmenting productivity, cultivators are now using chemical fertilizers which are contaminating the environment, especially water and air. Augmented to manufacture of restricted kinds of produce as well as farm animals for food have depreciated the quantity of diverse species of vegetations and animal. Factory and individual application of fossil fuels has considerably augmented the atmospheric level of air pollution.
Some of the human activities which have brought immense impacts on the environmental degradation are deforestation, mining and transportation. Deforestation is cutting down of trees or vegetation cover. This has led to an increase in some of the harmful gases since the trees that are meant to filter useful the environmental gases have been eradicated. Trees are also known to be good wind-breakers and therefore without them a lot of harm may befall humans. Such harms may include uplifting of roofs and uprooting of crops like maize by wind. Deforestation can only be corrected by afforestation or reafforestation.
Afforestation involves planting of trees where they were not planted before while reafforestation is planting of trees where they were planted before or cutting trees then replacing them by planting other trees. Mining as a human activity causes soil erosion and also robs off land of its natural beauty. Transportation of chemicals such as petrol through pipelines and ships also leads to environmental pollution, soil and water respectively. Fumes from motor cars are also elements of air pollution.
The most superficial proof the effects of Industrial Revolution is the current global increase of the human population. Human population has been on the rise ever since the first millennium. It is worth noting that human population was reduced in the year thirteen-thirties by the Black Plague. The renaissance of the Industrial Revolution had an impact on the living standards of people as well as medicines. This led to population explosion that progressed into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The increased population growth led to more needs in order to survive. Such needs included more food, land for settlement, energy and other necessities.
Taking a glimpse at the renaissance of the Industrial Revolution, realizing the vast impacts of what had transpired then becomes a challenge. The environmental unity principle which holds that what happens today will influence the future is well depicted in this scenario of the industrial revolution. Humans are progressively advancing from the industrial revolution to better ways of sustaining themselves. The success of scientists in coming up with medicines to eradicate, prevent or limit most diseases has also greatly led to population growth since life is preserved. Establishment of hospitals, rehabilitation centers and police stations to safeguard the welfare of the society is also one of the advancement that has led to population growth.
One of the causes of environmental pollution is wastes from factories. Factories have been contaminating the surroundings from the commencement of industrial revolution, particularly as a result of the escalating application of fossil fuels. Coal is being utilized in making it possible for the machines to function at a faster speed and thus substituting manpower since 19th century and partially 20th century. Both water and air pollution can as well take place inasmuch as factory pollution primarily contributes to air pollution. This is mainly for the industries which are involved in the production of power. Shipping of energy may be harmful to the surroundings. For instance, soil can be contaminated in the case of a leakage when petrol is being transported through pipelines.
Agricultural Activities is another cause of environmental pollution. Farming is chiefly accountable for the infectivity of soil and water due to the augmented application of pesticides and other farm chemicals. Most pesticides are manufactured from chemical compounds which are intended to keep off menacing animals and diseases from the produce. Conversely, in the process of barring the wildlife from the crops, the surrounding environment is also affected. Additionally, more bionetwork and natural resources are shattered so as to create more space as farming becomes more rigorous in providing for the growing population.
Another human activity that causes environmental pollution is transportation. Environmental pollution is on the peak from the time when humans ditched travelling by use of animal power. Correspondingly, industrial pollution contributed by transport is largely accredited to fossil fuels. Man, nowadays use motor cars from carriages by horses, trains which were initially driven by coal, and the most modern form of transport which is aero planes. From these advancements, pollution has been at its peak.
Trading Activities as a human activity is no exception in polluting the environment. The activities involve the manufacture and exchanging of products and services. Pollution is contributed by packaging that entails plastic manufactured from fossil fuel in relation to the products. Residences also contribute to environmental degradation. Being able to construct houses the environment must be interfered with. Both animals and plants are displaced by buildings. Since it calls for industrial work, construction as well contribute to environmental pollution. Again after settlement, residents produce waste daily, not to mention the non-biodegradable ones. Water pollution caused by human activities is one of the most common form of environmental pollution.
The most influence man has on the aquatic life is sufficient input of nutriments. Nutriments such as phosphorus and nitrogen are necessary for the maintenance of aquatic life. Though, man has manufactured huge quantities of nutriments, mainly by use of fertilizers. A lot of nutriments is capable of depreciating their quality by resulting to algae and bacteria using oxygen which should be instead used by other species for survival. To make it worse, the nutriments are carried by water currents to different water bodies. Consequently, these nutrients are cable of degrading the quality of water in areas from which they were at first.
Air pollution is the most common form of environmental pollution. Most of the air pollution comes as consequence of activities by humans. For instance, incineration of fossil fuel emitted by motor cars, industries and power plants pump immense volume of air pollutants, like nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide ozone and carbon monoxide into the environment. Some of the components of the polluted air that are capable of causing severe health problems such as reproductive complications, cancer as well as defects related to birth include lead-based elements.
Soil pollution refers to the introduction of undesirable and foreign substances into the soil. As opposed to air pollution that causes direct impacts to human health, soil pollution brings about a collateral harm to human beings as well as animals. Soil, water and light are the three elements in which all living organisms depend upon. Nutrients from decomposed organisms are taken up by the producers which are the plants. Later the nutriments from the plants are taken by the secondary consumers, that is, both the grazers and the browsers like cows, donkeys, horses, sheep and goats among other animals. Some lakes seem to be drying due to global warming. Sooner or later, the humans, which are omnivores, take up nutrients from these browses when they kill them for food. When animals die, they decompose and the plants take up the nutrients again. It is a continuous cycle. Industrial wastes are the major causes of soil pollution then closely followed by human activities such as deforestation and mining.
Human activities can also cause change in climate. In line with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S, activities of humans are greatly accountable for the worldly temperature rise. This is chiefly as a result of emission of greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide. This temperature increment has led to change in environmental locality of agricultural practices, animals and fish. They can only be found in specific places under different temperatures. Temperature increase around the global is also resulting to melting of glaciers, producing water and thus the rise in sea levels. It has also affected the communities living along the coast as well as the economies that depend on the same resources.
Human beings are definitely one of the components of the ecosystem that are adversely affected by the environment pollution due to their activities. The effects of this environmental degradation are chiefly physical, however, can as well be neuro-affections in nature. Some of the negative health effects of environmental pollution to humans are respiratory complications which involve asthma, allergies, nasal passages and eyes being irritated. Remarkably, such competent proliferate morbid may be witnessed when the pollution of the air is paramount in cities, for example on the temperature rise. Additionally, the growth of cancer has been observed to be as a result of environmental pollution. This may occur for instance when we consume portions of impurities that are employed in the manufacture of pesticides or foods. There are also other secondary diseases which may arise, though seldom. They include diarrhea, hormonal change, hepatitis and typhoid.
Pollution caused by Human activities affects the animals as well. This is by bringing detriment to their surrounding when toxic chemicals are unintentionally introduced or emitted. Acid rains may alter the natural state of water bodies and hence making them unfavorable for the aquatic animals as well as the cattle that drink from it. Lung related complications can arise especially on the depletion of the ozone layer. Phosphorus and nitrogenous compounds within the water can result to overgrowth of poisonous algae which will inhibit the natural course of life. Finally, soil pollution can result to toxicity and microorganisms being destroyed leading to the termination of the primary food chain.
Human activities have also had an impact on both plants and the ecosystem. Inasmuch as acid rain is affecting the animals, it also has adverse effects on plants. Environment pollution resulting from human activities has brought an undesirable impact on the ecosystem, causing destruction of the critical layers like ozone layer on the upper part. Global warming is whereby the greenhouse gases cause the surface of the earth, water bodies and the atmospheric temperature to rise gradually. Global warming begins by effects of the greenhouse formed by the association of the sun’s radiation and the atmosphere of the earth.
Some of the human activity results to the production of toxic gases within the atmosphere of the earth. Over the past years, due to these scenarios, there has been a great increase in the optimum global temperature. Over the history, burning of coal has been the chief source of carbon dioxide pollution. The second largest source is the use of the automobiles. If current trend goes on, global warming will be on the rise given that it is a multi-faceted process and will result to serious repercussions. Some of the consequences related to global warming include rise in the sea level, interference with the habitat and melting of glaciers. The modern technologies have started to control and limit the impacts of global warming. Technological developments enable motor cars to move cleaner whilst using less gas. Production of electricity is also possible by use of power which uses sources which are environment friendly.
Temperature increase on land, air water bodies such as oceans, seas and lakes is what is referred to as global warming. Green house is whereby carbon dioxide and water take up infracted radiation leading to an increase in temperature. Global warming is also caused by greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gas is gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. Examples of greenhouse gases are carbon and water vapor. They regulate the global temperature after absorbing radiation which has been refracted. The rise in industrial production has mitigated the level of these gases. Emission of carbon dioxide has made it hard for heat to elude the atmosphere. Penetration of the heat into the earth’s atmosphere is through short wave radiation, heating the earth’s surface leave in form of long wave radiation, depending on the level of the greenhouse gases. Warming effects usually occurs when the long wave radiation fails to pass through the atmosphere.
Garbage is a threat to both animal and plant life since it responsible for the destruction of the local ecosystems. Garbage is equal where many species of animals get their food. Most of the garbage that is dumped in the water bodies is eventually found in landfills. The landfills are made to cease the leakage of effluents to other parts of the surrounding so as to evade polluting water supplies. Though getting filled, these landfills are where land animals and birds regularly feed from. However, they can contract diseases due to contamination of some of their foods.
Plastic, to be specific, is the major component of garbage which has largely affected environmental pollution. Plastic is often utilized since it is durable. Though, due to the fact that it is durable, its process decomposing is quite slow. Being strong as well make it hard or impossible for the animals that get trapped in it to break free and for these reasons, recycling remains to be the best option so as to reduce this harm.
Albeit humans may not be susceptible to the whole destruction of the environment, their day to day activities have brought negative impacts on earth which is now becoming more and more uninhabitable. Humans have as well advanced in a technology which is destructive for instance development of nuclear weapons which when used maximally can make the ecosystem uninhabitable for them, animals and plants. For the past years, human activities have brought a significant harm leading to undesirable changes in the environment such as climate change, damage of the ozone layer which protects humans from the lethal ultraviolet rays of the sun. Luckily, the earth has the power to regenerate. The world can undo the harmful effects it is sustaining were it that all the deteriorating human activities were to come to an end.
Humans ought to look after of the environment so as to minimize the risk of being exposed to toxic pollutants, enhance the heath status of the societal members and eradicate the wastes that use up the landfills. Caring for the surrounding also guarantees the natural resources’ availability for future generations. Caring for the environment by mitigating toxic levels is a primary civic duty required of all humans.
Contamination from fuel exhaust, manufacturing and smoke is unhealthy for the public in general. Apart from humans, pollution of the air can also affect plants, animals, crops and trees. It also has tremendous impacts on game reserves, water bodies; aviation centers the quality of air in the cities, towns and villages nearby. Environmental pollution affects the overall economy of a country. Pollution and toxins that affect the environment pose a significant risk to a nation’s overall economy.
Conserving water, mitigation of the gas emitted from greenhouses, garbage incineration, use of energy efficient bulbs and recycling are some of the measures should be competently adhered in the bid of saving our ecosystem and the life within it. Some of the basic steps that can greatly make a difference are like switching off lights where they are not being used and also plugging off of electronic devices when they are not being used.
Using public transport and minimizing the use of private vehicles, avoiding unnecessary stopping while driving, cycling or walking are also important measure which can help reduce the emission of greenhouse gas. Humans can mitigate the amount of wastes by making use of products that have a low packaging volume and also by recycling. Biodegradable compounds yield natural fertilizers and also use a lesser space for landfill. In order to provide effective cooling and heating, air filters must be kept clean always. Application of an automated thermostat will also curb wastage of energy when people are not around. Any action that mitigates both energy and water consumption may results to positive effects on the environment.
In conclusion, it is evident that human activities have greatly affected the human, animal and plant life and the entire ecosystem negatively. Despite the harm that human activities such as deforestation, mining and transportation using fume-emitting motor cars has brought to the environment, humans can still adjust and create a life supporting environment. Measures that ought to be taken include afforestation and reafforestation, using of energy saving devices, using closed and concrete steel metals in transporting oil and petrol so as to avoid soil pollution. Minimizing sea accidents when shipping oil and other chemicals in the bid of preserving aquatic life, is among many other measures, which can be practically taken into consideration.