The environment plays a crucial part in the life of the planet. All living things on Earth require health, cleanliness, and an environment conducive to adaptability and increasing the likelihood of survival.
The remarkable technological advancement that occurred during the industrial revolution has brought humanity the highest security, health, and wealth throughout humanity. However, it has also caused irreparable environmental damage to our environment.
With the increase of natural catastrophes, cold and hot seasons, various kinds of weather, and a myriad of other variables, it is important to be aware of the current environmental issues the world is confronting.
The most significant environmental issues relating to a global system (air, soil, water, and so on.) that have emerged because of the human presence or abuse of the soil itself,
1. Global warming
Global warming is the result of human activities like air pollution. The increase in CO₂ emissions and other greenhouse gases has contributed to the global average temperature increase by one degree. Global warming could cause long-term consequences because of increasing temperatures and rising seas, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and extreme precipitation events like flooding, increased snow, or desertification.
According to NOAA, the global average temperature has increased by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the last century. Within the United States, it was determined to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent by the year 2020. it is still a matter that needs to be given more attention.
2. Climate change
Climate change is a different environmental problem that has surfaced in recent years. It is the result of global warming that occurs as the atmosphere releases energy from Earth to space. Fossil fuels are used for transportation and power generation, electricity and landfills, deforestation, and fertilizers all contribute to climate change. It can lead to stronger storms, more extreme storms, higher temperatures, more droughts, increasing temperatures, oceans, the loss of species, a lack of adequate food sources, and increased risk to health.
Drought could affect the production of food and affect human health. Flooding could spread diseases and cause damage to infrastructures and ecosystems, alter food availability and decrease workers’ productivity
3. Ozone layer depletion
The ozone layer functions as a natural filter, absorbing ultraviolet (UV) energy. Losing layers is a significant problem, and many elements cause it. The most significant reasons for ozone layer loss are nitrogen gases and chlorofluorocarbons. These gaseous pollutants cause holes in the Ozone layer, the most significant of which is located over the Antarctic.
The intense ultraviolet light of the sun can slow plant growth and result in eye and skin cancer as well as cataracts, sunburn, increased aging, and weakening of immune systems in individuals.
Research has shown that ozone depletion is common in latitudes including North America, Europe, Asia, and a large portion of Africa, Australia, and South America.
4. Land, Air, and Pollution on Land
Pollution is the introduction of harmful chemicals into the surrounding environment. Pollution is an environmental issue resulting from the rapid growth of urbanization and industrialization.
Pollution is an environmental problem of any kind, like air pollution, natural pollution, water pollution, garbage pollution, etc.
It impacts biodiversity, ecosystems, and human health worldwide through soil and water contamination. One of the main pollutants that cause environmental pollution include urbanization, industry and the growth of populations, exploration, and mining.
Air pollution refers to any substance or chemical in the air that could cause harm to animals, humans, or the health of plants. It can also harm buildings.
The effects of water pollution are:
- A source of disease for humans and animals.
- The devastation of the ecosystem.
- The disintegration of food chains.
- Deaths from marine species.
The contaminated soil can cause the disappearance of fertile land suitable for cultivation.
5. Solid waste management
The management of waste is among the most pressing environmental problems.
Garbage disposal is extremely harmful to the planet in countries that are developing. The negative environmental impact of the improper disposal of waste can be seen across the world in developing countries,
Inadequate waste management can contribute to climate change and air pollution and directly impact numerous species and ecosystems. The marine and coastal ecosystems could be severely affected by poor waste management or littering.
Open areas and unsanitary conditions cause pollution of drinking water. They also cause the spread of disease.
Each year, 11.2 billion tonnes of trash is produced across the globe, and the resultant percentage is 5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.
Our forests provide a sink for carbon dioxide and supply oxygen, helping regulate the temperature and rain. Forests the size of football pitches are being cut down each hour. By 2030, the globe will be left with only 10% of its forest. If deforestation continues to end, it will disappear within a century.
The primary causes of deforestation are the growth of agriculture, the logging industry, and the expansion of infrastructure, such as the construction of roads and cities.
Deforestation can alter the water cycle, reducing rainfall, altering drainage and quality of water, and contributing to the loss of diversity.
The world’s population is now unsustainable due to a scarcity of essential resources like fuel, water, and food. The population of the world is approximately 7.6 billion and is growing. The projected population will be more than 8 billion in 2025.
The primary (and possibly the most evident) reason for the increase in population is the disproportion between deaths and births. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the number of infant deaths around the world had dropped as of 2017, when 4.1 million infants died, compared to the 8.8 million deaths in.
Population growth causes issues that cause the loss of forests, a decrease in biodiversity, and a rise in pollution emissions that contribute to the rate of climate change.
8. Ocean Acidification
The ocean can absorb about 30% of the CO₂ released into the atmosphere due to human activities, which causes its pH to decrease, making the ocean more acidic. Since the mid-80s, the water in the ocean has been 95 % acidic. Ocean acidification threatens the oceans of the world’s rivers, streams, and rivers. Acidification of the oceans can harm ecological balance and impacts the people who depend upon the ocean to obtain resources and food.
It could alter the food chain in the water and food supply for people. Acidification may also affect the protection against storms from reefs, tourism opportunities, and additional benefits that are hard to evaluate.
9. Natural Resource Depletion
The depletion of resources implies that resources like coal, oil, natural gas, natural gas, metals, sand, and rock are being consumed faster than replenished. It is the result of the growth of the world’s population by the over-use of natural resources, inefficient agricultural practices, pollution, and forest destruction, as well as the loss of natural resources.
Global warming, soil erosion caused by the growth of greenhouse gases, the depletion of resources and disappearance of diversity, flooding, and droughts are among the major results of the depletion of resources.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations forecasts that in 2025 1.8 billion of the world’s population will be unable to access safe drinking water. Gas is predicted to be exhausted by 2060.
10. The loss of biodiversity
Biodiversity is a source of clean air, fresh water, healthy soils, and crop fertilization. It helps us fight, adapt to the changing climate, and reduce the effect of natural catastrophes. Biodiversity, also known as the diversity of all living creatures on Earth, has seen a rapid decline in recent times, mostly because of human activities like land use changes as well as climate change, pollution, and land use changes. The loss of biodiversity hampers the capacity of ecosystems to function efficiently and effectively, which reduces nature’s capacity to provide a healthy environment.
If ecosystem services aren’t enough to meet the needs of society and requirements, the loss of biodiversity can directly threaten people’s health.
Indirectly, changes in ecosystem services can affect livelihoods, incomes, and local migration and, in some situations, could create or worsen political tensions.
Environmental issues are a sign of a possible catastrophe. If these concerns do not disappear, there will be a famine on Earth within a few years. Of all environmental issues and solutions, warming and climate changes draw more attention than any other. To safeguard the planet and preserve it for our children and the next generations, we must be proactive in pursuing an active and healthy lifestyle.
Humans impact the environment in many ways, and we must be mindful of the impact of our daily environmental input. Reducing the amount of meat we consume as well as food waste is among the top crucial actions to combat climate change that we can undertake. The ideal time to take action is now; the best option is to start today; however, if we wait for the next day, it might be too late.