Environmental Issues: Environmental issue or problem is defined as adverse impacts of anthropogenic activities on the physical and biological aspects of the environment.
Natural Environment: Natural environment is our surroundings that consist of naturally occurring all living and nonliving things.
Impacts of Anthropogenic Activities on the Ecosystem: Human activities are negatively affecting the environment leading to increasing environmental issues. Human activities include industrialization, urbanization, etc.
Currently, there are many prevalent environmental issues out of which 15 major problems have been highlighted here.
The 15 environmental issues our world is facing right now are listed below with a brief description.
1- Climate Change
Climate change is defined as long-term changes in average weather conditions or climate patterns. Global Climate change is happening due to anthropogenic activities such as fossil fuel combustion, industrialization, etc. The adverse impacts of climate change can be observed on the entire ecosystem. Climate change is resulting in extreme weather events such as frequents floods, cyclones, etc.
2- Global Warming
Global warming is defined as a moderate increase in the global temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. This is happening due to the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a result of anthropogenic activities. The greenhouse gases are emitted from waste, fossil fuel combustion, etc. Greenhouse gases are Carbon dioxide, Water vapor, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Ozon, etc. Global warming generally leads to climate change.
3- Air Pollution
Air pollution is defined as the emission of toxins and pollutants into the air that causes adverse impacts on living organisms. Air pollution is caused by human activities including industrial smoke, transportation, coal power plants, etc. Smog is the prime example of air pollution.
Deforestation is defined as clearing forest cover or cutting trees on such a level that affects the forest cover area. Due to global warming, some forests suffer wildfires, which results in biodiversity loss and air pollution. Humans chop down trees for agriculture and construction-related activities.
5- Water Pollution
Water pollution is defined as the release of harmful chemicals and toxins into the water. Water pollution results from urban runoff, industrial wastewater, oil spills in the ocean or waterbodies, etc. Check out how UAE-Israel Oil Pipeline Deal Can Destroy Red Sea Coral Reefs.
6- Non-Biodegradable Waste
Non-biodegradable waste is considered a threat to a sustainable environment. Plastic pollution is threatening marine and terrestrial life on Earth. This type of waste is not disposed of properly all around the world.
7- Urban Sprawl
As the population is increasing, more people are migrating towards urban areas. Urban Sprawl is defined as an unplanned expansion of urban areas. Urbanization involves deforestation, soil pollution, soil degradation, etc.
8- Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering is defined as a method of utilizing recombinant DNA technology to change the genetic composition of the organism. In order to meet the requirement of overpopulation, food is genetically modified. The plants with genetic engineering technology are resistant to pests. But the pests have now become resistant over time.
9- Increasing Population
Increasing population is another major environmental issue. Natural resources are being overexploited due to overpopulation.
10- Soil Pollution
Soil pollution is defined as the degradation of land due to human activities. Land degradation results from agriculture, construction, industries, urbanization, heaps of garbage, etc. Overgrazing also causes soil erosion.
11- Waste Management
Poor waste management is a critical environmental issue. The wealthy countries are using poor countries as dumping sites for disposing of their waste.
12- Ozone Layer Depletion
The ozone layer is a protective layer in the stratosphere of Earth that absorbs harmful radiation from the sun. Ozone layer depletion is happening due to the release of CFCs mainly chlorine in the atmosphere that goes up in the atmosphere and reacts with ozone.
13- Biodiversity Loss
Biodiversity loss is defined as a decline in biodiversity worldwide. Biodiversity includes a diverse variety of lives on the Earth. There are various species of animals, plants, etc indigenous and endemic to certain areas. The world is facing a loss in biodiversity due to urban sprawl, climate change, etc.
14- Overexploitation of Natural Resources
Natural resources include all those resources that are present in nature having commercial values. Overexploitation of natural resources is one of the major environmental issues in the world. Coal, gas, and oil reserves are being overexploited. Water reserves are depleting due to overuse.
15- Health Problems
All these environmental issues are showing their negatives impacts on human and animal lives. Industrial wastewater is affecting animals and causing chronic diseases in humans. The world is currently experiencing pandemic coronavirus/ COVID-19.
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– MS Environmental Science
– Content Writer
Researcher, Nature Lover, and Environmentalist