Unfortunately, 7 environmental problems we’re facing today that are destroying our environment are all man-made.
For years we have ignored the signs—because we were too busy focusing on ourselves and our daily lives. But the time has come to face reality and deal with the problems.
Although the problems are individual, collectively they almost all can be labeled under the umbrella of global warming, which is the gradual increase in the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Below we’ll take a look at 7 environmental problems we’re facing today, and discuss the ways they are slowly destroying our earth, detrimentally affecting our lives, and preventing the Earth’s ability to sustain life.
1) Ozone Layer depletion
Ozone layer depletion is caused by things such as the chemicals in the products we use in our households, cosmetics and hair sprays, as well as car exhaust and other pollutants being released into the atmosphere. It is essentially putting a hole in the ozone layer, exposing us to the direct heat and rays the sun gives off.
2) Greenhouse Gases
The second environmental problem we’re facing is the greenhouse gases that are emitted by factories, chemicals and the vehicles we drive. They trap the sun’s heat, making our atmosphere hotter.
The atmosphere itself is made up of several layers of gases. The sun gives off rays of heat that travel through the atmosphere to the Earth. The sun’s rays warm the Earth and the heat from them goes back into the atmosphere. The extra gases we put into the atmosphere stops some of the heat from escaping the Earth and returning to space.
It’s these greenhouse gases that are causing the cyclones, tropical storms, and tsunamis that are getting stronger and stronger. As well, they are gradually raising the sea-level as it melts ice caps.
Ozone layer depletion has been linked to skin cancer, snow blindness, cataracts, the weakening of our immune systems, difficulty breathing, throat irritations, etc.
Third on the list is deforestation—where the development of cities and real estate forces trees to be cut down so buildings can be erected. The process of logging is bad for the climate because when trees are cut down, they release carbon into the atmosphere where it mixes with other greenhouse gases.
According to the World Carfree Network (WCN), 15 percent of global carbon emissions are attributed to deforestation.
Although efforts are being taken to improve this situation, such as the creation of forest reserves, the rate of recovery is slower than the continuing occurrence of deforestation.
4) Species extinction
Fourth among the 7 environmental problems we’re facing today is species extinction. Our continual land development often necessitates the need to destroy the habitat of rare animals. As well, human activity is causing the extinction of plant and microbial species a thousand times more than what would have happened naturally.
The growth in human population, together with the rise in consumption of our resources and the production of wastes, are factors that are endangering other species.
5) Environmental Degradation
Fifth on the list is environmental degradation –the deterioration of the Earth’s natural surroundings, such as soil, water, air, etc. as a result of the improper use of resources.
All life on the Earth is intermixed so extensively that a decrease in one attribute creates a domino effect to all other attributes.
6) Global Poisoning
The sixth environmental problem is one that isn’t talked about as often as it should be, and that is global poisoning. Factories don’t only emit gasses, they also produce liquid and solid wastes or toxins as part of their operational processes—and a lot of factories don’t have any monitoring or precautionary measures.
7) Air and water pollution
Coming in at number 7 on the list of environmental problems we’re facing today is air and water pollution. Perhaps Industrialization is the main reason for the intensifying air pollution in most countries.
The contamination of our water is destroying the natural habitats of not only fish, but other marine animals as well, which may lead to a food shortage.
The reason we have to deal with these 7 environmental problems today is because we have forgotten the core of our existence. Greed, apathy, and convenience have blinded us to the consequences of our actions.
This article was written by Rose Murray, a reporter on environment and science,who is currently doing research on environmental issues.