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Environment

Five of The World′s Biggest Environmental Problems

We are living on a planet which nowadays faces critical environmental problems.

31 Ocak 2020

If these issues are ignored, large and destructive problems will affect ecosystems and the future of humankind.

We, as humans, played the biggest role in the emergence of these problems.

1: Pollution and climate change

Pollution resulting from human activities is no longer in water, soil or air. It includes noise pollution through traffic and propagation systems, both on land and in the sea; and it also includes light pollution through excessive artificial light. This jeopardizes the continuity of life by causing natural resources to be exhausted or become unusable.

The climate change crisis that we are experiencing, does not happen as a natural process. It is happening due to the harmful effects of human actions, which in turn, trigger global warming. As an example, the melting of the Polar Regions causes the emergence of new diseases and permanent damage of current ecosystems.

2: Destruction of forests

Species-rich evergreen forests are being destroyed, due to tree cutting and burning activities.

Forests naturally recycle CO2 and convert it to oxygen and carbon, releasing the oxygen into the atmosphere and storing the carbon, thus contributing to the sustainability of ecosystems and biodiversity. Today, only 30 percent of Earth is covered with forests. However, 11 thousand years ago, when human beings started to farm, there were twice as many forests on Earth. Every year, 7.3 million hectares of forests are destroyed, especially in the tropical belt. In the past, the tropical forests have been covering approximately 15 percent of Earth. Today, they only cover around 6-7 percent.

3: Extinction of Species

Endangered species are being hunted for meat, teeth, or various 'medical' products. Every year, new endangered species are being added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Destruction of their natural habitat is one of the main factors contributing to their extinction. The seas are being emptied from fish populations by illegal fishing activities. Not only is sea life at risk but also communities that have relied on fishing for centuries.

4: Soil degradation

To mention a few factors - Excessive rainfall, floods, wind erosion, overgrazing or monoculture agriculture result in soil degradation and the loss of fertile soil. According to the United Nations (UN), about 12 million hectares of arable land on earth is severely damaged each year.

5: Rapid population growth

The human population continues to grow rapidly worldwide. The biggest increase is in the continent of Africa and South and East Asia. We entered the 20th century with 1.6 billion people worldwide and we will reach 10 billion in 2050. We consume more natural resources than the planet can regenerate. The ever-increasing global population, coupled with the increasing level of prosperity, puts even greater pressure on vital natural resources.

We need to raise awareness in the face of these challenges and action needs to be taken in every possible way. Technology and innovation can help us save the planet. But more than anything, we must learn to value nature and what it always offered us for free. It is not too late to save it. We need to act for Earth and for our future.

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