The environment means the surroundings in which people, animals and plants develop and exist. There are a lot of problems that are connected with the environment. Ecology is a branch of biology which investigates the relationship between living beings and their environment. With each person's understanding and awareness solutions are created.
The most serious ecological problems of today are the pollution of air, water and soil, the destruction of ecosystem, disappearance of many species of animals and plants, the weather changes, acid rains, the warming up of the Earth’s surface, the destruction of tropical rain forests and the breaking of the ozone layer. Most of this damage (which accelerates faster and faster) has not been caused by natural catastrophes such as earthquake, floods or tornadoes but by man himself and his technical progress.
Pollution If you hear the word environmental pollution you think of factories, plants, cars and buses. The growing number of cars on roads and highways contribute much to the air pollution.
Factories produce large quantities of carbon dioxide, radioactive particles, sulphur and nitrogen, which get into the air. Some of them in combination with water make sulphuric acid in the clouds. These dangerous clouds are then blown by the winds and later fall as acid rain.
Acid rains kill trees, and then they get into the soil and make it infertile. The polluted rain water is carried to the rivers and all life disappears from them. Factories directly increase water pollution because many of them are built near rivers into which they put their chemical waste. This causes the disappearance of many typical animals, birds and plants of the region.
Also farmers pollute the soil using a lot of pesticides and fertilizers. This pollution can also poison groundwater.
We need air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat, while the population continues to grow.
It’s a very sad fact that everywhere you go you can find a huge amount of rubbish, in the streets, in the parks, in the grass and flower-beds, in the woods. People throw litter away for examples cigarette stubs, bottles, cans, tins, batteries, plastic bags. This litter spreads with the wind.
Smog mostly from the exhaust fumes, for example carbon dioxide. CO2 is a very poisonous gas, which can destroy the ozone layer that surrounds the world’s atmosphere. The huge amount of CO2 causes the greenhouse effect. The atmosphere becomes warmer and warmer, the Ice of the Poles is melting, the levels of the seas are rising, and deserts are spreading out. This is a global effect that causes incalculable natural disasters.
Trees produce oxygen. If you cut down a tree you should plant a new one. They help clear the air. The ozon-layer around the world is getting very thin. Over the Atlantic there’s an ozon-hole. In summer the UV radiation is very high in this region. I think environmental protection is very important for everybody. Our earth is endangered by humans, and can only be saved us, humans.
Greenhouse effect: In the last 100 years the Earth’s surface has warmed up by more than half a degree, this change could cause rising the sea levels by up to one and half meters by the year 2030. The Greenhouse effect is caused by polluted atmosphere which was polluted by carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and chlorofluorocarbons.
The best protection is to stop producing these gases and destroying the rain forests. It is worth replacing old power plants with nuclear power which reduce the damage. However nuclear power has its disadvantages, in this case there are alternative sources of energy : hydropower, solar power, geothermal etc.
Ozone Hole The ozone gap is thinning at a rapid speed. It is a layer which protects us from dangerous UV rays, these could damage our life on the Earth.
Possible effects of the sun’s UV rays:
Eyes: cataracts and blindness
Skin: premature aging, skin cancer and wrinkling
Immune system: they brake down the immune system
Crops: they could interrupt the process of photosynthesis
Sea life: growth of plankton which are a vital part of the food chain in the world’s oceans. The areas of largest ozone hole are Antarctica, South America, Australia, New Zealand.