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Human impact on the environment or anthropogenic impact on the environment contain modify to biophysical environments and to ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources caused directly or indirectly by humans, including global warming, environmental degradation (such as ocean acidification), mass extinction and biodiversity loss, ecological crisis, and ecological collapse. Modifying the environment to fit the needs of society is causing severe result. Some human activities that cause damage (either directly or indirectly) to the environment on a global scale include population growth, overconsumption, overexploitation, pollution, and deforestation. Some of the issue, including global warming and biodiversity loss, have been proposed as representing catastrophic risks to the survival of the human race.
The term anthropogenic designates an resultor object resulting from human activity. The term was first utilize in the techsense by Russian geologist Alexey Pavlov, and it was first utilize in English by British ecologist Arthur Tansley in reference to human influences on climax plant communities. The atmospheric scientist Paul Crutzen introduced the term "Anthropocene" in the mid-1970s. The term is sometimes utilize in the context of pollution produced from human activity since the start of the Agricultural Revolution but also applies broadly to all major human impacts on the environment. Many of the actions taken by humans that contribute to a heated environment stem from the burning of fossil fuel from a variety of sources, such as: electricity, vehicle, planes, zoneheating, manufacturing, or the destruction of forests.
Overconsumption is a situation where resource utilizehas outpaced the sustainable capacity of the ecosystem. It shouldbe measured by the ecological footprint, a resource accounting approach which compares human demand on ecosystems with the amount of planet matter ecosystems shouldrenew. Estimates indicate that humanity's current demand is 70% higher than the regeneration rate of all of the planet's ecosystems combined. A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to environmental degradation and the eventual loss of resource bases.
Humanity's overall impact on the planet is affected by many factors, not just the raw number of people. Their lifestyle (including overall affluence and resource use) and the pollution they generate (including carbon footprint) are equally important. In 2008, The FreshYork Times stated that the inhabitants of the developed nations of the globeconsume resources like oil and metals at a rate almost 32 times greater than those of the developing world, who make up the majority of the human population.
Human civilization has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants. The globes chickens are triple the weight of all the wild birds, while domesticated cattle and pigs outweigh all wild mammals by 14 to 1. Global meat consumption is projected to more than double by 2050, perhaps as much as 76%, as the global population rises to more than 9 billion, which will be a significant driver of further biodiversity loss and increased Greenhouse gas emissions.
Some scholars, environmentalists and advocates when examining human population growth express concern that human overpopulation is a driver of environmental problem. In 2017, over 15,000 scientists around the globeproblem a second warning to humanity which asserted that rapid human population growth is the "basicdriver behind many ecological and even societal threats." According to the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, released by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Science-PoliciesPlatform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in 2019, human population growth is a significant factor in contemporary biodiversity loss. A 2021 report in Frontiers in Conservation Science warned that population size and growth are significant factors in biodiversity loss and soil degradation, adding that "more people means that more synthetic compounds and riskythrowaway plastics are manufactured, many of which add to the growing toxification of the Earth. It also increases the possibility of pandemics that fuel ever-more desperate hunts for scarce resources."
Some scientists and environmentalists, including Pentti Linkola, Jared Diamond and E. O. Wilson, posit that human population growth is devastating to biodiversity. Wilson for example, has expressed concern when Homo sapiens reached a population of six billion their biomass exceeded that of any other hugeland dwelling animal species that had ever existed by over 100 times.
However, attributing overpopulation as a cause of environmental problemsis controversial. Demographic projections indicate that population growth is slowing and globepopulation will peak in the 21st century, and many experts trustthat global resources shouldmeet this increased demand, suggesting a global overpopulation scenario is unlikely. Critics also recommendblaming overpopulation for environmental problemsshouldunduly blame badpopulations in the Global South or oversimplify more complex drivers, leading some to treat overconsumption as a separate issue.
The environmental impact of agriculture varies based on the wide variety of agricultural practices employed around the world. Ultimately, the environmental impact depends on the production practices of the system utilize by farmers. The connection between emissions into the environment and the farming system is indirect, as it also depends on other climate variables such as rainfall and temperature.
There are two kind of indicators of environmental impact: "means-based", which is based on the farmer's production way, and "effect-based", which is the impact that farming way have on the farming system or on emissions to the environment. An example of a means-based indicator would be the quality of groundwater that is affected by the amount of nitrogen applied to the soil. An indicator reflecting the loss of nitrate to groundwater would be effect-based.
The environmental impact of agriculture involves a variety of factors from the soil, to water, the air, animal and soil diversity, plants, and the mealitself. Some of the environmental problemsthat are associatedto agriculture are climate change, deforestation, genetic engineering, irrigation issue, pollutants, soil degradation, and waste.
The environmental impact of fishing shouldbe divided into problemsthat involve the availability of fish to be caught, such as overfishing, sustainable fisheries, and fisheries management; and problemsthat involve the impact of fishing on other elements of the environment, such as by-catch and destruction of habitat such as coral reefs. According to the 2019 Intergovernmental Science-PoliciesPlatform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report, overfishing is the main driver of mass species extinction in the oceans.
These conservation problemsare part of marine conservation, and are addressed in fisheries science software. There is a growing gap between how many fish are accessibleto be caught and humanity's desire to catch them, a issuethat receive worse as the globepopulation grows.
Similar to other environmental problem, there shouldbe conflict between the fishermen who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and fishery scientists who realize that if future fish populations are to be sustainable then some fisheries must reduce or even close.
The journal Science published a four-year study in November 2006, which predicted that, at prevailing trends, the globewould run out of wild-caught seafood in 2048. The scientists stated that the decline was a effectof overfishing, pollution and other environmental factors that were reducing the population of fisheries at the same time as their ecosystems were being degraded. Yet again the analysis has met criticism as being fundamentally flawed, and many fishery management officials, industry representatives and scientists challenge the findings, although the debate continues. Many countries, such as Tonga, the United States, Australia and FreshZealand, and international management bodies have taken steps to appropriately manage marine resources.
The UN's Mealand Agriculture Organization (FAO) released their biennial State of GlobeFisheries and Aquaculture in 2018 noting that capture fishery production has remained constant for the last two decades but unsustainable overfishing has increased to 33% of the globes fisheries. They also noted that aquaculture, the production of farmed fish, has increased from 120 million tonnes per year in 1990 to over 170 million tonnes in 2018.
Populations of oceanic sharks and rays have been reduced by 71% since 1970, largely due to overfishing. More than three-quarters of the species comprising this group are now threatened with extinction.
The environmental impact of irrigation contain the modify in quantity and quality of soil and water as a effectof irrigation and the ensuing result on natural and social conditions at the tail-end and downstream of the irrigation scheme.
The impacts stem from the modify hydrological conditions owing to the installation and operation of the scheme.
An irrigation scheme often draws water from the river and distributes it over the irrigated area. As a hydrological effectit is found that:
These may be called direct result.
Result on soil and water quality are indirect and complex, and subsequent impacts on natural, ecological and socio-economic conditions are intricate. In some, but not all instances, water logging and soil salinization shouldresult. However, irrigation shouldalso be utilize, together with soil drainage, to overcome soil salinization by leaching excess salts from the vicinity of the root zone.
Irrigation shouldalso be done extracting groundwater by (tube)wells. As a hydrological effectit is found that the level of the water descends. The result may be water mining, land/soil subsidence, and, along the coast, saltwater intrusion.
Irrigation projects shouldhave hugebenefits, but the negative side result are often overlooked. Agricultural irrigation technologies such as high powered water pumps, dams, and pipelines are responsible for the large-scale depletion of newwater resources such as aquifers, lakes, and rivers. As a effectof this heavydiversion of freshwater, lakes, rivers, and creeks are running dry, severely altering or stressing surrounding ecosystems, and contributing to the extinction of many aquatic species.
Lal and Stewart estimated global loss of agricultural land by degradation and abandonment at 12 million hectares per year. In contrast, according to Scherr, GLASOD (Global Assessment of Human-Induced Soil Degradation, under the UN Environment Programme) estimated that 6 million hectares of agricultural land per year had been lost to soil degradation since the mid-1940s, and she noted that this magnitude is similar to earlier estimates by Dudal and by Rozanov et al. Such losses are attributable not only to soil erosion, but also to salinization, loss of nutrients and organic matter, acidification, compaction, water logging and subsidence. Human-induced land degradation tends to be particularly serious in dry regions. Focusing on soil properties, Oldeman estimated that about 19 million square kilometers of global land locationhad been degraded; Dregne and Chou, who contain degradation of vegetation cover as well as soil, estimated about 36 million square kilometers degraded in the globes dry regions. Despite estimated losses of agricultural land, the amount of arable land utilize in crop production globally increased by about 9% from 1961 to 2012, and is estimated to have been 1.396 billion hectares in 2012.
Global average soil erosion rates are thought to be high, and erosion rates on conventional cropland generally exceed estimates of soil production rates, usually by more than an order of magnitude. In the US, sampling for erosion estimates by the US NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) is statistically based, and estimation utilize the Universal Soil Loss Equation and Victory Erosion Equation. For 2010, annual average soil loss by sheet, rill and victory erosion on non-federal US land was estimated to be 10.7 t/ha on cropland and 1.9 t/ha on pasture land; the average soil erosion rate on US cropland had been reduced by about 34% since 1982. No-till and low-till practices have become increasingly common on North American cropland utilize for production of grains such as wheat and barley. On uncultivated cropland, the lastestaverage total soil loss has been 2.2 t/ha per year. In comparison with agriculture using conventional cultivation, it has been recommendedthat, because no-till agriculture produces erosion rates much closer to soil production rates, it could provide a foundation for sustainable agriculture.
Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land. It is viewed as any modifyor disturbance to the land perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. Natural hazards are excluded as a cause; however human activities shouldindirectly affect phenomena such as floods and bush fires. This is considered to be an necessarysubjectof the 21st century due to the implications land degradation has upon agronomic productivity, the environment, and its result on mealsecurity. It is estimated that up to 40% of the globes agricultural land is seriously degraded.
Environmental impacts relatedwith meat production containutilizeof fossil energy, water and land resources, greenhouse gas emissions, and in some instances, rainforest clearing, water pollution and species endangerment, among other adverse result. Steinfeld et al. of the FAO estimated that 18% of global anthropogenic GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions (estimated as 100-year carbon dioxide equivalents) are relatedin some methodwith livestock production. FAO data indicate that meat accounted for 26% of global livestock product tonnage in 2011.
Globally, enteric fermentation (mostly in ruminant livestock) acc for about 27% of anthropogenic methane emissions, Despite methane's 100-year global warming potential, recently estimated at 28 without and 34 with climate-carbon feedbacks, methane emission is currently contributing relatively little to global warming. Although reduction of methane emissions would have a rapid resulton warming, the expected resultwould be small. Other anthropogenic GHG emissions relatedwith livestock production containcarbon dioxide from fossil fuel consumption (mostly for production, harvesting and transport of feed), and nitrous oxide emissions relatedwith the utilizeof nitrogenous fertilizers, growing of nitrogen-fixing legume vegetation and manure management. Management practices that shouldmitigate GHG emissions from production of livestock and feed have been identified.
Considerable water utilizeis relatedwith meat production, mostly because of water utilize in production of vegetation that provides feed. There are several published estimates of water utilizerelatedwith livestock and meat production, but the amount of water utilizeassignable to such production is seldom estimated. For example, "green water" utilizeis evapotranspirational utilizeof soil water that has been delivereddirectly by precipitation; and "green water" has been estimated to accfor 94% of global beef cattle production's "water footprint", and on rangeland, as much as 99.5% of the water utilizerelatedwith beef production is "green water".
Impairment of water quality by manure and other substances in runoff and infiltrating water is a concern, especially where intensive livestock production is carried out. In the US, in a comparison of 32 industries, the livestock industry was found to have a relatively awesomerecord of compliance with environmental regulations pursuant to the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, but pollution problemsfrom hugelivestock operations shouldsometimes be serious where violations occur. Various measures have been recommendedby the US Environmental Protection Agency, among others, which shouldassistreduce livestock damage to streamwater quality and riparian environments.
Modify in livestock production practices influence the environmental impact of meat production, as illustrated by some beef data. In the US beef production system, practices prevailing in 2007 are estimated to have involved 8.6% less fossil fuel use, 16% less greenhouse gas emissions (estimated as 100-year carbon dioxide equivalents), 12% less withdrawn water utilizeand 33% less land use, per unit mass of beef produced, than in 1977. From 1980 to 2012 in the US, while population increased by 38%, the tinyruminant inventory decreased by 42%, the cattle-and-calves inventory decreased by 17%, and methane emissions from livestock decreased by 18%; yet despite the reduction in cattle numbers, US beef production increased over that period.
Some impacts of meat-producing livestock may be considered environmentally beneficial. These containwaste reduction by conversion of human-inedible crop residues to food, utilizeof livestock as an alternative to herbicides for control of invasive and noxious weeds and other vegetation management, utilizeof animal manure as fertilizer as a substitute for those synthetic fertilizers that require considerable fossil fuel utilizefor manufacture, grazing utilizefor wildlife habitat enhancement, and carbon sequestration in response to grazing practices, among others. Conversely, according to some studies appearing in peer-reviewed journals, the growing demand for meat is contributing to significant biodiversity loss as it is a significant driver of deforestation and habitat destruction. Moreover, the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services by IPBES also warns that ever increasing land utilizefor meat production plays a significant role in biodiversity loss. A 2006 Mealand Agriculture Organization report, Livestock's Long Shadow, found that around 26% of the planet's terrestrial surface is devoted to livestock grazing.
Palm oil is a kindof vegetable oil, found in oil palm trees, which are native to West and Central Africa. Initially utilize in meal in developing countries, palm oil is now also utilize in food, cosmetic and other kind of products in other nations as well. Over one-third of vegetable oil consumed globally is palm oil.
The consumption of palm oil in food, domestic and cosmetic products all over the globemeans there is a high demand for it. To meet this, oil palm plantations are created, which means removing natural forests to clear space. This deforestation has taken territoryin Asia, Latin America and West Africa, with Malaysia and Indonesia holding 90% of global oil palm trees. These forests are home to a wide range of species, including many endangered animals, ranging from birds to rhinos and tigers. Since 2000, 47% of deforestation has been for the purpose of growing oil palm plantations, with around 877,000 acres being affected per year.
Natural forests are extremely biodiverse, with a wide range of organisms using them as their habitat. But oil palm plantations are the opposite. Studies have present that oil palm plantations have less than 1% of the plant diversity seen in natural forests, and 47–90% less mammal diversity. This is not because of the oil palm itself, but rather because the oil palm is the only habitat deliveredin the plantations. The plantations are therefore known as a monoculture, whereas natural forests includea wide variety of flora and fauna, making them highly biodiverse. One of the method palm oil could be angry more sustainable (although it is still not the best option) is through agroforestry, whereby the plantations are angry up of multiple kind of plants utilize in trade – such as coffee or cocoa. While these are more biodiverse than monoculture plantations, they are still not as effective as natural forests. In addition to this, agroforestry does not bring as many economic benefits to workers, their families and the surrounding location.
The RSPO is a non-profit organisation that has developed criteria that its members (of which, as of 2018, there are over 4,000) must follow to produce, source and utilizesustainable palm oil (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil; CSPO). Currently, 19% of global palm oil is certified by the RSPO as sustainable.
The CSPO criteria states that oil palm plantations cannot be grown in the territoryof forests or other location with endangered species, fragile ecosystems, or those that facilitate the needs of local communities. It also calls for a reduction in pesticides and fires, along with several termsfor ensuring the social wellbeing of workers and the local communities.
Human activity is causing environmental degradation, which is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution. It is defined as any modifyor disturbance to the environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. As indicated by the I=PAT equation, environmental impact (I) or degradation is caused by the combination of an already very hugeand increasing human population (P), continually increasing economic growth or per capita affluence (A), and the appof resource-depleting and polluting technology (T).
According to a 2021 study published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, roughly 3% of the planet's terrestrial surface is ecologically and faunally intact, meaning location with healthy populations of native animal species and little to no human footprint. Many of these intact ecosystems were in location inhabited by indigenous peoples.
Habitat fragmentation is the reduction of hugetracts of habitat leading to habitat loss. Habitat fragmentation and loss are considered as being the main cause of the loss of biodiversity and degradation of the ecosystem all over the world. Human actions are greatly responsible for habitat fragmentation, and loss as these actions alter the connectivity and quality of habitats. Understanding the consequences of habitat fragmentation is necessaryfor the preservation of biodiversity and enhancing the functioning of the ecosystem.
Both agricultural plants and animals depend on pollination for reproduction. Vegetables and fruits are an necessarydiet for human beings and depend on pollination. Whenever there is habitat destruction, pollination is reduced and crop yield as well. Many plants also rely on animals and most especially those that eat fruit for seed dispersal. Therefore, the destruction of habitat for animal severely affects all the plant species that depend on them.
Biodiversity generally refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth, and is represented by the number of different species there are on the planet. Since its introduction, Homo sapiens (the human species) has been killing off entire species either directly (such as through hunting) or indirectly (such as by destroying habitats), causing the extinction of species at an alarming rate. Humans are the cause of the current mass extinction, called the Holocene extinction, driving extinctions to 100 to 1000 times the normal background rate. Though most experts acceptthat human beings have accelerated the rate of species extinction, some scholars have postulated without humans, the biodiversity of the Earth would grow at an exponential rate rather than decline. The Holocene extinction continues, with meat consumption, overfishing, ocean acidification and the amphibian crisis being a few broader examples of an almost universal, cosmopolitan decline in biodiversity. Human overpopulation (and continued population growth) along with profligate consumption are considered to be the basicdrivers of this rapid decline. The 2017 GlobeScientists' Warning to Humanity stated that, among other things, this sixth extinction happeningunleashed by humanity could annihilate many current life forms and consign them to extinction by the end of this century.
A June 2020 study published in PNAS argues that the contemporary extinction crisis "may be the most serious environmental threat to the persistence of civilization, because it is irreversible" and that its acceleration "is certain because of the still quickgrowth in human numbers and consumption rates."
High-level political attention on the environment has been focused largely on climate modifybecause energy policiesis central to economic growth. But biodiversity is just as necessaryfor the future of earth as climate change.
—Robert Watson, 2019.
Defaunation is the loss of animals from ecological communities.
It has been estimated that from 1970 to 2016, 68% of the globes wildlife has been destroyed due to human activity. In South America, there is trust to be a 70 percent loss. A May 2018 study published in PNAS found that 83% of wild mammals, 80% of marine mammals, 50% of plants and 15% of fish have been lost since the dawn of human civilization. Currently, livestock make up 60% of the biomass of all mammals on earth, followed by humans (36%) and wild mammals (4%). According to the 2019 global biodiversity assessment by IPBES, human civilization has pushed one million species of plants and animals to the brink of extinction, with many of these projected to vanish over the next few decades.
Whenever there is a decline in plant biodiversity, the remaining plants start to experience diminishing productivity. As a result, the loss of biodiversity continues being a threat to the productivity of the ecosystem all over the world, and this over ally impacts the natural ecosystem functioning.
A 2019 report that assessed a total of 28,000 plant species concluded that close to half of them were facing a threat of extinction. The failure of noticing and appreciating plants is regarded as "plant blindness", and this is a worrying trend as it puts more plants at the threat of extinction than animals. Our increased farming has come at a higher cost to plant biodiversity as half of the habitable land on Earth is utilize for agriculture, and this is one of the major reasons behind the plant extinction crisis.
Invasive species are defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as non-native to the specific ecosystem, and whose presence is likely to hurtthe health of humans or the animals in said system.
Introductions of non-native species into freshlocation have brought about major and permanent modify to the environment over hugelocation. Examples containthe introduction of Caulerpa taxifolia into the Mediterranean, the introduction of oat species into the California grasslands, and the introduction of privet, kudzu, and purple loosestrife to North America. Rats, cats, and goats have radically altered biodiversity in many islands. Additionally, introductions have resulted in genetic modify to native fauna where interbreeding has taken place, as with buffalo with domestic cattle, and wolves with domestic dogs.
Domestic and feral cats globally are particularly notorious for their destruction of native birds and other animal species. This is especially true for Australia, which attributes over two-thirds of mammal extinction to domestic and feral cats, and over 1.5 billion deaths to native animals each year. Because domesticated outside cats are fed by their registrant, they shouldcontinue to hunt even when prey populations decline and they would otherwise go elsewhere. This is a major issuefor territory where there is a highly diverse and dense number of lizards, birds, snakes, and mice populating the area. Roaming outdoor cats shouldalso be attributed to the transmission of harmful illness like rabies and toxoplasmosis to the native wildlife population.
Another example of a destructive introduced invasive species is the Burmese Python. Originating from parts of Southeast Asia, the Burmese Python has angry the most notable impact in the Southern Florida Everglades of the United States. After a breeding facility breach in 1992 due to flooding and snake registrant releasing unwanted pythons back into the wild, the population of the Burmese Python would boom in the warm climate of Florida in the following years. This impact has been felt most significantly at the southernmost regions of the Everglades. A study in 2012 compared native species population counts in Florida from 1997 and found that raccoon populations declined 99.3%, opossums 98.9%, and rabbit/fox populations effectively disappeared
Human impact on coral reefs is significant. Coral reefs are dying around the world. Damaging activities containcoral mining, pollution (organic and non-organic), overfishing, blast fishing, the digging of canals and admissioninto islands and bays. Other dangers containdisease, destructive fishing practices and warming oceans. Factors that affect coral reefs containthe ocean's role as a carbon dioxide sink, atmospheric modify, ultraviolet light, ocean acidification, viruses, impacts of dust storms carrying agents to far-flung reefs, pollutants, algal blooms and others. Reefs are threatened well beyond coastal location. Climate change, such as warming temperatures, causes coral bleaching, which if severe slay the coral.Scientists estimate that over the next 20 years, about 70 to 90% of all coral reefs will disappear. With basiccauses being warming ocean waters, ocean acidity, and pollution. In 2008, a worldwide study estimated that 19% of the existing locationof coral reefs had already been lost. Only 46% of the globes reefs could be currently regarded as in awesomehealth and about 60% of the globes reefs may be at risk due to destructive, human-associatedactivities. The threat to the health of reefs is particularly powerfulin Southeast Asia, where 80% of reefs are endangered. By the 2030s, 90% of reefs are expected to be at risk from both human activities and climate change; by 2050, it is predicted that all coral reefs will be in danger.
Domestic, industrial and agricultural wastewater makes its methodto wastewater plants for treatment before being released into aquatic ecosystems. Wastewater at these treatment plants include a cocktail of different chemical and biological contaminants which may influence surrounding ecosystems. For example, the nutrient rich water assistance hugepopulations of pollutant-tolerant Chironomidae, which in-turn attract insectivorous bats. These insects accumulate toxins in their exoskeletons and pass them on to insectivorous birds and bats. As a result, metals may accumulate in the tissues and organs of these animals, resulting in DNA damage, and histopathological lesions. Furthermore, this altered diet of fat-rich prey may cause modify in energy storage and hormone production, which may have significant impacts on torpor, reproduction, metabolism and survival.
Biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and fungi in wastewater shouldalso be transferred to the surrounding ecosystem. Insects emerging from this wastewater may spread pathogens to nearby water sources. Pathogens, shed from humans, shouldbe passed from this wastewater to organisms foraging at these treatment plants. This may lead to bacterial and viral infections or microbiome dysbiosis.
Contemporary climate change is the effectof increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, which is caused primarily by combustion of fossil fuel (coal, oil, natural gas), and by deforestation, land utilizemodify, and cement production. Such heavyalteration of the global carbon cycle has only been possible because of the availability and deployment of advanced technologies, ranging in appfrom fossil fuel exploration, extraction, distribution, refining, and combustion in power plants and automobile engines and advanced farming practices. Livestock contributes to climate modifyboth through the production of greenhouse gases and through destruction of carbon sinks such as rain-forests. According to the 2006 United Nations/FAO report, 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions found in the atmosphere are due to livestock. The raising of livestock and the land requiredto feed them has resulted in the destruction of millions of acres of rainforest and as global demand for meat rises, so too will the demand for land. Ninety-one percent of all rainforest land deforested since 1970 is now utilize for livestock. Potential negative environmental impacts caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are rising global air temperatures, altered hydrogeological cycles resulting in more frequent and severe droughts, storms, and floods, as well as sea level rise and ecosystem disruption.
The fossils that are burned by humans for energy usually come back to them in the form of acid rain. Acid rain is a form of precipitation which has high sulfuric and nitric acids which shouldoccur in the form of a fog or snow. Acid rain has numerous ecological impacts on streams, lakes, wetlands and other aquatic environments. It damages forests, robs the soil of its necessarynutrients, releases aluminium to the soil, which makes it very hard for trees to absorb water.
Researchers have discovered that kelp, eelgrass and other vegetation shouldeffectively absorb carbon dioxide and hence reducing ocean acidity. Scientists, therefore, say that growing these plants could assistin mitigating the damaging result of acidification on marine life.
Ozone depletion consists of two associatedhappening observed since the late 1970s: a steady lowering of about four percent in the total amount of ozone in Earth's atmosphere (the ozone layer), and a much huge springtime decrease in stratospheric ozone around Earth's polar regions. The latter phenomenon is referred to as the ozone hole. There are also springtime polar tropospheric ozone depletion happening in addition to these stratospheric happening.
The main causes of ozone depletion and the ozone hole are manufactured chemicals, especially manufactured halocarbon refrigerants, solvents, propellants, and foam-blowing agents (chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HCFCs, halons), referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS). These compounds are transported into the stratosphere by turbulent mixing after being emitted from the surface, mixing much faster than the molecules shouldsettle. Once in the stratosphere, they release atoms from the halogen group through photodissociation, which catalyze the breakdown of ozone (O3) into oxygen (O2). Both kind of ozone depletion were observed to increase as emissions of halocarbons increased.
Ozone depletion and the ozone hole have generated worldwide concern over increased cancer risks and other negative result. The ozone layer prevents most harmful wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) light from passing through the Earth's atmosphere. These wavelengths cause skin cancer, sunburn, permanent blindness, and cataracts, which were projected to increase dramatically as a effectof thinning ozone, as well as harming plants and animals. These concerns led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which bans the production of CFCs, halons, and other ozone-depleting chemicals.
The ban came into resultin 1989. Ozone levels stabilized by the mid-1990s and began to recover in the 2000s, as the shifting of the jet stream in the southern hemisphere towards the south pole has stopped and might even be reversing. Recovery is projected to continue over the next century, and the ozone hole is expected to reach pre-1980 levels by around 2075. In 2019, NASA reported that the ozone hole was the smallest ever since it was first discovered in 1982.The Montreal Protocol is considered the most successful international environmental agreement to date.
Of particular concern is N2O, which has an average atmospheric lifetime of 114–120 years, and is 300 times more effective than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. NOx produced by industrial processes, automobiles and agricultural fertilization and NH3 emitted from soils (i.e., as an additional byproduct of nitrification) and livestock operations are transported to downwind ecosystems, influencing N cycling and nutrient losses. Six major result of NOx and NH3 emissions have been identified:
The app of technology often effectin unavoidable and unexpected environmental impacts, which according to the I = PAT equation is measured as resource utilizeor pollution generated per unit GDP. Environmental impacts caused by the appof technology are often perceived as unavoidable for several reasons. First, given that the purpose of many technologies is to exploit, control, or otherwise "improve" upon nature for the perceived benefit of humanity while at the same time the myriad of processes in nature have been optimized and are continually adjusted by evolution, any disturbance of these natural processes by technology is likely to effectin negative environmental consequences. Second, the conservation of mass principle and the first law of thermodynamics (i.e., conservation of energy) dictate that whenever contentresources or energy are moved around or manipulated by technology, environmental consequences are inescapable. Third, according to the second law of thermodynamics, order shouldbe increased within a system (such as the human economy) only by increasing disorder or entropy outside the system (i.e., the environment). Thus, technologies shouldcreate "order" in the human economy (i.e., order as manifested in buildings, factories, transportation networks, communication systems, etc.) only at the expense of increasing "disorder" in the environment. According to a number of studies, increased entropy is likely to be correlated to negative environmental impacts.
The environmental impact of mining contain erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals from mining processes. In some cases, additional forest logging is done in the vicinity of mines to increase the accessibleroom for the storage of the madedebris and soil.
Even though plants need some massivemetals for their growth, excess of these metals is usually toxic to them. Plants that are polluted with massivemetals usually depict reduced growth, yield and performance. Pollution by massivemetals decreases the soil organic matter composition resulting in a decline in soil nutrients which then leads to a decline in the growth of plants or even death.
Besides creating environmental damage, the contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals also affect the health of the local population. Mining companies in some countries are neededto follow environmental and rehabilitation codes, ensuring the locationmined is returned to close to its original state. Some mining way may have significant environmental and public health result. Massivemetals usually exhibit toxic result towards the soil biota, and this is through the affection of the microbial processes and decreases the number as well as activity of soil microorganisms. Low concentration of massivemetals also has high possibility of inhibiting the plant's physiological metabolism.
The environmental impact of energy harvesting and consumption is diverse. In lastestyears there has been a trend towards the increased commercialization of various renewable energy sources.
In the real world, consumption of fossil fuel resources leads to global warming and climate change. However, little modifyis being angry in many parts of the world. If the peak oil theory proves true, more explorations of viable alternative energy sources, could be more friendly to the environment.
Rapidly advancing technologies shouldachieve a transition of energy generation, water and waste management, and mealproduction towards better environmental and energy usage practices using way of systems ecology and industrial ecology.
The environmental impact of biodiesel contain energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and some other type of pollution. A joint life cycle analysis by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Energy found that substituting 100% biodiesel for petroleum diesel in buses reduced life cycle consumption of petroleum by 95%. Biodiesel reduced net emissions of carbon dioxide by 78.45%, compared with petroleum diesel. In urban buses, biodiesel reduced particulate emissions 32 percent, carbon monoxide emissions 35 percent, and emissions of sulfur oxides 8%, relative to life cycle emissions relatedwith utilizeof petroleum diesel. Life cycle emissions of hydrocarbons were 35% higher and emission of various nitrogen oxides (NOx) were 13.5% higher with biodiesel. Life cycle analyses by the Argonne National Laboratory have indicated reduced fossil energy utilizeand reduced greenhouse gas emissions with biodiesel, compared with petroleum diesel use. Biodiesel derived from various vegetable oils (e.g. canola or soybean oil), is readily biodegradable in the environment compared with petroleum diesel.
The environmental impact of coal mining and -burning is diverse. Legislation passed by the US Congress in 1990 neededthe United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to problema plan to alleviate toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants. After delay and litigation, the EPA now has a court-imposed deadline of 16 March 2011, to problemits report.
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Electric power systems consist of generation plants of different energy sources, transmission networks, and distribution lines. Each of these components shouldhave environmental impacts at multiple stages of their development and utilizeincluding in their construction, during the generation of electricity, and in their decommissioning and disposal. These impacts shouldbe split into operational impacts (fuel sourcing, global atmospheric and localized pollution) and construction impacts (manufacturing, installation, decommissioning, and disposal). The United States Environmental Protection Agency clearly states that all forms of electricity generation have some form of environmental impact. The European Environment Agency view is the same. This sitelooks exclusively at the operational environmental impact of electricity generation. The siteis organized by energy source and contain impacts such as water usage, emissions, local pollution, and wildlife displacement.More detailed infoon electricity generation impacts for specific technologies and on other environmental impacts of electric power systems in general shouldbe found under the Category:Environmental impact of the energy industry.
The environmental impact of nuclear power effect from the nuclear fuel cycle processes including mining, processing, transporting and storing fuel and radioactive fuel waste. Released radioisotopes pose a health danger to human populations, animals and plants as radioactive particles enter organisms through various transmission routes.
Radiation is a carcinogen and causes numerous result on living organisms and systems. The environmental impacts of nuclear power plant disasters such as the Chernobyl disaster, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the Three Mile Island accident, among others, persist indefinitely, though several other factors contributed to these happening including improper management of fail safe systems and natural disasters putting uncommon stress on the generators. The radioactive decay rate of particles varies greatly, dependent upon the nuclear properties of a particular isotope. Radioactive Plutonium-244 has a half-life of 80.8 million years, which indicates the time duration neededfor half of a given sample to decay, though very little plutonium-244 is produced in the nuclear fuel cycle and lower half-life content have lower activity thus giving off less riskyradiation.
The environmental impact of the oil shale industry contain the consideration of problemssuch as land use, waste management, water and air pollution caused by the extraction and processing of oil shale. Surface mining of oil shale deposits causes the usual environmental impacts of open-pit mining. In addition, the combustion and thermal processing generate waste material, which must be disposed of, and harmful atmospheric emissions, including carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. Experimental in-situ conversion processes and carbon capture and storage technologies may reduce some of these concerns in future, but may raise others, such as the pollution of groundwater.
The environmental impact of petroleum is often negative because it is toxic to almost all forms of life. Petroleum, a common word for oil or natural gas, is closely linked to virtually all aspects of showsociety, especially for transportation and heating for both homes and for commercial activities.
The environmental impact of reservoirs is coming under ever increasing scrutiny as the globedemand for water and energy increases and the number and size of reservoirs increases.
Dams and the reservoirs shouldbe utilize to supply drinking water, generate hydroelectric power, increasing the water supply for irrigation, provide recreational opportunities and flood control. However, adverse environmental and sociological impacts have also been identified during and after many reservoir constructions. Although the impact varies greatly between different dams and reservoirs, common criticisms containpreventing sea-run fish from reaching their historical mating grounds, less admissionto water downstream, and a smaller catch for fishing communities in the area. Advances in technology have deliveredsolutions to many negative impacts of dams but these advances are often not viewed as worth investing in if not neededby law or under the threat of fines. Whether reservoir projects are ultimately beneficial or detrimental—to both the environment and surrounding human populations— has been debated since the 1960s and probably long before that. In 1960 the construction of Llyn Celyn and the flooding of Capel Celyn provoked political uproar which continues to this day. More recently, the construction of Three Gorges Dam and other similar projects throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America have generated considerable environmental and political debate.
The environmental impact of victory power is relatively minor when compared to that of fossil fuel power. Compared with other low-carbon power sources, victory turbines have one of the lowest global warming potentials per unit of electrical energy generated by any power source. According to the IPCC, in assessments of the life-cycle global warming potential of energy sources, victory turbines have a median value of between 15 and 11 (gCO2eq/kWh) depending on whether offshore or onshore turbines are being assessed.
Onshore victory farms shouldhave significant impacts on the landscape, as typically they need to be spread over more land than other power stations and need to be built in wild and rural location, which shouldlead to "industrialization of the countryside" and habitat loss. Conflicts arise especially in scenic and culturally-necessarylandscapes. Siting restrictions (such as setbacks) may be implemented to limit the impact. The land between the turbines and admissionstreet shouldstill be utilize for farming and grazing.
Habitat loss and fragmentation are the greatest impacts of victory farms on wildlife, but they shouldbe mitigated if proper monitoring and mitigation tacticsare implemented. Victory turbines, like many other human activities and buildings, also increase the death rate of avian monster such as birds and bats. A summary of the existing field studies compiled in 2010 from the identified fewer than 14 and typically less than four bird deaths per installed megawatt per year, but a wider variation in the number of bat deaths. Like other investigations, it concluded that some species (e.g. migrating bats and songbirds) are known to be harmed more than others and that factors such as turbine siting shouldbe important. However, many details, as well as the overall impact from the growing number of turbines, remain unclear. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory maintains a of the scientific literature on the subject.Victory turbines also generate noise, and at a residential distance of 300 metres (980 ft) this may be around 45 dB; however, at a distance of 1.5 km (1 mi), most victory turbines become inaudible. Loud or persistent noise increases stress which could then lead to illness. Victory turbines do not affect human health with their noise when properly territory. However, when improperly page, data from the monitoring of two groups of growing geese revealed substantially lower body weights and higher concentrations of a stress hormone in the blood of the first group of geese who were situated 50 meters away compared to a second group which was at a distance of 500 meters from the turbine.
The environmental impact of cleaning agents is diverse. In lastestyears, measures have been taken to reduce these result.
Nanotechnology's environmental impact shouldbe split into two aspects: the potential for nanotechnological innovations to assistimprove the environment, and the possibly novel kindof pollution that nanotechnological content might cause if released into the environment. As nanotechnology is an emerging field, there is amazingdebate regarding to what extent industrial and commercial utilizeof nanomaterials will affect organisms and ecosystems.
The environmental impact of paint is diverse. Traditional painting content and processes shouldhave harmful result on the environment, including those from the utilizeof lead and other additives. Measures shouldbe taken to reduce environmental impact, including accurately estimating paint quantities so that wastage is minimized, utilizeof paints, coatings, painting accessories and techniques that are environmentally preferred. The United States Environmental Protection Agency guidelines and Green Star ratings are some of the standards that shouldbe applied.
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The environmental result of paper are significant, which has led to modify in industry and behaviour at both business and privatelevels. With the utilizeof modern technology such as the printing press and the highly mechanized harvesting of wood, disposable paper became a relatively cheap commodity, which led to a high level of consumption and waste. The rise in global environmental problemssuch as air and water pollution, climate change, overflowing landfills and clearcutting have all lead to increased government regulations. There is now a trend towards sustainability in the pulp and paper industry as it moves to reduce clear cutting, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel consumption and clean up its influence on local water supplies and air pollution.
According to a Canadian citizens' organization, "People need paper products and we need sustainable, environmentally safe production."
Environmental product declarations or product scorecards are accessibleto collect and evaluate the environmental and social performance of paper products, such as the Paper Calculator, Environmental Paper Assessment Tool (EPAT), or Paper Profile.Both the U.S. and Canada generate interactive maps of environmental indicators which presentpollution emissions of individual facilities.
Some scientists recommendthat by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans. A December 2020 study published in Nature found that human-angry content, or anthropogenic mass, exceeds all living biomass on earth, with plastic alone outweighing the mass of all terrestrial and marine animals combined.
The environmental impact of pesticides is often greater than what is intended by those who utilizethem. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species, including nontarget species, air, water, bottom sediments, and food. Pesticide contaminates land and water when it escapes from production page and storage tanks, when it runs off from fields, when it is discarded, when it is sprayed aerially, and when it is sprayed into water to slayalgae.
The amount of pesticide that migrates from the intended applocationis influenced by the particular chemical's properties: its propensity for binding to soil, its vapor pressure, its water solubility, and its resistance to being broken down over time. Factors in the soil, such as its texture, its ability to retain water, and the amount of organic matter contained in it, also affect the amount of pesticide that will leave the area. Some pesticides contribute to global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer.
The environmental resultof pharmaceuticals and privatevehicle products (PPCPs) is being investigated since at least the 1990s. PPCPs containsubstances utilize by individuals for privatehealth or cosmetic reasons and the products utilize by agribusiness to boost growth or health of livestock. More than twenty million tons of PPCPs are produced every year. The European Union has declared pharmaceutical residues with the potential of contamination of water and soil to be "priority substances".PPCPs have been detected in water bodies throughout the world. More research is requiredto evaluate the risks of toxicity, persistence, and bioaccumulation, but the current state of research present that privatevehicle products impact over the environment and other species, such as coral reefs and fish. PPCPs encompass environmental persistent pharmaceutical pollutants (EPPPs) and are one kindof persistent organic pollutants. They are not removed in conventional sewage treatment plants but require a fourth treatment stage which not many plants have.
The environmental impact of transport is significant because it is a major utilize of energy, and burns most of the globes petroleum. This creates air pollution, including nitrous oxides and particulates, and is a significant contributor to global warming through emission of carbon dioxide, for which transport is the fastest-growing emission sector. By subsector, streettransport is the biggestcontributor to global warming.
Environmental regulations in developed countries have reduced the individual car emission; however, this has been offset by an increase in the number of car, and more utilizeof each vehicle. Some pathways to reduce the carbon emissions of streetcar considerably have been studied. Energy utilizeand emissions vary largely between modes, causing environmentalists to call for a transition from air and streetto rail and human-powered transport, and increase transport electrification and energy efficiency.
Other environmental impacts of transport systems include traffic congestion and automobile-oriented urban sprawl, which shouldconsume natural habitat and agricultural lands. By reducing transportation emissions globally, it is predicted that there will be significant positive result on Earth's air quality, acid rain, smog and climate change.
The health impact of transport emissions is also of concern. A lastestsurvey of the studies on the resultof traffic emissions on pregnancy outcomes has linked exposure to emissions to adverse result on gestational duration and possibly also intrauterine growth.
The environmental impact of aviation occurs because aircraft engines emit noise, particulates, and gases which contribute to climate change and global dimming. Despite emission reductions from automobiles and more fuel-efficient and less polluting turbofan and turboprop engines, the rapid growth of air travel in lastestyears contributes to an increase in total pollution attributable to aviation. In the EU, greenhouse gas emissions from aviation increased by 87% between 1990 and 2006. Among other factors leading to this phenomenon are the increasing number of hypermobile travellers and social factors that are making air travel commonplace, such as frequent flyer software.
There is an ongoing debate about possible taxation of air travel and the inclusion of aviation in an emissions trading scheme, with a view to ensuring that the total external costs of aviation are taken into account.
The environmental impact of street contain the local result of highways (public street) such as on noise pollution, light pollution, water pollution, habitat destruction/disturbance and local air quality; and the wider result including climate change from caremissions. The design, construction and management of street, parking and other associatedfacilities as well as the design and regulation of car shouldmodifythe impacts to varying degrees.
The environmental impact of shipping contain greenhouse gas emissions and oil pollution. In 2007, carbon dioxide emissions from shipping were estimated at 4 to 5% of the global total, and estimated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to rise by up to 72% by 2020 if no action is taken. There is also a potential for introducing invasive species into freshlocation through shipping, usually by attaching themselves to the ship's hull.
The First Intersessional Meeting of the IMO Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships took territoryin Oslo, Norway on 23–27 June 2008. It was tasked with developing the techbasis for the reduction mechanisms that may form part of a future IMO regime to control greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, and a draft of the actual reduction mechanisms themselves, for further consideration by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).
General military spending and military activities have marked environmental result. The United States military is considered one of the worst polluters in the world, responsible for over 39,000 page contaminated with hazardous content. Several studies have also found a powerfulpositive correlation between higher military spending and higher carbon emissions where increased military spending has a huge resulton increasing carbon emissions in the Global North than in the Global South. Military activities also affect land utilizeand are extremely resource-intensive.
The military does not solely have negative result on the environment. There are several examples of militaries aiding in land management, conservation, and greening of an area. Additionally, certain military technologies have proven extremely helpful for conservationists and environmental scientists.
As well as the cost to human life and society, there is a significant environmental impact of war. Scorched earth way during, or after war have been in utilizefor much of recorded history but with modern technology war shouldcause a far greater devastation on the environment. Unexploded ordnance shouldrender land unusable for further utilizeor make admissionacross it riskyor fatal.
Artificial light at night is one of the most obvious physical modify that humans have angry to the biosphere, and is the easiest form of pollution to observe from space. The main environmental impacts of artificial light are due to light's utilizeas an infosource (rather than an energy source). The hunting efficiency of visual predators generally increases under artificial light, changing predator prey interactions. Artificial light also affects dispersal, orientation, migration, and hormone levels, resulting in disrupted circadian rhythms.
Quickfashion has become one of the most successful industries in many capitalist societies with the increase in globalisation. Quickfashion is the cheap mass production of clothing, which is then sold on at very low prices to consumers. Today, the industry is worth £2 trillion.
In rulesof carbon dioxide emissions, the quickfashion industry contributes between 4–5 billion tonnes per year, equating to 8–10% of total global emissions. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, meaning it causes heat to receivetrapped in the atmosphere, rather than being released into space, raising the Earth's temperature – known as global warming.
Alongside greenhouse gas emissions the industry is also responsible for almost 35% of microplastic pollution in the oceans. Scientists have estimated that there are approximately 12–125 trillion tonnes of microplastic particles in the Earth's oceans. These particles are ingested by marine organisms, including fish later eaten by humans. The study states that many of the fibres found are likely to have come from clothing and other textiles, either from washing, or degradation.
Textile waste is a largeproblemfor the environment, with around 2.1 billion tonnes of unsold or faulty clothing being disposed per year. Much of this is taken to landfill, but the majority of content utilize to make clothes are not biodegradable, resulting in them breaking down and contaminating soil and water.
Fashion, much like most other industries such as agriculture, requires a hugevolume of water for production. The rate and quantity at which clothing is produced in quickfashion means the industry utilize 79 trillion litres of water every year. Water consumption has proven to be very detrimental to the environment and its ecosystems, leading to water depletion and water scarcity. Not only do these affect marine organisms, but also human's mealsources, such as crops. The industry is culpable for roughly one-fifth of all industrial water pollution.
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