Human activities often have a widespread impact on the ecosystem.

Since older days, human have hunted, fished and cleared forests. Sheep, cattle and goats grazed on vast areas of grasslands, harming the ecosystem. Today, expectation of better living conditions, better modes of transport and industrial revolution have brought about clearing of more forests to grow food, build factories, houses and roads.

The negative effects of unplanned development and mismanagement of the ecosystem give rise to various environmental problems such as:


Ozone depletion
Environmetal Problems

Global warming

Soil erosion, landslide, flash flood

Greenhouse effects


Human activities usually affect the ecosystem. . Deforestation Soil erosion Landslides Flash flood Extinction of flora and fauna Global warming Greenhouse effect Industrialisation pollution Burning pollution Greenhouse effects Urbanisation pollution pollution Farming a) DEFORESTATION…. The activities that endanger the ecosystem is shown below: Human activities that endanger the ecosystem.

•  The landslides happen because of the stability of soil is lost due to deforestation. The vast areas of forests are being cleared away for extracting timber or fuel wood. agriculture and urban development. → There are many impacts of deforestation such as: Soil erosion.• • Deforestation is an act of extensive cutting down or burning the trees in the forest. flash floods and landslides.  Clearing of trees causes the loss of tree leaves to protect the soil from the impact of raindrops and also .  Landslides occurs when the top layer of soil loosens and slides down because of rains for a long period of time during rainy seasons.

 Thus. The land cannot be used for cultivation.causes the loss of tree roots to hold the soil in places. → Soil erosion also leads to DEPLETION OF MINERALS for the land. Extinction of flora and fauna  . This leads to soil erosion. the soil is exposed directly to the force of the rain. water flows inland and causes flash flood in low areas. Heavy rainfall will easily washed away the top layer of the soil. Thus.  The eroded soil is carried away by water and may be deposited into the river.  Due to silting in the rivers. the water flows is blocked. rainwater flows quickly into rivers because there is no retention of water by plant roots as well as water catchment areas.  During heavy rains.

As a results. the level of carbon dioxide increases and global temperature also increases.  Carbon dioxide can prevent heat from escaping from the atmosphere. it will reduce rainfall.  Deforestation causes weather and climatic changes. b) FARMING .  Deforestation is believed to contribute about 20-30% of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for every year. Thus. transpiration rate and the rate of using carbon dioxide during photosynthesis by plants.  Clearing and burning of forests also release vast amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  When a large scale of trees are destroyed by cutting and burning.  Increasing global temperature may change the ecosystem. Deforestation leads to the loss of habitats for many species of flora and fauna.  This will cause an increased rate of extinction of plants and animals. → Greenhouse effect and global warming. This leads to greenhouse effect and global warming. it reduces biodiversity and the source of food and valuables medicines for humans.

• Excessive use of land for farming and stock rearing lead to infertile land and may expose soil to erosion by wind. • Toxic gases released by industries contribute to air pollution. c) URBANISATION • Dumping of domestic waste as well as sewage discharge from houses causes pollution. • The waste materials in landfills act as toxic substances which pollute nearby water sources. . Use of inorganic fertilisers in farming also leads to eutrophication. • INDUSTRIALISATION • Industrial plants discharge industrial and heated waste water causing water pollution and thermal pollution.

• Burning of fossil fuels causes air pollution as well as increase the carbon dioxide content. it causes the greenhouse effect and global warming. farms and forests release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which aggravates the greenhouse effect.e) BURNING • Open burning of rubbish.  Pollution is an undesirable change in the chemical. physical or biological characteristics of . • As a result.

nitrogen oxide (NO) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). dirt. dust and poisonous gases are released into the air endangering human lives and other living organisms. They may affect the soil.  There are four types of pollution: Air pollution Water pollution Types of pollutions Noise pollution Thermal pollution AIR POLLUTION → Air pollution occurs when pollutants such as smoke.  Pollutant is any substance that is present in an excessive amount in the environment as a result of human activities. seas or the atmosphere. such as carbon dioxide.the natural environment. Pollutant Sources Effects Carbon • Incomplete Health . carbon dioxide (CO2). → Examples of air pollutants are carbon monoxide (CO). It has damaging effects on living organism. The environment is polluted with harmful substances or pollutants.  Pollutants may be toxic substances such as pesticides or natural constituents of the atmosphere. rivers. → Most air pollutants come from burning of fossil fuels from motor vehicles.

Agriculture • Contributes to acid rain which reduces the pH of soil. combustion of fossil fuels. • NO2-browmish gas • Combustion of fossil fuels. • Combustion of fossil fuels. • Motor vehicle exhaust Sulphur dioxide (SO2) • Colourless. smoke from fires. aluminium and stonework. • Prolonged exposure can lead to brain damage and even death. engine fumes. lakes and rivers. • Dissolves in water. May cause bronchitis. . • Combines with rainwater to form acid rain that may cause skin diseases. Health Damages lung tissues. • Combines with haemoglobin to form carboxyhaemoglobin which reduces the ability of the blood to transport oxygen. pungent and acidic gas. Climate • Contributes to acid rain. • Causes coughing and wheezing.monoxide (CO) • Odourless. nausea and fatigue. air passages and lungs. • Affects respiration. Lowers the body’s defence against flu. Building • Contributes to acid rain which destroys buildings. lakes and rivers. • Contributes to acid rain which lowers the pH of soil. colourless gas. Agriculture • Reduces the growth of plants. Irritates the eyes. • Combustion sources such as motor vehicle exhaust. colourless gas. Buildings • Contributes to acid rain which corrodes iron. colourless and toxic gas. steel. Carbon dioxide (CO2) • Odourless. • Industries. Health • Irritates and damages the lining of the eyes. Building • Contributes to acid rain which damages buildings. • Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches. Nitrogen monoxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide(NO2) • NO-odourless. Health • Causes emphysema. thereby destroying buildings. copper. Climate • Contributes to greenhouse effect and global warming. • Combustion of fossil fuels which contain sulphur. • Damages the leaves and may kill the plants.

Health • Affects growth Causes cancer → → Other than that. thus lowering the rate of photosynthesis. Agriculture • Deposits on leaves and darkens vegetation. • Forest fire • Quarries and asbestos factories Lead • Combustion of fossil fuels Hydrocarbon • Combustion of fossil fuels from motor vehicles Climate • Causes acid rain.Fine particular matter. Climate • Contributes to formation of haze and smog which can reduce light intensity. The crop yield is reduced. conjunctivitis. • Combustion of fossil fuels from motor vehicles. • Retards mental development in children. fumes. air pollution also causes acid rains.0(natural rain water has a pH of about 5. • Disrupts body’s ability to produce new cell. Health • Irritates the eyes and respiratory tract. season and whether conditions. • Contributes to haze which can cause asthma attack. dust. sore throat. Buildings • Soot can darken building. ash and pollen) • Tiny and invisible • The composition of particulate matter varies with place. (Includes smoke.4) . bronchitis and reduced visibility. Health • Reduces the sensitivity of the hands and feet coordination. • Blocks stomata. Acid rain only occurs when the pH of the rain is less than 5. agricultural burning and industries.

these acid will fall back as acid rain. → Then. 2SO2(g) + O2(g) + 2H2O(l) → 2H2SO4(aq) → Oxides of nitrogen combine with water vapour to form nitric acid. . → Sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen form acidic solutions when dissolves in water. → Sulphur dioxide combines with water vapour to form sulphuric acid.→ Combustion of fossil fuels releases sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen which contribute to acid rain.

marble. rubber. It dissolves in water to form carbonic acid.→ Carbon dioxide in the air also contributes to acid rain. plastics. → The effect of acid rain is shown below: Corrodes metals. causing infertile soil Reduces the pH value of the soil making it unsuitable for farming Releases ions of heavy metals such as lead which may contaminate the water . stonework and other materials Increases the acidity of aquatic ecosystems leading to the killing of planktons and aquatic organism Destroyed plant tissues and damages plant roots Effects of acid rain Leaching of minerals from the soil such as calcium.

The air quality is measure by Air Pollution Index (API) → It is normally includes the major pollutants which could cause potential harm to human health. the air pollutants included are ozone. → The sources of water pollution and the effects of water pollution are shown below. but it is developed in easily understood ranges of values as shown below → API 0-50 51-100 101-200 201-300 301-500 Above 500 Status Good Moderate Unhealthy Very unhealthy Hazardous Emergency Level of pollution Low. . nitrogen dioxide. → In Malaysia. carbon monoxide. domestic waste and sewage into rivers. Water pollution. → This index is calculate by using the concentrations of major air pollutants. sulphur dioxide and suspended particulate matter. staying indoors and wearing masks when the air pollution index exceeds 200. no ill effects on health Mild aggravation of symptoms among high risk group Significant aggravation of symptoms and decreased exercise tolerance among high risk groups Severe aggravation of symptoms and a danger to health Severe aggravation of symptoms and a danger to health → This index helps us to take precautionary measures by drinking more water. no ill effects on health Moderate pollution. industrial waste. → Water pollution occurs when people discharging agriculture wastes.

Nonbiodegradable rubbish Suspended solids Rubbish Oil Fertilisers and pesticide from farms Nitrates Phosphates Pesticides Herbicides Sources and pollutants of water pollution Oil spills Grease Oil Effluent from factories Heavy metals Chemicals Oil Grease Sewage effluent Detergent Faeces Nitrates .

Decomposition of decayed materials by saprophytic bacteria reduces the oxygen content in the water . paralysis and even death Excess nitrates and phosphates lead to eutrophication. Aquatic organisms may die due to lack of light and oxygen.Effects of water pollution Animals and plants Human health Untreated water contains pathogen such as Vibrio bacteria which causes cholera. Pesticides and herbicides passed to humans through the food chain are harmful. Heavy metals such as mercury cause nervous disorders. blindness. Rubbish and oil reduce light penetration and diffusion of oxygen into water. Oil covers the gills of fishes affecting their respiration.

the aquatic plants die. • When these plants die. Sewage treatment plant discharges c. Run-off of animal waste → The increased nutrients promote rapid growth of algae when they are deposited in rivers. Fertiliser(especially nitrates and phosphate) from agriculture fields b. aquatic animals lose their food sources and . → This excessive growth of algae is often called an algae bloom → Algae blooms endanger the ecosystem in two main ways. Unable to carry out photosynthesis. • 1. lakes and streams.The densely populated algae cover the water surface and block sunglight.→ Eutrophication is a natural process whereby an aquatic ecosystem becomes enriched with nutrients causing an excessive growth of aquatic plants → Nutrients can come from many sources such as a.

As a result. → BOD refers to the amount of oxygen utilised by microorganisms to oxidise all organic matter in one litre of water → The higher the BOD value. • 2. decomposing organisms especially saprophytic bacteria use up oxygen for its activities • This reduces the oxygen content in the water. Thermal pollution → Thermal pollution occurs when there is an increases in the temperature of a water source or excessive heat in the environment. streams. When the algae die. → An increase in temperature of water will cause the following. The hot water is discharged to rivers causing the temperature of water to increase by 10°C. . → Many industries use water for cooling the machines. the more polluted the water as the dissolved oxygen level decreases. the food chains and ecosystem change.habitats. • Algae also reduce the level of dissolved oxygen in the water. → Reflection of heat from glass buildings also leads to an increase in temperature of the surroundings. cooling towers of power stations and reactor plants. → A depletion in oxygen results in an increases in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) → Eutrophication increases the BOD value in the water. lakes and ponds from the effluent of industrial processes. → Hot water is discharged into nearby rivers.

Examples are: a) Vehicles b)Jet planes c) Construction sites d)Entertainment outlets e) Machines → World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a noise level of not more than 55 decibels(dB) → When the surrounding noise level reaches 80 dB or more. → Excessive exposure to a noise level of 80 dB or more for a long period of time may cause → . Some organisms also move away. → There are many sources and most of them are related to urban development. This affects the food chain and also the entire ecosystem. c) It encourages some algae to grow rapidly which can lead to a higher BOD value. This affects the life of aerobic aquatic organisms b)It causes some aquatic organisms to die because they only survive at suitable temperatures.a) It reduces the level of dissolved oxygen in water. it causes discomfort and affects the human health. Noise pollution Noise pollution occurs when our daily lives are disturbed by high levels of noise.

→ Energy from the sun reaches the earth through radiation. → As the earth is warmed. emotional and mental disturbances and in certain cases. → However much of this radiation is prevented from escaping into space by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). heat in the form of infrared radiation is radiated back into space.headache. Some of this radiation is absorbed by the earth to warm the surfaces of sea and land. nitrous oxide (N2O) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) . methane (CH4). may cause deafness.

warming the earth further. The . → The increasing amount of greenhouse gases increases the greenhouse effect causing more heat to be trapped in the atmosphere. → Data collected has shown that atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by nearly 25%. It is similar to a greenhouse used in farming in countries which experience temperate climates. → This phenomenon is known as the greenhouse effect.→ As a result the infrared radiation is radiated back to the earth’s surface. The heat is used to keep the soil and air warm in the greenhouse. mainly burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. The glass of a greenhouse allows light to enter but retards the loss of heat. → An increase in greenhouse gases is caused by human activities. methane by 20% and concentrations of chlorofluorocarbons have doubled.

→ Some scientists predicted that the earth’s temperature may rise by 1.5°C by 2030.earth’s average temperature increases and is known as global warming. Floods in lowlying countries Melting of polar ice and glaciers causing a rise in sea level Spread of pests and diseasecarrying vectors to new areas increases the outbreak of diseases Effects of global warming Intense rains in some regions Change in wind directions and weather patterns Decline in the yield of crops due to dry and infertile soil Increases of droughts .5°C to 4.

 Ozone.Ozone layer is present in the stratosphere. . as propellants in aerosol cans. once depleted will not be replenished naturally.  Evidence of ozone depletion was first discovered over the Antarctic in 1985 by the British Antarctic survey.  This ozone layer shields the earth from the harmful effects of ultraviolet(UV) radiation.  The main cause of ozone depletion is the increasing level of chlorofluorocarbons(CFC) in the atmosphere. which is approximately 12-25 kilometres above the earth’s surface.  The use of CFCs as coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators. as solvents in the electronics industry and as foaming agents in the making of polystyrene boxes has released large amounts of CFCs into the atmosphere. although a form of oxygen.   High concentrations of ozone (O3) in the ozone layer can absorb large quantities of UV radiation.

releasing chlorine radicals which destroy ozone in a chain reaction. a) Human health • Skin cancer or melanoma • Eye damage such as cataract • Lowering of body’s immune system b)Plants • Damage of leaf cells and chlorophyll. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation leads to the following effects.  It is estimated that a single chlorine atom can destroy 100 thousand molecules of ozone in a year.  With the thinning of the ozone layer.  UV radiation breaks down CFCs.CFCs are reactive and can remain unchanged for over 100 years. more UV radiation would be able to reach the earth’s surface. • Decrease in nutrient content and crop yields • Killing of phytoplanktons c) The environment • Increase in surrounding temperature • Change in wind directions • Climate changes  . reducing photosynthesis.

polar seas and temperate forests are slowly losing its flora and fauna. . UV radiation affects photosynthesis. Drought due to global warming causes the land to dry. Ecosystem’s food web affected. Ecosystems such as coral reef. Decline in zooplanktons. wetlands. the plants are not be able to thrive.Impact of thinning of the ozone layer and global warming on the ecosystem Sea water becomes warm due to global warming. Aquatic organisms are sensitive to UV. Ecosystem becomes unstable as the producers.

• Recycle rubbish • To look for methods to do research • Change organic rubbish to biogas • Use less polluting and clean fuels in motor vehicles. • Control and treat the toxic and dangerous waste before disposing . 1984  Aims at protecting and preserving our forests and wildlife • Pesticides act.• There are many steps can be taken to maintain the balance of nature such as: a) Enforcement of the environmental laws • Environment quality act. 1972  Aims at protecting wildlife animals. birds and plants • Fisheries act. 1985  Aims at controlling marine pollution b)Use of technology • Use modern equipments and chemicals to control oil spills. 1974  Controls and prevents the pollution of the environment  Controls the type of licensing. content and quality of environment  Tests and examines the samples of substances and gas from industries • Natural forestry act. 1974  Aims at controlling the use of pesticides • Protection of wildlife act.

• Force the development companies to replant the forest trees after deforestation. 1. • A method of controlling the animal pests by using natural predators instead of using chemical substances. • Put effort in rivers cleaning to ensure there is sufficient supply of water in future Practice of biological control. the animal predators do not eat the other organisms in the same habitat. 2. • Restore the mining and used land for agriculture. d) Preservation and conservation of the ecosystem. • To provide the basic knowledge of environmental problems and effects of pollutions. f) Efficient use of energy and use of renewable energy.c) Education • To increase the awareness and sensitivity of the individual to the environment. e) . • Factors to choose the animals predators. • Remaining the mangrove swamps area so that the ecosystem is protected. • To teach the public the necessary skills to protect and maintain a healthy society. • To help the individuals to become responsible and sensitive to the environment. The animals predators do not bring any infection or disease.

coal.doe. oil and fossil fuels • Solar energy can be used as a substitute of fuels • Renewable energy. For example.my/en/content/environmental -quality-act-1974 • http://en.org/wiki/Air_Pollution_Index • Memory master through mind maps and diagrams Biology SPM reference book. Biology form 4 textbook.• Energy plays an important role in our life • Non-renewable energy will be exhausted in one day. such as solar energy.gov. • Focus Ace SPM Biology Reference book • http://www. wave power and tidal power are environmental friendly and need to be developed. • .wikipedia.

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