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15 Major Current Environmental Problems

1.Pollution:Pollutionofair,waterandsoilrequiremillionsofyearstorecoup.
Industryandmotorvehicleexhaustarethenumberonepollutants.Heavymetals,
nitratesandplasticaretoxinsresponsibleforpollution.Whilewaterpollutionis
causedbyoilspill,acidrain,urbanrunoff;airpollutioniscausedbyvariousgases
andtoxinsreleasedbyindustriesandfactoriesandcombustionoffossilfuels;soil
pollutionismajorlycausedbyindustrialwastethatdeprivessoilfromessential
nutrients.
2.GlobalWarming:Climatechangeslikeglobalwarmingistheresultofhuman
practiceslikeemissionofGreenhousegases.Globalwarmingleadstorising
temperaturesoftheoceansandtheearthsurfacecausingmeltingofpolaricecaps,
riseinsealevelsandalsounnaturalpatternsofprecipitationsuchasflashfloods,
excessivesnowordesertification.
3.Overpopulation:Thepopulationoftheplanetisreachingunsustainablelevelsasit
facesshortageofresourceslikewater,fuelandfood.Populationexplosioninless
developedanddevelopingcountriesisstrainingthealreadyscarceresources.
Intensiveagriculturepracticedtoproducefooddamagestheenvironmentthroughuse
ofchemicalfertilizer,pesticidesandinsecticides.Overpopulationisoneofthecrucial
currentenvironmentalproblem.
4.NaturalResourceDepletion:Naturalresourcedepletionisanothercrucialcurrent
environmentalproblems.FossilfuelconsumptionresultsinemissionofGreenhouse
gases,whichisresponsibleforglobalwarmingandclimatechange.Globally,people
aretakingeffortstoshifttorenewablesourcesofenergylikesolar,wind,biogasand
geothermalenergy.Thecostofinstallingtheinfrastructureandmaintainingthese
sourceshasplummetedintherecentyears.
5.WasteDisposal:Theoverconsumptionofresourcesandcreationofplasticsare
creatingaglobalcrisisofwastedisposal.Developedcountriesarenotoriousfor
producinganexcessiveamountofwasteorgarbageanddumpingtheirwasteinthe
oceansand,lessdevelopedcountries.Nuclearwastedisposalhastremendoushealth
hazardsassociatedwithit.Plastic,fastfood,packagingandcheapelectronicwastes

threatenthewellbeingofhumans.Wastedisposalisoneofurgentcurrent
environmentalproblem.
6.ClimateChange:Climatechangeisyetanotherenvironmentalproblemthathas
surfacedinlastcoupleofdecades.Itoccursduetoriseinglobalwarmingwhich
occursduetoincreaseintemperatureofatmospherebyburningoffossilfuelsand
releaseofharmfulgasesbyindustries.Climatechangehasvariousharmfuleffectsbut
notlimitedtomeltingofpolarice,changeinseasons,occurrenceofnewdiseases,
frequentoccurrenceoffloodsandchangeinoverallweatherscenario.
7.LossofBiodiversity:Humanactivityisleadingtotheextinctionofspeciesand
habitatsandandlossofbiodiversity.Ecosystems,whichtookmillionsofyearsto
perfect,areindangerwhenanyspeciespopulationisdecimating.Balanceofnatural
processeslikepollinationiscrucialtothesurvivaloftheecosystemandhuman
activitythreatensthesame.Anotherexampleisthedestructionofcoralreefsinthe
variousoceans,whichsupporttherichmarinelife.
8.Deforestation:Ourforestsarenaturalsinksofcarbondioxideandproducefresh
oxygenaswellashelpsinregulatingtemperatureandrainfall.Atpresentforests
cover30%ofthelandbuteveryyeartreecoverislostamountingtothecountryof
Panamaduetogrowingpopulationdemandformorefood,shelterandcloth.
Deforestationsimplymeansclearingofgreencoverandmakethatlandavailablefor
residential,industrialorcommercialpurpose.
9.OceanAcidification:ItisadirectimpactofexcessiveproductionofCO2.25%of
CO2producedbyhumans.Theoceanacidityhasincreasedbythelast250yearsbut
by2100,itmayshootupby150%.Themainimpactisonshellfishandplanktonin
thesamewayashumanosteoporosis.
10.OzoneLayerDepletion:Theozonelayerisaninvisiblelayerofprotection
aroundtheplanetthatprotectsusfromthesunsharmfulrays.Depletionofthecrucial
OzonelayeroftheatmosphereisattributedtopollutioncausedbyChlorineand
BromidefoundinChloroflorocarbons(CFCs).Oncethesetoxicgasesreachthe
upperatmosphere,theycauseaholeintheozonelayer,thebiggestofwhichisabove
theAntarctic.TheCFCsarebannedinmanyindustriesandconsumerproducts.
OzonelayerisvaluablebecauseitpreventsharmfulUVradiationfromreachingthe
earth.Thisisoneofthemostimportantcurrentenvironmentalproblem.

11.AcidRain:Acidrainoccursduetothepresenceofcertainpollutantsinthe
atmosphere.Acidraincanbecausedduetocombustionoffossilfuelsorerupting
volcanoesorrottingvegetationwhichreleasesulfurdioxideandnitrogenoxidesinto
theatmosphere.Acidrainisaknownenvironmentalproblemthatcanhaveserious
effectonhumanhealth,wildlifeandaquaticspecies.
12.WaterPollution:Cleandrinkingwaterisbecomingararecommodity.Wateris
becominganeconomicandpoliticalissueasthehumanpopulationfightsforthis
resource.Oneoftheoptionssuggestedisusingtheprocessofdesalinization.
Industrialdevelopmentisfillingourriversseasandoceanswithtoxicpollutants
whichareamajorthreattohumanhealth.

13.UrbanSprawl:Urbansprawlreferstomigrationofpopulationfromhighdensity
urbanareastolowdensityruralareaswhichresultsinspreadingofcityovermoreand
moreruralland.Urbansprawlresultsinlanddegradation,increasedtraffic,
environmentalissuesandhealthissues.Theevergrowingdemandoflanddisplaces
naturalenvironmentconsistingoffloraandfaunainsteadofbeingreplaced.
14:PublicHealthIssues:Thecurrentenvironmentalproblemsposealotofriskto
healthofhumans,andanimals.Dirtywateristhebiggesthealthriskoftheworldand
posesthreattothequalityoflifeandpublichealth.Runofftoriverscarriesalong
toxins,chemicalsanddiseasecarryingorganisms.Pollutantscauserespiratorydisease
likeAsthmaandcardiacvascularproblems.Hightemperaturesencouragethespread
ofinfectiousdiseaseslikeDengue.
15.GeneticEngineering:Geneticmodificationoffoodusingbiotechnologyiscalled
geneticengineering.Geneticmodificationoffoodresultsinincreasedtoxinsand
diseasesasgenesfromanallergicplantcantransfertotargetplant.Genetically
modifiedcropscancauseseriousenvironmentalproblemsasanengineeredgenemay
provetoxictowildlife.Anotherdrawbackisthatincreaseduseoftoxinstomake
insectresistantplantcancauseresultantorganismstobecomeresistanttoantibiotics.