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How Do Humans Affect the Environment?

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Pollution is rampant around the world, and people and governments are still squabbling over. When the Kyoto Protocol was signed by various nations in the year 1997, industrialized and developed nations had promised to take steps to reduce greenhouse emissions substantially by the year 2012. However, reduction of greenhouses gases has not reduced the way the nations envisaged.

For decades now human beings have been exploiting nature without worrying about the consequences. Today, the world is on the brink of disaster. Our natural resources are depleting fast and many plants and animals have been lost forever, while many more are facing extinction. This is the price humans had to pay for improved lives.

Today, many studies have been conducted to find out how humans affect the environment. And, these studies paint a bleak picture. Glaciers around the world are gradually melting, and this process continues, soon rivers will dry up and there will be no fresh water to sustain the millions of people depending on these rivers. Industries and vehicles are contributing at an alarming rate to global warming by increasing the emission of greenhouse gases. If temperatures keep rising at this pace, then several cities such as London and New York will be submerged by the melting glaciers and subsequent rise of sea levels.

Thanks to industrialization, CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons are gradually depleting the ozone layer. The ozone layer present in the stratosphere prevents ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth. These rays can cause cancer of the skin and cataracts. In fact, in some parts of the world, like Australia and certain Polar regions, the ozone layer has completely vanished leaving a gaping hole in the atmosphere.

Human activities are also responsible for the widespread pollution that is prevalent all over the world. Industries release harmful chemicals and gases into the air, water and soil. Unsustainable farming practices cause pesticides to reach water bodies. All these types of pollution have lead to scores of birds and animals dying. Also, pollution is a major cause of respiratory disorders, like asthma and bronchitis, among humans.

Another ill-effect of human activities is rampant deforestation. For decades now forests are being denuded to make place for cities, towns and farmlands. Humans have not thought about the adverse effect it has had not just on the soil, but also the animals and plants. One of the reasons that desertification and soil erosion has become a problem is indiscriminate felling of trees.

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Source by Kum Martin

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