The environment of the Earth is changing dramatically. Such changes result in horrifying disasters and serious environmental issues. If human civilization wants to protect the planet from the total destruction, it should start taking more eco-conscious steps immediately.
Unfortunately, the truth is that humanity is the main contributor to the development of climate change and other ecological problems. Around the world, people face with new environmental challenges caused by their harmful activity. And while some of these problems influence only local ecosystems, others affect the whole planet.
After reading this article, you’ll be acquainted with the major environmental issues today. Consider that the UN warns that these nature problems must be resolve by the end of 2030 if we don’t want to lose our last chances to save the Earth. Luckily, this list of environmental issues will help you to keep an eye on the most disturbing concerns and the ways to their solutions.
Current Environmental Issues
The changing climate leads to such disasters as sudden floods, hurricanes, and even earthquakes. They cause great damage to the global economy and take thousands of lives. However, except for these environmental issues examples, there are even more horrifying ones.
1. Local Environmental Issues
Right now, the citizens of any country suffer from local environmental issues. For example, while the USA is trying to stop air pollution, people in Canada face with such serious ecological problems as mining. Also, it’s impossible not to mention the environmental incident that has happened in Australia. In 2020 more than 18 million hectares of the forests were burnt due to the local bushfires.
Obviously, any continent, country, or even region faces with particular problems. And only the well-planed and eco-conscious strategies can help to solve these top environmental issues.
2. Global Pollution
The human activity pollutes air, water, and soil almost in any corner of the planet. The major pollutants include emissions from numerous vehicles, plants, and energy stations. They generate heavy metals, chemicals, toxins, and nitrates that slowly poison the Earth and humanity.
Industrial wastes constantly cause corrosions and deprive the soil of essential nutrients. The air is affected by various gases released by millions of factories worldwide. They have a bad influence not only on the environment and the atmosphere but also on the health of the people living in the most polluted areas.
At the same time, oil spills, urban and agricultural runoffs, acid rains significantly affect the water resources. Meanwhile, the statistics show that about 40% of the world population suffers because of water deficiency.
The human population is constantly growing. We need more food, water, and a place to live in. People cut forests to satisfy their needs and support the urbanization process. Nonetheless, the consequences of such activity are just terrifying.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that every year more than 18 million acres of forests are lost. That’s why the effects of deforestation become more and more dangerous. It causes floods, soil erosion, global warming as well as the extinction of unique plants and animal species.
It seems that humanity has already forgotten that forests consume dangerous carbon dioxide and produce oxygen necessary to support life on our planet. Further, they play a key role in the balancing of temperature and the water cycle.
4. Acid Rains
The pollutants, fossil fuels, and chemicals in the atmosphere often can cause acid rains. Also, sometimes this disaster can result from volcanic explosions. The interesting fact is that it may occur in different forms including not only rain but also snow and even fog.
Acid rains are extremely dangerous for underwater ecosystems and forests. Also, they affect humanity by destroying the buildings and causing health problems.
5. Biodiversity Loss
The bad news is that 8% of known animals have been already lost. What is more, this number may rise up to 22 at the nearest time because of the invasive species and destruction of the local ecosystems.
A great example of harmful human activity that affects the biodiversity of the Earth is the extermination of coral reefs necessary to support marine life. Besides, every year millions of bees die due to toxic pollutants and farming wastes. This affects the pollination process, which is essential for keeping balance in the majority of ecosystems.
In case no efforts are made to prevent habitat loss, we’ll face with the terrible changes in the flora and fauna of the Earth. It’s important to raise the awareness of this environmental issue if we want to save millions of living creatures.
6. Environmental Health Issues
According to the statistics provided by the WHO, almost 90% of global population labors under polluted air. Every year such respiratory illnesses as Asthma and cardiac-vascular problems cause near seven million deaths.
Water pollution is also among serious environmental concerns. Oxfam Intermon has found out that five million people die every year because of the water that contains deadly toxins. Also, climate change and high temperatures contribute to the spread of viruses like Dengue fever.
The experts from the UN expect that the world population will reach 8.5 billion by the end of this decade. If it happens, humanity will be producing so much garbage that we won’t be able to recycle it. What is more, the level of water and air pollution will also increase significantly.
Right now it’s possible to see that the overpopulation in less developed countries results in the straining due to the lack of natural resources. One day, such a situation may sweep the whole world.
Although the governments of different countries try to enact bills related to efficient family planning, it’s still difficult to put overpopulation under control. Right now there are no methods possible to resolve this serious issue.
8. Global Warming
The emission of greenhouse gases is the major factor that promotes climate change. During the last decades, the accumulation of these gases has grown significantly resulting in global warming. Its consequences include the melting of polar ice caps and the rise in sea levels.
The NOAA informs that the average temperature of our planet has already increased by 0.8 degrees Celsius. In case the humanity doesn’t take any actions, global warming will become inconvertible.
9. Waste Recycling
Every year we generate tons of plastic and garbage. Even European countries and the USA continue to clutter up oceans, rivers, and seas with litter. The situation is even worse in less developed countries.
Also, this environmental problem relates to nuclear wastes that may cause horrifying consequences in case they enter the environment. This environmental issue has already turned into a looming threat to the whole planet. Fortunately, the governments of all civilized countries are working on the development and implementation of the efficient recycling techniques.
The growth of the population also has a great influence on the urbanization process. Nowadays, almost any country uses its lands to meet the demands of the residents. First of all, it refers to China and India. The expansion of urban areas constantly leads to land degradation and soil pollution in these regions.
Another big drawback of the urbanization is the deleterious influence on the local ecosystems. Flora and fauna are suffering from urban sprawl. Furthermore, this process may affect human survival in the long-run in case humanity doesn’t discover new ways to deal with the urbanization.
The good news is that experts are trying to solve this issue. Right now, there is a clear vision of the new eco-friendly cities. They will be safer and more energy-efficient. In addition, these cities will have a lot of green spaces and environmentally friendly structures. Besides, individual attention will be given to the implementation of sustainable transport.
11. Genetic Engineering
This term is used to describe the modification of food with the help of the newest biotechnologies. Although it may help to solve such a problem as starvation in poor countries, there is the reverse of a coin.
Now, it seems that genetic engineering has more drawbacks than advantages. Sometimes the frankenfood may include a lot of toxins dangerous for human health. Moreover, genetically modified plants may pollute the soil and cause a harmful effect on wildlife.
Sometimes, genetic engineering leads to the introduction of new hogweeds. Due to the new genes, these plants become more resistant to different chemicals. As a result, the extirpation of the weeds becomes a more difficult and time-consuming task.
The process of land degradation is called desertification. Usually, it’s caused by harmful human activity and climate change. The dreadful aftereffects of this environmental issue include the total destruction of the ecosystems, the worsening water quality, and sudden flooding. All these factors will lead our civilization to starvation and poverty.
However, a lot of organizations are trying to educate people about the importance to prevent this disaster from further spreading. Of course, in the first instance, humanity should come up with newer and more sustainable farming and agricultural practices if we want to cope with this task.
As you can see, most environmental problems result from human activity. Besides, despite the fact that there are so many global environmental issues, all of them are interrelated and have some common features.
Sometimes it happens so that one of these problems leads to another one. Probably, this is the best answer to the question ‘What is the core reason for many of today’s environmental problems?’ In case we manage to solve the listed problems with the environment and natural resource issues, the Earth will get a chance for a bright future.
Kate is an environmental consultant specializing on green technologies and nature preservation techniques. She has more than 3 years of experience and worked with several non-profit organizations to save our nature from disruptive influence of people.