As the population continues to expand, there will be that much greater demands on our planet that will create pollution, deforestation, and atmospheric changes. The issue of overpopulation is in fact related to birth control and poverty. Many of the most overpopulated countries with a population of over 200 lion people each are China, India, united States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Brazil (2007). In contrast, there are people who believe that the population of humans will not continue to increase as estimated by scientists and the government.
Doug Allen, dean of the school of Architecture for Georgia Institute of Technology, disagrees and believes that “nothing ever continues at its present rate, neither the stock market nor population growth” (Hovel, 2008). Allen continues to say that, “there is a substantial body of evidence that the world population will flatten out in about 30 years” (Hovel). In spite of Allen’s theories, the environment must still face an issue at large that deserves to be contemplated and whether or not the population will flatten, these changes are unstoppable.
Pollution Pollution is one of the most common effects of human population that is affecting the planet on a daily basis. Air, water and land are three atmospheric sources that are heavily affected with high pollution from solid wastes due to human related activities. The sources of pollution are varied productions that emerge from four major human-activity fields: agriculture, energy, industrial, and transportation. The agriculture sector is a huge pollutant factor. As the population of people increases, so do crop yields, made possible from fertilizers and pesticides.
Nitrogen-based fertilizers are the result of the contamination of water mainly rivers and oceans. According to The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (SCAR), “adding large amounts of nitrogen to rivers, lakes, and coastal systems results in transportation, a condition that occurs in aquatic ecosystems when excessive nutrient concentrations stimulate blooms of algae that deplete oxygen, killing fish and other organisms and ruining water laity” (2005). Pollution from energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels that convert carbon into carbon dioxide.
Fossil fuels such as coal, contains nitrogen and sulfur which greenhouse gases when burned. “When coal is burned, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury compounds are released” (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007). Industrial activities are also a major part of air and water pollution including the contamination found many of the foods harvested in earth’s soil. Many manufacturers use an abundance of freshwater to wash away chemicals of all sorts.
The waste-bearing water, or effluent, is discharged into streams, lakes, or oceans, which in turn disperse the polluting substances” (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2008). The use of transportation has been a great contributor to high emissions of pollution in the atmosphere. This factor is mainly dominated by the use of gasoline-powered vehicles driven by people. Such vehicles evaporate organic compounds found in fuel emissions that produce carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, which in turn, help produce the carbon dioxide that is released into the air.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency SEEPS), the transportation sector is the second largest source of CO emissions in the U. S. Automobiles and light-duty trucks account for almost two-thirds of emissions from the transportation sector and emissions have steadily grown since 1990. Other sources of transportation emissions are freight trucks, aircraft, trains and boats. Emissions from transportation depend on the number of trips or miles traveled by each type of vehicle each year, which are in turn influenced by larger economic trends and consumer behavior.
Over the long term, changes in the fuel efficiency of vehicles (e. . , mileage), and in the type of fuel used can also influence the level of emissions. (2007) Controlling and managing this type of pollution requires far more than what people can ever imagine. A number of approaches attempting to take air pollution serious have already been implemented by government and other environmental agencies. Education and encouragement from the human population as a whole can make a difference.
Deforestation Deforestation is the destruction of woodlands and forests permanently. The removal of trees in forests and woodlands has given a result of a degraded environment with a condensed biodiversity. Trees are known to absorb high emissions of Carbon Dioxide; the lesser trees there are the higher the levels of Carbon Dioxide found in the atmosphere enabling erratic weather patterns. With increasing deforestation, trees are no longer able to hydrate from the water found in the ground, which prevents evaporation.
Ironically, clearing trees and forests is considered necessary by people in order to continue providing living space for construction of homes and the expansion of agriculture. However, the destruction of biodiversity and the erosion of soil re two negative impacts that arise from deforestation. Biodiversity refers to the variation of species found in different types of ecosystems in a specific area. Human activities are causing the extinction rates of certain animals and plants to increase.
The eagerness to improve human life is causing a serious threat to the survival of our biodiversity and what we humans do not understand is that we are all dependent on each other. According to Sic-Tech Encyclopedia (2008), human activities, such as direct harvesting of species, introduction of alien species, habitat destruction, ND various forms of habitat degradation (including environmental pollution), have caused dramatic losses of biodiversity; current extinction rates are estimated to be 100-1000 times higher than pre-human extinction rates.
Much of our medicine, clothing, and foods are produced by ecosystems being destroyed as habitats become depleted. If all species were lost, ecosystems would not be able to survive without one another. Once again, human activity through deforestation is responsible for soil erosion. Although soil erosion is part off natural process, it becomes a hazard when humans cause that process to evolve much faster than it would. The National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory (2008) describes soil erosion as “the detachment and movement of soil particles by the erosive forces of wind or water.