The Influence of Human Activity on the Environment
The Influence of Human Activity on the Environment Improvements in agriculture health and medicine have produced a dramatic rise in the human population This increase in population size leads to an increase
in pollution and higher demand for the worlds resources Humans are using up the earths resources, including fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels in cars and power stations
produces carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and other greenhouse gases carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere and causes the temperature of the earth to rise. This leads to disruption of
the weather patterns eg drought, floods Some weeds may thrive on the extra carbon dioxide while other plants are killed
Sulphur dioxide will dissolve in rain producing Acid Rain Acid rain damages trees and pollutes rivers and lakes. Acid rain causes erosion of buildings and statues particularly if they are made of
limestone Deforestation In may countries people are chopping down forests to provide timber or
space for agriculture for the growing population This causes several problems 1. Burning the timber increases the level of carbon dioxide in the air
2. Less trees means less carbon dioxide absorbed for photosynthesis 3. Soil is eroded as it is exposed to the wind and rain 4. Less water is transpired into the atmosphere 5. Many animal and plant habitats are
destroyed causing extinction of species Intensive Farming Farming has become more intensive to provide a higher % yield from land Many people regard intensive farming of animals to be cruel
In order to produce more food from the land farmers have to use more fertilisers and pesticides Problems with Fertilisers Fertilisers enable farmers to grow more food as they are replacing the nutrients
removed from the soil by plants However, if too much fertiliser is added and it then rains, the fertiliser finds its way into rivers and lakes This causes the water plants to grow and as there is competition for light, some will die
Bacteria decay the dead plants and in so doing use up oxygen from the water This means the fish suffocate and die
This process is called Eutrophication Raw sewage pumped into rivers has the same effect Pesticides
Pesticides kill insects that will damage crops They also kill harmless insects or can get washed into rivers and pollute the water They may even end up in the food chain In the 1960s, DDT in the food chain threatened bird
populations. Many birds of prey came close to extinction What can we Do? Organic Farming? This produces less
food and is more expensive but it does not produce the pollution problems of intensive farming Use farmyard manure as a fertiliser and set
aside land for growth of wild plants Biological Control of Pests This means using natural predators to eat pests instead of pesticides
It does not have harmful effects Develop alternative energy sources Conserve our rapidly diminishing fossil fuel reserves by using
solar power or wind power Benefits of conserving endangered species Ecotourism Agricultural benefits Species indicators
Maintaining diversity in gene pool WHAT ELSE?????????
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