Hello or Salam (May Allah Bless You). Today my article is about how human activities effects the ecosystem in various ways and how we can control these activities for controlling the damage to our ecosystem. I will provide photos for the article and write in the easiest of ways for you to have maximum understanding. I will try to give you the correct knowledge but if there is still any error you can tell me in your comments. Your views, likes, follows and comments means a lot to me. Thank you for your support so far.
Now the most common known effect of human activity is deforestation. I will focus on the deforestation of the rain-forest mostly because the most deforestation is found in the rainforest. Did you know that rainforest covers only 2% of the Earth’s total surface. It is mainly around the equator line on a world map. Among all the other forest types the tropical rain forest has the largest biodiversity (variety of animals, plants and microorganisms).
Deforestation is done for various purposes. Many of which are:
- For creating settlements and housing facilities.
- For creating an open land for various industries.
- For creating agricultural land to provide food.
- For providing goods like furniture such as cupboards, sofa, table etc.
- For making paper.
Many of the forests are cut down mainly for agriculture. Did you know that around the world 60% of the deforestation is done by poor farmers which run subsistence farms. The reason is that the farmers are poor and are unable to provide for their families due to lack of opportunity and unawareness. They cut down the trees to clear lands for crops such as wheat to provide food for their families. Any extra crop is sold to make cash but this is not an expectation but rather lucky for them. Now the rest of the 40% of the forest is cut down for cash crop farming. The reason is that not much land is needed for this because the quality of the crop is controlled and the method is advanced, so long as these remain as such not much land is needed. Every crop produced is sold.
The cleared fields used for crops have a very low biodiversity. This is because only one crop is planted around the whole field at a time. This reduces competition for nutrients as the amount of nutrients needed by each crop is same. The biodiversity is further reduced by the use of fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides. These prevents the fungi, insects and weed from reducing yield. These crop fields also lack variety of genes because almost every crop plant has the same genes. Such large fields with the crops with same genes is called monoculture .
The disadvantage of deforestation is:
- Destruction of Habitats.
- Extinction of Species.
- Food chains are severely disturbed.
- Genetic Variation decreases causing a decrease in variety of plants and animals.
- Increase in pollution, because plants are not present for absorbing Carbon dioxide.
- Increase in Global Warming.
Most of the disadvantages you would know from your geography class.
There are three greenhouse gases:
- Water vapor is one of the major greenhouse gas.
- Methane which is scarce in air meaning this is less important.
- Carbon Dioxide is a major greenhouse gas and the reason for global warming.
First you should know that the Sun emits various rays towards Earth which have a short wavelength (distance between two face points in a wave, will be discussed in future articles). The ray I will tell today is the infra-red rays which are emitted from the Sun and absorbed by the Earth. The Earth receives these rays and emits them in a longer wavelength. These rays are then absorbed by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The gases emits the rays back to the Earth and also are sent back to space. Due to Human activities the carbon dioxide in air has increased a lot. This high concentration of the carbon dioxide results in more rays sent to the Earth and less rays sent to space. This causes increase in temperature of the Earth. The greenhouse effect is a natural process which keeps the temperature of the Earth optimum for organisms, without it the Earth would go through an ice age. But human activities causes increased temperature of the planet by this process. This in turn causes global warming.
Global warming is not a natural thing. It is done because of human activities. The cause of Global warming is:
- Use of fossil fuel powered cars.
- Combustion of fossil fuels.
- Expanded Industries means more toxic chemicals are released in air causing air pollution.
Because of Global Warming temperatures around the Earth has increased. It is estimated that a further increase in temperature, 1 or 2 degrees more, would result in natural disasters.
Results of Global warming:
- Uncontrolled rise in temperature would result in the snow capped mountains to melt and cause devastating floods around the world. The recent example is the flooding in Texas.
- Temperature would become unbearable causing a huge scale migration to highland areas. As the name suggests a highland area would be a mountain, hill and any land with a good height. When I visited Murree (In Pakistan) in July, the temperature there was quite hot. This indicated the increase in global warming.
- The high temperature would result in low crop yield because the plants also require a specific environment and temperature to grow in. When we will be forced to move highland the land space will also become a problem for the crops. Low amount of land for agriculture would mean low amount of food for the increased population.
- Rapid evaporation and transpiration (evaporation of plant) would soon cause desertification of land.
- Rain fall patterns may change severely which may cause scarcity of rain.
These points show us the reason that global warming is a menace to us. We should control the amount of gases released in air and control deforestation so that we can avoid further global warming. Only then we can avoid huge disasters like the one in Texas.
Measures taken to control global warming:
- Thanks to science new advanced cars are made which run on battery. It converts chemical energy into electricity to run the car and does not involve combustion of fossil fuel. However these do not come cheap.
- Many industries have chimneys. These chimneys are covered with limestone or any other effective substance to reduce air pollution.
- The Industries and Power Stations now burn natural gas and oil rather than use coal because coal produces a high amount of carbon dioxide which pollutes the air. However many countries which are not developed or are developing still use coal as the main form of producing electricity and industrial process.
- Afforestation projects are performed throughout the globe for supporting tourism. This in turn helps reduce global warming.
Many of these actions are still not taken by many developing and undeveloped countries. This is because these countries are not developed. They don’t have much resources and not have enough money to carry out large scale projects like these. Other reasons may be that some countries like Pakistan lack oil for use in Power Stations and also require educated people.
Due to high levels of carbon dioxide in air, even pure rain has a pH of 5.7. The carbon dioxide mixes with the water droplet and forms the carbonic acid. Acid rain is any kind of precipitation, whether snow, hail or rain, which has a pH value lower than 5. It is caused by the same reasons mention above. The gases involved in causing the rain are:
- Sulfur dioxide
- Nitric oxide
- Nitrogen dioxide
After reading the above paragraphs you do not need to know how to prevent Acid Rain. The effect should, however, be known to know why you should have concern with this:
- Acid rain, when drops on land, disturbs the nutrient concentration of soil.
- Acid rain falling on lakes and rivers would increase the pH of the water killing the species of the habitat
- The soil pH is increased which kills plants and prevents germination of new plants.
- The soil is destroyed and no longer supports agriculture.
- It can also disturb the food chain by effecting the producers of the food chain.