The Environment, what are the issues?
It is a fair assessment to say that as a race we humans have not really cared for our environment as well as we could have. As a world we face some major changes to the environment, which can be looked at in three main reason.
1. Increases in the World’s population.
There has been a major increase in the amount of people who live on the planet. It is estimated that the population has increased by over 75 million per year. That means that it has been predicted that by 2050 the world population is expected to be at 9 billion.
2. The increased use of natural resources, which cannot be replaced.
Due to advances in technology we are becoming more reliant on them. We are using up natural resources (like coal, oil and wood) to turn them into energy (like electricity). When these resources are used, they change the environment. They are making by ~ products like carbon monoxide and toxic chemicals.
3. People want more material things than ever before.
People who live in countries like ours have a higher standard of living and expect to have a comfortable lifestyle. People who live in less economically developed countries want the same lifestyle.
How are people interacting with the environment?
If we all lived with the same attitudes to the world, we would not be facing the issues we are today. But we know that every one of us has a different set of priorities and as such are exploiting the environment to achieve our own aims. If we look at the Tropical rainforests we can see this in action.
The tropical rainforests cover up to a third of the world’s surface. My species of animals live there and many of them are unique to that area. If one area is changed / damaged this will have a knock on effect to the rest of the world. If you like it is a kind of jigsaw that fits together. When one piece is missing, the eco system is not complete.
The trees in the rainforests are important for a number of reasons:
1. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
2. Without forests radiation bounces back into the atmosphere raising the temperatures.
3. This could alter the air circulation (convection).
4. It is also involved in recycling the water in the earth to return as rainfall in other parts of the world.
5. Streams will disappear if the forests are not there to store the water. This is happening now in parts of Africa!