Human Impact on the Environment: Why the Earth is in Danger

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 Humans have been impacting our environment since our early ancestors were walking Earth’s soil. Everything we do, we think it is a good thing, but sometimes we notice that what we make is causing much more trouble than what we think. Because of our doing the earth has changed drastically, from the atmosphere that protects from things in space to our oceans that contain tons of living organisms. It way only till a few years ago when we started to much pollution we were making. Now of days we try to help stop the pollution by recycling. It's necessary to disassemble human impact on the environment.

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Our atmosphere is a blanket that protects us from the harmful rays that the sun gives off. The atmosphere has 4 different layers, troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. In the stratosphere many molecules called ozone. Ozone absorbs most of the ultraviolet B ( UV-B) rays that come from the sun before it reaches earth. UV-B is harmful to people because it can ̈damage our skin and eyes, can make it harder for our bodies to fight disease, and can slow plant growth.” Ozones stay in a certain area in the stratosphere called the ozone layer. In the ozone layer contains ozone gas and oxygen gas. Both ozone and oxygen gases contain oxygen molecules. Even through ozone save us from UV-B rays it is also harmful to us. Unlike oxygen that the living need to survive, when we breath to much ozone it could cause us death. If ozone “gathers in the troposphere, the gas is a form of air pollution.”  In the stratosphere the ozone go in their cycle of connecting and disconnecting with oxygen molecules.

Ozone molecules are able to replace themselves, but for some reason there is something attacking them. With ozones are being attacked they are not able to regenerate fast enough to protect earth from UV=B rays. With this happening there are now holes in the ozone layer where UV-B rays can seek through. Out of all the compounds that make the ozone layer thinner chloro-fluoro-carbons, CFCs for short, is the most important one of them all. CFCs were invented by chemist who wanted to have a refrigerator with using ice. But that is not the only thing that contains CFCs, auto air conditioners, spray cans, plastic for packaging, and been cleaner that are used to clean electronics and surgical equipment also contain CFCs. Some other chemicals that also affect our atmosphere is halons, carbon tetrachloride, methylbromide, methyl chloroform. Halons which is found in ̈mainly fire-fighting equipment ,”and methyl bromide found in “one of the world ́s most popular pest killers. Carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform are found in bug spray, spot removers, and cleaners.

Our atmosphere also keeps earth warm but not to warm that we are burning. Gases called greenhouse gases keep the heat from leaving and is the gas that keeps earth not becoming frozen. Carbon dioxide also known as CO2, is a very important greenhouse gas because it is a major part in photosynthesis. Right now there is too much carbon dioxide in our atmosphere that our planet’s temperatures are rising, scientists call this global warming. The gas that comes out of burning coal, gasoline, and natural gas are called fossil fuels. Fossil fuels make the amount of carbon dioxide rise. With the amount of carbon dioxide rising in the atmosphere the planet’s. Another thing to consider is that we put “at least another 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year through deforestation.” Because tree breath carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, cutting and burning them put more carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere than oxygen.

Our water is also being affected by human impact. Most notice Earth’s oceans are getting pollution, but it is also our groundwater. With leakage of chemical pipes under ground and chemicals that soak through the soil pollute our groundwater. If pollution gets into our groundwater, it “ might find its way into the drinking-water supply of people who rely on wells.” That would make people go without water for a while because pollution is hard to remove from water.

In the past, there were many incidents that happen to our oceans that impact Earth’s environment that we ignore because at the time people didn’t think it matters. Oil spills were a big impact on the Earth’s environment over time. But there is about ten percent of oil in Earth’s oceans that can’t be stopped because it comes from natural oil seeps. According to the book Oil Spills: Danger in the Sea, these natural oil spill “been spewing oil into the ocean for millions of years.” The other ninety percent is from river runoffs, oil discharge, rainfall, and oil spills. River runoffs are rivers that flow to the oceans. So when a fiver runoff gets polluted, the pollution will travel into the ocean. Oil discharges are “municipal and industrial discharges of oil. This oil either goes into fiver or straight into the sea depend on where the oil is located. But not all pollution goes into earth’s oceans and rivers, it can also evaporate, and be a part of the rain cycle.

Earth’s land surface is also severely affected by human impact as well as the oceans and atmosphere. Even though mining helps our society it hurts our environment in ways that people don’t really think of. When mining companies do surface mining they are taking off the topsoil of the ground, which prevents grass to grow. This affects herbivores like elk or deer with food source. Underground mine do not cause as much trouble as surface mines but they still do damage like “ the mountains of waste rock dug from under the ground are stockpiled on the surface.” This pile can dissolve many harmful metals that could go into runoffs because of the decrease in pH that the waste has when it goes into the water, the water will have discoloration.

Deforestation is also a major affect to our environment. It also has earth lose its topsoil and makes animals lose their habitat. Cutting down trees to make pasture for cattle effects other animals to make them endanger for the loss of their habitat. Even through cutting down forest “annually for firewood, charcoal, paper, and lumber,” gives us things we use in life it hurts everything that lived in the forest.  People also cut down forests to make more space for housing and cities because of the growing population.

Overpopulation is also impacted the environment in many ways. With more people being brought to the world the demand of everything grows. That means deforestation would increase for more housing, demand for food would increase,factories will produce more, and the effect that people have on the environment will increase. According to “Our food supply today can support more lives than ever, and advances in medical science have led to increasingly longer lifespans.”  If the rate of growth of the population exceed the carrying capacity of the environment people would either move into new areas or die. So when people move the same thing would happen to that area. Transportation would develop more cars that will release gases that would also help air pollution.

Because the demand for food would increase with the increase of population, agriculture would spread out more to produce more. The “expansion of cattle population to meet human dietary demands has contributed substantially to changes in the composition of gases within the atmosphere.” Cattle is part of atmosphere pollution because they release methane gas when the digest their food. Also because of genetic modification people were able to make new crops to produce. People genetically modify plants to “sustain temperatures, requires less water, or yield more product.” Plants are also competing with weeds that are called super weeds that develop a resistance to herbicides. Because of super weeds farmer have to till the land to give the crops an advantage.

Recycling is a big way to help clean our environment from pollution. Garbage like plastic, glass, and cans are thrown away everywhere, beside the road, parks, bodies of water, and rivers. When people throw their trash away even in garbage can, it still ends up being piled up in a place with all the other garbage collect in that area called landfills. In the landfill the garbage decomposes and releases gases, one of those gases is methane.Methane is a flammable gas which can “spread through the soil and seep into basements of nearby buildings, causing explosions.’Landfill are very dangerious to our environment because of the gasesit release that also pollutes our environment. That's why recycling can give a positive impact to our environment.

Out of all garbage paper, glass, and cans are the one that are recycled the most. Paper is used in everyday throughout history made with different material. According to the book Garbage and Recycling “Americans collected about 30 percent of the total amount of waste paper generated each year.” Until after 1860 the demand for paper increase because the new technology of makeing it with wood fibers instead of cotton clippings. As time went on wasted paper started to cause problem by wood pulp being bleached and heated, “chlorine combines with phenol compounds from wood, forming dioxins.” Paper was then found a way to be recycled at wastepaper recycling mills. This way wasted paper would be blended together and be made into rolls of paper.

Glass is the most recyclable one out of paper and cans. Glass could just be melted again,and be molded back into glass. When they are recreated they can be a return to the shelves of stores to go through the same cycle.

Aluminum cans can get people profit the most out of the paper and glass. People in America in 1989 “collect five billion aluninum cans, selling then to recycling center for a total”, of nine hundred million dollars. When recycling can anyone can do it whether they are homes or a and average life but just want to make a little more cash.

As humans evolved the impact on our environment grew more in many negative ways. Human impact brought earth pollution and having Earth to change drastically to balance it. Bodies of water have pollution because of runoff, oil spills, and chemical that have soak into the soil to reach groundwater. Our atmosphere is getting holes in its ozone layer because of pollution that come from creations that people made. Even the population of humans and agriculture hurt the environment in ways people usually think about. But with the negative impact that people have there is a little bit of good to redeem them from their mistakes like recycling. With everything a person does it impact to the environment. 

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