The Negative Impact of Littering on the Environment


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Littering today is a worldwide issue that continues to progress. According to research, within the past 5 years, 75% of the population has admitted to littering. The littering issue advances and is causing major issues within society. For example, wild species are suffering as they’re ingesting or getting themselves entangled in plastic and are becoming ill due to the mistreatment of the use and incapability to properly maintain trash. It has been proven that 100,000 wild species die each year because of litter, not only this but the RSPCA receives 5000 calls per year regarding litter and animals.

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The issue of litter does not cease with the animals, instead lengthens to negatively affect humans. It has been identified that litter poses a threat to living, work and play areas. Littering can lead to debilitating health conditions, which is the result of litter in water systems, oceans and rivers; affectively killing the environment. Research states, 9 billion tons of litter winds up in the ocean yearly and because of this, $11.5 billion is spent every year to clean up litter.

Global Warming

The world relies on the patterns of temperature, wind, atmospheric pressure, humidity and rain. There are three climates, tropical, dry and moderate; the climate of an area determines its seasons and when they come and go. The different climates affect how organisms adapt and grow in different areas. When an environments climate changes it can disrupt the delicate balance of nature and cause havoc within the area.

Based upon the available information, global warming is making major changes to the environment. For instance, the earth’s temperature has increased by 1°C. The temperature rise is small, however a small rise in temperature can transmit into big changes for the world’s climate. This extra bit of energy is like force-feeding the global climate system. Not only this, but Meteorology has added purple magenta to the forecast map for temperatures up to 54c. There has been a rise in sea levels, the oceans temperature having increased and melting ice caps and glaciers worldwide. If ice is melting, the volume in oceans will rise and cause expansion due to heat, which then is a threat to sea levels and low lying islands and coastal cities.

As global warming advances, natural disasters such as cyclones, droughts and floods will become more frequent and intense. Global warming will start to stress the ecosystems through temperature rises, water shortages, increased fire threats, drought and pest invasions. Because of global warming, animals and plants are confronted and left with little, forcing them to move or adapt. Food and farming also plays a big role in the environment but because of Global warming rainfall patterns are decreasing, droughts are occurring more often and becoming more severe. The extreme weather changes are making it difficult for farmers to graze livestock and grow produce, creating food availability to decrease and the price of food to increase.

Rocky Shore Ecosystem

Numerous animal species and plants live among the rocky shores in the area between the high tide and the low, this is known as the intertidal zone. The organisms living in the intertidal zone must be able to cope with not only one environment, but two. These organisms are exposed by severe temperatures and high salinity but also pounded by strong waves each day. These species must not be able to just cope with sea water though, when rainfall comes and flood events occur they’re exposed to fresh water meaning they need to adapt to a different source of water. They also have to avoid predators like molluscs, crabs and birds at low tide, and fish and other marine life at high tide. Scientist have discovered several distinct microhabitats exist within rocky shore habitats, with each having its own different survival challenges for animals and plants living there. A certain amount of these microhabitats have high roughness, providing plenty of places for animals and plants to live.

Impacts of Rocky Shore Ecosystem

If Global warming continues to increase, sea levels will begin to rise higher. Which will cease to flood habitats and affect physical coastal processes. It will cause heat stress to the plant and animal species living in those coastal areas. Plants and animals can only take so much heat, and species distributions are expected to shift southwards in response to rising temperatures. An animal species that will begin to die is the sea squirt, Sea squirts are supposed to endure water for a small period of time, however, if the sea levels do rise they will be under water for a very long period of time, and not be able to squirt any water.

Mangrove Ecosystem

The mangrove ecosystem is incredible for its unique biological diversity containing hundreds of mollusc, crustacean, algae, insects, fish, reptiles, birds, and other mammal. These species are all home to the mangrove ecosystem. Mangroves provide shelter to many salt water and freshwater species, from the roots of the tree. The mangrove forest is also a good food source for many of the organisms living there. While a majority of the organisms living in the mangroves spend their whole life span there, hundreds of fish use the mangroves as a nursing ground before going out into open waters, to the point where one third of all marine species are born and raised in mangrove ecosystems.

Impacts of Mangrove Ecosystem

Mangrove ecosystems require stable sea levels for long term survival. They are extremely sensitive to current rising sea levels caused by global warming. As sea levels rise, floods will begin to increase leading plants to die at the seaward mangrove margins as well as shifts in species composition, leading to a reduction in productivity and ecosystem services. Climate change may also alter rainfall patterns, which in return would change local salinity regimes and competitive interactions of mangrove with other wetland species. Any sort of pesticides, fertilizers and any other kind of toxic chemicals carried by river systems from sources upstream can kill animals living in mangrove forests, while oil pollution can smother mangrove roots and suffocate the trees.

What can be done about it?

  • Preserve worlds biological hot spots
  • Preserve old growth forests
  • Map of worlds biodiversity for inventory and decision making
  • Concentrate on protecting and restoring lake and river systems
  • Make conservation profitable
  • Initiate ecological restoration to heal some of the damage done/increase share the earths land and water allotted to the rest of nature

Humanity needs to come together and make a stand, the littering needs to stop, the hunting, overeating, disobeying the signs, all of these things need to stop. If all of these things keep continuing our future generations are going to have nothing. It is said by 2048 most species are going to be extinct and that all fish will no longer be alive due to the acidic waters. Is this the world we really want to be living in, or do we want a place where all animals and plant species are safe? Us humans rely on everything on this earth, but everything we’re relying on is disappearing due to wastage and overusing. We’re becoming greedy and this needs to stop because if it doesn’t there will be no such thing as earth. Management plan consume less and be more mindful about what is consumed. To leverage purchasing power to help protect biodiversity by consuming products that do not harm the environment.

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