Cars are the main source of air pollution. There are around 40million cars in the UK at any one time. This contributes to 55% of harmful gasses released. Other harmful gasses such as CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons), which are released from aerosol cans, are dispersed into the atmosphere. Large amounts of ultraviolet light break CFC molecules down. This releases Chlorine that in turn breaks up the ozone molecules; this creates week areas of ozon such as above both north and south poles. The thin areas of ozone let ultraviolet rays through which cause skin cancer.
Burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil produces carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide. These gasses are released into the atmosphere where they are incorporated into the relief cycle. The carbon dioxide in the rain gives it an acidic pH, hence the name acid rain. When the rainfalls the acid dissolves into the soil and washes out all the nutrients such as calcium and magnesium, it also washes out such chemicals as aluminium, which is highly toxic.
All the gasses in the atmosphere build up to form a thick blanket, which sits in the upper atmosphere. This blanket lets light rays into the atmosphere but does not let all out. Acting as insulation, this makes the temperature rise very little. If this continues then the temperature will rise enough to melt the polar icecaps. This will release thousands of tons of water into the oceans of the world causing sea levels to rise dramatically. If this happens all the low lands of the world will be flooded. To prevent this we need to improve pollution technology, which could remove carbon dioxide from exhaust and fossil fuels. Or more use of renewable power sources, wind and sunlight. This would reduce the fossil fuels used and would be much better for the environment.
Due to the population of the planet expected to increase from 6billion to 12billion by 2020 we have to think ahead. There will be twice as much rubbish and sewage produced per annum than currently. At the moment with only 6 billion inhabitants we are poisoning Earth with our plastic bags, beer cans and toxic waste. All dumped in landfills and under the ground or in the depths of the ocean. This can have a terrible affect on the environment. Toxic waste from factories and chemical producing plants finds its way into the environment. This waste kills wildlife and causes mutations in fish and young of animals living near. Fly tipping of any sort of waste toxic or just normal rubbish is illegal in England but is difficult to stop. Cans, bottles and some plastic can be recycled and reused but some plastics and metals cannot. We need to stop producing these non-recyclable materials. Once this is done we will not need landfill sites, fly tipping will not be an issue because everything will be able to be recycled. Toxic waste needs to be stopped being dumped illegally in to the ocean. The cans are often not properly sealed and leaks often occur. Toxic waste needs to be properly contained and a way to dispose of it safely needs to be found.
Even more of a problem with an increasing population is human sewage. This needs to be properly treated in treatment plants and not released as “raw sewage” into the rivers of the world to kill the already depleted fish stocks. Treated sewage can be used as manure on farms instead of chemical fertilizers.
Fertilizers are being produced all the time to try and combat diseases in plants. These chemicals once spread on plants find there way into the food chain affecting everything. A chemical sprayed on Beans such as DDT to kill White Fly, infects the fly but when a bird eats the fly it also gets infected and so on. Eventually after an animal has got to much pesticide in its body it dies. Alternatives to chemical fertilizers are biological controls; these are other natural ways of killing or preventing pests. Encarsica Formosa can kill whitefly by letting their larvae feed on the whitefly. Chemicals are no longer needed to enrich the soil. Manure from cattle and other animals add nutrients to the soil. Also the age-old method of rotating crops every year through different fields and planting plants such as clover add nutrients back into the soil. This organic farming may cost more but in the end the quality of the food produced would make it cost efficient.
Deforestation is becoming a major issue in the developing world. LEDCs are cutting down rainforest and woods to make clear land to house their expanding populations. The rainforest of the tropics have a high species density. Many endangered animals and plants survive only in there humid and wet habitats. More must be done to preserve the forests. Once trees are cut down the once rich soil soon becomes dry and arid, this ten leads to soil erosion therefore the soil is useless for farming. More needs to be done to encourage LEDCs to replant areas of rainforest they have cut down. For every tree that is cut down 2 more need to be planted this way the rainforests will be able to support all the animals that live there.
With rain forests being cut down and the world polluted animals start to loose their home, this is where organisations like WWF, Greenpeace, SOS and zoos like London step in to help. Both these help to prevent endangered species becoming extinct. The zoos have breeding programs and try to release animals back into the wild all this is to try and help re-establish animal and plant populations endangered by man and our wrong doings. It is only now that organisations and World summits start to talk about how we as a race are affecting the planet we take for granted. If we don’t start to recycle, preserve and think now there will soon be nothing left on Earth.