Term Paper: Negative Effects of Degradation

Pages: 7 (2641 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The rate of consumerism is continuous in regards to national resources such as petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron, wood, etc. Secondly, the industry constantly disposes non-recyclable products such as glass, slag, rubber, etc. that cannot enter natural processes of renewal. Taking into consideration this vast consumption of oxygen resource, the fact that deforestation inhibits removal of air pollution, the scenario that is placed before humanity is anything but positive. As the negative effects of carbon dioxide increase, man is limited in his ability to counteract them because the rhythm of technological processes and consumerism increases while the number of initiatives to conserve the environment appears more symbolic rather than practical. Industrial performance between 1980 and 2000 in relation to global manufactured value increased with 10% (United Nations Industrial Development Organization, 2004, p. 135) and China has rapidly gained terrain being included in the top five most influential industrial powers (p. 136). However, as everything comes at a cost, China itself is now facing the challenges of industrial revolution and is one of the most exposed countries to smog pollution. In order to meet demands of energy requirements, China exploited coal power plants at maximum speed and is now forced to shut down a great number because of high exposure to air pollution. However, even if China would proceed with closing all of its power plants, the effects of carbon dioxide emissions might still have repercussions a thousand years from now. According to Solomon et al. (2008), ?concentrations of carbon dioxide would be expected to fall off through the coming millennium if manmade emissions were to cease immediately, (?Results: Longevity of an Atmospheric CO2 Perturbation?) something unlikely to happen in the near future or on a long-term basis.

Transportation accounts for about 90% of carbon oxides emissions and some 59% of nitrogen oxide emissions. Added to these, are a few other emissions which impact the environment. Natural landscapes are transformed into highways and infrastructure to support the surrounding areas of the cities, leading thus to a loss of land. Furthermore, discarded materials are subjected to smoldering which is not an environmentally friendly process in itself. Tons of toxic cinders are thus being produced throughout the burning, these polluting the atmosphere. Combusted materials exposed to high temperatures can lead to fragmentations of chemical junctions, further releasing toxic substances. Beyond the actual pollution, the effects of emissions lead to a climate change with air temperatures increasing. While, generally, it is considered that global warming may have some natural respondents, it is more broadly accepted that human intervention has caused this increase in air temperature, human intervention which is explained in terms of contributions to gas emissions. Global warming determines an increase in both soil temperatures as well as waters' temperatures. It has not been until the emergence of the 1960s' industrialization processes that researchers have focused on the causes of global warming and its effects; most likely, because the existent conditions determined them to do so and specifically, because the effects of global warming became constantly more visible.

While a simple increase of two or three degrees Celsius might appear irrelevant to most of the population worldwide, the actual diagnoses of such changes producing in relation to the average level of temperatures is alarming. These two or three degrees account for an impressive negative impact upon the environment of Earth. This is to say that global warming, even if the actual growth is intermittent and regionally dispersed, affects the totality of the regions on the planet. The melting if ice slopes will continue to affect people in the years to come, the resulting drought, soil degradation, and its salinity, will subsequently lead to human and material losses. Species will be forced to develop new adaptation skills or otherwise perish. Considering that a large variety of the fauna on earth is strictly dependent on specific habitats, we can anticipate extinction of species. For example, the leopard seal is a mammal that relies strongly on the Antarctic habitat and already, global warming has forced some of these mammals to migrate in various other regions where their existence is jeopardized due to poor adaptation skills and illegal human hunting. These factors all sum up to contribute to environmental degradation and gradual deterioration of the ecosystem. What is important to note and to remember is that researchers focus extensively on the interrelationship between environmental degradation and world disasters. More often, evidence is produced to indicate that indeed, the level of degradation imposed by men upon the environment determines the frequency and the level of natural disasters. While there are opposing positions, hydraulic fracturing, which is an expensive drilling technique, is suspected to be the cause for emergence of earthquakes. There have been regions worldwide confronted with situations such as this. Moreover, although hydraulic fracturing causing earthquakes has been suggested as pure speculation, many researchers have acknowledged that it does determine water pollution. Under such circumstances, one cannot but wonder that the comfort of our lives has been bought at the expense of a balanced environment.

Reference List

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