Environmental Issues

Environment is an organism’s surrounding, which includes the living as well as the non-living identities. Living things include plants, animals and microorganisms. The increase in the population growth is the reason for most of the environmental problems we are facing today. Pollution is defined as an undesirable change in physical, chemical or biological properties of natural resources such as air, water or soil. Pollutants are those substances that cause pollution. They alter the environment biologically, chemically or physically. Air pollution is the increase in the content of harmful substances in the air such as dust, gas (Carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen etc.) fumes etc. Air pollution has aggravated due to increase in the traffic and Rapid Industrialisation Air pollution is harmful to humans, animals and plants, and therefore must be controlled to keep our air clean Particulate Matter is solid and liquid aerosols which are suspended in the atmosphere. It consists of smoke, dust, asbestos etc. There are several ways of removing particulate matter; the most widely used of which is the electrostatic precipitator When sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide gases are present in polluted air, it leads to acid rain. Noise is undesired high level of sound. Noise pollution is caused by loud speakers, industries, aircrafts and vehicles etc Water pollution is the addition of undesirable and harmful substances in natural water. The causes of water pollution are sewage or waste water, industrial effluents, pesticides and fertilisers etc. Biomagnification is the gradual increase in concentration of a substance from one trophic level to the next in a food chain. Eutrophication is a process by which addition of excessive nutrients to a lake or a pond leads to excessive growth of algae and Cyanobacteria in it that depletes the oxygen supply. There are two stages of sewage treatment. These are called the primary treatment and the secondary treatment. The primary treatment involves the physical removal of waste. The secondary treatment involves microbial digestion of the dissolved waste. Solid waste includes anything which is considered useless and thrown as garbage. Solid wastes disposal methods include biological composting, sanitary landfills, incineration and recycling. An increase in the concentrations of greenhouse gases (e.g. Carbon dioxide) causes global warming. There are different methods which can be implied to control global warming such as afforestation, less use of fossil fuels, use of alternative sources of energy, etc. Ozone is formed when an oxygen atom combines with an oxygen molecule in the presence of ultraviolet light in stratosphere. CFC’s produced by human activities are the major cause behind the depletion of ozone layer. Montreal protocol was designed to protect ozone layer by reducing the production of ozone depleting substances. Chipko movement and joint forest management are the major initiatives to reduce deforestation.

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