What Effects Do Humans Have On the Environment?

Humans are completely reliant on the wellbeing of their environment.
Humans are completely reliant on the wellbeing of their environment.

The anthropogenic effect refers to the impact of human activity on the environment. Anthropogenic impact includes the impact on biodiversity and biophysical resources. The term "anthropogenic" was first coined by Alexy Pavlov, a Russian geologist. The term is used primarily in reference to pollutant emissions resulting from human activity. Human activities in all spheres of life have resulted in various changes in the environment. With population increase and advancement in technology, the effects of such activities will only increase unless strict regulation programs are put in place, and human beings change their attitude towards the environment.

Impact Of Agriculture On Environment

Agricultural technology practice and expansion has continued to devastate the biodiversity balance on the planet. Chemicals used in farms mix with ground water that ends up in rivers and lakes used by animals for consumption, exposing animals to health risks. These chemicals further alter the mineral balance in soil and water sources which are used by both flora and fauna species. The long-term effect leads to soil degradation, genetic re-engineering, pollution, and ultimately climate change. Farm irrigation, on the other hand, has reduced downstream discharge of water and increased evaporation and is responsible for the rising water table in many regions. Experts warn that animal rearing and meat production introduces fossil energy to the environment and emits greenhouse gasses, thus endangering animals and plants. Fishing technology has caused overfishing and destruction of aquatic habitats such as coral reefs. As the human population grows, the demand for fish and sea exploration also increases, therefore threatening the aquatic resources further. Human beings have also introduced invasive species to areas where they were not found resulting in the destruction of available plant and animal ecosystem.

Impact Of The Energy Industry On The Environment

Commercialization of renewable energy has led to more consumption of fossil fuels, leading to global warming and climate change. Biodiesel use and coal mining emit toxic air into the environment that poses a health risk to flora and fauna. Nuclear fuel processes in mining, transport, and storage of fuel release dangerous radioactive isotopes that affect organisms. Issues of clearing land to set up energy plants and their waste management systems have raised concerns because they are known to be a high-risk business with serious environment degradation. Oil accidents and spillage on land and sea have destroyed different organisms on large scale.Thermal energy and waste materials from energy plants, if not properly handled, can contaminate the environment. Petroleum (oil) is linked to all forms of pollution on transportation, domestic, and commercial uses.

Impact Of The Mining And Manufacturing Industry On The Environment

Mining and manufacturing industries are often set up on cleared forests and previous wildlife habitats.The manufacturing of paper results in the extensive clearing of trees for this cheap commodity which is in high demand. Products such as pesticides, that are important to human beings lead to other unintended effects like air, water, and food poisoning thus contaminating the environment. Mining causes erosion, loss of biodiversity, the formation of sinkholes, soil degradation, and water contamination among other effects. Chemical leakage from these industries also affects the health of local communities.

Transport And Environment

All transport modes are responsible for different degrees of land, air and water pollution. Road transport is responsible for the emission of carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide gasses that cause global warming. Vehicles, ships, and aircraft emit noise, light, water, and air pollution. Habitats are always being destroyed to make way for seaports, airports, roads, and other transport infrastructure.

Other Effects Of Human Activity On The Environment

Human activity, over a long period, has led to the extinction of many plant and animal species through hunting, encroachment, and pollution. Currently, coral reefs are fading at an alarming rate because of coral mining, overfishing, water acidification, underwater developments among other causes. Global warming has caused the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the situation is getting worse because of increased pollution and weak regulation policies from environmental management institutions. Agricultural and industrial emissions of nitrogen are responsible for the altering of the optimum nitrogen levels in the air.


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