How Humans Affect the Environment

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Population Explosion

  • People want a better standard of living
  • We are using up non-renewable resources
  • We are producing a lot of industrial waste
  • The increase in the human population is affecting the ecology of the planet

Different ways we pollute:

  • Sewage, toxic materials and fertiliser get into waterways
  • Sulfur dioxide gets into the air and causes acid rain
  • Pesticides and Herbicides get spread on the land and can then be washed into waterways
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Land, Air and Water Pollution

  • Sewage must be treated to to remove gut parasites and toxic chemicals to prevent water and land pollution
  • Large quantities of household and industrial waste in landfill can leak toxic chemicals, this can kill fish if it gets into water - land + water pollution
  • Herbicides and pesticides can get into the food chain and rivers
  • Fertilisers and untreated sewage can cause high levels of nitrates in water
  • Power stations and cars release acidic gases. One of these, sulfur dioxide, causes acid rain.
  • Acid rain can kill organisims such as trees
  • Acid rain can change the pH scale of soil and release toxic minerals such as aluinium ions. This can damage roots.
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Deforestation and Peat Destruction

Deforestation has caused:

  • An increase in the release of Carbon Dioxide due to the burning of the trees or the decay of the wood
  • A reduction in the rate carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere - no photosynthesis
  • Reduced biodiversity due to loss of food and habitats
  • An increase in methane from the cattle that are raised on fields the trees are cut down for

Peat Bog destruction has caused:

  • An increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - peat contains the CO2 which is taken out when used for compost so CO2 is released when it decays.
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