Our Environment plays a vital role in the lifestyle of the people. The more good the Environment of a particular country is, the better will be the lifestyle and health condition of its citizens.
However, few environmental problems are common to almost every country on Earth. Some countries are suffering less from those problems, while some others are at high risk from those environmental issues.
In this article, we will discuss the top seven (7) serious environmental issues that are major concerns for almost every country on the globe.
Here is the list of 7 major Global environmental problems affecting the planet earth to high risks:
Pollution (known as ‘Pradushan’ in Hindi) is one of the major environmental problems from which many countries are suffering. “The contamination of water, air, land, soil, and noise due to the entry of various harmful and toxic substances give rise to Pollution”.
Thus, pollution is of different types and each type of pollution is not only affecting the environment but also affecting various lifeforms on the terrestrial and marine ecosystem. The Problem of pollution is more serious in our country “India”.
Every kind of Pollution is at its extreme in our country. E.g. Air Pollution has seriously affected the shine and lustre of various ancient and historical monuments. The prime example is “Taj-Mahal”.
Due to acid rain resulting from the high contamination of air with various poisonous and toxic gases released from factories and industries, the original lustre of the Taj-Mahal has disappeared.
Also, the bad quality of air results in breathing issues for the individuals, and there can be other serious diseases that can happen too including Lung Problems, untimely Asthma attacks, Cardiovascular Problems, Lung cancer, Liver cancer, and many other diseases that can lead the individual to death.
Water Pollution is another type of pollution that is equally harmful to the environment similar to Air-Pollution. In fact, every type of Pollution is dangerous to the environment in some way or the other. Water is the basic necessity of humans.
Without water, one cannot imagine a life (as water is used for every purpose i.e. cooking, washing, maintaining the temperature of various industries and different scientific processes). Thus, life without water is just equal to a body without a soul.
The soul of the environment and Human life i.e. Water is not valued and is highly contaminated by our activities. Human activities have contaminated the water to a high extent. People in villages wash their clothes near the river, while some people near the villages give baths to their livestock.
The pollutants from various industries and factories also get mixed with the River and become harmful for consumption. Also, people dump several waste products and garbage to make it unclean. In the countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, people mostly make the river water unfit for usage by themselves.
So, the problem of Water-Pollution is high in these countries. The European countries are also suffering from the problem of Water-Pollution, however, the problem is not highly critical (as the citizens in European countries and other developed countries are highly educated and have a high awareness of environmental issues). Water contaminated with the pollutants may cause several diseases that include Diarrhoea, Typhoid, and Stomach-related problems. Polluted water may also result in the death of individuals.
The other pollutions are basically not highly rated by the people as dangerous, however, these kinds of pollutions are equally harmful to the environment and living organisms of the environment. These are basically Soil Pollution and Noise Pollution.
Extreme exposure to the high unbearable Noise may result in loss of hearing. Also, the soil pollution caused due to the transfer of various poisonous substances (fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and other heavy-metal wastes from various industries) may result in the decrease of soil quality and also kills the fertility of the soil. Soil pollution is the main cause of Soil Erosion.
Also, the agriculture on the contaminated soil results in the production of fruits and vegetables lacking high nutrients.Thus, pollution has become the critical problem for the globe. Various problems and issues generated has compelled the environmentalists to ponder upon and sort out ways to handle them to get the healthy environment.
2. Ozone Layer Depletion
When it comes to identifying the major reasons for the increase in Global warming of the Earth, then Ozone Layer depletion is the top reason.
The Ozone Layer is basically the sheet of Ozone Gas in the Stratosphere (a layer of the atmosphere) responsible for the blockage of harmful Ultraviolet rays (particularly UV-B and UV-C). The emission of harmful gases and the use of CFCs responsible for emitting Chlorine and Bromine gas in the atmosphere has depleted the Ozone layer.
Due to the depletion of the Ozone Layer, the Ozone (O3) Hole has also formed which has been gradually increasing every year (although a decrease was also seen in recent years, however, the Ozone hole again started to increase).
If the further depletion of the Ozone Layer is not stopped, then the consequences generated from it will be extreme. As already mentioned, the main function of the Ozone Layer is to block the harmful UV radiations coming out from the sun.
These harmful radiations if somehow reaches the earth, then not only the environment, various lifeforms will also be at high risks. The harmful UV-B and UV-C rays can cause extreme sunburns, and may even cause skin cancer.
Also, Global warming has also been continuously increasing for the last two decades due to the Ozone-Layer depletion. The depletion of the Ozone Layer has put environmentalists in extremely difficult situations. It has now become an utmost need to educate people on the ways to conserve the Ozone layer from getting depleted. The depletion of the Ozone Layer could be stopped only by the individuals living on the Earth.
Till now, we have uncontrollably used the natural resources due to which the Ozone layer has also been harmed. Now, to stop further more damage, it is time to use the resources in a controlled way. For travelling small distances, the individual may use cycle, or go for walking.
The use of CFCs must either be minimised or completely stopped( if possible). The conservation of Ozone layer depletion will start with ourselves, our families, and our friends. Little hard work will yield the best result and make our planet an awesome place to live in.
“Deforestation” is on the rise since the last century. While Globalisation and technological development has boomed the civilization and economies of various countries, it has also forced the people to adopt the different lifestyle (better than the one which our ancestors used to have).
The increasing population and the high urbanization need has forced the Governments and the citizens of the respective countries to clear the land, villages and forests from trees and make it a place to live for the future.
According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), deforestation has been highly controlled (as the rate of deforestation in the 2015-20 period shrunk down to 10 million per year which in the 90s was 16 million per year), the environment is still at high risk due to deforestation.
Although, cleaning the land and making it a place to live is the only idea to accommodate the increasing population, the cutting of trees in a large quantity and uncontrollably poses extreme environmental consequences.
Firstly, deforestation results in the loss of habitat for various animals. The animal kingdom is at high risk due to deforestation. The humans have made the arrangements for their future, but what about animals? Where they will live? Apart from that, extreme deforestation may lead to increased Global warming (as is evident from today), since the cutting of trees releases the large number of greenhouse gases.Thus, deforestation is one of the major sidelined problems that is serving a major threat to our environment.
4. Global Warming
Since the industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) and up till now, “Global Warming” has highly increased. Global Warming is basically the prolonged heating of the Earth’s climate system. It is estimated that there is an increase of one degree Celsius (1°C) every year in Earth’s temperature.
Global Warming has not only made the Globe a red-hot ball but also made the globe a difficult place to live in. The change in the Earth’s climate is resulting in various environmental issues. The glaciers are gradually melting, sea levels are rising and oceans are becoming warmer.
Everything is at high risk due to the change in temperature resulting from Global warming.The main cause of Global warming is we. Our activities have highly affected the environment. The uncontrolled and rapid deforestation we did, the depletion of the Ozone layer due to our uncontrollable harmful activities, the pollution created from our industries and factories, and much more harmful things are the reason behind the emission of harmful Greenhouse gases responsible for Global warming.
The only way to get rid of Global warming is to first realize the need to save our environment and initiate the movement to teach other people the same. The Governments of various countries need to consult various environmentalists and make proper strict laws for the people willingly harming the environment.
Various meetings must be organized every year by the various environmental departments of different countries and the people must be educated about the ways to handle the increasing problem of Global warming. Global Warming is not an issue of a specific country.
Rather, it’s an environmental issue for the whole world and every country must come forward to tackle this difficult problem.
5. Depletion Of Fossil Fuels:
Ever realized what would happen after all the fossil fuels would get consumed? We would not be left with any Petroleum (Petrol, Diesel, and Natural Gas) and Coal.
Although the technological advancements have promoted us to the stage where the Non-Conventional Energy Resources (Renewable resources) could be used in the future in place of the conventional energy resources, we have still failed to achieve the utopia in designing the powerful equipment, machines, vehicles, and Jets using Renewable Sources of Energy.
Almost every powerful machine and vehicle requires petroleum to run well with great efficiency, Also, the generation of electricity, and functioning of high-power motors is achieved through fossil fuels. The speed with which we are consuming up fossil fuels is a serious matter of concern.
The Fossil-fuels conservation must be seriously taken by the teenagers, youngsters, and even the old aged people on the Earth. Various environment-friendly ways could be adopted by us to save fossil fuels for future energy needs.
Rather than using vehicles for travelling short distances, we may opt for walking and cycling. Similarly, we must immediately switch off the electrical-equipments in our house and offices. This will save a lot of energy. Instead of using devices that consume high energy and are a burden on our pockets, we must use energy-efficient devices that could save a lot of energy.
These steps may seem little to us, however, these are some of the small things that we can do to achieve the conservation of fossil fuels, and this may also help the environment in the other way.
6. Decline In Freshwater Level
The Earth is 71% water and 29% land. With so much percentage of water, we should not be worried about water at all. However, the truth is somewhat different. Out of all the water that we have with us on this planet, only 1% available to us is pure. The water from Oceans is Saline and cannot be used for daily purposes.
The saline water (if drunk) may damage the intestines and is fatal for drinking purposes. Apart from that, saline water is hard in nature. It cannot form lather (foam) with soap. Many countries, and in fact many cities in our own country India suffer from water scarcity. With so much scarcity and unavailability of freshwater to us, we don’t use it in a proper way.
Rather, we waste a lot of freshwater by dumping various solid and liquid wastes inside the freshwater sources such as rivers and thus cause water pollution. Thus, methods are being discovered to conserve freshwater for future use. However, the freshwater conservation policy does not receive enough funding and support from the people, the respective Governments and even by the United Nations (UN).
In the coming ten years, our need for fresh water will increase by forty per cent (40%). Thus, the hourly need to conserve freshwater for future use to meet the demand of the people is of utmost importance.
7. Melting Of Glaciers:
Lastly, the melting of Glaciers is another big threat to the environment and to the expert environmentalists. As already mentioned above, the control of Global warming is continuously posing a great challenge to scientists and Environmentalists.
Every year, the temperature of Earth is increasing by one degree Celsius (1°C). There is still no improvement and no control upon increasing Global Warming. This has also resulted in the melting of Glaciers. With the melting of Glaciers, the sea levels are gradually increasing as well. Since 1961, the sea levels have risen by 2.7 cm.
The melting glaciers are equally destructive to terrestrial and aquatic animals as well. The availability of fresh water is also because of the glaciers. With the rapid melting of glaciers due to global warming, the decline in freshwater is obvious.
The freshwater that we get from River Ganga comes from the Gangotri glacier. This is the importance of Glaciers in the environment. The continuous gradual melting of the Glaciers has left environmentalists shocked.
For saving the glaciers from getting melted, it is important to first control the climate change occurring due to Global Warming. Thus, for tackling one problem, another problem stands in the way of the environmentalists.
So far we have discussed all the seven major environmental problems. The environmental problems are not limited to only seven. In fact, there are various unending small and large environmental problems.
However, all the environmental problems have taken birth only because of one common reason. That common reason is, “Our own negligence towards the environment and its resources”. Once we start acting justly to our environment and try hard by ourselves to eliminate these problems, the environment will again start to replenish.