In the year 2020, we have already seen a lot of extremes which also includes California and Colorado’s largest wildfires. These all are caused by human actions. Through energy use and industrial processes which caused extreme climatic change, sea rising and floods the pace of climatic change has also increased. This also led to increasing migration from devastated areas.
Due to increase in pollution, we are facing many problems and one of them is acid rain. The pollutants responsible for acid rain are nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. These pollutants for example nitrogen oxide are naturally produced through decomposition processes in the soil or sulphur oxide through volcanoes but huge amount of these pollutants is caused by human beings through burning of fossil fuels. When these pollutants react to water molecules in the air, they contribute to the acidification of the rain through the resulted sulphuric acid. About 2/3 of the sulphuric acid and about 1/3 of the nitric acid are responsible for the acidification of the rain.
Because of the greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide also leads to a further lowering of the natural pH value of the rain, which is already naturally low, as more carbonic acid can be formed with water as a result. Because of acid rain living things and non-living things have to face serious consequences. Acid rain can cause serious respiratory problems such as Asthma. It can be extremely harmful to forests. Acid rain also causes aluminium to be released into the soil which makes it difficult for trees to absorb water.
Without pollution or acid rain most lakes would have a pH level of almost 6.5. Acid rain however has caused many lakes and streams to have much lower pH levels. In addition, aluminium that is released into the soil eventually ends up in lakes and streams. Unfortunately, this increase in acidity and aluminium levels can be deadly to aquatic wildlife including frogs, spotted salamanders and other creatures that are part of the food web.
Acid rain can also have a damaging effect on many objects including buildings, statues, monuments, and cars. The chemicals found in acid rain can cause paint to peel and stone statues to begin to appear old and worn down which reduces their value and beauty.
Another major environmental problem is thermal pollution. A common cause of thermal pollution is the use of water as a coolant by power plants and industrial manufacturers. When water used as a coolant is released to the natural environment at high temperature, the change in the temperature decreases oxygen supply and affects the ecosystem composition. Fish and other marine organisms can be killed by an abrupt change in the water temperature.
Excessive Use of Fossil Fuels
Many of the environmental problems being faced by world today including climate change, air pollution, oil spills and acid rain mostly result from our dependency on fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels produces heat trapping gases such as CO₂ that are the main cause of the ongoing rise in global atmospheric temperature.
Desertification is the process by which fertile land in transformed into a barren land. This land cannot be used any more for any type of cultivation. Due to land and water pollution the percentage of fertile land turning into a barren land is increasing rapidly which is very critical. It will also create food shortage problems for developing countries. As of now, half of world’s habitable land is used for agriculture and still we have malnutrition problems in many countries in Africa and Asia. According to some statistics, around 9 million people die every year of hunger and hunger-related diseases. This is more than from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Rising sea levels
Due to increase in global temperature glaciers are melting increasingly. Because of this, sea levels are rising around the world and hence it causes a danger to coastal countries such as Maldives. According to some estimates, the land now home to 300 million people will be under water by 2050 due to increasing sea level.
How to decrease environmental problem?
A variety of solutions for environmental problems exist including recycling, reduction of carbon emissions from fossil fuels, finding alternative energy solutions and the conservation of marine life. These solutions and others are some ways by which balance can be brought to the environment.
Environment problems typically arise from overuse, misuse, or disregard for valuable resources in the environment. One of the ways to reduce environmental pollution is to use recycled items such as recycled tissue papers, papers, grocery bags etc. or switching to cloth bags or paper bags and completely reducing the usage of plastic bags. Another way to reduce environmental pollution is to use alternative energy such as solar energy and wind energy etc. By adopting these methods, we will be able to decrease environmental pollution on a large extent.