Earth is the third planet from the Sun, the fifth-largest and the densest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets. It is sometimes referred to as the World, the Blue Planet, or by its Latin name, Terra.
Home to millions of species including humans, Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to exist. The planet formed 4.54 billion years ago, and life appeared on its surface within a billion years. Since then, Earth's biosphere has significantly altered the atmosphere and other abiotic conditions on the planet, enabling the proliferation of aerobic organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer which, together with Earth's magnetic field, blocks harmful solar radiation, permitting life on land.
The ozone layer is a layer in Earth's atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone (O3). This layer absorbs 93–99% of the sun's high frequency ultraviolet light, which is potentially damaging to life on earth. Over 91% of the ozone in Earth's atmosphere is present in the ozone layer.
Ozone depletion describes two distinct, but related observations: a slow, steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total volume of ozone in Earth's stratosphere since the late 1970s. The latter phenomenon is commonly referred to as the ozone hole .
CFCs and other contributory substances are commonly referred to as ozone-depleting substances ( ODS ). Since the ozone layer prevents most harmful UVB wavelengths of ultraviolet light (UV light) from passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, it is suspected that an increase in skin cancer, cataracts, damage to plants, and reduction of plankton populations in the ocean's photic zone may result from the increased UV exposure due to ozone depletion.
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. It was very likely caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation.
An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice.
Other likely effects include changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional variations is uncertain.
Deforestation is the clearance of naturally occurring forests by logging and burning.
Deforestation occurs for many reasons: trees or derived charcoal are used as, or sold, for fuel or as a commodity, while cleared land is used as pasture for livestock, plantations of commodities, and settlements. The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity. Deforested regions typically incur significant adverse soil erosion and frequently degrade into wasteland.
Disregard or ignorance of intrinsic value, lack of ascribed value, lax forest management and deficient environmental law are some of the factors that allow deforestation to occur on a large scale. In many countries, deforestation is an ongoing issue that is causing extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification, and displacement of indigenous people.
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can be foreign substances or energies, or naturally occurring.
Air pollution comes from both natural and man made sources. Though globally man made pollutants from combustion, construction, mining, agriculture and warfare are increasingly significant in the air pollution equation.
Some of the more common soil contaminants are chlorinated hydrocarbons (CFH), heavy metals, MTBE, zinc, arsenic and benzene.
Pollution can also be the consequence of a natural disaster. For example, hurricanes often involve water contamination from sewage, and petrochemical spills from ruptured boats or automobiles. Larger scale and environmental damage is not uncommon when coastal oil rigs or refineries are involved. Some sources of pollution, such as nuclear power plants or oil tankers, can produce widespread and potentially hazardous releases when accidents occur.
Citizens must begin to recycle goods and packaging whenever possible, as well as buy only environmentally friendly products. Nonetheless, domestic food scraps should be recycled; for example, potato peelings and melon rinds can be turned into substances that enrich the soil. By doing this, we can reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste being dumped at rubbish tips, thus ensuring that materials such as glass and plastic are not left in earth which could be used as farmland in the future. Despite this, individuals can help protect the earth by using public transport whenever possible. Where such facilities do not exist, sharing lifts is recommended to reduce traffic congestion, noise and vehicle emissions on the roads. The less petrol our societies burn, the better the air quality will be. In addition, if there were fewer cars in circulation, there would be fewer road accidents. Another possible measure to combat industrial pollution would be the imposition of strict fines on wicked, greedy corporations and unfeeling, ignorant businesses which contaminate land, air or water. To be effective, the fines should be heavy enough to deter potential polluters; if they are too small, they could simply be regarded by industries as 'the cost of doing business' and they might be ignored.
‘’ Man alone is responsible for the degradation of earth.’’
Environmental degradation is one of the ten threats officially cautioned by the High Level Threat Panel of the United Nations. When natural habitats are destroyed or natural resources are depleted, environment is degraded. Man affects habitats as a result of two basic factors: human population growth and industrialization. These lead to an increasing demand for food and raw materials, both of which are obtained from the natural environment. Obtaining these degrades habitats through five processes:-
Over-harvesting = this is the removal of an organism faster than it can naturally replace itself.
Alien introductions = the deliberate or accidental introduction of new species to a habitat. This can lead to the reduction or elimination of native species.
Pollution = the release of harmful substances into the environment.
Habitat fragmentation = the break-up of natural habitats into smaller areas. The species in these smaller areas are more likely to become extinct.
Habitat destruction = this is the complete loss of natural habitat and is one of the biggest dangers to wildlife.
Three ways in which we can help regenerate earth to avoid environmental degradation:-
Don’t take too long in the shower. Save water.
Turn off the lights in rooms you are not in.
Stop using fertilizers and use manure when gardening. Go green!
Start Saving Mother Earth Now We do not inherit the earth from our fathers, We borrow it from our children Yet we inherit the disease That our father’s created A land that is dying from the mistakes of man, Lets begin to cure the land of its illness Now is the time to take action, Now is the time to begin, To save the one thing That we cannot replace A home for the children of men. By Devika Melwani
There is a story related to the environment, in which a boy who was a very good painter made a big painting of a scene. There were big mountains covered with trees, except a few that were snow-clad instead. From ne of the mountains flowed a beautiful river. Down in the valley could be seen cottages surrounded by gardens, a few butterflies, birds soaring high in the air. Indeed it was a masterpiece. The boy had a little brother. He also wanted to try his hand at painting. As soon as he got a chance, he picked up a paint brush and painted the mountains black. The sparkling blue water became a murky brown and with just one stroke of his brush, the flowers and butterflies disappeared. The elder brother was heart-broken. The only consolation was that the child was so small that he had done it in ignorance. Though it would require a lot of time and effort to paint a new one.
Something similar is happening around us. Just like the child’s stroke of the brush, actions of mankind is destroying the Mother Earth.
Human beings are the greatest aggressors on this biosphere. They have dominated this earth with their aggressive behavior. They have converted the animated and living nature into an inanimate thing. Their only aim is to tame the elements of nature. In fact, they have enslaved the entire universe.
Humans have the habit of destroying something to create something for them. They destroy a beautiful rock to create a sculpture of their liking. They cut a gorgeous tree to make a musical instrument for their use. The modern inventions of technology will boomerang on them one day.
If this attitude continues a time is near when due to the depletion of the components of nature our live would become a standstill…
Man Alone Is Responsible For The Depletion Of Earth!
Man Alone Is Responsible For The Degradation Of The Earth.
Ours is a very simple eco-system that lacks variety. If this system is interfered with, ten the environmental changes would be effected indiscriminately. The system can recoil displaying its vivid and adverse effects on all beings.
The most beautiful aspect is that the nature is at work and there is 'Beauty Of Balance' which is at our play on our planet. The planet's eco-system and their fine balance took millions of years to form and can be destroyed in a day.
The way we humans are handling our planet is an avid but quaint question being asked by ourselves to ourselves. The global warming is a serious issue today. The industries, factories, automobiles called the big culprits in spewing out immense pollutants like Carbon Dioxide, SPM, Carbon particles etc, have played havoc with our lives.
Ozone which protects us from injurious sun rays is being depleted at a very fast pace due to the overuse of gasses. It will affect the tiny forms of animal and plant life which act as fodder for marine animals and birds. Hence the entire flora and fauna system will be jeopardized and the global carbon cycle altered.
Thus it is perfect to study how little changes in the environment can have big repercussions. So its expected of man to pay special attention to tine forms of animal and plant life and prevent the depletion of ozone layer by reducing carbon-dioxide emissions. The resultant increase in average global-temperature, depleting resources, receding glaciers, collapsing ice shelves and increasing townships have only aggravated the problem. The future of mankind, in fact, all life on Earth is bleak. continues…………….
Thus the prognosis for is not encouraging and healthy. Man has committed the unpardonable sin of defiling Mother Earth. His dominance over nature, coupled with over population and the "unmitigated burning of fossil fuel" is creating a thick blanket of carbon dioxide around the Earth; which is hazardous and life threatening to all flora and fauna. Man has been warned against too much interference with the nature and excessive encroachment on and dominance over Nature which is very injurious to the future of mankind himself and that 'The threat of Global Warming is very real.'
The seas and oceans are being poisoned by chemical products, oils, industrial and human waste. On land especially in the industrial countries where most waste is actually 'manufactured', there is increasingly little room to bury it and even when buried, noxious elements leech out and destroy the health of the area. An even greater problem is the disposal of atomic waste, it is unsafe to dump into the sea an even more unsafe to bury under the land. An alternative possibility, that of sending it out into space, would perhaps create other more serious dangers, not immediately apparent to us.
More recently, the bombing of fuel storage facilities and chemical plants and factories on Serbia and Kosovo by the NATO forces has had a direct and immediate impact on the world's climate and environment, with freak tornadoes ripping through central USA at the time of the bombing and now since the bombing has stopped, Easter USA is experiencing the worst heat waves and drought in living memory. Indonesia is experiencing an onslaught of tropical cyclones of far greater strength and ferocity than usual. Heat waves through central Europe and Russia are causing forest fire which are destroying the last few areas of forest still remaining and Britain is encountering freak tornadoes and tropical storms, the likes of which have rarely been encountered there before. Continues………….
There are many reasons for the degradation of Earth :
Deforestation occurs for many reason: tree or derived charcoal are used as, or sold for fuel or as a commodity, while cleared land is used for pasture for livestock, plantations of commodities and settlements. The removal of trees without sufficient deforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity. Pollution is the mains cause for environmental degradation. Due to increase in human activity, green cover is reducing day by day. Sound pollution, vehicle pollution and industrial pollution have been increasing and causing concern to the existence of human beings. Modern gadgets are one of the causes for pollution like refrigerators’ emitting Fluoro carbons and vehicles emitting Carbon monoxide. Carbon dioxide content is increasing in the atmosphere due to highly polluting activities of human beings. Global Warming is increasing day by day due to which glaciers are disappearing from the Earth. Due to warm atmosphere due to increase in Carbon Dioxide content, the presence of glaciers and i.e. is melting very fast due to which the presence of flora and fauna there is being lost. Melting glaciers and ice is increasing the level of seas resulting in cyclones which are inundating many areas causing the colossal loss to humanity. Unless te global warming and environmental degradation is arrester, much destruction of earth by extinction of flora and fauna this endangering the lives of human beings.
The maximum we can do as citizens of a country which is densely populated and accounts for one of the most polluted countries of the world in case of water pollution, air and land pollution is look after your surrounding and help in many other small steps like using less water, spreading awareness. Remember tiny drops make a mighty a ocean. `On a final note, the need of the hour is the need f saving the planet Earth from total annihilation, and the role of students who are the future decisions makers and inheritors of the earth can play in this gigantic task. Judicious use of natural resources is a must if we want to escape the "End Of The Earth." Perhaps man is responsible for the shape of the modern day globe.
The present conditions of the Earth is due to the indiscriminate use of resources by man. We have seen and have heard many a times about what we are doing to our Earth, yet not everybody seems to be doing much.
Some people even say since the world is coming to an end we might as well live like kings. This is unfair to the rest of the people who rather would like to save our earth and watch it flourish. I would have been selfish and said the same thing if maybe it was the 20th or 19th century. But its not, its the 21'st century and we are facing the apocalypse of our Earth.
Some of the reasons are:-
Global Warming : We hear of Global Warming an often lot but what does it really mean, It is the gradual increase in planet wide temperature. The warming is largely attributed to the increase of greenhouse gasses - Carbon Dioxide and Methane- in the Earth's upper atmosphere caused by humans' burning fossil fuels, farming and deforestation activities.
Ozone Depletion : Fragments of molecules that man has made has been found in the ozone holes, and the holes seem to be increasing in sixes annually. Known causes that originate with man are : Rockets into space poke temporary holes in the ozone, Aircrafts, combustion exhaust and cooling, older refrigerator gases ad cutting down of trees, all the before mention things have lead to the ozone layer being thinned out. Causing its depletion.
Mass Extinction Of Flaura And Fauna: People may not say this will lead to the degradation of our Earth, but it does. Current mass extinction is due to different human activities that are causing different types of pollution, climate change and large number of other ecological problems that are pushing plants and animals into extinction. Extinction of species will break the perfectly functioning circle of life, resulting in catastrophic consequences for all life on Earth.
Ways to Help Regenerate Our Resources:
1. Record you family's carbon footprint and find out ways to reduce it such as Towel drying hair instead of a hair dryer.
2. Walk or use cycles instead of driving to place that are not that far away. Everybody knows that our generation really needs the exercise anyway.
3. Recycle; this will help reduce the fast pace at which deforestation occurs today . By naomi