The soil is a limited no cycling resource due to
the fast and increasing degradation.
Causes of the soil pollution
Agriculture. In this activity, there are a lot of
fertilizers and insecticides use to combat the pests just
like the vegetation burn for the faster growing of the
The trash has also a very important role on soil
degradation due to the large amount of toxic
Consequences of the soil pollution
The use of fertilizers and insecticides are
aggressive to the soil, plants and animals. With
the vegetation burn the ground stays exposed to
the sun and wind making a nutrients lost and soil
The dumps make soil contamination and they
could even contaminate the underground water
When we talk about water pollution we
shouldn’t just talk about the superficial water but
we should also talk about the underground
Causes of the water pollution
One of the main sources of water pollution are the
• industrial trash. In this kind of trash, the largely
industrial dumps are contaminating the rivers and
• rural trash . The cow and the pigs centers and other
similar places sewage are being lunched directly to the
water without any treatment, causing pollution in
rivers and other sources of ground water
• the dump of domestic trash into the rivers or oceans
• the use of chemical products from agriculture are being
transported by the rain into the rivers and oceans,
polluting them and putting in dangerous all wildlife
Consequences of the water
These pollutants are a big threat to the water quality,
health and the environment, because they are capable
of provoking huge damage to the live organisms e in
consequence of that, it can damage our health and our
The atmosphere pollution is the main result of the
gases liberation from big chemical industries which can
put in danger the health of human beings, animals and
plants and it also can contribute for the greenhouse
The causes of air pollution
The main reasons that have contributed for the
increase of air pollution are:
• The industrial activity. This activity releases gases and
clouds of dust in such large amounts that they fail to be
absorved by the environment and they accumulate in
• Road traffic. The gases and the chemical substances
released by vehicles are the result of the comsumption
of fossil fuels, such as oil.
Consequences of air pollution
It is a combination of smoke and fog in urban/industrial
areas, leading to a high concentration of fumes in the
lower layer of the atmosphere (troposphere). It can cause
asthma, bronchitis, breathing and heart problems as well.
Acid rain is the result of releasing sulphur dioxide
and nitrogen oxide (proceeding from industry and
traffic) into the atmosphere. The rainfall causes the
acidification of soils, compromising agriculture, plants and
trees. Another consequence is the contamination of water.
The greenhouse effect:
The greenhouse effect is a result of the excessive heating
of the Earth’s atmosphere and it leads to the global
heating of the planet which can result in the melting of ice
in polar regions and the raise of the ocean level, among
other climate changes.
The destruction of the ozone layer:
The existence of ozone in the stratosphere is a vital issue
for planet Earth because it absorves great part of the
ultraviolet radiation which, in excess, is harmful for living
beings and the environment
Extinction of natural resources
Natural resources must be managed in a sustainable way so
that they can be used now and in the future. Nevertheless,
nowadays the world is facing the risk of collapse of some of
these resources due to its overexploitation.
When we talk about natural resources we don’t mean only
oil, natural gas or coal. Food also makes part of this list as well
as drinking water, the most precious asset for the continuity of
life in the planet.
Due to the excessive and unnecessary use of these resources
by mankind, scientists predict their extinction in a near future,
endangering the natural balance of the Earth.
The supply of freshwater in the planet is
threatened as well as our survival.
More than i billion people (18% of the world
population) don’t have access to a minimum
quantity of water for comsumption.
If we keep our present consumption and pollution
patterns, the situation will quickly worsen.
Reports disclosed by FAO, a branch of the UN for
agriculture and nutrition, show that in order to feed
the human population in 2050 – we will be 9,1
billion inhabitants by then – the amount of food
produced in our planet will increase in about 70%.
However, it will be possible to reach that target,
although there are many difficulties. Among them
stands out global warming, which has a negative
interference with the agricultural production in
The black gold will come to na end one
day. The International Energy Agency
reported in 2010 that the production of oil
will reach its peak around 2035. After that,
the production will gradually decrease. The
world will have to learn to live without oil,
wich will carry gret changes in Man’s way of
life as he is heavily dependent of fossil fuel.
Among fossil fuels, coal is the one that
has reserves spread throughout the
largest number of countries. The biggest
reserves are in the USA, Russia, China,
India and Australia. Scientists believe that
these reserves will be over in a199 years
period if the consumption rate continues
at the present speed.
Copper is one of the most used metals by
mankind and thanes to it the Metal Age was
born. It is present in electric cables, electronic
equipment and jewels, amongst others. Unlike
other non-renewable materials, copper is
recyclable. The increase of its consumption in
the last few years has been huge. Scientists
estimate a shortage of this metal around 2100.
It is used in industry and also by vehicles.
Natural gases another fossil fuel and
therefore, it has a limited lifetime. It is
expected that this fuel becomes completely
drained in a 45,7 years period.
Human intervention in temperate regions has destroyed vast
areas of forest in order to use the soil for agriculture.
Nowadays, the temperate forest with primitive features is
limited to a few thousand square kilometers.
The decrease of the forested area has involved a reduction of
the animal population in those regions, with some species
changing their overall diet, according with the crops that exist in
Areas of the temperate forest have suffered, with climate
change, an increase of invasive species and pollution, which has
dramatically influenced the biodiversity of those regions
Deforestation is the process of permanent and
complete disappearance of forests.
Reasons for deforestation
Construction of infrastructures
The use of raw materials
The Portuguese forest is a very ancient ecosystem,
initially with deciduous trees in the north of the
country and evergreen trees in the south.
At present, the Portuguese forest area sums up to
3.3 million hectares.
Portugal possesses one of the largest forest areas in
Types of forest in Portugal
An ecosystem dominated by the maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) and / or by the
stone pine(Pinus pinea)
Montado (cork oak forests):
An ecosystem dominated by the cork oak (Quercus suber)
Soutos (chestnut woods):
An ecosystem dominated by the chestnuts (Castanea sativa)
Forest with trees of the laurel family
Forest with trees of the oak trees.
Importance of forest
The Portuguese forest bears activities such as:
• The production of cork, wood pulp (cellulose),
wood, silvo- pastoral, hunting, fishing and
• The cycles of water, of oxygen and carbon as well
as the maintenance of biodiversity
Portugal Forest Fires
Main causes of forest fires:
• Failure to clean up woodlands
• Excessive number of resinous trees (pine trees
• Insufficient forest vigilance