The Future of the Planet…
Are We Destroying The
Waste from Human Activity
Deforestation & the Destruction of
In the following report I hope to explain in as much detail as possible the
answers to the following questions:
Why has human activity changed over time?
What is the impact that certain human actions are having on the
environment and what problems are these causing other organisms in the
What will the future of the world be if these actions continue?
How can technologies and peoples day to day habits change to prevent
Most humans exploit what is around them, like their surroundings and resources. When humans first
evolved there was no such thing as hygiene, medicines and people did not know about other basic
needs which are taken for granted in current years. In those time
peoples main priority was to find food to eat, as there was not much
food available because farming and other food making ideas had
As time has developed people have understood and found ways to
increase knowledge on healthcare/medicines and how to make
different types of food with the help of factories and farmers etc. As
this all developed the population accelerated because of the
Currently in the world there is an overgrowing population of 7
billion people! Although it is a very happy time for humans when more humans are born, it is not a
very happy time for the earth and our environment. If there are more people on earth, more land is
being used and more resources are being used which is not very good.
People living in the current world are used to a very high standard of living so are used to the
luxuries of life. Advancements in the world mean people abuse the everyday things in life like the
environment. Many of the things humans are used to are causing global warming for example: Nonrenewable energy resources (such as coal, oil and natural gas) are being used up rapidly, Raw
materials are being used up, is being used for buildings, quarrying, farming and dumping waste this
is reducing the amount of land available for other animals and plants, lots of waste is being produced
which is causing more pollution.
The three different types of waste:
Combustion of fossil fuels is the most common source of air pollution; there are two main sources of
this, cars/vehicles and power stations. However there are other sources for atmospheric pollution as
shown in the table below.
Combustion of hydrocarbon
More green house gases which
increases global warming
Anaerobic decomposition of
Incomplete combustion of fossil
fuels like coal
More green house gases which
increases global warming
Combustion of fossil fuels with
sulfur impurities like coal
Acid rain(release toxic metals
from soil & damage aquatic
Deposits soot on buildings and
trees, causing them damage.
Permeates the air - which can
cause breathing problems in
Water pollution is caused because harmful toxins and other substances are discharged into the seas,
lakes and river. Due to farmers wanted their crops to be full of minerals, they spray their crops with
fertilisers although this may be healthy for the crops it is not healthy for the water. This leads to a
process called eutrophication. This causes algae to over grow which causes the death of invertebrates
and fish. Due to this food chains within the eco-system collapse Sewages
can also pollute water it contains high mineral levels and can promote the
process of eutrophication, it may also contain harmful pathogens. Another
way for water to become polluted is from toxic chemicals from mining and
industries these chemical can gradually toxicate food chain levels.
This pipe pollutes the
water, this water…
… Causes this to happen to
Farmers spray their crops with chemicals to improve the yield on the land. The two chemicals
include herbicides and pesticides. Herbicides kill the growth of weeds which decreases the amount of
competition for things like: minerals, space and sunlight. Pesticides kill insects and plant pathogens
which damage the crops. Pollute the land and can be
washed in the sea, river and lakes.
Although these chemicals are good for the farmer’s
crops they are not very good for the environment. If
they are left in the soil for too long they pollute the
land, sea, lakes and rivers. This can also lead to
problems in the food chain.Even everyday items used in
homes that are dumped in landfill sites contain toxic
chemicals which is discharged into the land
Deforestation & the
Destruction of Peat
As the population of humans in the world has increased, the demand for important things like: food,
energy sources and land has also increased. New land has been created by cutting down trees and
rainforests. Although this may please human it is having a very negative impact on the environment,
biodiversity and peat bogs.
Rainforests provide unique species a unique habitat.
These also act as a carbon sink s o they trap away carbon
in their biomass that was absorbed by photosynthesis.
For many years humans have been being inconsiderate
and have cut down trees for thousands of years however
this act of inconsiderateness has accelerated considerably
in recent decades, this is called deforestation.
What is the cause for deforestation?
To provide extra land for: houses because of the increase in population, fields and farm as the
demand of food has increased, for bio fuel production as there is a big demand for energy, for
buildings and to provide building material.
What is the effect of this demand?
Cattle are often reared on the land, which
produces methane which adds up more to
global warming then carbon dioxide.
As timber is burnt it increases the release of
carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the
remainder of the tree is decomposed by
microorganisms which adds carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere which contributes to global
It reduces the rate of the carbon sink in the
plant by photosynthesis because there are fewer
Biodiversity is decreased as forest habitats are destroyed
What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the different amount of species in the world and the variation between the species,
their habitats. As there is a decrease in the amount of forests this reduces the biodiversity and we risk
losing unique organisms which may become useful for different things in the future.
Thousands of years ago moss and other plant grew. During photosynthesis these plants absorbed
carbon dioxide. When the moss died the waterlogged bog provided anaerobic conditions which with
the acidity of the bog prevent total decomposition of the moss. This builds up in the bogs in a
partially decomposed state which forms peat.
The amount of biomass means it can be burnt and dried as a fuel which makes it an important energy
source. The important properties of peat when mixed in soil are: it can improve the structure of the
soil, mineral and water preservation which makes it valuable in gardening and agricultural use.
The use of peat restores all of the carbon that had been locked up. Also as peat is mixed with soil
starts to decompose as it is exposed to anaerobic condition which causes more carbon dioxide to be
released into the atmosphere. Therefore global warming is again contributed by peat bogs and
Due to the benefits of peat bogs ever
since 1950’s the best selling compost is
peat based. However this has meant
that there has been a rise in global
warming and habitats so the
government have supported composts
The demand for energy is the same as the population in the world is rising very, very fast which
means more and more fossil fuels are being burned to keep up with the demand. By burning fossil
fuels the emission of carbon dioxide increases which again leads to green house gases and global
warming which have very serious consequences for the world and environment. Fossil fuels are nonrenewable source of energy, as they cannot be restored so people are finding other sources like bio
Due to the presence of some greenhouse gases the atmosphere, results in the earth being warmer than
it usually is and should be and as the gases trap some of the earth’s heat to prevent it escaping the
atmosphere. This is what the greenhouse effect is.
The earth’s temperature increases above the natural green house effect, the effect is caused by the
release of greenhouse gases this is what global warming is. There are two main gases that cause
greenhouse gases these are methane and carbon dioxide.
Greenhouse gas levels increase because of many things like:
The produce of waste from humans which produces methane
Trees and forests are cut down which reduces the amount of carbon dioxide that is absorbed
More cattle are being reared to supply food however during the digestion of cows lots of
methane is produced
Fossil fuels are burned to provide energy
Peat bogs is being destroyed which releases carbon dioxide
Plants rot which produce methane this is happening a lot as humans are making more fields to
provide more food.
The main question is what is going
to happen to the earth in the next
century if the increase in greenhouse
gases emitted in the atmosphere
does not stop. If it continues to rise
many damages can be caused for
Changes in the weather
Biodiversity may decrease if
habitats continue to be
Birds and other animals may
not be able to cope with the
change in temperature and
Ice caps can begin to melt
which will increase sea
levels which may lead to
As fossil fuels are non-renewable and are contributing to global warming an alternate to these are bio
fuels. Bio fuels are produced from natural resources like plants this is why they are renewable. Some
bio fuels are produced by microorganisms to anaerobically ferment carbohydrate in the plant
Petrol is often mixed with ethanol which is a type of alcohol. Ethanol can be fermented which means
that it converts sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide in anaerobic conditions. In countries like Brazil
sugar is taken from sugar cane which yeast can ferment into ethanol, however in other countries
plants are used because they contain less starch.
Bio gas is produced from the anaerobic fermentation of carbohydrates in waste, plant or vegetables
by bacteria. Some oxygen is present during the process, as the bacteria respires it produces high
proportions of Co2. They are made of simple materials in a biogas generator.
Naturally biogases are produced on landfill sites as there are lots of bacteria here that can
anaerobically break down the rubbish, but this means that methane will escape into the atmosphere
which is increasing global warming. Although methane increases global warming it can be used as a
fuel to generate electricity and heat buildings.
Renewable source of
doesn’t react with the
as land is needed to
Lower energy content
Fills the air with
Is a renewable source
impurities which are
Difficult to enhance
Cheaper than gasoline
and other fossil fuels
Can be produced
Lower energy output
Food prices and
demand may raise
Use of water
Efficiency in the food Production
As the population of humans increases so does the demand of food!
The higher up the food chain you go the amount of biomass and energy within the chain decreases
through wasting energy through movement,
respiration and faeces. In food production the
efficiency can always be improved, for example
through reducing the number of food chains.
Two ways to prevent loosing energy are:
Animals don’t move around as much
Keep surrounding warm to maintain their
Calculating energy efficiency
Power = energy transferred / time taken
Protein is one of the main foods that is in demand
and this has led scientists to investigate other ways
to obtain food from microorganisms. Mycoprotein is food that is high in protein which is
produced by fungal biomass. These foods are high in fibre and low in fat which means it is
healthy. The mycoprotein is fermented which is sterile as it is heated to 65oC to get rid of the
Fish is in high demand as it is one of the most important part of the human diet. However
more fish are being caught than can being reproduced. As more and more cod fish are being
caught there are less fish in the sea to reproduce so will eventually run out.
Finally the further the food has to travel in order to get to humans reach, the greater impact it
has to contribute to global warming which is generated by cars emitting carbon dioxide.
Humans are causing many damages to the earth and the main reason is for
energy. The most common points are global warming and greenhouse gases
these seem like very minor thing but can cause either the earth as we know
it to change drastically or for the earth to end!
If we would like to enjoy life and its luxuries we must learn not to take
advantage and cause the earth to change. Just by changes simple thing like:
using the car less and not making too much rubbish and sending it to
landfill sites we can produce a lot less greenhouse gases which will
decrease the amount of global warming. This could help save our world!
1. Anaerobic- Relating to, involving, or requiring an absence of free
Global Warming- A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the
earth's atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused
by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants
Herbicides- A substance that is toxic to plants and is used to destroy
Invertebrates- An animal lacking a backbone
Non-Renewable- A source that cannot be replaced or renewed
Pesticides- A substance used for destroying insects or other organisms
harmful to cultivated plants or to animals.
Photosynthesis- The process by which green plants and some other
organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and
Pollution- Is the presence in or introduction into the environment of a
substance or thing that has harmful or poisonous effects.
Population-Is the total number of
people inhabiting a country, city, or any district or area.
Renewable- A source that can be replace or renewed