What is an environmental problem?: Causes and consequences

Ecosystems and the quality of life of human beings are being devastated by environmental deterioration. But, what causes all this disaster on the planet? The answer is; an environmental problemwhich in turn can be defined in many others, depending on the causes of its appearance and the consequences it generates.

Nature needs protection and active recovery, it is the only possible solution so that future generations have a world to inherit. Making the population aware of its importance is only the first step in understanding that every little gesture counts.

What is called an environmental problem?

An environmental problem is described as the inconvenience or disturbance that is generated in a natural environment. Whose harmful effects for the ecosystem are derived from the different human activitiesusually as unintended and accidental consequences.

Harmful substances and elements that are introduced into a natural environment affect their well-being and generate major negative impact on your balance. When these types of problems are not corrected in time, an unpredictable change in the environment occurs. That in the long term usually translates into tragic situations and natural disasters.

The industrialized world is the main generator of environmental problems. Its production of consumer goods requires a continuous input of raw material, which is extracted directly from nature. In this sense, the vertiginous changes that the global ecosystem has undergone in recent decades have been consequences of the Industrial Revolution.

This being the main reason why numerous world organizations fight to promote ecological legislation and thus slow down environmental deterioration. Which is nothing more than the answer to the different problems that ecosystems suffer because of the current life model.

Problems that affect the environment

Environmental problems are present in many forms, some causing a greater impact, while others are more innocuous. However, each of them it is urgent to attend, since they hinder the human right to have a healthy environment. Below are the main environmental problems.

Climate change and global warming: greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere have increased since the 19th century. Making the planet get hotter and hotter. This environmental problem generates overwhelming impacts on nature and in the same way, on human beings. Resulting in heat waves, impoverishment of air quality, greenhouse effectrising water levels and loss of meteorological balance on the planet.

Contamination: it is the deterioration of the quality of the water, land and air, through the introduction of reactive chemical substances. Environmental pollution causes negative impacts on ecosystems, such as altering and destroying them. An example of this is making water unusable or causing diseases in both humans and other forms of life. This type of problem is one of the most serious, since it leads to potentially destructive phenomena such as acid rain and the acidification of the seas.

Deforestation: consists of the indiscriminate felling of forests and other green areas in order to use wood as raw material. Or to allocate the land to agricultural and livestock activities, a process that humanity began since prehistory, but had never occurred at such a ferocious rate as today. Deforestation leads to the deterioration of the soil, since it leaves it exposed to the erosion, decreases the amount of oxygen on the planet and increases the atmospheric carbon.

Soil degradation: human activities generate serious phenomena of soil degradation. Among which is erosion, a problem that is accelerating in many continents and that each hayo produces losses of 5 to 7 million of cultivable hectares.

Water scarcity: access to this vital liquid in minimal quality conditions and its scarcity are increasingly alarming. Some scientists talk that it could be the most valuable element of the 21st century and the main cause of world wars and conflicts.

Loss of biodiversity and extinction of species: the loss of biodiversity and the extinction of numerous species is the consequence of the destruction of their habitat. This problem also occurs due to the introduction of human beings in their food chains. Carrying in this way imbalances in the biological circles that can become critical for the planet. The loss of biodiversity not only causes damage to the environment, but also to the global economy.

Causes of environmental problems

The human being is responsible for causing environmental problems, the main causes that cause these threats to ecosystems and people’s lives are detailed below.

Human activity: technological development has made many advances to improve people’s living conditions. However, it has left in its wake a significant negative impact on the environment, some of which are:

  • industrial development
  • Production and indiscriminate use of plastic.
  • Production in large quantities of non-biodegradable waste.
  • The need to extract more resources from nature.
  • Population growth.

Deforestation: this indiscriminate practice has reduced important jungles and forests in the world, even many of these natural spaces are already extinct. Plants fulfill the function of purifying the air, so their absence is a fundamental cause of air pollution.

Domestic and industrial waste: the Industrial Revolution produces large amounts of waste that is toxic to the environment. Among which can be mentioned, gases, chemicals, solvents and many others. The vast majority of this waste is directly and illegally expelled into the water or air, deteriorating its quality and causing great damage to natural environments.

It also occurs with a significant amount of household products such as oils, solvents or detergents.

Chemical products and pesticides: the agricultural sector is the one that makes the greatest use of pesticides and chemical products, in order to preserve its crops. Although farmers use such products to eliminate any threat to their crops, they are highly polluting and greatly affect water and soil.

Garbage accumulation: the current rate of garbage production is very high and most of it derives from the excessive use of plastic. Like other products that are not biodegradable.

Consequences of environmental problems

All the causes that originate an environmental problem later translate into devastating consequences for the ecosystems and the living conditions of humanity. Such as the following.

Various types of pollution: the different forms in which it occurs pollution it is the result of an irresponsible use of natural resources. Air pollution is the consequence of the emission of gases and the burning of fuels. Contaminated water is the answer to the introduction of toxic substances in the seas, rivers, lakes, etc. And soil contamination is the final destination of urban garbage, industrial waste, mining activity and the use of pesticides.

Disappearance of the ozone layer: environmental problems have caused this layer to weaken and a hole appears in it. Generating in turn the proliferation of negative effects in nature and various diseases in humans.

Damage to health states: the progressive deterioration of the environment directly affects the daily development of people, for example:

  • Dermatological conditions.
  • Respiratory diseases.
  • cardiovascular conditions.
  • Disorders in the development of children.
  • Genetic mutations.
  • Various types of cancer.
  • Deaths and hygiene problems in regions where the water is contaminated.

Deterioration in ecosystems: major environmental problems have altered the balance of natural environments. Because of this, many species of plants and animals have disappeared and others are about to become extinct.

Difference between environmental problem and natural disaster

Human activities are those that act on the biosphere modifying ecosystems and when these modifications continue in the long term, it is when nature responds.

In this sense, the disturbance caused by the action of society on the environment is called an environmental problem. Which is capable of altering the natural balance of the system, for example; release of certain polluting gases into the atmosphere, which increase the greenhouse effect and weaken the ozone layer.

On the contrary, a natural disaster is all those natural physical phenomena that, depending on the place where they occur, can have a negative impact on human beings. Be it constructions, activities and even health. For example; a typhoon

the planet needs everyone’s active participation. we’re still on time.