Environmental Changes

Environmental Changes

Introduction

Both natural and human factors lead to changes in the environment. Due to the conversion and movement of vast amounts of energy and materials, both human activity and environmental systems influence environmental changes.
A change or disruption of the environment is referred to as environmental change, and it is typically brought about by natural biological processes and human impacts. A variety of variables, such as animal contact, human meddling, and natural disasters, can cause changes in the environment. In addition to physical alterations, environmental change can also be caused by things like an invasion of non-native species.
We are all going to be impacted by climate change, not just the forests, coral reefs, or even the people in other nations. People everywhere will experience its repercussions, from more extreme weather to rising food prices, from recreation to fewer opportunity to appreciate nature.

Environmental Changes

Environmental  Changes

Earth’s changing environment has a variety of causes. Climate shifts are caused by natural occurrences. For instance, massive volcanic eruptions can cause surface cooling that lasts for a few years by releasing microscopic particles into the atmosphere that block sunlight. The distribution of heat and precipitation can also be altered by variations in ocean currents, such as El Niño. The climate has transitioned from ice ages to relatively warmer eras over longer time spans, tens to hundreds of thousands of years, due to natural variations in the quantity of dust and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as well as in the geographical distribution of energy from the Sun. Over a longer period of time, the emergence of life on Earth drastically altered the planet’s ecology, converting the mostly methane and ammonia-based reducing atmosphere into the oxygen-rich gaseous envelope it has today.
The environment can also be altered by human activity. Satellites in orbit have captured images of how deserts are turning into fertile agricultural regions. On the other hand, as a result of human activity, satellites have monitored the spread of deserts (desertification) and the destruction of trees (deforestation). Using wood as a primary energy source results in the loss of trees and degradation of the soil, which is one of the main causes of desertification and deforestation. Degradation of rangeland and irrigated agriculture, as well as a decrease in soil fertility and soil structure, are the most visible effects of desertification. About one-sixth of the world’s population and 70% of all dry lands—3.6 billion hectares (8.9 billion acres), or one-quarter of the planet’s total land area—are affected by desertification.

Environmental Changes

The Entire Greenhouse Scenario

Aside from desertification, recent increases in the amounts of greenhouse gases and sulfate particles (also known as “aerosols”) in the atmosphere are also effects of human activity. Heat is trapped by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which cover the “infrared window” in the atmosphere. Satellite data can be used to forecast future temperature changes as well as track changes in the Earth’s globally averaged surface temperature. Based on present trends, some models predict that the atmosphere will contain twice as much carbon dioxide in the twenty-first century, and that the average pace of surface warming over the next century will likely be higher than it has been in the previous 10,000 years. As of right now, the best estimate for the predicted rise in the global average surface temperature from 1990 to 2100 is 1°C to 3.5°C, with more rises expected after that.
The global sea level is predicted to increase by an additional 15 to 95 centimeters (6 to 37.5 inches) by 2100 as a result of global warming because heated seawater expands and some glacier ice melts. Since 1978, routine satellite monitoring of the huge Arctic Sea ice cover has been conducted. The interplay between the water and the atmosphere that affects global climate has been observed more lately thanks in large part to the Topex/Poseidon satellite. The goal of the joint U.S.-French oceanography project, Jason 1, was to monitor global ocean circulation, investigate the relationship between the oceans and atmosphere, enhance climate predictions, and track phenomena like El Niño. The mission was set to launch in 2001.

Environmental Changes

Depletion of Ozone

A concerning decline in stratospheric ozone concentrations over the South Pole was noticed by scientists conducting ozone (O3) measurements in the Antarctic around 1985. Instruments on board the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Nimbus-7 satellite confirmed this decrease in atmospheric ozone. UV radiation normally contributes to the creation and destruction of ozone molecules. It has the strength to split oxygen molecules into individual oxygen atoms as well as ozone. More ozone can be formed when the free oxygen atoms combine with other oxygen molecules as a result of the molecules being destroyed. Ozone is destroyed by chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) compounds, which are also greenhouse gases. Examples of CFC compounds include freon, which is utilized in refrigeration systems.
Increased UV light at Earth’s surface as a result of CFC-caused ozone depletion could be extremely harmful to delicate Arctic living types. Because of the mixing of air masses, ozone losses over the Arctic may also lower ozone levels over the middle latitudes.
Even though some ozone-depleting CFCs are no longer allowed, more greenhouse gas buildup in the atmosphere over the coming decades may worsen ozone depletion in the Arctic. These gases are responsible for the rapid loss of ozone because they trap more heat near the Earth’s surface, which cools the stratosphere and increases the amount of stratospheric clouds.

Environmental Changes

Planetary colonization and terraforming

The Earth’s environment is changing due to human activity, although relatively little modifications have also been made to the Moon’s and the other planets’ environments. The lunar atmosphere was slightly altered by the atmospheric gasses released by the Apollo landing ship and the footprints the astronauts left behind. In a similar vein, the environment of Mars has undergone minute changes due to tire tracks and small pits left by landers like Pathfinder and Viking. However, when humanity expand throughout the solar system, more significant environmental impacts are all but certain.
The ecology of other worlds will be impacted by human colonization, but humans may also purposefully terraform planets to make them more like Earth. Making Mars habitable will, in many ways, bring back the climate that was there billions of years ago, resulting in a warm surface with liquid water bodies and a dense atmosphere. Ironically, greenhouse gases that are bad for Earth—like carbon dioxide and CFCs—might be useful for terraforming Mars.
In order to warm the planet, some scientists have suggested melting Mars’ southern polar ice cap and releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The employment of super greenhouse gases for such purpose has been proposed by others. It would be preferable to warm the environment using specially made CFCs since it wouldn’t negatively impact the production of ozone.
The Earth’s environment has undergone changes over time, both positive and negative (such as the ozone hole, greenhouse warming, desertification, and the conversion of deserts to agricultural areas). The challenge in the future will be to continue to be conscious of the environmental changes that are occurring along with it, and to properly direct and observe those changes both on Earth and beyond.

Environmental Changes

REFERENCES

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