What are the Problems?
1. Global Environmental Issues
- Pollution (land, air, and water)
- Global warming
- Ozone depletion
2. Sources of pollution
- Nuclear power plants
- Industrial estates
- Sewage waste
- Oil spills
- Chemical leakage
- Over-usage of fertilisers
- Dangerous wastes stored and buried underground
- Thermonuclear tests
- Exhaust fumes
- Disposal of used nuclear fuel in the sea
- Acid rain
3. What has occurred?
- Hazardous wastes are stored in barriers ad kept at landfill sites. However, toxic chemicals may leak out when the barrels gradually rust or corrode.
- Used nuclear fuel that is disposed in the sea will be radioactive for about 100 to 1000 years. The effects will be devastating should the containers leak.
- There was an atmospheric fall-out of radioactive ashes that spread over a large area of the Pacific when the thermonuclear tests took place.
- Carbon dioxide gas has increased by 71% since 1958.
- CFC increased by 100% since 1976 and it absorbs10000 times as much heat as carbon dioxide (increase by 200% if not controlled).
- Methane has increased by 13% since 1976. Methane comes from the animal digestive process, fermentation in swamps, tundra, and rice paddy fields, rooting refuse and gas leak. It absorbs 20 to 60 times as much heat as carbon dioxide.
- Nitrous oxide has increased by 10 parts per billion since 1976. Nitrous oxide absorbs 250 times as much heat as carbon dioxide.
- A 1% loss of ozone means a 3% to 6% increase in the number of skin cancer cases. In the United States alone, this could mean 43000 more cases.
- In 1900, 500 white Beluga whales lived in St Lawrence seaway in Canada. Only 450 remain today and the examination of dead whales showed signs of high level DDT, PCBs, mercury, and cadmium in their bodies.
- Sea turtles apparently mistook plastic bags as jellyfish ad consumed them, resulting in deaths.
- The world is losing its remaining tropical rainforest at a rate of at least 154000 square kilometres per year. 8.1 square kilometres have been desertified for the last 50 years.
4. Tragedy of the Gulf War
Shrouds of some turned day to night, and the blasted water pipes and treatment plants brought contaminated water to the homes. Moreover, tens of thousands of birds were killed by slicks and oil pools from the sabotaged wells. Some oil lakes measured more than 2 kilometres long and 1 metre deep.
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