31 Biggest Environmental Problems

Our planet faces significant environmental problems.

The most important environmental issues and their causes, effects and solutions for these problems are examined in the following articles.

Acid Rain

Acid rain can be defined as rain or any other kind of precipitation that is unusually acidic, which means that it has higher levels of hydrogen and thus a lower pH-score.

It is caused by emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide, which react with water molecules in the atmosphere and produce acid rain.

Acid rain has harmful effects on the environment, especially on aquatic animals and plants.

It has also shown damaging effects on freshwaters, soils and insects.

Additionally, also humans are adversely affected since acid rain causes corrosion of steel structures and the weathering of statues and stone buildings.

Acid rain can also have a negative impact on human health.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding acid rain are examined.

Agricultural Pollution

agricultural pollution as big environmental problem

Agricultural pollution can be defined as the degradation or contamination of the environment through abiotic and biotic byproducts of farming.

For thousands of years, our ancestors did farming in a sustainable way.

Thus, there were almost no problems with agricultural pollution.

However, due to the optimization of yields over time through the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides, agricultural pollution has become a significant problem for our planet.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding agricultural pollution are examined.

Air Pollution

Air pollution can be defined as the introduction of excessive quantities of substances, particles gases or biological molecules into the earth’s atmosphere.

Air pollution can have negative impacts on humans in the form of allergies, diseases or even death.

It also has an adverse effect on plants and animals as well as on the whole ecological system.

Air pollution can be caused by both natural processes as well as by human behavior.

According to the World Health Organization, 7 million people die from air pollution each year.

Hence, more people die each year from air pollution than from automobile accidents.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding air pollution are examined.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence can be defined as an area of computer science that has the goal to create intelligent machines that can react and work like humans.

This includes the areas of problem-solving, learning and speech recognition.

AI is a breakthrough when it comes to machine intelligence on a level humanity has never seen before.

It has the potential to change the environment in which we are living right now to a significant extent.

A big fraction of standardized work will likely be carried out by machines instead of humans in the near future.

In the following, the fields of application, the advantages as well as dangers regarding artificial intelligence are examined.

Biodiversity loss

Biodiversity can be defined as the variability and variety of life on our planet.

This includes the variety in species, ecosystems and genetics.

Biodiversity usually increases with the temperature, meaning that it is higher in warm climate zones near the equator.

For example, the world’s tropical rainforests cover around 10% of the planet’s surface, but contain around 90% of all species on the planet.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding biodiversity loss are examined.

Carbon Footprint

The carbon footprint can be defined as the total emissions caused by organizations or individuals and is expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent.

The carbon footprint gives an indication regarding how much every entity contributes to the emission of carbon dioxide and therefore to the global warming issue.

In the following, the causes, effects and solutions for the emission of carbon dioxide are examined.

Deforestation

Deforestation can be defined as the removal of a forest with the purpose of converting this land into non-forest use.

There are several harmful effects of deforestation on the environmental system.

For instance, deforestation can cause biodiversity loss and can also indirectly contribute to the global warming issue.

Consequently, it is crucial to preserve our forests, especially our rainforests.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding deforestation are discussed.

Endangered Species

An endangered species can be defined as species that are very likely to become extinct in the near future.

The number of endangered species has dramatically increased over the past decades.

According to the IUCN, while in 1998, 1102 animals and 1197 plants have been categorized as endangered, these numbers increased to 3079 animals and 2655 plants until 2012.

If this trend continues, we will lose many species in the near future.

To mitigate this issue, governments and other institutions all over the world try to save our endangered species by measures like forbidding hunting and creating protected areas.

In the following, reasons, effects, examples and also solutions concerning the endangered species problems are discussed in detail.

Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering is the manipulation of an organism’s genes with the help of biotechnology.

The first official genetic manipulation happened in 1972 by Paul Berg when he combined the DNA from a monkey virus with the lambda virus.

Genetic engineering is a very controversial topic.

There are many pros and cons regarding this topic.

In this article, the advantages and dangers of genetic engineering are examined with great care.

Global Warming

global warming as one of the biggest environmental issues

Climate change can be defined as a change in the earth’s climate system that results in altered weather patterns.

Global warming is a serious problem for humanity as well as to the whole environmental system.

There had always been periods of global warming in the history of the earth.

However, since the mid of 20th century, changes in global temperature have increased much faster than in previous ages.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding global warming are examined.

Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping can be defined as the dumping of waste in an illegal manner instead of using officially authorized measures like curbside collections or rubbish dump.

Illegal dumping can lead to serious environmental problems and can also cause several health issues.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding illegal dumping are examined.

Landfills

Landfills can be defined as a site for waste disposal.

The waste is mostly buried in order to get rid of it.

Landfills are one of the oldest forms of waste disposal and still play an important role to deal with our enormous amounts of trash on a global scale.

Although the use of landfills has some benefits, there are also some serious issues related to them.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding landfills are examined.

Land Pollution

Land pollution can be defined as the contamination or destruction of land through direct or indirect human actions.

It is a serious threat to plants, animals, sea life and also to us humans.

Land pollution has become a serious problem, especially since the industrial revolution has happened.

Consumption levels have increased significantly, which in turn has led to more by-products that have to be disposed of.

Consequently, also the land pollution problem has increased substantially.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding land pollution are examined.

Light Pollution

Light pollution is the presence of artificial light in the environment.

It can have negative effects on humanity as well as on humans, animals as well as on other organisms.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding light pollution are examined.

Littering

Litter contains waste products that have been disposed of in an improper manner in undesirable locations.

Litter can be composed of several different materials like metals, plastics, glass or paper.

It can also include hazardous waste from batteries or electronics.

Littering can be regarded as a serious issue to our environmental system since it has severe negative effects.

In the following, the causes, effects and also solutions regarding littering are discussed.

Medical Waste

Medical waste is waste that contains infectious materials and germs.

A broader definition may also include all materials that are of laboratory or medical origin, including infusion kits, packaging, etc.).

Medical waste can cause serious health problems in case it is not disposed of in a proper manner.

The types, treatment, disposal, causes, effects as well as solutions for medical waste are examined in this article.

Mining

Mining is the extraction of minerals or other geological materials out of our earth.

In the mining process, several resources can be recovered, including metals, limestone, coal, potash and many more.

Mining is done with the goal to obtain materials that cannot be obtained at the surface and can also not be created artificially in an economically-senseful manner.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding mining are discussed.

Natural Disasters

A natural disaster can be defined as a significant negative event resulting from the earth’s natural processes.

Natural disasters often have serious consequences for many people and also for plants and animals.

It usually also destroys buildings and thus leads to a loss of peoples‘ homes.

Some people also lose their lives from natural disasters.

Due to the global warming issue, natural disasters will become more common in the future.

Thus, mankind has to be prepared to deal with these adverse events.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding natural disasters are analyzed.

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution can be defined as the spread of noise that causes adverse effects on the environment, including humans and animals.

Noise pollution causes various issues, including serious problems for human health.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding noise pollution are discussed.

Nuclear Waste

Radioactive waste is garbage that contains radioactive material.

Nuclear waste can be a serious threat to humanity and the whole environment since it takes quite a long time to decay.

Hence, nuclear waste is subject to strict government regulations to prevent any adverse issues.

The causes, effects and solutions regarding nuclear waste are analyzed in this article.

Orphanism

Orphanism is the state of a child whose parents have abandoned them, are unknown or have died.

Orphanism is a big problem for those kids since they often have nobody who takes care of them and may suffer from serious emotional as well as physical health issues.

In this article, the extent, causes, effects and solutions regarding orphanism are discussed.

Overpopulation

Overpopulation is a state in which there are too many people on the planet to supply them with basic things like food, water, breathable air and so on.

Overpopulation can also be defined as a state where the ecological footprint of humanity is bigger than the planet’s carrying capacity, meaning that the damaging process is faster than the repair process carried out by nature, which eventually leads to an economic and social collapse.

In this blog post, the causes, effects and solutions regarding overpopulation are analyzed.

Ozone Depletion

Ozone depletion is the gradual thinning of the Earth’s ozone layer in the upper atmosphere that is caused by the release of chemical substances containing bromine or chlorine from industrial or other human activities.

It can be a serious problem for the environmental system since it has many negative effects on our planet.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding ozone depletion are analyzed.

Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic particles and objects in the environment.

The amount of plastic we produce in our current state of the world and also the level of pollution from plastic items are shocking.

Plastic pollution has significant negative effects on humans, animals, plants as well as on the whole environmental system.

In this blog post, the causes, effects and solutions regarding plastic pollution are discussed.

Public Health Issues

Public health issues can be defined as problems related to the overall health of our global population.

In contrast to healthcare, public health is not focused on single patients but rather on the health of whole populations in general.

There are numerous threats to public health in our nowadays society.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding public health issues are examined.

Resource Depletion

Resource depletion can be defined as the consumption of resources faster than they can be replaced by natural processes.

It can be divided into the depletion of renewable as wells as in the depletion of non-renewable resources.

Resource depletion can cause many negative effects on our environment.

In this post, the causes, effects and solutions regarding resource depletion are analyzed.

Soil Pollution

Soil pollution is the occurrence of toxic chemicals in the soil.

It is often caused by an excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides.

However, there are also many additional reasons for soil pollution.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding soil pollution are discussed.

Urban Sprawl

Urban sprawl is the unrestricted growth in urban areas.

Even though there are many different approaches on how to measure urban sprawl.

The common opinion is that urban sprawl can have many adverse effects, including social and economic problems.

In this blog post, the causes, effects and solutions regarding urban sprawl are analyzed.

Visual Pollution

Visual pollution can be a significant problem for the local population.

Even though the issue of visual pollution is sometimes belittled, it can cause serious health problems.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions for visual pollution are shown.

Waste

Waste can be defined as unwanted or unusable materials.

It is usually worthless, defective and/or discarded after primary use.

It can be divided into two major categories, namely industrial waste and household waste.

Both types of waste can pose serious issues to the environment and therefore should be handled with great care.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding waste are discussed.

Water Pollution

Water pollution is the contamination of water environments like rivers, lakes, oceans or groundwater.

Contaminants are introduced into the natural environmental system which is often caused by human intervention.

Water pollution is a big environmental problem since it not only affects our flora and fauna, but also our daily lives in the form of polluted rivers and lakes which in turn can lead to contaminated drinking water.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions regarding water pollution are discussed.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issues

https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/environment/environmental-threats

https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-scientific-method-applied-to-environmental-problems-definition-steps-and-applications.html

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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