Humans impact the physical and chemical environment of Earth through pollution. They produce large amounts of CO2, a greenhouse gas. This has contributed to a global increase in the average temperature of the planet. Global warming could have significant consequences for human health and the environment.
The most damaging form of pollution is air pollution. Millions of metric tons of pollutants are pumped into the atmosphere every year. It has a detrimental effect on plants, animals, and humans.
Another form of pollution is vehicular pollution. Vehicles emit harmful gases and particulate matter into the air. These contaminants can enter the lungs, respiratory system, and waterways.
One of the most damaging forms of air pollution is acid rain. Acid rain occurs when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the atmosphere. As a result, it acidifies water and soils. It also kills trees and fish.
Another form of air pollution is smog. Smog is formed when nitrogen and other gases are released into the atmosphere. During smog days, the air is thick and a noxious odor can be experienced.
Agricultural runoff, which contains animal waste and pesticides, can also cause harm. Increasing the rate of nutrients into aquatic ecosystems can create eutrophic conditions. Eutrophication can lead to algae blooms. Algae can cause brown tides. When these tides cover oceans, fish die.
Several communities have had ongoing conversations about low-impact living. These include Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. However, the park was damaged during a raging civil war.