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Pollution

Pollution is the detrimental effect of human activity on the natural environment.

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Keywords

environmental pollution, soil pollution, air pollution, water pollution, pollution, global warming, industry, agriculture, transportation, settlement, air, water, soil, human, oil, sewage, Earth, waste, heating, consumption, energy demand, greenhouse gas, ozone layer, smog, fertiliser, plastic, pesticide, power station, migration, ecosystem, global, environment, nature, environmental protection, nature conservation, society, geography, crude oil derivatives, energy, warming, pollutant, climate change, human activity, carbon dioxide, flora and fauna, atmosphere, biology, _ingyenes, acid rain, technology, destruction, average temperature, heat pollution, natural environment, industrial, venomous

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Types

Types

  • air pollution
  • water pollution
  • soil pollution
  • noise pollution
  • light pollution
  • heat pollution
  • radiaoactive pollution
  • visual pollution

Pollution is the detrimental effect of human activity on the natural environment. Today, environmental pollution has become an alarming problem. Human activity is causing damage to the atmosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere and the biosphere as well, that is, pollution affects every outer layer of our planet. In many cases, the damage is irreversible.

Causes

Causes

  • overpopulation
  • consumption
  • households
  • waste production
  • energy production
  • industry, manufacture
  • sewage
  • transport
  • agriculture
  • fishing
  • tourism

We, humans, are responsible for the pollution of the environment: the human population keeps growing, which results in increasing consumption. Higher standards of living also encourage people to consume more. To satisfy the increasing demand, energy production, as well as industrial and agricultural production must be intensified. In addition, the more we consume, the more waste and sewage we produce.

Effects and consequences

Effects and consequences

  • warming - The Earth's average temperature is steadily increasing.
  • rising greenhouse gas levels - During the last 100 years, due to human activity, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been rising. These gases trap heat close to the Earth's surface and do not let it escape from the atmosphere.
  • waste production - Due to the rapid growth of human population and increasing consumption, more and more waste is being produced on Earth.
  • uninhabited areas - Due to global warming and shortage of drinking water or food, certain areas become unsuitable for habitation.
  • polluted waters - Due to human activity, surface and underground waters become contaminated.
  • ozone depletion - The ozone layer is damaged by chlorine, fluorine and bromine released into the atmosphere. These substances are usually byproducts of various manufacturing processes (for example those of the heavy industry), but also emitted by internal combustion engines.
  • smog - Pollutants released into the air by motor vehicles and through the burning of fossil fuels form smog (short for smoky fog).
  • acid rain - Motor vehicles and industrial plants emit sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides. These chemical substances react with water droplets in the air and produce acids. These then fall to the ground in the form of acid rain, which seeps into the soil down to groundwater level.
  • fertilisers and pesticides - As a result of farming, pollutants enter natural waters, then, through the evaporation of water, into the atmosphere.
  • deforestation - In the aftermath of forest fires, ash, nitrates and organic carbon first get into the air, then into the ground, and finally into waters. These substances have a detrimental effect on the ecosystem.
  • eutrophication - Nutrient pollution, caused by the excessive presence of nitrogen and phosphorus in air and water, leads to the growth of the algae population, with a detrimental effect on water quality. As a result, the water becomes turbid, and light cannot reach the bottom of the lake, killing aquatic plants. This process uses up the oxygen contained by the water, causing the death of other species as well.
  • plastic pollution - The decomposition of plastic waste takes a very long time. During the process of decomposition, toxic substances filter into the soil.
  • urban heat islands - Waste heat, produced by buildings, factories and traffic, can be carried to large distances by winds, further raising the average temperature on Earth.
  • climate change - High greenhouse gas levels cause the average temperature on Earth to rise, which leads to climate change.
  • desertification - Due to rising temperatures, areas become desertified, leaving the barren land infertile.
  • melting - Due to global warming, ice sheets disappear, glaciers melt and sea levels rise.
  • drinking water shortage - Desertified areas usually lack drinking water.
  • food shortage - Barren lands cannot provide enough food.
  • changes in the ecosystem and the food chain - Accelerating industrialisation and the destruction of wildlife upset the balance of the food chain and that of the entire ecosystem too.
  • destruction of wildlife - Climate change, chemicals resulting from the decomposition of waste, agricultural and industrial activities, acid rain, and eutrophication, these all contribute to the destruction of wildlife.
  • diseases and epidemics - Heat and contaminated food or water can cause diseases and epidemics that affect every living being on Earth.
  • water pollution - Pollutants in water bodies cause the death of aquatic wildlife. Contaminated waters lead to the spread of diseases and epidemics.
  • waste islands in oceans - Due to huge amounts of waste discarded by humans, enormous islands of floating garbage have appeared on the surface of oceans, consisting mainly of plastic. These islands can measure up to millions of square kilometres and they are a huge threat to marine wildlife.
  • migration - From areas which have become unsuitable for habitation as a result of shortages of food and drinking water, huge masses of people migrate to places offering better living conditions.
  • erosion - The destruction of the vegetation accelerates the erosion of the soil, leaving the land barren.
  • increasing energy consumption - Because of global warming and urban heat islands, the use of air conditioners has become commonplace, leading to higher energy consumption. To satisfy increasing energy demand, many countries produce energy by building more power plants, that pollute more and accelerate global warming.
  • rise in sea level - Global warming melts ice sheets, causing sea levels to rise, thus posing a threat of flooding to coastal cities and lowland areas.

Effects

Certain pollutants cause greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere to rise, thus increasing the average temperature on Earth. Such pollutants are, for instance, carbon dioxide, resulting from forest fires and released by vehicles, and methane, a byproduct of farming.
Other types of pollutants, which are released into the atmosphere mainly as byproducts of the heavy industry, damage the ozone layer that surrounds the Earth. The quality of air in large cities is further damaged due to smog and heat pollution.

Water bodies are polluted by chemicals, pesticides, animal fertilisers, and various types of oil. In many countries, the purification of wastewater is still an unsolved problem. Moreover, pollutants contaminating waters filter into the ground. Increasing quantities of waste also put a significant burden on the soil. The decomposition of certain waste materials can take thousands of years, during which polluting substances are continuously filtering into the ground.

Consequences

Because of global warming and urban heat islands, the use of air conditioners has become commonplace, leading to higher energy consumption. To satisfy increasing energy demand, many countries produce energy by building more power plants that pollute more and accelerate global warming. Global warming induces a climate change on Earth: some areas become desertified, leaving the barren land infertile, which cannot provide enough food. In desertified areas, another serious problem is the shortage of drinking water.
Global warming causes the disappearance of ice sheets and the melting of glaciers, leading to a rise in sea level.
Climate change, chemicals resulting from decomposing waste, agricultural and industrial activities, acid rain, as well as eutrophication all contribute to the destruction of wildlife. Accelerating industrialisation and the destruction of wildlife upset the balance of food chains and that of the entire ecosystem too.

Pollutants in water bodies cause the death of aquatic wildlife. Heat and the contamination of water and food can lead to the spread of diseases, which can eventually turn into epidemics.

Due to global warming and the shortage of drinking water and food, numerous areas become unsuitable for habitation. As a result, huge masses of people decide to migrate from these areas to places offering better living conditions.

What can you do?

What can you do?

  • tap water instead of bottled water
  • glass instead of plastic
  • reusable fabric bags instead of plastic bags
  • collect used cooking oil in selective containers
  • less pesticides
  • less waste
  • composting
  • planting
  • fewer cars
  • electric instead of diesel
  • energy efficient household
  • Drink tapwater instead of bottled water. - Plastic bottles put a huge burden on the environment.
  • Use glass vessels for storing food instead of plastic ones. - Plastic products put a huge burden on the environment.
  • Use fabric bags instead of plastic bags. - Plastic products put a huge burden on the environment.
  • Collect used cooking oil for recycling instead of pouring it down the sink drain. - One drop of used cooking oil can contaminate 1,000 litres of water if poured down the sinkhole.
  • We must use less chemicals in the fields. - By reducing the amount of pesticides used, less chemicals will filter into groundwaters.
  • Produce less waste. - The decomposition of waste takes a very long time. During this process, various chemicals infiltrate the soil, polluting it.
  • Let's make compost. - Composting turns food waste and other organic matter into precious resources for the soil. By adding compost to the soil, we can improve its properties, prevent it from eroding and protect the land from desertification.
  • Grow more plants in your neighbourhood. - The more plants we grow in our neighbourhood, the more protected the soil becomes. They function as ground cover, they take up the unnecessary water and their roots give stability to the soil.
  • Use cars less often. - Ride a bicycle, walk or use the various means of public transport. This way, we can reduce the amount of pollutants released into the air.
  • Use electric vehicles instead of diesel vehicles. - Diesel vehicles release significant amounts of particles. The majority of these particles is soot, which binds unburned hydrocarbons.
  • Make your household more energy efficient. - Use renewable energy sources in your household for cooking, lighting and heating.

If we do not take immediate action to protect the environment, pollution can have catastrophic consequences within a very short period of time. Everyone can make a difference by making well-informed consumer decisions and changing their lifestyle. We can, for example, use less plastic products, drive our cars less frequently, collect waste in selective containers, do composting and make our homes energy efficient. Every little step counts.

What can we do? - At social level

What can we do? - At social level

  • political decisions
  • appropriate legislation
  • afforestation
  • investment in environmental protection
  • waste management
  • wastewater treatment
  • nature conservation
  • public transport
  • banning polluting technologies
  • Political decisions play a key role. - We should make reasonable decisions when it comes to electing political leaders.
  • Support appropriate legislation. - To protect the environment, appropriate legislation is a must.
  • We must plant trees instead of cutting them down. - By planting a lot of trees, we can prevent the soil from eroding, thus less chemicals and fertilisers will filter into our waters.
  • We must use renewable energy sources. - Power plants using fossil fuels emit huge amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere.
  • We must manage our waste correctly. - If regulations regarding waste management are violated, hazardous materials can be released into the soil.
  • We must pay more attention to wastewater management. - In developing countries, 95% of wastewater gets back to natural water bodies without having been purified before.
  • Try to preserve Nature. - The conservation of Nature is of common interest.
  • It is important to improve public transport. - It is necessary to improve public transport and develop bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly road networks.
  • We must control emission levels. - Factories should emit less pollutants into the environment.

The protection of the environment is a challenge that has to be taken seriously by the entire society. Legislators play a crucial role in this respect, as the financing of environmental protection must be regulated by law. Governments must promote afforestation and public transport must be continually improved. Also, greater awareness should be created regarding waste management and wastewater treatment. Last but not least, every contaminating technology must be banned.

What can we do? - At global level

What can we do? - At global level

  • stop overpopulation
  • take global action
  • promote new technologies
  • remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
  • We must find a solution to overpopulation on Earth. - Currently, the world's population exceeds 7.5 billion people. According to estimations, by 2024, 8 billion humans will inhabit the Earth. We are not sure about how many people can our planet sustain in the long run if we continue to pollute it this way.
  • We must take global action to tackle these problems. - To tackle the problem of environmental pollution, it is not enough to take measures at local or national level, but global projects are needed, such as the "Ocean Cleanup" project.
  • We must use new technologies globally. - Eco-friendly technologies should be used all over the world.
  • We must elaborate a plan to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. - An innovative technological solution must be developed to remove billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year.

To tackle the problem of environmental pollution, it is not enough to take measures at local or national level, but global projects are needed, such as the "Ocean Cleanup" project. We must find a solution to overpopulation and overconsumption, as we do not precisely know how many people the Earth can sustain. Eco-friendly technologies regarding energy production, transport and packaging should be promoted all over the world. Also, an innovative technological solution must be developed to remove billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year.

Animation

Narration

Pollution is the detrimental effect of human activity on the natural environment. Today, environmental pollution has become an alarming problem. Human activity is causing damage to the atmosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere and the biosphere as well, that is, pollution affects every outer layer of our planet. In many cases, the damage is irreversible.

We, humans, are responsible for the pollution of the environment: the human population keeps growing, which results in increasing consumption. Higher standards of living also encourage people to consume more. To satisfy the increasing demand, energy production, as well as industrial and agricultural production must be intensified. In addition, the more we consume, the more waste and sewage we produce.

Certain pollutants cause greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere to rise, thus increasing the average temperature on Earth. Such pollutants are, for instance, carbon dioxide, resulting from forest fires and released by vehicles, and methane, a byproduct of farming.
Other types of pollutants, which are released into the atmosphere mainly as byproducts of the heavy industry, damage the ozone layer that surrounds the Earth. The quality of air in large cities is further damaged due to smog and heat pollution.

Water bodies are polluted by chemicals, pesticides, animal fertilisers, and various types of oil. In many countries, the purification of wastewater is still an unsolved problem. Moreover, pollutants contaminating waters filter into the ground. Increasing quantities of waste also put a significant burden on the soil. The decomposition of certain waste materials can take thousands of years, during which polluting substances are continuously filtering into the ground.

Because of global warming and urban heat islands, the use of air conditioners has become commonplace, leading to higher energy consumption. To satisfy increasing energy demand, many countries produce energy by building more power plants that pollute more and accelerate global warming. Global warming induces a climate change on Earth: some areas become desertified, leaving the barren land infertile, which cannot provide enough food. In desertified areas, another serious problem is the shortage of drinking water.
Global warming causes the disappearance of ice sheets and the melting of glaciers, leading to a rise in sea level.
Climate change, chemicals resulting from decomposing waste, agricultural and industrial activities, acid rain, as well as eutrophication all contribute to the destruction of wildlife. Accelerating industrialisation and the destruction of wildlife upset the balance of food chains and that of the entire ecosystem too.

Pollutants in water bodies cause the death of aquatic wildlife. Heat and the contamination of water and food can lead to the spread of diseases, which can eventually turn into epidemics.

Due to global warming and the shortage of drinking water and food, numerous areas become unsuitable for habitation. As a result, huge masses of people decide to migrate from these areas to places offering better living conditions.

If we do not take immediate action to protect the environment, pollution can have catastrophic consequences within a very short period of time. Everyone can make a difference by making well-informed consumer decisions and changing their lifestyle. We can, for example, use less plastic products, drive our cars less frequently, collect waste in selective containers, do composting and make our homes energy efficient. Every little step counts.

The protection of the environment is a challenge that has to be taken seriously by the entire society. Legislators play a crucial role in this respect, as the financing of environmental protection must be regulated by law. Governments must promote afforestation and public transport must be continually improved. Also, greater awareness should be created regarding waste management and wastewater treatment. Last but not least, every contaminating technology must be banned.

To tackle the problem of environmental pollution, it is not enough to take measures at local or national level, but global projects are needed, such as the "Ocean Cleanup" project. We must find a solution to overpopulation and overconsumption, as we do not precisely know how many people the Earth can sustain. Eco-friendly technologies regarding energy production, transport and packaging should be promoted all over the world. Also, an innovative technological solution must be developed to remove billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year.

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