Environment refers to everything that surrounds and influences an organism. Our environment is getting worse day by day, and we are suffering for other people and our mistakes. We might not be able to see all of the bad things in our environment, but they are for sure there. This could affect our families and our future one day. There are some problems affecting the environmental stability, namely- ozone depletion, enhanced greenhouse effect, global warming, and climate change.
First, what is ozone depletion? Ozone depletion is defined as the thinning of the ozone layer, caused by a group of manufactured chemicals called ozone-depleting substances (ODS). Ozone –depleting-substances include chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl bromide, hydrobromofluorocarbons, and Bromochloromethane. Chlorofluorocarbons are mostly used in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump systems. Halons are used historically as fire suppression agents and fire fighting, but now only allowed in very limited situations. Carbon tetrachlorides are limited solvent use in laboratories and chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Methyl bromides are historically used in fumigation, soil treatment, pest control, quarantine, market gardening. Hydrobromofluorocarbons are historically used in fire suppression systems and fire fighting. Bromochloromethanes are historically used in the manufacture of biocides.
Second, what is enhanced greenhouse effect? Enhanced greenhouse effect is an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that results in more heat being retained and an overall warming of the Earth’s temperature. Although they make up a small percentage of atmospheric gases, changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases have a huge effect on the balance of natural processes. Burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Cutting down and burning trees also produce a lot of carbon dioxide. Because there are more and more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, more heat is trapped which makes the Earth warmer. This is known as global warming.
Global warming is the increase of Earth’s average surface temperature due to effect of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation, which trap heat that would otherwise escape from Earth. This is a type of greenhouse effect.
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. Global climate change will affect people and the environment in many ways. Some of these impacts, like stronger hurricanes and severe heat waves, could be life threatening. Others, like spreading weeds, will be less serious. And some effects, like longer growing seasons for crops, might even be good! However, as the Earth keeps getting warmer, the negative effects are expected to outweigh the positive ones.
From the previous discussions I have made, we already have known how ozone depletion, enhanced greenhouse effect, global warming, and climate change would affect the environment. I think, if ozone depletion would still continue, the rate of skin cancers, cataracts, genetic changes and inability of human systems to respond to infection, will increase because, much UV rays can now enter the earth. I also think that, if enhanced greenhouse effect would continue to increase, more heat will be trapped in the atmosphere that will result in global warming of the earth.
With connection to the enhanced greenhouse effect, if global warming would still continue, sea levels could rise due to the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps, and the current patterns of rainfall could change drastically around the world. With regards to climate change, if it would still continue, many larger cities could experience a significant rise in the number of very hot days. Air pollution problems would increase, placing children and elderly people suffering from respiratory problems.
Each and everyone of us should be aware of what is happening in our environment. We could reach out to people who don’t care about our surroundings and we could change their negative attitudes to positive ones in creating a better place for us to live in. I guess, by becoming more environmentally aware we can minimize the detrimental effect we have on our world by keeping ourselves fully informed about the bad effects of these environmental issues such as- ozone depletion, greenhouse effect, global warming, and climate change.