Ques. Not all damage that is being done to the Environment and Ecology is anthropogenic. Elaborate while giving examples.
- Briefly introduce about Anthropogenic factors that damage the Environment.
- Various natural factors which affect and damage the environment, along with giving examples and at the same time discuss how they impact the environment by structuring it as immediate, short term and long-term impacts.
- Interlinkages between the natural and anthropogenic factors and how one influence the other and to adopt the policy measure taking care of both.
- Anthropogenic impact on the environment includes changes to biophysical ecosystem, biodiversity and natural resources including global warming, environmental degradation such as Ocean acidification) mass extinction, biodiversity loss, ecological crisis and ecological collapse.
- Humans damage the environment in the form of Overpopulation (exerting pressure on natural resources), pollution (air, water and others), Genetic modification (which may lead to ecological imbalance), Deforestation (leading to draughts), Ozone depletion (leading to climate change) etc.
- While anthropogenic factors are one of the major factors, natural factors at the same time also contribute heavily to the damage that is being caused to the Environment in ways such as –
o Climatic Variations like El Nino, monsoon.
o Floods – Orissa floods, Kerala floods
o Draughts – Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu are the most affected states.
o Earthquakes – April 2015 Nepal earthquake
o Landslides and Avalanches
o Forest fires – recent forest fires that of Australia and Brazil.
o Volcanic Explosions – biggest volcanic explosion of Tambora.
o Other natural factors such as food pests, meteoritic impact.
- Processes such as earthquakes, hurricanes and flood, influence environment immediately whereas others have a longer term impact over years or centuries (such as draughts going on for decades), while others such as meteoritic impact (as in the case of Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary event and the associated extinction of dinosaurs), would have an immediate, and likely non recoverable influence on the the survivability of mankind and environment and ecology at large.
- So natural environmental events range across the full spectrum of time and space scales and range from local, recoverable events, to irrecoverable long term and short-term events.
- However today both natural and anthropogenic factors have become interlinked, one intensifying the other. Example – Today, human induced pollution leads to climate change which in turn results into emergence of natural disasters such as climatic variations, floods etc, over population exerts pressure on the natural resource such as ground water which when continued for long time leads to draught.
- So, need of the hour is to adopt comprehensive measures taking into account the interlinkages, experiences and learnings from past disasters in order to shape and save the Environment and Ecology in best of the forms.