The earth is a planet with extreme variation in bio-diversity, geography, and climate. It is the only known planet to support intelligent life, and is a place that all human beings call home. Since the dawn of time, humans have relied on the planet around them, both land and sea, to provide them with resources and food. Often, people tend to forget that it is not just their home, but is also home to millions other different species of animals as well, and home to an even greater number of plant species. This is in terms of terrestrial, land-dwelling life. In terms of aquatic life, researchers know very little of what is potentially in our earth’s waters. However, it is safe to say that it may be even more diverse and numerous than what lies above the surface of the oceans and lakes, considering oceans cover about 75% of the earth’s surface. Consequently, with all the life on earth, natural competition and selection takes place between everything to determine who and what lives and dies, including human beings. The problem is this; humans have taken the “natural” out of “natural competition”, because they do not extract and use their resources in a natural and sustainable way. We humans, degrade and take horrible care of our planet.
The degradation of earth is caused by many human factors. Today I am going to talk about 3 of them. First I will talk to you about deforestation. Next I will talk to you about Ocean pollution. Last, I will talk to you about overfishing.
Each brings its own unique onslaught of problems. Each provides just another way in which the earth can become less beautiful. In the Oceans and on land, there is an abundance of diverse life, especially the rainforest. Sciennected says the rainforest is home to approximately 70% of the world’s animal species and 25 % of the world's medicine is derived from rainforest plants.
Unfortunately, deforestation is clearing Earth's rainforests, which according to national geographic, cover about 30% of earth’s land surface. This almost always results in damage to the quality of the land. Rainforests are cut down for many reasons, but most of them are related to money or to people’s survival. The biggest reason for deforestation is agriculture. Farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Logging operations, which provide the world’s wood and paper products, also cut countless trees each year. Loggers, some of them acting illegally, also build roads to access more and more remote forests, which leads to further deforestation. Forests are also cut as a result of growing urbanization. However, not all deforestation is intentional. Some is caused by a combination of human and natural factors like wildfires and overgrazing, which may prevent the growth of new trees. So, aside from obvious habitat destruction, what is so bad about deforestation?
Removing trees deprives the rainforest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day and holds in heat at night. This disruption leads to more extreme temperatures swings that can be harmful to plants and animals. Forest soils are moist, but without protection from sun-blocking tree cover they quickly dry out. Trees also contribute to the water cycle by returning water vapor back into the air. Without trees to perform this process, many rainforests would quickly become arid deserts (National Geographic Society, Deforestation). Another problem is one that has to do with the root systems in rainforests. The roots of the massive trees in the rainforests keep the soil nutrient rich and hard packed. When trees are cut down, most of the time the stumps are not removed, which prevents new trees from growing in their place. When the stumps lie there dormant, the roots eventually die out and no longer enrich the soil or hold it in place. This leads to a number of problems. First, the soil obviously would not be rich enough to sustain plant life and this would disrupt...
Cited: "Deforestation." National Geographic. National Geographic Society. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. .
"The Ocean." National Geographic. National Geographic Society. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. .
"Rainforest Animals." Rainforest Animals. Sciennected. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. .
"The World 's Biggest Landfill - Ocean Pollution - Oprah.com." Oprah.com. Harpo Productions, Inc, 22 Apr. 2009. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. .
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