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Environmental Issues on Global Health

Seven Environmental Issues

Complete the following chart by identifying seven environmental issues that affect global health. In the second column, describe in complete sentences how the issue affects global health.

|Environmental issue |How does the issue affect global health? |
|Population |People greedily consume resources, pollute the air and water, tear down natural habitats, |
| |introduce species into areas where they don’t belong and destroy ecosystems to the point |
| |of causing millions of species to become endangered and, all too often, go extinct. |
|Co2 Levels In the Atmosphere. |Polar sea ice loss is another threatening sign of carbon dioxide levels building up in the|
| |atmosphere. Unfortunately, it is the main force behind global warming. The world we live |
| |in and the greenhouse gas emissions caused by our modern way of life – vehicles, power |
| |plants, factories, giant livestock farms – continue to make the real the reality of |
| |reckless climate changes that are within decades if they stay at today’s levels. |
| |If emissions continue to rise, the average temperatures could increase by as much as 12 |
| |degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. This amount of increase could make the |
| |world uninhabitable for humans. |
|Polar Sea Ice loss |The polar sea ice is melting at an unparalleled rate, and it does not seem to be slowing |
| |down. This is a big wakeup call that global warming is real. British researchers said |
| |last week that the thickness of sea ice in the Arctic decreased dramatically last winter |
| |for the first time since records began in the early 1990s. The research showed a |
| |significant loss in thickness on the northern ice cap after the record loss of ice during |
| |the summer of 2007. |
|Destruction of the rain forest |The way things are headed half of the Amazon rain forest will likely be destroyed or |
| |severely damaged by 2030. The World Wildlife Fund concluded this summer that agriculture, |
| |drought, fire, logging and livestock ranching will cause major damage to 55 percent of the|
| |Amazon rain forest in the next 22 years. Thanks to global warming, another 4 percent will|
| |see damage due to reduced rainfall. These factors will destroy up to 80 percent of the |
| |rain forest’s wildlife. Losing 60 percent of the rain forest would accelerate global |
| |warming and affect rainfall in places as far away as India. Massive destruction to the |
| |rain forest would have a domino effect on the rest of the world. |
|Collapsing Fish Stock |Commercial fishermen have been pulling such a huge quantity of fish from the oceans and as|
| |a result the world is heading toward a global collapse of all species currently fished. |
| |Like large-scale mammal extinction, the collapse of fish species would have a major impact|
| |on the world’s ecosystems. |
|Ocean Dead Zones |The infamous “dead zones” are characterized by a lack of oxygen, and they are caused by |
| |excess nitrogen from emissions from vehicles, and factories, farm fertilizers, and |
| |sewage. The number of dead zones has been growing fast – since the 1960’s, the number of |
| |dead zones has doubled every 10 years. They range in size from under a square mile to |
| |45,000 square miles, and the most infamous one of all is in the Gulf of Mexico, a product |
| |of toxic sludge that flows down the Mississippi from farms in the Midwest. These ‘hypoxic’|
| |zones now cover an area roughly the size of Oregon. |
|Mammal Extinction |One in four mammals is threatened with extinction. That’s 25%, a huge number that will |
| |totally change the ecology of every corner of the earth. We could see thousands of species|
| |die out in our lifetime, and the rate of habitat loss and hunting in crucial areas like |
| |Southeast Asia, Central Africa and Central and South America is growing so rapidly, these |
| |animals barely have a chance. This will cause a serious imbalance in the world’s food |
| |chain. |

Which of the seven environmental issues is the most damaging to the environment and why?

There are much more than seven environmental issues when it comes to damaging the environment. The more I research this topic, the more alarmed I am with the amount of risks involved. All seven environmental problems detailed above are very serious, and we have to start treating them that way. Unfortunately, these problems aren’t going to magically solve themselves. The number one issue on my list is overpopulation; it is definitely the biggest problem. More people mean that we are putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because more people are doing it. Waste and overconsumption by people in general is a problem especially in the USA. American’s are encouraged to want more and most have a need to consume more than the planet can provide. People are the root cause to all the other issue; overpopulation just further complicates the other issues.

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