Conservation work is going on across the country and this is helping to preserve the wildlife and countryside that we have left. The expanding human population has placed a huge demand on the food production of the country. The resources are limited but the population is increasing quite rapidly so the problems are growing. The demand for food means that crops need to be perfect so the use of fertilizers and herbicides is increasing too.
Factory chimneys emit sulphur dioxide, which has to be monitored. Sulphur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by industrial processes is ultimately converted into dilute sulphuric acid, returning to Earth as acid rain. For this reason, sulphur dioxide is a major cause of air pollution.
Crude oil, known as petrol, is used in the manufacture of fertilisers, medicines, plastic, building materials, paints and to generate electricity. It is also used for the fuelling of transport such as cars and planes. Petrol contains hydrocarbons and sulphur. When the hydrocarbons and sulphur are burned for use they give off sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide.
These gases are harmful to the environment. Sulphur dioxide forms sulphuric acid and causes acid rain, carbon dioxide adds to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect means that the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that usually prevent heat loss from the earth are increasing.
This results in raised temperatures on earth leading to partial melting of the polar ice caps. If the ice caps melted too much some countries would be flooded, if they were all to melt then the whole world would be underwater.
The government is trying to reverse some of the effects man has had on the environment, for example, factories have to monitor the amount of emissions that come from their chimneys very closely and if they emit too much sulphur dioxide or other harmful chemicals then the factory can be closed down.
Factories also have to monitor the amount of chemicals that they pump into the drains, they have to neutralise the effluent before it is pumped into the main drainage system to prevent any chemicals getting into the main sewers and into the rivers and affecting the ecosystem of die rivers.
Some waste can be recycled, at the water treatment works they can make the water clean enough, may be not to drink, but to water non-edible crops and for industrial processes and recreation.
Crop rotation is another way in which the land is being preserved a little more. Different crops are being grown in different places so that the same nutrients aren’t being used from the same piece of soil every time and therefore the nutrients are being used in equal quantities.
The nutrients in the soil then have time to replenish themselves over the years. In addition, natural fertilisers are being used like farmyard manure instead of phosphates and nitrates. This means that the nutrients are released slowly as they decay and therefore improve the structure of the soil.
The demand on agriculture to increase food production conflicts greatly with the need to protect the environment. Organic crops are becoming more popular as they don’t have any fertilisers on them, which affect the environment. Many farmers are turning to organic crops and the government is introducing incentives to try to encourage farmers to grow organic food as it can be expensive.
Organic food production seems to be a very good idea. It protects the environment as it doesn’t involve the use of herbicides and fertilisers and it allows the farmers to carry on producing food in large enough quantities.
Man’s effects on the environment are many but the effects are being slowed down and where possible reversed. The consequences of many years of abuse to the earth are being realised and people are trying to do something about it.
Tillage operations that prepare the soil for planting and control weeds expose bare soil to possible erosion by wind and water. Erosion removes fertile soil and contributes to problems of air and water pollution.
Several techniques are used to combat erosion. Crop rotation is also being increasingly used to hold soil in place between plantings. Still, many small-seeded crops require a finely worked seedbed, and soil erosion cannot be eliminated.
Global warming is being reduced as much as possible by the reduction of toxic emissions and wastewater is being recycled instead of pumped into rivers and seas. Man is trying to reverse and slow down the effects on the environment although some things cannot be reversed.