Current Environmental Issues

Current Environmental Issues

Jordyn Seamans, Writer

The environment is always changing and the human race needs to be more aware and open to helping improve the world we live in. These are some of the major problems we are facing right now.

The first problem we see is habitat destruction, which leads to the loss of much biodiversity. Biodiversity is typically a measure of variation at the genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Habitat fragmentation is where roads or cities block routes that animals usually travel over, which can separate populations and cause a decline in genetic diversity. Destruction of habitats is very vital to migrating animals, as many migrating birds require rest spots to feed, and these places are being destroyed and turned into farms or cities. And, deforestation leads to a loss of biomes and places many organisms at risk of extinction. Mining of coal and oil can ruin habitats and spread dangerous gases and particles into the air, harming both people and wildlife.

The second significant problem has to do with the ocean. Plastics in the ocean kill over a million marine animals every year, and has put 700 species at risk of extinction. Some seabirds have eaten 15% of their weight in plastic, this is equivalent to 20 pizzas in a human. Some whales have been found with 6 square meters of plastic in their stomach.

Another issue involves overharvesting of fish stocks in the oceans. Ocean acidification is lowering the pH of the ocean due to carbon emissions, carbon enters the ocean, and causes coral bleaching is ruining very diverse ecosystems.

The fourth problem has to do with rising sea levels due to the melting of the sea ice. Due to too many nutrients in water due to agricultural runoff and the algae from this depletes all the oxygen in the water which kills fish.

Noise pollution interrupts animal communication, especially in the ocean with whales and fish. Military sonar can disrupt cetacean (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) navigation can cause them to obtain brain damage and beach themselves.

Light Pollution can disrupt nocturnal animal’s cycle. It can also cause newly hatched sea turtles, who instinctively go towards the moonlight over the ocean, to move towards bright cities where they will get stuck and be killed from cars, pets, exhaustion, and starvation.