How Humans Affect the Environment ?

From the time Homo Sapiens first walked the earth, until now, billions of years later, human activity has proliferated and left permanent footprints that have only increased with time. With rising concerns about climate change, global warming and pollution, it’s time to assess the impact of human activities on the environment.

At this juncture in the natural history of our world, pristine ecosystems are almost on the verge of extinction. Humans have modified and exploited the environment in every way possible for the benefit of humanity. Thus, human civilization has left both a positive as well as a negative impact on the natural world, altering our environment and ecosystems forever.

Read on to find out the extent of human impact on the environment and how our species has had a lasting effect on the planet.

How do Humans Affect their Environment?

Following are some of the well-known and highly debated effects or factors that have contributed to the loss of our ecological systems –

  1. Overpopulation.

  2. Deforestation.

  3. Pollution.

  4. Waste Disposal.

  5. Over-exploitation of natural resources.

The last two centuries have seen hundreds of extinctions of rare animal and plant species. In contrast, the millions of years that it takes for a natural extinction to occur shows us how human activities affect the environment. 

Here are some factors that have contributed to the loss of ecological cover.

  1. Pollution

From the trash we throw onto highways to the tonnes of waste that industries release into the atmosphere every year – it is evident how big a role pollution has played in the degradation of the environment.

Moreover, pollution is so intense that almost over 2.4 billion people all over the world still don't have clean drinking water.

From the continuous pollution of precious natural resources such as air, soil and water, to the sewage collecting in water bodies every day, pollution is arguably the most harmful human impact on the environment.

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  1. Global Warming

Increasing CO2 levels resulting from fossil fuels and deforestation has led to widespread global warming. At current rate – the levels of CO2 lie way beyond 400 PPM, contributing to the planet’s increasing temperatures.

Furthermore, with global warming gaining more and more momentum across every part of the world, the arctic glaciers and land ice stand threatened. Likewise, as the temperature increases, more and more ice has started to absorb the heat.

As a result, the ocean level has risen at a rate of 3.42 mm every year, with the possible rise of ocean and sea levels by 1 to 4 feet looming in the near future.

Do you know: Global warming poses a dire threat to our planet and our communities. Ask your teacher or mentor and find out more about the various effects of human activities on the environment.

  1. Climate Change

Climate change is very closely connected to the industrial revolution and the subsequent progress of technology. It is the most raging environmental issue of our times. As the earth's temperature drastically increases, a drastic change in the weather patterns has been observed.

Moreover, scientists estimate that with time, places and countries will soon start experiencing a change in seasons, intense droughts, heatwaves and cyclonic disturbances. Consequently, the deterioration of air quality and increasing temperatures has led to the destruction of pristine ecosystems and increased diseases in humans.

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Pop Quiz 1

How does human population affect the environment?

  1. Pollution

  2. Climate change

  3. Global warming

  4. All of these

Activity: Increase your awareness of the environment by researching on Google and write a human impact on the environment article.

  1. Ozone Depletion

The ozone layer, known for its ability to absorb harmful UV rays from the sun, is experiencing a slow depletion over the years. Because of the extensive usage of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorine and bromine compounds, the earth’s ozone layer may soon lose the capacity to absorb UV light as a consequence.

To sum it up, it is essential that we support and protect the planet we live on, and reduce the damage done so far, and the enormous human impact on the environment.

These were a few facts about human impact on the environment. For additional information, refer to our collection of study material, revision notes and sample papers. Install the Vedantu app as well to participate in live online classes.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How do Humans Affect the Environment?

Ans: Humans affect the environment in several ways, including overpopulation, pollution, ozone depletion, etc.

2. What are Three Activities that Affect Our Environment?

Ans: Three human activities that affect our environment are industrial development, pollution and deforestation.

3. What is Climate Change?

Ans: A drastic change observed in the climate patterns of a region or country, that can be attributed to increasing levels of carbon dioxide, and pollution is known as climate change.