Pollution and Human Activities

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According to Hansen et al.:

The most predominant cause of climate change is the excessive pollution to the ecosystem being facilitated by human activities, also known as anthropogenic causes (8).

The characteristic effects of human activity in the society include but are not limited to:

Depletion of the available natural resources, increased pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, and contributing to the global climate change presently affecting the earth's ecosystem.

Pollution is considered as the harming of the environment by introducing substances that are either poisonous or have harmful effects (contaminants) (Rosner and Markowitz 127).

Additionally, pollution can exist in various forms such as heat, light, or noise, exerted as energy unlike the chemical constituents usually associated with pollution. Contamination can be caused by naturally occurring agents or foreign elements that originate from a point (air, noise, light, thermal) or nonpoint (precipitation, runoffs, atmospheric deposition) source in the environment.

While not all pollution is caused by human deeds:

It is a proven fact that most of the pollution affecting the society today is a direct result of human activities.

Intriguingly, the environment has suffered the most regarding the effects caused by pollution driven by human activities, which have subsequently created harsh conditions of living in the society.

Furthermore, the oceans have not been left out, and over time, the pollution levels in these water bodies have risen tremendously.

Human activities have played a significant role in the pollution of oceans, and subsequently, marine life has suffered to the point of extinction of some organisms (Bijma et al. 499).

However, despite the numerous effects caused by pollution influenced by anthropogenic causes, various remedies can be realized to mitigate the impact of pollution.

These remedial approaches provide a better chance to improve the quality of the earth's ecosystem by reducing pollution, which will result in marginal or completely eradicate the ensuing consequences.

Types and Causes of Pollution:

Air pollution:

Air pollution, which is the most dangerous and prominent form of pollution in today's society. Air pollution is a result of excessive emission of toxic substances into the earth's atmosphere.

The burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of the increased levels of air pollution due to the massive emissions that are released into the atmosphere when fossil fuel is burnt for energy purposes.

Despite the crucial role of energy in the society and the usefulness of fossil fuels in providing the energy, the effects of its use raise significant concerns due to the quantities of emission it releases to the atmosphere.

Also, smoke from industrial processes, burning of coal, vehicles, and burning of wood contribute to air pollution by releasing harmful gases into the atmosphere, making the air toxic.

Air pollution is responsible for the causes of acid rain, global warming, and destruction of the atmospheric ozone layer.

Short-term exposures to air pollution have led to irritations, infections, and allergies to various body organs in humans, while long-term exposures have resulted in cancer, heart and respiratory diseases, including the far-reaching negative impacts on food and water.

Contrastingly, litter to the oceans is primarily the cause of water pollution:

Which is increasingly raising awareness on the damage that pollution is causing to the planet.

Brown notes that almost 60 percent of the species on earth live in water bodies, and a large percentage is suffering from the effects caused by pollution of water bodies (62).

Litter finds its way to the ocean through oil spills, surface runoffs, acid rains, trash and waste that is washed to rivers and channeled to oceans, landfill wastes that are directed to the water bodies, containers and debris that fall into the oceans, and the uptake of carbon dioxide.

A lot of plastics are present in water bodies and are slowly poisoning the water since they hardly decompose and release toxins into the water.

These pollutants cause an imbalance in the water and create severe contamination that affects the aquatic life and in some instances causes the death of some species.

Human activities play a significant role in directing the contaminants to oceans.

Illegal logging and deforestation cause erosion, which exposes the soils to be washed to water bodies by surface runoffs.

Secondly, poor waste disposal practices also lead to ocean contamination when these pollutants find their way to the water bodies.

Thirdly, eutrophication caused by domestic uses of water forces detergents into the water, which blocks sunlight and reduces the oxygen content of the water bodies (Chislock et al. 10).

Another is ocean acidification, which is caused by the increased uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by oceans which act as carbon sinks, and affects the marine organisms.

The excessive use of fertilizers in agricultural practices results in some of the fertilizer finding its way to oceans when washed by runoffs.

As disclosed by Bijma et al., fertilizers cause the rapid growth of bacteria and plankton in the oceans, which exhausts the levels of oxygen in the water and deprives other aquatic organisms (501).

Oil spills also contaminate the water bodies by blocking the absorption of oxygen and sunlight into the water and affect marine life and animals dependent on water bodies for food and other purposes.

Overfishing and inappropriate fishing techniques also contaminate water and harm the food chains, including affecting the human dependence on the resources provided by water bodies (Bijma et al. 499).

Remedies to Mitigate Pollution:

Eradication of pollution is not a possible accomplishment since the use of resources results in the presence of waste products in the environment.

However, the proper management of the waste materials that result from various applications of natural resources is attainable, provided there is strict adherence to the set recommendations and goals.

It is crucial to reduce the use of fossil fuels in society to cutback the emissions released into the atmosphere.

The pollutant in the atmosphere has damaging effects on the environment and is mainly responsible for global climate change and its resultant effects (Hansen et al. 9).

Using public transportation, carpooling, biking and walking are some of the methods that can be used to reduce the utilization of fossil fuels.

The use of renewable forms of energy such as solar energy, hydropower, bioenergy and wind energy are suitable alternatives that can be used instead of fossil fuels to provide energy.

Furthermore, these renewable resources are sustainable and release light emission, thus, reducing pollution significantly.

Other desirable practices that can be adopted by humans include, reducing the dependency of fertilizers in agriculture or reducing the amounts of fertilizers used in farms, lawns, and gardens.

This approach will lessen the exposure to nonpoint pollution and improve the quality of the ecosystem.

Erosion can be moderated by the planting of trees and vegetative cover to reduce the agents of pollution such as surface runoffs.

Illegal logging and deforestation need to be entirely stopped since they deplete renewable resources and affect carbon sinks that significantly lower atmospheric pollution.

There should be improved waste disposal mechanisms to reduce the contact of waste materials to soils and water bodies to reduce their pollution.

Conservation, recycling, and reusing are some of the activities that can lead to positive impacts in reducing waste and pollution in society.

Lastly, the adoption of better energy utilization practices will lessen the amount of pollution to the environment.


The damaging consequences of climate change, global warming, and ozone layer depletion are related to pollution and influenced considerably by human activities.

Use of fossil fuels ranks as the leading cause of atmospheric pollution and affects the air quality, causes susceptibility to diseases in humans, and affects various sectors of the human society and environment.

Pollution not only affects the ecosystem but also directly leads to human health issues when the exposure exceeds the optimum levels.

The greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere are influenced by the burning of fossil fuels and are associated with harmful effects on the earth's ecosystem.

Despite anthropogenic causes affecting pollution in today's society, the adoption of sustainable mitigation practices provides reasonable solutions towards addressing pollution and its resultant effects.

Work Cited


Bijma, Jelle, et al. "Climate change and the oceans–what does the future hold?." Marine pollution bulletin 74.2 (2013): 495-505.

Brown, Greg. "The relationship between social values for ecosystem services and global land cover: an empirical analysis." Ecosystem Services 5 (2013): 58-68.

Chislock, Michael F., et al. "Eutrophication: causes, consequences, and controls in aquatic ecosystems." Nature Education Knowledge 4.4 (2013): 10.

Hansen, James, et al. "Assessing “dangerous climate change”: required reduction of carbon emissions to protect young people, future generations and nature." PloS one 8.12 (2013): e81648.

Rosner, David, and Gerald Markowitz. "Persistent pollutants: a brief history of the discovery of the widespread toxicity of chlorinated hydrocarbons." Environmental Research 120 (2013): 126-133.

October 05, 2023



Environment Problems

Subject area:

Pollution Air Pollution

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