Biodiversity is the sum total of the genetically based variety of all organisms in the biosphere and can be susceptible to natural and/or man-made changes. Human activities such as industry, agriculture, mining, transportation, construction, and habitations play a major role in the reduction of biodiversity.
The 5 major human impacts on the environment include-
- Deforestation- It refers to the cutting, clearing, and removal of rainforests or related ecosystems into less bio-diverse ecosystems such as pasture, cropland, or plantations.
Did you know?
Tropical rainforests, which cover 6-7% of the earth's surface, contain over half of all the plant and animal species in the world!
- Desertification-It is defined as a process of land degradation in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid areas due to various factors including climatic variations and human activities. It occurs when land that was originally of another type of biome turns into a desert biome because of changes of all sorts.
- Global warming- It is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released as people burn fossil fuels. It occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. Normally, this radiation would escape into space—but these pollutants, which can last for years to centuries in the atmosphere, trap the heat and cause the planet to get hotter. That's what's known as the greenhouse effect.
Did you know?
The global average surface temperature rose 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1 to 1.6° F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years!
- An invasive species- is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native. They are capable of causing extinctions of native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity, competing with native organisms for limited resources, and altering habitats.
- Overharvesting- It is the harvesting of plants or animals in an unsustainable manner. It threatens biodiversity by degrading ecosystems and eliminating species of plants, animals, and other organisms. Whereas the most-familiar cases involve whales and fisheries, species of trees and other plants, especially those valued for their wood or for medicines, also can be exterminated in this way.