Environmental problems due to population growth

A number of problems arise in the environment due to increase in population including pollution. In this resource I will mention all the problems that arise due to increased population.

As the population of the world is rising in geometric progression, the resources of the earth are also getting depleted and the environment is getting polluted

1) For the ever-growing population to live land is not available, hence the forests, grasslands and wetlands are cleared-off. This disturbs the natural ecosystem of the earth.

2) Increased population in the rural areas is leading to fragmentation of farmlands.

3) Clearing of forests are leading to extinction of wild animals and wild plant species, hence ecological balance is disturbed. For example, endangered number of panda species due to clearing of evergreen forests.

4) As the population is rising, more number of people is polluting the water, air and land resources.

5) To meet the basic requirements of man, more industries are coming up. These industries dump the chemicals from their factories into rivers, ponds thereby polluting the water. For example, excessive pollution of Ganges River.

6) Oil tankers transporting oil to meet the requirements of vehicles for humans are often prone to accidents. For example, English Channel was polluted with crude petroleum oil when an accident occurred in the oil tanker 'Torrey Canyon'. This lead to dumping of 1,18,000 tonnes of the crude petroleum oil which killed thousands of marine fishes and plants.

7) Usage of soap detergents and bleaching agents while washing clothes pollutes the water and affects the aquatic life.

8) Increased usage of air conditioners (releases CFCs) by the humans is leading to damage of the Ozone layer, which prevents the ultraviolet rays of the sun to reach the earth.

9) The aerosols which are used in readymade shaving foams and body hair sprays are also responsible for breakdown (destruction) of the Ozone layer.

10) Over-exploitation of the natural resource has occurred in order to meet the increasing demands of the population. Hence, our resources are getting exhausted.

11) More number of houses are constructed which requires wood, hence trees are felled.

12) Depletion of forest lands to make the land available for agriculture is reducing rainfall. Trees help in the formation of rain bearing clouds.

13) Massive destruction of trees of the forest is contributing to the loss of top soil also.

14) To meet the water demands by the ever-growing population, more number of borewells is dug. This is leading to decrease in the ground water table.

15) Construction of dams to meet the water requirements of the public has also created disturbances in the environment, i.e., quality of soil decreased; salinity of soil occurred and increased potential for earth tremors.

16) The industries release harmful gases into the air which pollutes the environment. For example, in 1952, in London, harmful fumes which were released from factories and automobiles did not raise high into the atmosphere due to the fog. This led to smog (smoke + fog) which adversely affected the development and growth of plants and also affected humans.

17) To meet the demands of food, new agricultural methods are followed. The usage of fertilizers and pesticides on the crops is polluting the waters indirectly. The Green Revolution of 1960 produced large amounts of food but led to many environmental problems.

18) As the number of vehicles on roads are increasing, large amounts of sulphurous compounds are released, which leads to acid rain. Acid rains are harmful to plants and also to historical monuments. For example, Taj Mahal.

19) Dumping of garbage, solid wastes from the factories onto the land also poses environmental problems.

20) Over-dumping of wastes in waters is responsible for breeding of mosquitoes and other disease causing organism. To eradicate these mosquitoes, DDT was used. For example, DDT was extensively used around Lake Michigan in North America to eradicate these mosquitoes. Later, it was known that the plants and animals in the lake retained DDT in their bodies. The pelican birds which ate these fishes had even more higher concentrations of DDT, which affected the reproductive system of these birds. The eggs of the pelicans were broken even before hatching could occur. This decreased the population of pelicans drastically.


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