Global Environmental Issues


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The earth is also dug up to get to raw materials. This photo from Germany shows how brown coal mining strips away the topsoil.

Environmental Concerns

Through resource extraction, land that could provide wildlife habitat, or be used for agriculture or human habitation, is lost. It takes 2, years for nature to produce a centimeter 4-inch layer of fertile soil that holds water and nutrients, and where plants can grow. To protect fertile soils worldwide, the United Nations has declared International Year of Soils. Problem: Human population continues to grow rapidly worldwide. Humanity entered the 20th century with 1. Estimates put us at nearly 10 billion by Growing global populations, combined with growing affluence, is putting ever greater pressure on essential natural resources, like water.

Most of the growth is happening on the African continent, and in southern and eastern Asia. Solutions: Experience has shown that when women are empowered to control their own reproduction, and gain access to education and basic social services , the average number of births per woman drops precipitously. Done right, networked aid systems could bring women out of extreme poverty, even in countries where state-level governance remains abysmal.

In , 3. Our numbers today exceed 7. China and India top the global population list, with 1. About 64 percent of the world's population were rural dwellers in That's changed drastically. In , the proportion had dropped to 45 percent. Source: WorldBank. We are becoming city people instead.

The number of us living in urban areas rose from 1. According to the latest estimates, the majority of us are living in urban areas even in less developed countries. People love cars, right? But do you know how many there are today?


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The exact figure is hard to come by but estimations draw a relatively a clear picture. In , million cars were on the road worldwide. That number shot up to 1 billion in and will have skyrocketed to 2 billion by The figures include cars, all kinds of trucks as well as buses. Source: Wikipedia.

In , the first Boeing began its passenger service, flying passengers from New York to London. Those people were among the million passengers who flew that year. Around 3. Source: Worldbank. Do you ever think about oil? Well, there's still plenty in the ground and we should keep it there if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. But we actually put a lot of effort into getting the black gold out instead. Crude oil production has nearly doubled from 48, barrels a day in to 92, barrels in Source: Statista. Whatever we do, we create carbon emissions.

And - rather unsurprisingly - we create a lot.

Current Environmental Issues

Back in , the world's population exhaled about In , we breathed out about 35 billion tons. The Amazon is one of the most precious and impressive rainforests on Earth. It's described as the world's green lung because it sucks up so much carbon dioxide. But mankind uses lots of wood and the lung is shrinking.

Its area fell from 4,, square kilometers in to 3,, square kilometers in In other words, 81 percent of 's forest cover still remains. Source: Mongabay. Hurricane Matthew has moved on, but people from Haiti to the US are still dealing with its deadly effects. DW asked an expert whether climate change is making these storms more dangerous - and what we can do to prepare. The idea of buying a forest sounds about as realistic as buying an island, but the Remscheid-based project 'Wald 2.

All for the common good. The World Wildlife Conference has wrapped up in Johannesburg with delegates tightening rules on the trafficking of species including sharks, pangolins and parrots. The meeting has been described as a "game changer. Seven types of Hawaiian native bees are now facing possible extinction, US wildlife authorities say. Another bee found in the continental US is also being considered for protection.

Climate scientists have called on governments to 'double or triple' their efforts under the Paris agreement. The closer to the threshold of 2 degrees, the more severe the consequences, they warn. The World Health Organization has released a new report showing that nearly everywhere people live, the air is polluted beyond safe levels.

10. Public Health

Polluted air doesn't just smell bad - it's unhealthy, even life-threatening. On Indonesia's eastern islands, the last wild forests are being clear-cut and replaced with oil palm plantations. Although the product is practically indispensible, green groups say virgin land needn't be cleared for it.

The world's population is growing at the expense of women's health. With nearly one in five women already mothers by their 18th birthday, the UN has made women's rights the focus of this year's World Population Day. Water scarcity has long been a problem.

International environmental issues (article) | Khan Academy

But climate change, a growing global population and economic growth are putting the natural resource under even more stress. Massive amounts of fertile agricultural land are lost every year. Yet we depend on such topsoil as the basis for feeding the world. So, what needs to be done to assure healthy soils and thus food security?

Current Environmental News

European Union environment ministers are discussing implementation of the Paris Agreement on Friday A timely transition out of fossil fuels is doable, says Alexander Ochs from Worldwatch. That is, if we act now. In - the last time humanity consumed the resources of just one earth in a year - many of you probably weren't even born.

Since then, we've added almost another earth to our yearly needs. The changes in figures. The worldwide hunger for nutrition, animal feed und biomass for energy production is rising continuously. Through erosion und misuse, around 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil are lost each year. The rainforest in the Amazon region continues to disappear. Slash-and-burn practices and deforestation have destroyed an area of more than 5, square kilometers this year alone. Animal and plant species are dying out about a hundred times faster than just a few centuries ago, according to a new study.

Five of the world's biggest environmental problems

Humankind itself might also soon be at risk. Smog hangs over Ulan Bator - like every winter.

unonweelito.cf This air pollution and intense cold is damaging the lungs of year-old Tsegi. Photographer Sebastiao Salgado has been honored for environmental work in Brazil, where he revived the lost forests of his childhood. The German Publishers and Booksellers Association said his work promotes biodiversity.

The UN's scientific body on climate change highlights in a new report the strong connection between land use and climate change. A radical change in the food system is key to people's livelihoods and health worldwide. New Delhi construction is fueling the devastation of India's ancient Aravali Hills, impacting water, desertification and air pollution.

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