Humans and the Environment: A Disturbing Correlation?

Humans and the Environment: A Disturbing Correlation?

Humans are obviously dependent upon the environment. We interact with our surroundings in various ways. For example, we adapt to our environment. People use umbrellas when it is raining and wear warm clothes when it is cold. Obviously. Humans also need our environment for things like sunlight and oxygen. Again, obviously. 

Another example of human-environment interaction is how we modify our world. This is a huge one. We are harming Earth, the place we live and call home, rather crudely. You’ve probably heard about global warming, right? Well, humans are a major contributor to that.

Global warming is associated with an increase in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This is mainly caused by increased levels of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. This is also directly connected to something known as the greenhouse effect. In a nutshell, the greenhouse effect causes a planet to warm up due to greenhouse gases.

You have probably heard that global warming is simply bad, right? Well, you should know that it is beyond bad, it is atrocious and unacceptable. The rate of global warming is increasing at an exponential rate. If there was no greenhouse effect, Earth’s average surface temperature would be -18 degrees Celsius instead of today’s 15 degrees Celsius, according to NASA. Think about it — that is a huge difference! 

According to the New York Times, the average temperature across the United States was 55.3 degrees in 2012. That ranked as the warmest year since records began in 1895.

Humans are also causing other major changes in our environment. Rising temperatures, stronger storms, and more flooding are just a few out of the innumerable. Violent storms are occurring at a faster rate today ,and now they are even deadlier. Just take the so-called “Superstorm Sandy” for an example. That powerful hurricane impacted almost everybody on the East Coast of the United States. That storm is responsible for at least 147 deaths in the Northeast, Canada, and the Caribbean, according to CNN

The sea levels around the world are considerably rising, too. That is, in part, because of arctic ice and glaciers melting. More heatwaves and wildfires are also becoming more common. California is currently suffering an enormous drought. People are being forced to save basic life necessities, especially water.

You might be wondering if humans are really causing all of this. Well, they surely are. They are cutting down trees after trees after trees to make commodities like paper. Also, don’t even let me mention how many papers and other things like plastic we are wasting every single day. It is outrageous! 

Humans are causing tons and tons of pollution to our atmosphere. According to the Huffington Post Canada, the number of cars worldwide has surpassed 1 billion! For comparison, the population of the entire world is about 7 billion people. 

We are also burning a great deal of fossil fuels, which cause pollution and add greenhouse gases to our atmosphere. According to National Geographic, humans are adding carbon dioxide to our environment faster than plants can absorb it. People are also adding pollution to lakes, oceans, and other natural features. 

The environment is crucial to everyone’s lives. Humans depend on it and need it. However, we are harming more than we are helping. If this continues, we will all be in great trouble. We must take action to help our environment! Get more hard facts about Global Warming at National Geographic.