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Concept of an environment

Throughout history humans have influenced and been influenced by the natural world. While much of our impact has been detrimental to the naturalenvironment, we have preserved and protected certain resources that are important to us. The environment, while highly valued by most, is used andaltered by a wide variety of people with many different interests and values. Difficulties remain on how best to ensure the protection of our environment andnatural resources, and how to divide the earth’s resources equally so that all benefit, and not just a select few.

There are currently many uncertainties regarding the future of the natural environment. However it is clear that humans have had a role in its destructionand will be responsible in the future for its conservation. Environmental problems are becoming more and more complex, especially as issues arise on amore global level, such as that of atmospheric pollution or global warming. There is a realization that such complex problems will demand complex solutionsand the participation of all.

The challenge is to find approaches to environmental management that give people the quality of life they seek while protecting the environmental systems thatare also the foundations of our well being. In order to face these challenges, students today will need more than superficial knowledge or awareness ofdisconnected environmental issues. A multidisciplinary approach to learning can build upon the strengths of a wide range of fields of study, providing a deeperunderstanding of the technological, political, and social options and strategies for both studying and managing the relationship between our societyand the environment. There will always be tradeoffs and, many times, unanticipated or unintended consequences.

Abiotic and biotic factors: effects on the community

There a number of characteristics of your local environment that can be classified into three broad categories, which can be called the“ABC’s of the environment.”

In the ABC’s of the environment,

A-refers to the abiotic (physical, non-living) features of the area

B- identifies the biotic (plant and animal) component of the environment.

C-C is the cultural (human) influences.

Some ecologists think of the ABC’s as forming a triangle with inter- relating sides. In a civilization as complex as ours, no single side can existuninfluenced by others.

How humans have an impact on the environment

The effect of humans on the composition of the atmosphere and the climate

This section will summarize some of the impacts that human’s have had on the environment. In particular we will look at the effect of humans on ourabiotic (non-living) environment.


Ozone Depletion: the ozone layer which prevents UV light from entering the earth’s surface is being destroyed by CFC’s and pollution

Greenhouse Effect: The UV light is being trapped within the earth’s atmosphere by a “blanket” of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, such asmethane and nitrous oxide. The main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide and methane. They absorb much of the energy radiated from Earth and then re-radiateit back to Earth. The levels of these gases in the atmosphere are slowly rising. Carbon dioxide is produced when fossil fuels are burnt. Methane isreleased by cattle and from rice fields. An increase of only a few degrees Celsius may cause big changes in the Earth’s climate, upsetting weatherpatterns and affecting the types of crops that can be grown in different parts of the world. Polar ice caps may melt, causing the sea level to rise.

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
why and for what was five kingdom of classification of organisms introduced
give the ans as fast as possible
Comment on the ozone depletion over the period of 1982 to 1996
Mpho Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula: life sciences grade 10. OpenStax CNX. Apr 11, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11410/1.3
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