Relationships between society and nature have become much more complicated in the conditions of scientific-technical progress. People received the opportunity to influence the course of natural processes, have subdued the forces of nature, began to master almost all of the available regenerative and non-renewable natural resources, but to pollute and destroy the environment.
Air pollution has remained the major problem in the modern society. It is defined as the introduction by man into the environment of substances or energy liable to cause hazard to human health, harm to living resources and ecological systems. (Tiwary, Colls, & Colls, 2010) Artificial (anthropogenic) pollution of the atmosphere occurs as a result of changes its composition and properties under the influence of human activities. According to the structure and the nature of the impact on the atmosphere, artificial sources of pollution conditionally divided into technical (dust of cement plants, smoke and soot from combustion coal) and chemical (dust or gaseous substances which may enter in a chemical reaction).
Serious damage to the environment is caused by chemical industry. For example, sulphur compounds, oxides of nitrogen and chlorine are especially dangerous. A significant source of pollution is also the enterprise of ferrous metallurgy. They emit a lot of dust, grime, soot, heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, copper, nickel, zinc, chromium). These substances are almost regular components of air of industrial centres. Problem of air pollution with lead is particularly acute.
Moreover, almost all types of modern transport pollute air and number ofthem is constantly increasing worldwide. Almost all componentsof car exhaust gases are harmful to the human body, and oxides nitrogen take an active part in the creation of photochemical smog. However, I believe that the greatest threat to mankind is the pollution of the atmosphere by radioactive substances. This problem first appeared in 1945 after the explosion of two nuclear bombs dropped from American planes on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nowadays, leaders of big nations are trying to solve this issue, however this problem still exists.
Another big question is global warming. Some researchers believe that this is due to changes in Space, other that is this is a result of greenhouse gases increasing. According to representatives of the World Meteorological Organization the trend towards global warming on the planet lasts for 23 years (WMO statement on the status of the global climate in 2014, 2015). However, still there is no consensus today regarding either human or native activity has a predominant influence on climate change.
What consequences of global warming we can expect? Future climate change may lead to movement toward the poles of the borders of climatic zones several hundred kilometres over the next 50 years. Changes in the flora and fauna will lag behind the climate shifts and stay in their modern habitats, being therefore in a different climate regime. These modes can be more or less favourable for different species. Most at risk are those of biological communities, adaptive capacities which are limited and those communities where climate change adds to existing stresses. Socio-economic consequences of these impacts will be significant, especially for those regions of the globe where the welfare of society and the economy depend on natural terrestrial ecosystems.
Houghton states that this a very much larger and more challenging problem to tackle than people think, as the expected sharp increase in global temperatures will affect human health, amenity and the lifestyle of people, food production, economic activities, settlement patterns and migration. (Houghton, 2009)
The projected increase in population will cause a major impact on land use, energy consumption, fresh water, food and housing. Currently, there is sufficient evidence that suggests that climate change will have a significant impact on agriculture and livestock. As a result of projected changes will require the introduction of new technologies and methods of agriculture. The impact on some regions can be very serious, including possible reduction of production in regions which today are very vulnerable and the worst that can adapt to climate change. All this factors could exacerbate the difficulties associated with rapid population growth.
In terms of environmental destruction there should be also mentioned problem of cutting trees, as forests are the main supplier of oxygen in atmosphere. Over the past 200 years the forest area on Earth decreased by approximately 2 times. Every year the world's forests are being depleted on the area of 125 thousand square km, which is equal to the territory of Austria and Switzerland combined. In highly developed countries forests are reduced and degraded due to contamination of the air environment and soil. Moreover, deforestation of the territories for excessive cutting causes the top layer of soil, unfortified by the roots, washed away or carried away by the wind; the land is degraded; the grass cover of pastures is impoverished as well. It should have also been mentioned that the restoration of forest for each hectare requires 15-20 years.
The destruction of human habitats of animals and plants, today it is becoming too dangerous. Today, there are about 600 species of birds and 120 species of mammals, many fish, amphibians, molluscs and insects under the threat of destruction. Especially dangerous is the rapid reduction of tropical forest that is the habitat of life for many animal species. According to World Society for the Protection of Animals more than 100 species of animals, 140 species of birds disappeared for the last thousand years ("Animals in disasters", 2016). In my humble opinion, any animal is a centuries-long creation of evolution, and each of them has an equal rights with us and performs a role in an interconnected world.
I believe that people should realize that the death of the forest can result in degradation of the environment. It is a bigger threat for our future than military aggression. Furthermore, mankind is able to eliminate poverty and hunger, to get rid of social evils, to revive the culture and to restore monuments over the next few decades, while it is impossible to revive the ruined nature.
Animals in disasters. (2016). World Animal Protection Canada. Retrieved 13 May 2016, from http://www.worldanimalprotection.ca/our-work-0/animals-disasters Houghton, J. (2009).
Global warming: The Complete Briefing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tiwary, A., Colls, J., & Colls, J. (2010). Air pollution. London: Routledge.
WMO statement on the status of the global climate in 2014. (2015). Geneva.