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The environment means surroundings in which people, animals and plants develop and exist. Ecology is a branch of biology which investigate relationships between living beings and their environment

The most serious ecological problems of today are the pollution of air, water and soil, the destruction of ecosystem, disappearance of many species of animals and plants, the weather changes, acid rains, the warming up of the Earth’s surface, the destruction of tropical rain forests and the breaking of the ozone layer. These damages are caused by the man himself and his technical progress.

Pollution: We need air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat, but there is a growing number of people in the Earth so that we have to share these everything with more people. The growing number of cars contribute much to the air pollution. Factories produce a large amount of carbon dioxide, lead poisons etc. which get into the air. Some of them in combination with water  make sulfuric acid in the clouds, it later falls as acid rain which kills trees and make soil infertile. factories also pollute rivers because they put there their chemical waste. Also farmers pollute the soil using a lot of pesticides and fertilizers. This pollution can also poison groundwater. I think that the best way how to reduce pollution is reducing, reusing and recycling.

Greenhouse effect: In the last 100yars the Earth’s surface has warmed up by more than half a degree, this change could cause rising the sea levels by up to one and half meters by the year 2030. The Greenhouse effect is caused by polluted atmosphere which was polluted by carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and chlorofluorocarbons.

The best protection is to stop producing these gases and destroying rain forests. It is worth replacing old power plants with nuclear power which reduce the damage. Also nuclear power has its disadvantages, in this case there a e alternative sources of energy : hydropower, solar power, geothermal etc.

Ozone Hole: The ozone gap is thinning at a rapid speed. It is a layer which protect us from dangerous UV rays, these could damage the life on the Earth.

Possible effects of the sun’s UV rays:
Eyes: cataracts and blindness
Skin: premature aging, skin cancer and wrinkling
Immune system: they brake down the immune system
Crops: they could interrupt the process of photosynthesis
Sea life: growth of plankton which are a vital part of the food chain in the world’s oceans.

The areas of largest ozone hole are Antarctica, South America, Australia, New Zealand.

The main destroyers are CFC and halons which are used in refrigerators and air conditioners. Scientists estimate that one atom of chlorine can destroy 100 000 ozone molecules.

If the destruction of environment continues the life on this planet will be endangered. I recent years a lot of environmental organizations have been found, e.g. Greenpeace, they develop their activities mainly in rich countries, they try to warn people by means of a lot of compaings, many of their suggestions were successful, e.g. using DDT was banned by law, or catalytic converters and unleaded petrol. All over the world there are air acts, water pollution acts and endangered species acts, each country has ministry for environment too.

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