Anthropogenic load is Types, indicators and consequences

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Anthropogenic load is Types, indicators and consequences
Anthropogenic load is Types, indicators and consequences

Human activity has always influenced the world around us, but until the twentieth century this influence was imperceptible due to the ability of the Earth's biosphere to regenerate itself. But already at the beginning of the twentieth century, scientific and technological progress led to the fact that mankind had to solve problems associated with sharp negative changes caused by human activity or anthropogenic pressure. This led society to the idea that many processes of human activity lead to such changes in the biosphere that problems become global.

The concept of human impact on a global scale

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Already in the twentieth century, a wave of environmental disasters affected all countries of the world. Forests have been cut down and the area of ​​deserts is growing regularly, exponentially, ocean pollution is devastating its fauna and flora, radiation spots are spreading after disasters at nuclear power plants. Plants in forests on land and in the ocean -the main producer of oxygen, which is spent on most production processes. Scientists predict its shortage in the near future. That is why the anthropogenic load is something that can quite easily lead to the death of humanity.

Global population and ecology

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Now, when the world population is approaching eight billion, for some reason, the forecasts of scientists of the twentieth century are rarely remembered. Experts argued that with an increase in the number of people over six billion, even without taking into account the impact on nature, the number of suicides and senseless killings of each other by people, endocrinological diseases will sharply increase, local wars will constantly flare up. Other consequences of the overpopulation of planet Earth will become relevant.

After all, a powerful anthropogenic load is an additional burden in the survival of mankind, not thinking about externalities.

Externalities: what they are and how to anticipate them

Externalities in ecology are the consequences of the impact of an anthropogenic load on the environment, the appearance of which was not expected. Externalities are both positive and negative. Unfortunately, there are many more negative ones.

A striking example of a negative externality is the importation of prickly pear cactus to Australia, which very quickly conquered such vast expanses of good arable and pasture land that it became a disaster. Prickly pear is a plant so juicy that it does not burn, and cutting and uprooting it was verydifficult and costly. Only the importation to Australia of the natural pests of prickly pear, moth moths, could solve the problem. Grateful Australians erected a monument to them.

In the twentieth century, other silent catastrophes often occurred in different parts of the world, sometimes even leading to death. For example, pollination of vineyards in Spain led to the transfer of insecticides to the ocean by winds and the mass death of fish that fed the population of islands hundreds of kilometers away from the vineyards. People were simply dying of hunger, as fish was their staple food.

That is why it became necessary to introduce the concept of permissible anthropogenic load on the environment.

Types of anthropogenic load

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Human activities affect all parts of the biosphere.

In the lithosphere it is:

  • changes landscapes and climatic conditions in vast areas due to the development of useful raw materials from quarries and huge mountains, formed waste rock, slag dumps;
  • climate, river regimes and, accordingly, landscapes are changing due to deforestation;
  • under crops (especially cotton, coffee, corn) the soil is getting poorer, instead of arable and pasture land deserts are formed;
  • huge dumps of waste from the north pole to the south are already a familiar feature of today's landscapes.

Hydrosphere got perhaps the highest load of all:

  • river beds are shifted, rivers go underground;
  • lakes become shallow and disappear;
  • are being createdhuge reservoirs;
  • bogs are being drained - sources of groundwater recharge in dry years;
  • seas and oceans are covered with oil films, plankton and all living things in the ocean die.
earth erosion

It's a pity, after all, we have learned to use sea and ocean resources only at the level of gathering, we have not even created large farms in the sea. And how much dirt flows with rivers, rivulets and streams into sea waters, poisoning all living things, accumulating in fish and seafood, which most of humanity eats!

Atmosphere is the part of the biosphere that is the least loaded with human waste. But the appearance of ozone holes made humanity seriously think about the consequences.

And these are only material defilements. But there are also radiation, thermal, negative effects of various fields. This is the anthropogenic load on the environment we have today.

Landscape of the Russian Plain and externalities

Russian plain

The fact that anthropogenic pressure is a problem for any ecosystem can be seen from the example of the Russian Plain. Its territory was developed earlier than others, has a high population density, and therefore it has been subjected to a greater degree of negative impact of human activity. Even the taiga and tundra plains are much more changed than these natural areas in Siberia.

If until the twentieth century changes in the landscape of the plains occurred slowly and gradually, over the past decade, human activitymade huge and irreparable changes in all the landscapes of the Russian Plain:

  • exterminated tarpan and saiga, the following species are on the verge of extinction: bison, beaver, muskrat; simultaneously introduced: muskrat, mink, red deer;
  • natural forest cover replaced by plowed fields and forest plantations, dark coniferous vegetation - by birch, aspen, alder, pine;
  • overgrazing in the tundra, forest-tundra, steppes and semi-deserts has led to soil depletion and erosion;
  • increased erosion and sinkholes due to improper mining and intensive pumping of groundwater;
  • the humus layer has sharply decreased or disappeared, the soil structure has changed;
  • network of water arteries and reservoirs heavily modified by canals and cascades of reservoirs;
  • The concentration of harmful substances in the water of reservoirs does not meet the requirements of reservoirs for fish farming or domestic drinking water.

This sad list of anthropogenic pressure on the landscape of the Russian Plain can be continued. But this, like all kinds of environmental monitoring, and regular noise in the media is unlikely to help the cause.

Methods of expressing anthropogenic load

What is expressed by a large anthropogenic load? It will be expressed:

  • in increasing population density;
  • in square kilometers occupied by industrial waste dumps, dumps and toxic waste landfills;
  • in wastewater concentrations far exceeding all maximum allowable discharge rates.
  • in harmful concentrationsemissions into the atmosphere several times higher than allowed;
  • in reducing the number of species of all animals except insects, all plants except poisonous weeds like hogweed;
  • in reducing the thickness of the humus layer and deteriorating soil structure;
  • in increasing background radiation, background noise, electromagnetic and other radiation.

Anthropogenic load on the landscape of the Russian Plain exceeds all these norms.

What should be done about externalities?

In accordance with the Law of the Russian Federation "On Environmental Protection", signed in 2002, "for each business entity, their own standards for the permissible anthropogenic load on the environment are established." Standards are set, observation or monitoring is carried out. How has the ecological situation on the plain changed over the years? Have the permissible anthropogenic loads on the environment of this territory proved to be effective? Weak control over the implementation of the law and the formality of its application only led to an increase in the anthropogenic load. And this situation is not only on the Russian Plain or in our country, but all over the world, all parts of the biosphere are being destroyed. What to do about the environmental problems facing humanity?

Ecological relationships

Commoner's laws and anthropogenic load

All human activities must comply with Commoner's four environmental principles:

  • everything is connected to everything;
  • everything has to go somewhere;
  • nothing comes for free;
  • man thinks howbetter, and nature knows best.

The fulfillment of these principles-laws consists in the annual reduction of the permissible anthropogenic load on the environment by several times.

Only by understanding and accepting these laws, one can classify oneself as a “reasonable person”.

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