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Examination Of The Irreversible Environmental Damage Of Anthropogenic Origin

583 words - 2 pages

Globally, civilizations have practices that have caused irreparable damage to our environment. Irreparable damage to the environment in this paper is defined as a loss of environmental wellbeing due to an anthropogenic cause that cannot be reasonably fixed through human or natural process. Anthropogenic desertification, species extinctions, and persistent organic pollutants are three examples that will be explored in this paper as proof of irreparable environmental damage.

As opposed to naturally occurring deserts, anthropogenic desertification is a human process caused by land use (e.g. agriculture) and land use change (e.g. deforestation), causing a land to adopt desert-like qualities, such as a lack of nutrients and organic matter to support vegetation. Anthropogenic desertification is primarily caused by animal overgrazing, over-cultivation, deforestation, increased soil salinity, and climate change. This process is detrimental and irreparable to the environment for it erodes the soil’s capability to sustain vegetation growth, which in effect limits potential reintroduction of organic material into the soil. An example of the effects of anthropogenic desertification is the disappearance of African Lake Chad, which was 26,000 km2 in the 1960s, and was determined to be less than 1,500 km2 in 2000, a decline which has been determined to be the effects of both natural and anthropogenic desertification, caused mostly by overgrazing of the surrounding land. In brief, anthropogenic desertification is an irreparable effect of negative environmental externalities.

Species extinction is the complete disappearance of a plant or animal species. Many cases of species extinctions have occurred in modern history, with 875 species extinctions documented between 1500 to 2009 CE. Many of the 875 extinct species have died out due to anthropogenic causes, such as overhunting, or as in the case of the golden toad, habitat destruction linked with deforestation or the effects of...

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