Eutrophication is the artificial nutrient enrichment of an aquatic ecosystem with organic material or substance which contains inorganic nutrients and causing excessive growth of aquatic plant and also aquatic organisms such as algae and phytoplankton. This condition occurs when the environment becomes enriched with nutrients. Eutrophication is also a process where the body of water such a pond or lake becomes rich in dissolved nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus either naturally or due to irresponsible human activities. This encourages high rates of growth of algae and blue green bacteria. The resulting population is known as the algal bloom. The algae can increase in numbers to such an extent that they form a hick scum on the surface of water thus preventing sunlight from penetrating into the water and reaching the bottom of the water. Analysis of the remaining plants and animals in the water body can be used to measure the degree of pollution which have occurred in the past when the water bodies were less affected by this condition which is called eutrophication. In these upcoming years, eutrophication has become a vital issue in the mankind due to careless community and people in the population whom are not concerned about the surroundings causing them to carry out activities which is harming the aquatic ecosystem. There have been many measures taken and implemented to curb this problem but it is of no use if the public are not aware of the current situation of aquatic ecosystem. This will cause them to ignore the condition of the waters and this problem cannot be curbed.
1.2 CAUSES OF EUTROPHICATION AND HOW IT HAPPENS
Eutrophication can be caused by many reasons. One of them is the leaching of inorganic fertilizers, especially nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural lands. Farmers are more keen in carrying out agricultural activities nearby the pond or lake. This is because it will be easier for them in terms of water source. Carrying out activities nearby the pond and lake provides the crops with constant water supply thus leading to healthy growth of the crops.
Besides that one of the main reasons is due to input of untreated sewage as well as discharge from sewage treatment plants. This might be due to irresponsible human activity whom are careless and not treating the wastes before letting it flow into the river. This causes enrichment of nutrients in water and therefore causing eutrophication to occur. On the other hand, another main factor is due to the run-offs containing animal wastes from pastures and farmlands into nearby water bodies such as lakes, rivers and also ponds. Animal wastes and agricultural wastes have a large amount of nutrient in them. This causes the water to be rich in nutrients when this wastes is let to flow to the water. These are the main causes of eutrophication.
Draining of excess nutrients from fertilizers and agricultural waste into nearby ponds, lakes and rivers leads to rapid growth of algae and phytoplankton. This is due to increased amount of nutrients in the water, causing these organisms to reproduce. This will further result in a condition known as algal bloom. Algal bloom is a condition where the surface of water is enriched with algae, thus preventing sunlight from penetrating into the water. As a result, aquatic plants will not have sunlight to photosynthesize and therefore they will die.
The products of photosynthesis are glucose and oxygen. When the plans fail to carry out photosynthesis , oxygen will not be produced and therefore oxygen level in the water will be reduced greatly. The dead aquatic plants will undergo decomposition with the aid of aerobic bacteria. This will further cause the amount of oxygen to reduce to a much lower level. When the oxygen content decreases, this will increase the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) level in the water. Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) refers to the amount of oxygen that is utilized when organic matter in one litre of water is oxidized by living organisms in the water. The level of Biochemical Oxygen Demand can be tested by using methylene blue solution. This solution measures the degree of pollution in a given water sample. When the BOD level is high, the degree of pollution of the given sample is also high.
EXAMPLES OF EUTROPHICATION SITUATIONS
Examples of this condition based on real life situations is the condition of water bodies in Sembrong Dam, Klang, where the surface of water is continuously being polluted with the presence of blue-green algae. This is also due to the wash-off of excess fertilizers by the farmers to the nearby lake. As an evidence, the complete report of this condition can be obtained from The Star paper on the 11th April 2017.
Besides that, the condition of Lake Chini in Pahang is also polluted with algal bloom on the surface of the water. This is mainly due to excessive wash-off of fertilizers into the lake. As an evidence, a picture of the lake have been included ( Figure 1) and the complete article on this issue can be obtained from The Star paper on 18th November 2016.
WAYS TO OVERCOME EUTROPHICATION
One of the ways to overcome eutrophication is by enforcing the law. Government should further enforce the existing law so that the residents, especially farmers, would be well educated about the consequences of adding excess fertilizers to their crops. They should also be well educated about the fertilizers that they are using to avoid excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from flowing to the nearby water bodies.
Besides that, sewage which are being passed to the rivers and banks should be treated before being released to avoid the water from being enriched with nutrients. This also can be implemented by having awareness programme to educate the responsible officers about the consequences of eutrophication. This way, the sewage will not be so enriched with nutrients therefore eutrophication can be avoided.
Eutrophication can also be treated by carrying out a process known as composting. By carrying out this process, food residues form domestic wastes can be converted to compost manure. This compost manure are less enriched by nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates and therefore when the waste is passed to the river, enrichment of nutrients in water will not occur and therefore eutrophication can be curbed.
Another way is by using ultrasonic radiation. By applying this radiation, it can control the growth of algae and also the growth of algal bloom. When algal bloom can be controlled, the aquatic plants can photosynthesize normally and there will be no eutrophication.
The rapid destruction of woodlands or the removal of trees from forests is known as deforestation. Every year, large areas of forests are cleared to make way for agriculture and development purposes. A good example would be deforestation carried out at tropical rainforests which have a large impact to the ecosystem. This is so because they are the oldest ecosystems on earth and they house numerous habitats of flora and fauna. In the coming years, human are no more concerned about the natural habitat but instead they are more concerned about the development of the community. Certain people carry out deforestation to meet the demand of the growing population and also to build houses and buildings for the population. In certain cases, deforestation and cutting down of the tropical rainforests can lead to severe climatic changes also and this brings so much of impact to the mankind as we will be affected by bad shape of weathers and also natural disasters such as flash floods, soil erosion, landslides and many more.
2.2 CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF DEFORESTATION
There are many factors contributing to the reasons why deforestation is increasing lately. One of them is due to providing large area of lands for housing purposes and also urbanization. Due to increased size of population the demand to build more houses is also increasing. This is causing many more agencies and also companies to chop down large amount of trees to provide land for the development of housing areas.
Deforestation occurs also because forests are chopped down to make way for agricultural activities. Lately, the demand for palm oil and soybeans have been increasing rapidly, causing the forests to be cleared at a fast rate. Eventhough new plants will be replanted after burning or chopping the older one down, the soil will not be able to maintain its biodiversity that it had before this.
Besides that, one of the major cause of deforestation include illegal logging. Illegal logging has no benefits, instead it causes the loss of many habitat of flora and fauna. Illegal logging is also carried out due to increased demand for timber. This is because timber can be used to make commercial products such as furniture and also paper.
Effects of deforestation include occurrence of soil erosion, landslides and also flash floods. Without proper development and planning, a land stripped off or washed away due to rainwater causes soil erosion. Soil erosion is mainly caused by physical and also climatic changes which occurs rapidly and last for long period of time. For an instance, prolonged rain causes the soil to erode faster. When the plant structure becomes unstable, it causes top layer of the soil to be weak. This leads to landslides. Due to deletion of water catchment areas during heavy rainfalls, flash floods also occur.
Deforestation also disrupts the carbon and nitrogen cycles. The level of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere will increase, causing amount of carbon dioxide used by plants to be decreased during the photosynthesis process. Thus, less amount of oxygen will be released by the plants as the by-product of photosynthesis. The activity of nitrates in the nitrogen cycle will eventually decrease, causing the roots to be weaker and be easily washed away during rain seasons.
Deforestation can also lead to severe cases of climatic changes. It disrupts the weather patterns, causing hotter and drier weathers more compared to cooler weathers. This causes global climatic changes in the weather patterns. When the weather patterns are altered, this can cause further difficulties to farmers as there will be decrease in their crop yields. This eventually leads to inflation.
On the other hand, deforestation also leads to loss in biodiversity. Extinction of many species takes place. This is a huge loss because certain plants are usefull to us in terms of food and also medicines to mankind. There will also be elimination of main sources of many different food webs which leads to loss of habitat of many species of flora and fauna.
EXAMPLES OF DEFORESTATION SITUATIONS
Examples of deforestation situations in Malaysia include severe logging in Sabah. Half of the area of forests are cut down. Eventhough there have been measures taken such as reserving the forests, the reserve centres are lacking of staffs. On top of this, the reserve centres are also being threatened by illegal loggers. As an evidence, a picture have been attached, showing deforestation cases in Sabah.
Another serious case was recorded in Kuantan, Pahang where the forest areas have been cleared for urbanization and also to provide land to build buildings. Although many warnings have been given, there are no further measures taken by the respective officers. As an evidence, the complete report can be obtained from The Star paper on 16th November 2017. A picture of this case have also been attached.
WAYS TO OVERCOME DEFORESTATION
One of the best ways to control deforestation is by replanting new trees and restoring degraded land. Eventhough the new plant which is replanted takes a long time to grow, it can still be replaced with the chopped tree. Eventually, the habitat of flora and fauna can be restored and extinction can be avoided. Land should be restored to ensure healthy growth of the new plant. This is also to ensure that there will be enough water catchment areas.
Besides that, government should enforce stricter laws so that people will be more afraid to carry out deforestation or illegal logging. Loggers should be licensed so that they will be aware of the consequences of chopping down trees. Areas where deforestation happening should be more restricted and controlled to prevent forests from being chopped down.
Deforestation can also be curbed if people are more educated on the importance of forests. They should be taught well about the effects if forests are being chopped down. This is because eventually the mankind should face the consequences later when we are lacking of oxygen or lacking of water catchment areas.
The rise in the average temperature of the atmosphere is known as global warming. This condition has been high enough to cause changes in global climate. Global warming is mainly caused by greenhouse gases. Examples of greenhouse gasses include carbon dioxide, methane and many more. Over the last 40 years, the mean temperature of the earth have been increasing from 0.2 to 0.3 degree Celsius. Carbon dioxide concentrations will be increasing to much higher levels in the upcoming years and is expected to reach the peak by 2200. When the carbon dioxide levels increase, the average global temperature also rises. This is the condition known as global warming.
3.2 CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING
One of the main cause of global warming is the excess burning of fossil fuels. When fossil fuels such as coal and petrol oil is burnt, carbon dioxide gas will be released to the atmosphere. Generation of electricity using fossil fuels is also one of the cause of global warming. As an effect, billions of carbon dioxide is also released.
Besides that, greenhouse gasses is also one of the major cause of global warming. This is mainly due to human activities. Examples of greenhouse gasses include carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Human activities here include increasing number of automobiles, releasing gasses into the atmosphere, mushrooming industries and many more. This increasing temperature of the earth may lead to melting of ice in the Antartics and also in the glaciers.
Deforestation is also one of the cause of global warming. Trees play a vital role in maintaining weather patterns of the earth. They also absorb carbon dioxide to carry out photosynthesis. Therefore when trees are chopped down, carbon dioxide will not be absorbed and excess carbon dioxide will be lingering in the atmosphere. So, the atmospheric temperature also rises, causing bad weather patterns.
Effects of global warming include occurrence of floods. As the average temperature increases, the polar ice caps and glaciers also starts melting. This eventually causes the sea levels to rise at an alarming rate. Rise in sea levels causes bad developed areas to be flooded. Rise sea levels also affects the income of fishermen. They will be facing difficulties to fish in rising sea levels.
Global warming also causes the occurrence of drought. Global warming increases the frequency of droughts. Due to this, the land becomes infertile and dry. This will further lead to a drop in crop yields. Lack in nutrient in the crops will cause health problems to people. For an example, it can lead to malnutrition and thus causing the upcoming generation to face difficulties in living a healthy lifestyle.
On the other hand, global warming also leads to climatic changes. The direction of wind will change and cause a change in the distribution of rainfall. As a result, agricultural activities are affected. When weather patterns also changes, distribution of species is affected and eventually leads to the extinction of species in certain regions.
Global warming causes spread of certain diseases. With warmer climates, pests and vectors may spread to new areas. The warmer conditions lead to an expansion of territories for disease-carrying vectors, resulting in an increase in the outbreaks of diseases all over the world. Examples of these diseases include dengue, malaria, chikungunya and many more.
WAYS TO REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING
Global warming have been increasing at an alarming rate and there should be measures taken to reduce this situation. One of the way is by reducing the burning of fossil fuels to conserve energy. Automobile cars which are being introduced should consume solar energy and not depend on the petrol oil. This way, combustion of fossil fuels can be reduces and therefore less smoke will be released. The temperature of the earth can be decreased.
Alternative sources can also be developed such as the wind, solar and also geothermal energy. Generation of electricity using fossil fuels can be reduced and therefore global warming will be reduced. The alternative sources are environmental friendly and they are renewable. They do not deplete like coal and also petrol oil.
Deforestation should also be reduced for farming purposes. This can ensure that the soil is fresh and fertile at all times. Burning of forests can also be avoided and this can lead to lesser cases of open burning. Cut down trees should also be replanted to replace the tree. Eventhough the freshness of the tree will not be the same, there will at least a new tree to absorb the carbon dioxide gas and thus reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
EXAMPLES OF GLOBAL WARMING IN REAL SITUATIONS
A research have been carried out by NASA and have been proven that gloal warming have been increasing gradually. Ice cores from Greenland and Antartica have been melting, causing rising sea levels. Besides that, the average earth’s temperature have been increasing above the normal level, causing the earth to be hot compared to 10n years back. Snow cover have also been decreasing and now the snow are beginning to melt as well. Intense rainfall and flash floods in the US have been increasing and have been happening more frequently. The thivkness of the Artic sea ice have been declining and eventually depeting also. As an evidence, pictures and images from NASA have been attached.
The ozone layer is a region in the stratosphere, between 20 and 25 kilometres above the surface of the earth. The ozone layer contains high concentration of ozone molecules that absorbs the ultraviolet radiation and protect the organisms from its bad effects. The thinning of ozone layer has been observed and recorded by scientists since 20 to 30 years back. In 1985, it was reported that ozone over the Antartica have been declining lately. The concentration of ozone molecules have been decreasing in this area, leading to a condition known as ozone depletion. Ozone depletion have been increasing in both the northern as well as southern hemisphere. The consequence of it is that UV radiation is penetrating into the surface of the earth due to the holes in the ozone layer. Ozone is a naturally occurring molecule containing 3 molecules of oxygen.
4.2 CAUSES OF OZONE DEPLETION AND HOW IT HAPPENS
The destruction of ozone layer is mainly due to the increasing levels of chlorofluorocarbons(CFC) in the surroundings. This chemical is a very reactive chemical that contain chlorine, fluorine and also carbon molecules. They are used as coolants in air-conditioners and refrigerators, propellants in aerosol cans and foaming agents in the making of Styrofoam packaging. The chlorine atoms in the CFC breaks down thousands of ozone molecules before it is invisible from the stratosphere. CFC is suitable to be used in air conditioners as coolants because it has a low boiling point , not corrosive, and also not easily combustible.
The characteristic of CFC is that it is not reactive and this makes it possible for it to reach the stratosphere. There the ultraviolet radiation strikes it, causing a chlorine atom to break away. The chlorine atom then reacts with ozone to produce chlorine monoxide and oxygen. Chlorine monoxide reacts with oxygen atom then reacts with ozone to produce another molecule of oxygen and frees itself. The free chlorine repeats the above cycle and destroys the ozone layer by changing it to oxygen. Each atom of chlorine destroys thousands of ozone molecules.
1407381919650CFCl3Cl + CFCl2 ( with the presence of ultraviolet radiation)
148689475620Cl + O ClO + O2
154255375178ClO + O Cl + O2
4.3 EFFECTS OF OZONE DEPLETION
Ozone depletion have a diverse effects on the organisms in the earth. The main effect would be the effect of the ultraviolet radiation to the organisms. Ultraviolet radiation causes mainly cataract, and skin cancer to human beings. This is because the radiation penetrates into our skin and activate the cancer cells in our body, causing skin cancer.
Besides that, plankton will be destroyed and this will break the food chain of marine life and the water ecosystem. The destruction of the phytoplankton will limit the absorption of carbon dioxide by the sea and this will contribute to a condition which is global warming. Eventually, global warming leads to ozone depletion.
Effects on plants would be the number of stomata and chlorophyll of the leaves will be reduced, causing in reduce of productivity of the plants. This will disturb the balance of the land ecosystem because green plants are the producers in the food web. If the producer is destroyed, this will cause other organisms in the food web to loss their main producer of food.
Ultraviolet radiation which is penetrating into the earth reduces nutrient contents and crop yields of plants. For an example, soya bean and pea plants. Chlorophyll and leaf cells are easily damaged by the ultraviolet rays. This causes malnutrition to human being as the plants eaten are affected, causing the plants to be lacking in certain nutrients. This causes human to fall sick more often , thus the next generation of mankind will have difficulties in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
4.4 WAYS TO REDUCE OZONE DEPLETION
One of the ways taken by international agencies to reduce ozone depletion is to sign the Montreal protocol in 1987 after identifying the substance that is destroying the ozone layer. This shows that there have been worldwide measures taken so that all countries worldwide would come together to find ways to curb this problem which is worsening at this current time.
Besides that, another way is to educate the public and have talk on the effects of ozone depletion to organisms on earth. This way, the public will be more aware of how they can contribute to reduce this problem instead of worsening them. Public should use lesser air conditioners at home to reduce usage of CFC. This can be a great way in reducing the usage of CFC. Fluorescent lights should be reduced and the use of low-energy bulbs should be introduced and should be made more familiar to the public so that they are aware of this way to reduce usage of CFC.
The use of CFC can be replaced with hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). Unlike CFC, these gasses break down in the atmosphere and return to earth in the form of rainwater. The HCFC does not accumulate in the stratosphere and break other ozone molecules and therefore ozone depletion can be controlled.
4.5 EXAMPLES OF OZONE DEPLETION SITUATIONS
Ozone depletion problems are seriously observed in specific countries such as Switzerland, the UK, the USA and also Sweden. A news article have been published in Science Daily newspaper, saying that the ozone depletion of the earth’s surface is not healing, instead it is getting worst. This situation is causing the ultraviolet Rdiation to continue penetrating to the earth and damaging the crop yields in many countries. As an evidence, the article was published on 6th February 2018. Many researchers have been carrying out research on the current situation of the ozone layer but the condition of the current ozone layer have been getting worse and is expected to be getting worst as time passes by. As prediction of the scientists, the ozone layer can be expected to be diminishing in a few years time.
6. ACID DEPOSITION
Acid deposition, also known as acid rain, is a serious condition where the rain which pours after a long time, has acidic contents. It has a low ph which means it has a high concentration of hydrogen ions. Generally, high concentration of hydrogen ions, is reffered to as acidic. Acid rain was first discovered in the US where the rain which poured at White Mountains was acidic. Later, it was discovered all around the world when the atmosphere of the earth is acidic. This causes the content of the rain which pours after to be acidic as well.
6.2 CAUSES AND HOW ACID RAIN OCCURS
The main cause of acid rain is divided mainly into two main parts which is due to natural sources and also man-made sources. Natural sources is mainly due to volcanic emissions. During volcanic emissions, the volcanoes release gasses which are highly acidic compared to normal days of emission. Besides that, lightning also naturally produces oxides of nitrogen to react with water vapour and forming nitric acid. Formation of acid in the atmosphere contributes to acid rain.
Acid rain is also caused by man-made sources which is now the main reason of the occurrence of acid rain. The combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, air and gas in power stations, factories, domestic boilersand internal combustion engines release large quantities of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrous oxides. These oxides react with water to cause the rain to be acidic.
Electric generation is also one of the main cause of the occurrence of acid rain. Generation of electricity is done by burning the coal from factories. The smoke which is released from the factories are not filtered and not healthy to the atmosphere. Therefore the smoke which is released also have the contents to cause acid rain.
Both sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen combine with water vapour in the atmosphere to form sulphuric acid and also nitric acid. Then, they fall to the surface of the earth as acid rain. Rain is naturally acidic, with a Ph of approximately 5.6. This acidity is due to the carbon dioxide in the air, which dissolves in rain and lead to formation of carbonic acid. However, the Ph of acid rain is much lesser than 5.0.
6.3 EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN
Acid rain has a diverse effects to the organisms living on earth. Acid pain effects the agricultural industry. The soil becomes acidic and it will definitely be unsuitable for the cultivation of crops, causing poor quality of yields. High soil acidity denatures the enzymes in the soil for the microbes. Acid rain causes the leaching of minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The growth of the crops is slowed down and the amounts of crops also might decrease. Photosynthetic tissues are destroyed. Plant leaves turn yellow and starts to fall off. The roots are damaged and therefore minerals from the fertilizer which is added to the soil cannot be absorbed.
Besides that, acid rain also has an effect to the aquatic ecosystem. Acid rain causes insoluble aluminium ions to accumulate in lakes and rivers. The concentration of aluminium ions eventually reaches a toxic level which can kill aquatic organisms such as fishes and also invertebrates. Increased acidity in the aquatic ecosystems also leads to the death of phytoplankton which is the primary producer of food in a food web. This will cause a huge change in the food chains.
On the other hand, acid rain also has an effect to our health. Acidic soil releases the ions of certain heavy metals which is hazardous to our health. These heavy metals include mercury and lead which may cause our drinking water to be contaminated and polluted. Acid rain may also cause skin cancer. This happens when the rain gets in contact with our skin causing our skin layer to corrode. This will eventually lead to skin cancer which is dangerous.
Furthermore, acid rain also effects the buildings. When acid rain gets in contact with metal railings or bridges, they tend to corrode. This can be explained because they are made of metals. When metals react with acid, it will cause the buildings to corrode. Limestone, stonework and marble monuments are eroded due to chemical weathering.
Lastly, acid rain have an effect on forests as well. Certain trees in the forests can serve the mankind as medicine because they are rich in nutrients and they are able to cure certain diseases. Acid rain will cause damaged barks and cause a stunt growth of the tree. Eventually, the tree which is able to act as medicine will fail to serve the mankind due to its leaching condition of nutrients in it.
6.4 EXAMPLES BASED ON REAL SITUATIONS
Acid rain occurs at many places across the world and it has been one of the hottest topics which is mainly being discussed. According to The New York Times on 24th November 2014, the Canadian waters are facing bad consequence due to the acid rain. This is causing the lakes and rivers to be jelly-like and it is clogging up. This is causing the filtration systems in the country to face difficulties in functioning properly. This can also cause problems to water system in that country. As an evidence, a picture of trees which were affected by the acid rain have been attached.
Acid rain have also cause an effect in Poland, Norway, where the trees were also destroyed and died. This is because the sulphur and nitrogen oxides which fall onto the surface of the earth have caused the nutirents in the soil of where the trees were planted to leach due to the acidity in the rain. As an evidence, a picture from the National Geographic channel have been attached.
Pollution is defined as any undesirable changes in the biological, chemical, or physical characteristics of our natural environment, caused by the release of harmful substances. Pollution has caused changes to the environment because of irresponsible human activities. Pollution have been recorded since the last few years and have been expected to reach its peak in the upcoming years. Many people are still not aware of the degree of pollution happening around them. This is either because they do not care about the situation or because they do not know about the current situations happening around. There are many types of pollution occurring all around the world. However, the main pollutions which are being discussed by the society now are mainly water pollution, noise pollution, air pollution and also thermal pollution. Lately, water pollution and air pollution have been frequently discussed as these 2 pollutions are mainly occurring, causing human beings also to face the consequences of it, either to their own health or also to the development of the society.
5.2 WATER POLLUTION
5.2.1 CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF WATER POLLUTION
The causes of water pollution consist of many aspects. One of the main cause include agricultural run-offs and wastes from the rubber and also oil palm industries. The industrial wastes include nitrates and phosphates from the fertilizers used by farmers to grow their crops. Farmers usually carry out farming at nearby water bodies as it will be easier for them to have constant water supply from the lakes or rivers. However, when they apply excess fertilizers to the crops, this causes the fertilizers to be washed away from the soil of the crops.
Besides that, water pollution is also caused by untreated sewage which consist of human faeces and domestic wastes. Certain people in the society who live nearby the lakes and rivers tend to have an attitude of dumping their domestic wastes in to the river. They mainly do this because of two main reasons. One is because of poor management of waste in their housing area or because it is convenient for them to simply dump all wastes in the rivers. These wastes also can come from suspended solids which will reduce light penetration into the water.
Water pollution is also caused by animal wastes from farms. Certain farmers have an attitude of simply dumping animals’ waste into the water. They might have a thought that those wastes contain a lot of nutrients and that it is good for the water. This is not true because excess nutrients in the water bodies can cause the growth of certain organisms on the surface of water. This will further lead to many consequences to the aquatic organisms living in the water.
One of the main effects of water pollution is a condition known as eutrophication. Eutrophication is a condition which occurs due to enriched nutrients in the water. This will further cause the growth of certain organisms such as phytoplankton and algae. These organisms will appear on the surface of the water, which will disable the sunlight from penetrating into the water. Aquatic plants will not be able to carry out photosynthesis and can cause death of aquatic organisms.
Water pollution also may cause the deposition of heavy metals such as mercury and chromium. They are highly toxic and accumulate in organisms via food chains. Mercury can cause nervous diseases in humans. The water may also contain contaminants, including hydrogen sulphide. This water which is used for drinking then might cause health problems such as cholera, or many water-borne diseases.
The next effect of water pollution includes the accumulation of herbicide and pesticide residues. Accumulation of pesticides and herbicides may have toxic effects aquatic organisms as well as humans if the water is used as drinking water. These pesticide levels accumulate as they pass through a food chain. These pesticides accumulate the mist in the final consumers which are mainly carnivores. This will affect the metabolism of the carnivores.
5.2.2 WAYS TO REDUCE WATER POLLUTION
Water pollution can be controlled by controlling the use of fertilizers. Fertilizers should only be applied when the crops are growing. Farmers should not spray fertilizers when there is a forecast of rain. Fertilizers also should not be disposed into nearby rivers and also ponds. Usage of fertilizers which consist of excess nitrates and ammonia should be cut down.
Besides that, pesticides which are used by the farmers should be biodegradable. Biological pest control methods also should be implied to reduce the usage of pesticides and herbicides. Genetically modified plants should also be planted so that these plants are able to resist pest attacks easier compared to normal plants.
The best way to reduce water pollution is to educate the public so that they are aware of the consequences of water pollution. Talks about the effects of water pollution on human and also living organisms should be taught to the public, especially people who are staying away from the city. This way, they will be well-educated about the effects and eventually stop throwing rubbish into the river, causing the pollution.
5.2.3 EXAMPLES OF WATER POLLUTION SITUATIONS
A news article about water pollution in Johor have been published in The New Straits Times on the 20th November 2017 , where the water is polluted by ammonia again.as the consequence, the water plant have been shut down as the water was contaminated by ammonia. Water supplies have been affected at nearby areas as the water was not safe to be distributed to the housing areas.
A number of rivers in West Malaysia have also been badly affected and polluted. Water have been polluted and the amount of dissolved oxygen have been decreasing badly in the water. A news article was also published in The New Straits Times about the most polluted river in West Malysia, Kota Samarahan. Efforts have been taken by the government to control the water pollution in that area.
5.3 AIR POLLUTION
5.3.1 CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION
Air pollution is becoming the major problem in the current society due to many factors. One of them includes the smoke from the vehicles. When diesel is used as the combusting oil in vehicles, specifically lorries, the smoke which is released pollutes the air. The particles in the smoke include carbon monoxide and also sulphur dioxide. Fossil fuels that include petroleum, diesel and gas used in motor vehicles produce hazardous gasses. This causes the air which we breathe in to be polluted. A huge number of cars on the road is causing more pollution to occur. This is due to the increasing number of population and the number of cars owned in a family.
Besides that, in the industrial sector, electric power stations and factories which manufacture cement, wood, and iron use diesel and discharge many types of pollutants into the atmosphere. Among the pollutants produces include carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, chlorine, dust, and also smoke. Agricultural chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides are sprayed into the air instead of being sprayed to the crops. This further causes air pollution and makes the air worst for human to breathe. Farmers can rather use prey-predator method instead of spraying. This reduces the amount of pesticides and herbicides being used to protect the crops from insects.
Open air burning which is done by the human being is the leading cause of air pollution nowadays. People who are not concerned about the environment are the main problem of this activity. The burning of rubbish, solid wastes and forests produces a lot of smoke which causes haze. Carbon dioxide gas and smoke is also released into the atmosphere abundantly. There are also many people who practice open burning either of domestic rubbish or at rubbish dumps. This is mainly due to poor management of wastes at certain housing areas. The wastes are not collected at the right time. This is causing residents to burn their rubbish so that they will have a cleaner environment to live in. But they are not realizing that the air which they are living in is badly polluted which is dangerous to our health.
There are many effects of air pollution in many aspects. Mainly, air pollution has an effect on our human beings’ health. Carbon monoxide, which is present in the smoke combines readily with haemoglobin and affects the transport of oxygen to body cells. This causes oxygen deficiency in human body. It also causes bad headaches and fatigueness. Sulphur dioxide in the air causes bronchitis and also asthmatic attacks. This attack causes wheezing, shortness of breath and also bad coughing. Nitrogen oxide which comes from vehicle exhausts causes respiratory infections and also irritation in our lungs, nose and throat.
Air pollution also effects the plants. Pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide causes damage to the habitat of the plans. It damages the cellular components and enzymes present in the plants to carry out certain processes. The symptoms of air pollution in plants is a condition which is called chlorosis. This is a condition where the leaves of a plant turns yellow in colour because the production of chlorophyll is failed. Air pollutants also weaken plants, causing it to be less resistant to diseases and their natural enemies. Certain toxic gases present in the atmosphere damages plant tissues even if they are present in low concentrations.
On the other hand, air pollution also have effects on the climate. The particles from the smoke which is polluting the air reacts with cloud particles and causes a natural phenomenon known as haze. Haze prevents sunlight from penetrating the earth’s surface which causes reduce in the average temperature of the earth. This also causes the rate of photosynthesis in plants to be reduced. The increase in the content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes increase in global temperature through greenhouse effect. A high global temperature will melt the ice blocks of polar ice poles which will cause rise in sea levels and hence leading to flash floods. This will also cause a change in the climate of the world.
5.3.2 WAYS TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTION
Air pollution should be reduced all over the world to protect the earth. Many measures have to take by various communities to curb this problem. One of the ways is by reducing the number of cars on the roads. This can be done by encouraging the public to carpool. This way, neighbours and friends can share a car to go to work. Public transports are also available and should be made more familiar to the public. By doing this, less number of cars will be on the road and therefore less smoke will be released. Lesser smoke released into the air cane eventually reduce the air pollution.