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The three most polluted parts of the world

UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 25 January 2019 | Views [78]

 

Scientists now say that we have less than 12 years before the effects of climate change will be irreversible. There are a number of causes to greenhouse gas emissions including industry, car exhausts and meat production. However, one of the biggest problems facing the world is pollution. In the ocean, for example, there is enough plastic that, if you were to stack it up, you would have a tower taller than three empire state buildings. This contributes to the death of marine plant life, which is responsible for 50-80% of our breathable air. This has a huge impact on the ecosystem as well. The following article will highlight and discuss the three most polluted areas of the world, including solutions that have been proposed.

 

  1. The Oceans

 

Pollution in the oceans is often not given the same prevalence as it is above the surface. This is perhaps due to the fact that it is not visible. However, the oceans are currently in crisis and, while we might not live in them, our own way of life is being threatened.

 

As mentioned, the majority of our breathable air comes from marine plant life. A harrowing example of marine decline can be seen in the great barrier reef. Findings of a bienell study in 2018 showed that coral deaths had reached an ‘unprecedented’ rate, decreasing to a total coverage of 14% (from 22% in 2016). This is due to a number of factors, most significantly pollution, climate change and bleaching from heat-waves.

 

There are a number of conservation projects aiming to clean up the ocean, including the innovative Ocean Cleanup.

 

2) The Atmosphere

 

Ever since their first attempts, humans have left their mark on route to the stars. While this might come as a surprising inclusion to this list, there are currently over 500,000 pieces of space debris being tracked in orbit, with millions more too small to track.

 

This junk is comprised of broken satellite parts, off-line equipment and meteoroids - most of which are smaller than a golf ball. However, because items in orbit travel at 17,500 mph, the damage of impacts can be as severe as bullets - hence why organisations like NASA track debris and take the threat of collisions very seriously.

 

China, who are the third heaviest contributor of space junk, have proposed a futuristic laser system that will be able to target and eliminate debris from space, though any solution will be extremely costly.

 

If nothing is done, humans could find themselves trapped on earth. An alarming fact when, in the coming centuries, off-world living could become, not only possible, but essential.

 

3) The Cities

 

Another growing concern is the pollution of our world’s cities. Unfortunately, the usual solution has been to move the waste to an unseen area where it doesn’t present an immediate problem. China’s cities are among of the most heavily polluted on the planet. Linfen, for example, suffers from terrible air pollution due to industrial work and the lax-laws that govern it. Residents of the city have reported that they literally choke on coal dust in the evenings. China’s expansive coal industry currently supplies approximately two-thirds of the planet’s energy and is responsible for a large portion of greenhouse gas emissions.  

 

In conclusion, the planet has been packed with trash at an alarming rate. Only now are governments beginning to realise the impact that this has on the world and our own well-being. While there are projects and schemes in place to reduce and minimise wastage, the rate of which we are creating pollution is still surpassing that of conversation. Until polluting is stopped at the root, any attempts to clean the planet will be a bit like fixing a broken nose by punching it into place.

 

Tags: environment, pollution

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