Q:

Why are wetlands being destroyed?

A:

Wetlands face destruction due to threats such as commercial development, industry, urbanization, agriculture, invasive species, pollution, climate change and dams. It is estimated that approximately half of the world's wetlands have disappeared since 1900. The loss or alteration of wetlands is believed to contribute to global warming.

Know More

Full Answer

Wetlands are a type of ecosystem characterized by either a seasonal or permanent saturation of land by water, which can either be fresh, brackish or salt. Aquatic plants and other vegetation specific to wetlands are another defining characteristic, as they are fully adapted to the exclusive hydric soil. Wetlands are useful to the environment due to their ability to purify water, provide stability to shorelines, serve as a home for a variety species and act as a buffer for floods. Examples of wetlands include swamps, bogs, marshes and fens. Climate varies based on location, but wetlands are present on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. Of all ecosystems, it is believed that wetlands face the most environmental degradation.

Around half of the world's human population relies on wetlands for their freshwater needs. Wetlands also serve as a significant source of protein and are often used as fisheries. Conservation efforts within the United States are centered around building artificial wetlands to offset the loss of those from industry and commercial interests.

Learn more in Human Impact

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the Sioux Falls Landfill?

    A:

    The Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill is the largest landfill in South Dakota. It covers an area of 709 acres. Located about 5 miles west of the city of Sioux Falls, the landfill serves Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha and Turner counties.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is surface runoff?

    A:

    Surface runoff refers to any water that flows over the surface of the Earth and into lakes, rivers and other bodies of water. This is in contrast to the water that is absorbed by soil or plants.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do UV rays affect people?

    A:

    Ultraviolet rays, which are commonly referred to as UV rays, may cause a variety of health consequences in humans, including several types of skin cancer, a weakened immune system and the development of cataracts, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Some sun exposure is beneficial to the health of living organisms, including plants, humans and other animals, as it triggers production of vitamin D, which is essential for proper growth. However, excessive exposure to UV rays can cause considerable damage, which ranges from unsightly wrinkles to deadly skin cancers.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are preventive measures of noise pollution?

    A:

    Steps that can be taken to control noise pollution include erecting barriers to insulate noise producers, installing materials that absorb sound, dissipating noise-generating vibrations and placing physical breaks between a vibrating object and the hearer. Architectural acoustics use all of these techniques to protect residents from unwanted sound. In addition, roads and airports require special treatment to deaden noise pollution.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore