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.
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
Humans are destroying the environment through ways such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, farming and industry, all of which produce copious amounts of greenhouse gases. The phenomenon of global warming is argued to be caused by humans due to the many ways humans pollute the environment with greenhouse gases.Full Answer >
Poaching, the illegal hunting and harvesting of animals, has a devastating effect on both the individual species and on entire ecosystems and local communities. Additionally, continued poaching encourages and supports the black market and organized crime organizations that thrive on victimizing animals.Full Answer >
Poaching may create negative side effects to human and animal habitats, the environment and communities. Furthermore, poaching may contribute to regional and even national and international political and legal instability and can increase the numbers of threatened and endangered species worldwide.Full Answer >
Strip mining involves removing the surface layers of earth, called the overburden, in rectangular strips to mine the mineral reserve underneath them. After a strip of ore is mined, another strip is prepared next to it. The waste rock from the overburden of the second strip is used to fill the first one. Typically, coal or other sedimentary rocks that lie near the earth's surface are strip mined.Full Answer >