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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Effect Of Agriculture On Our Environment - 1041 words
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.. which have offensive odours and can cause fish kills from the resulting lack of dissolved oxygen.Potassium, the third major nutrient in fertilizers, does not cause water quality problems because it is not hazardous in drinking water and is not a limiting nutrient for growth of aquatic plants. It is tightly held by soil particles and so can be removed from fields by erosion, but generally not by leakage. Contamination of Water:Water is the principal resource that has helped agriculture and society to prosper, and it has been a major limiting factor when mismanaged. Water gets contaminated by Farming. The surface runoff carries manure, fertilizers, nitrates, selenium and pesticides into streams, lakes, and reservoirs, in some cases causing unacceptable levels of bacteria, nutrients, or artificial organic compounds.
Similarly, water filters downward through farm fields and carries with it dissolved chemicals, which can include nitrate fertilizers and soluble pesticides. In sufficient quantities these can contaminate groundwater supplies. Another way in which agriculture affects water resources is through the destruction of riparian habitats within watersheds. The conversion of wild habitat to agricultural land reduces fish and wildlife through erosion and sedimentation, the effects of pesticides, removal of riparian plants, and the diversion of water. The plant diversity in and around both riparian and agricultural areas should be maintained in order to support a diversity of wildlife. This diversity will enhance natural ecosystems and could aid in agricultural pest management.Pesticides: 'Pest' is a general term referring to any undesirable species of plant, animal, or microbe
Any organisms that compete with or otherwise damage crops and livestock are pests. The production of economically valuable crops and livestock in an efficient manner is the goal of agriculture. Pests reduce efficiency thus there is considerable effort and financial expenditure toward fighting pests. Pesticides include bactericides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides. There are two types of pesticides: Narrow spectrum pesticides, these target specific pest species that are considered less harmful to the environment and Broad spectrum pesticides that affect a wider range of organisms including pests species as well as non-pest and beneficial species.
The rapid reproduction rates of many pest species may allow these species to evolve resistance to pesticides; this is called pesticide resistance. Consequently, new and more toxic pesticides must continually be developed.Many pesticides (even narrow spectrum pesticides), unfortunately, have environmental effects beyond their targeted use. Non-target species may be eliminated by pesticide use. These species may include such beneficial species as pest predators and plant pollinators. Some pesticides are not easily biodegraded in the environment.
Long after their target use, these pesticides may persevere in the tissue of plants and animals or in sediments, then re-enter the food web. DDT is one of the most infamous example of the environmental side effects of pesticide use is DDT. It is a chlorinated hydrocarbon that was widely used in the United States as an insecticide until its use was discontinued in the 1970's. DDT was a fat-soluble compound that did not readily decompose in the environment. DDT concentrated and persisted in the oils and fats of the consumer organism, if consumd by animal.
Then DDT could bio magnify and become transferred through food chains. Organisms at the top consumer levels of food chains and long-lived organisms tended to have the highest concentrations of DDT in their tissues. Aquatic food webs were especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of DDT. Long aquatic food chains resulted in high concentrations of DDT in the tissue of top consumers, such as pelicans, ospreys, and bald eagles. These birds experienced damage to their reproductive systems and consequently they produced thin, easily damaged egg shells. Populations of these species declined significantly.
DDT is no longer used in the United States, however, chemical manufacturers are legally allowed to produce DDT and sell it overseas. DDT is often used in the tropics to control mosquitoes and other disease vectors. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a common sense scheme to manage pests. It minimizes the environmental damage and maximizes the farm profits. This is very important for the farmers: to protect their crops sufficiently without having to pay much and earning as much money as possible. IPM makes use of a suite of possible solutions rather than relying only on a single method of pest control, such as relying heavily on pesticides. IPM strategies include using pesticides sensibly and only after determining the specific nature of the pest problem, the proper application rates and the proper timing of application.The greenhouse effects:The earth is surrounded by an atmosphere through which solar radiation is received.
The atmosphere is not motionless but contains air, in constant motion, being heated, cooled and moved, water being added and removed along with smoke and dust. Only a small amount of the sun's energy reaches earth and some of this is reflected back into space (from clouds etc.). When the radiant energy reaches the land surface, most of it is absorbed, being used to heat the earth, evaporate water and to power photosynthetic processes.The earth also radiates energy but, because it is less hot than the sun, this is of a longer wavelength and is absorbed by the atmosphere. The Earths atmosphere, thus acts like the glass of a green house, hence the 'greenhouse effect'. The greenhouse gases are those that absorb the Earths radiation and thus contribute to the greenhouse effect, but water is also a major absorber of energy.
Where there is an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases (as with CO2 due to the burning of fossil fuels) this results in an enhanced greenhouse effect - which is of concern as it could lead to climate change (i.e. global warming).Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals--environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity. A variety of philosophies, policies and practices have contributed to these goals. People in many different capacities, from farmers to consumers, have shared this vision and contributed to it. So overall, Agriculture is playing a very important role in changing the lifestyle of different people.
Agriculture might have made everything easy for us but it still has its cons. We see the effects of agriculture and how it affects the lives of other species and the environment.
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