Model Question and Answers for APSC | The global environmental challenges are many and interlinked. Elaborate.

The global environmental challenges are many and interlinked. Elaborate.

Model Question and Answers for APSC |  The global environmental challenges are many and interlinked. Elaborate.

Ans: In the 21st century lack of sustainable development poses various environmental challenges at the global level. These include air pollution, biodiversity loss, waste disposal, marine pollution, soil degradation, climate changes etc. These are not independent issues rather they are interlinked to each other in one or the other way.

Global environmental challenges are many and interlinked: Climate change:

• Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns affect agricultural production

• Changes in climatic conditions across Europe are projected to alter the occurrence of heat waves, cold spells etc.

• It also affects plant and animal distribution and phenology and thus exert additional pressures on biodiversity.

• This may lead to species extinctions, particularly in the arctic, alpine and coastal zones.

Biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation directly affect climate change and undermines the way we can use natural resources.

Land use and land cover changes:

• They can be seen to be both a driver and an impact, not only on climate change but also on biodiversity loss and the use of natural resources. E.g. Urbanisation or converting forests to agriculture affects climate conditions by changing an area’s carbon balance, as well as biodiversity by altering ecosystems.

• Waste management is a key sector of greenhouse gas emissions. Improper organic waste management is a source of Co2 and Methane. It is expected that the waste sector including solid and wastewater treatment contributes 3–4% to the global anthropogenic GHG emissions.

• The sewerage and garbage of coastal cities are also dumped into the sea: Oceans are the ultimate sink of all natural and manmade pollutants, affecting marine biodiversity. Pollution in ocean causes eutrophication and dead zones leading loss of biodiversity.

• Exploitation and overuse of natural resources and the resulting pollution of air, water and soil put pressure on nature and biodiversity through, for example, eutrophication and acidification. Eutrophication and acidification cause loss of marine biodiversity, and coral reefs and increase the chances of new species invasion

Connecting the dots between things like carbon emissions, waste management, and the way land is used in a way that makes climate sense, etc., is needed to understand the connections and work toward sustainable growth. We need to pay more attention to how environmental concerns and their solutions fit together.