Marine pollution means the introduction of harmful substances into the marine environment. Consistent pollution of water bodies has increased the number of pollutants to such an extent that water bodies are facing irreparable damage at present. Research studies have revealed that more than 80% of the world marine pollution has its source on land, in the form of different pollutants, as an outcome of several human activities. Plastic contamination is the biggest threat to the marine eco-system, the list of marine environment pollutants remain long with pesticides, sewage, industrial chemical, and other waste.
Major Causes of Pollution in the Marine Ecosystem:
Here we have enlisted the biggest reasons behind the marine population that has been responsible for the death and extinction of thousands of aquatic animals and plants:
Ocean Dumping: Waste materials from sewage plants, ship and industry are dump into the water bodies on a regular basis, polluting the marine environment to a great extend. As per the report, Mining companies along from all over the world dump as much as 20 million tonnes of waste of garbage directly into the ocean every year. What we often tend to forget is that our lives depend on the marine environment extensively and the negative impact of dumping waste in the ocean does not just affect marine life but also poses a health threat to the human being.
Dredging: As industrial activities are always expanding in the world, dredging is an activity that increases marine transportation. So it has been disturbing the marine eco-system for several years. As dredging involves the removal of deposits that are submerged under the water, this activity changes the composition of soil on the ocean floor, resulting in the destruction of habitat for organisms and creatures.
Waste Pollution caused by Ship: Thousands of ships are used to carry on the tray all over the world. Apart from pollutant like gas and oil, the garbage and waste generated on ships poses a potential threat to the aquatic eco-system. Both liquid and solid waste like food waste, packing material, cleaning material, greywater, rags, ballast water, etc. Pollute the water and badly affects the lives of marine animals.
Land Runoff: Another major source of marine pollution is the garbage arising from the nonpoint source, happening as an outcome of runoff. Surface runoff from agricultural land carries soil with particles containing nitrogen carbon, phosphorus, and other minerals, Killing marine plants and animals at alarming rates. The ocean water full off toxic chemicals results in dangerous algal blooms. Water pollution of this kind threatens the turtles, shrimp, fish, etc, and also human beings via the food chain.
Rising Level of Sea Water: Seawater levels are increasing alarmingly because of global warming disturbing the marine environment. As per the report, the yearly rate of rising in the level of the seawater in the last two decades has been as much as 0.13 inches per year. This is why we need to educate us regarding the causes as well as the effects of the rising of the seawater level for the sake of bio-diversity.
Noise Pollution Causes by Ships: Science has proved that noise pollution caused by ships is dangerous for marine organisms. Harmful consequences of noise pollution on aquatic species include damage of internal organs, panic response to unknown sounds hemorrhages and altered diving pattern. As noise travels at a greater speed in water than inland, the intensity of sound pollution is much higher in the ocean environment and marine life id highly sensitive to these noises.
Ocean Acidification: The matter of ocean acidification is rapidly becoming a major concern for both human and marine lives. Ocean acidification means a continuous decrease in the pH level of seawater caused due to the absorption of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) from the earth’s atmosphere. Ocean acidification greatly endangers our marine life. This also proves pernicious to human beings who rely on fish products and fish for their sustenance.
In the past few years, several steps have been taken to reduce the levels of marine pollution. However, when it comes to protecting and conserving our water bodies we still have a long way to go. We have to find more ways of cleaning our lakes and oceans and create awareness for the protection and preservation of the marine environment.
Managing Environmental Pollution: Save The World’s Biodiversity
Mahatma Gandhi aptly opined that “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” We, the most evolved species of this planet, have been destroying our own home, the natural habitat for centuries. Hence, managing environmental pollution is among the greatest global concerns at present.
How can we take care of the environment as individuals?
Wangari Maathai: “If we heal the Earth, we heal ourselves.”
It is not possible for one single person to save the biodiversity of the planet. But, each individual must make amends in his own way to help Mother Earth heal. Everyone can contribute by educating himself and adopting eco-friendly practices. We can start by spreading awareness of environmental contamination in our close circles and reconnect with nature.
Simple ways to lessen air pollution:
Every single day, we inhale 11,000 liters of oxygen. So, air quality directly impacts our health. Almost everybody living in big cities faces minor to major health issues for breathing toxic air. Some of the most common respiratory ailments are bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema. So, here are some simple alterations that you can make in your current lifestyle for managing environmental pollution:
- Take public transport– Cars are mainly responsible for creating air pollution. So, taking the bus or the train to reach the office daily would be a sensible decision.
- Say ‘yes’ to solar power- Solar power decreases air pollution. Utilizing the sun as a source of power instead of electricity is an extremely wise step in the right direction. Moreover, it is sustainable, effective, and free.
- Reduce dependence on AC- Use fans and natural ventilation as much as possible instead of keeping the AC on all the time.
- Bring home air purifying plants- Improve the quality of air inside your home to ensure the safety of family members. Rubber plants, peace lily, Boston fern, spider plant, Devil’s Ivy are some of the indoor plants that purify the air.
- Create green spaces- Creating a green space in your community is an excellent way of combating air pollution. The amount of carbon dioxide one big tree can absorb is 26 pounds. So, keep planting trees and encourage others to do so.
- Things all of us can do for fighting water pollution:
We all know the significance of having clean water and the increasing scarcity of it. Here are some inexpensive and easy ways of saving water by practicing certain habits at home:
- Report wastage of water- Many illegal cases of water pollution and waste disposal go unreported. If any such incidence comes to your notice, report such incidents.
- Use water wisely- Excessive consumption of water can be stopped by practicing good habits at home. Why not use a bucket while bathing in place of the shower? Avoid shampooing your hair regularly. Again, don’t leave the tap on when you’re brushing your teeth.
- Support charities- You can also lend a helping hand to charities devoted to preserving water bodies. If you cannot afford to donate money, volunteer in beach and river cleaning programs.
- Ways of minimizing land pollution:
Land pollution poses a great threat to mankind and other life forms on Earth. Soil pollution transfers toxins to human and animal tissue. However, we can prevent land pollution by taking Earth-friendly measures.
- Recycle- Recycling of products is one of the best ways of managing environmental pollution.
- Pest management- Agriculture causes both water and land pollution. So, we need to switch to non-pesticide methods for protecting crops from pests.
- Green leaving- It is in your hands to control the amount of waste your family generates on a daily basis. Purchasing food in bulk in place of single-serving items, including more vegetables and fruits in diet, and cutting down on packaged foods are some choices that’ll not just boost your immunity but also lower pollution levels.
A hundred years from now, there were no airplanes, cars, vaccines, or computers. There were more trees, the air was pollution-free, and people did not know about global warming. It was a completely different world. But, what we fail to comprehend is that unlike us humans, the earth is millions of years old. We have been its inhabitants for a very short period and if we become extinct tomorrow, will the Earth shed tears for us?
International Law And Pollution: A Brief Discussion
With the rising level of pollution every year, the topic of international law and pollution is becoming more and more valid with time. With the advancement of technologies and the increase of civilization, the amount of pollution around the world has increased as well. It is the job of international law to ensure that the level of pollution remains under control. Pollution and the International Environmental law are extremely interconnected and the proper understanding of these two can only lead towards the concept of sustainable development.
How does pollution threaten the planet?
Pollution has become a very familiar word for several centuries now. With every year passing, various kinds of pollution are becoming more and more severe for the health of the planet earth. Pollution is the unwelcome intrusion of several contaminants in the nature around us causing the environment to change in a harmful way. Pollution can be of different types-
- Air pollution
- Water pollution
- Noise pollution
- Plastic pollution
- Soil pollution
- Radioactive pollution
And the list never ends.
Pollution is becoming a matter of more and more serious concern over time and we cannot ignore it anymore as it is affecting human health directly. Pollution is responsible for many deadly diseases among humans. It might result in-
- Respiratory diseases
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Waterborne diseases like jaundice, cholera, etc.
According to WHO, only air pollution is responsible for almost five lakh deaths per year. Radioactive pollution is responsible for the rising numbers of cancer patients around the world.
Pollution is the major cause of damaging the health of the planet earth. The earth and the lives on earth are getting threatened every day by the ill effects of pollution on the environment. Global warming, death of biodiversity are becoming matters of serious concern over time and making the planet inhabitable for any living being. So the discussion of International law and pollution is very relevant in the present time.
International Environmental Law- the definition:
With the rising level of pollution, it has become extremely necessary to control the rate of pollution at any cost in order to save the planet earth. Here comes the importance of International Environmental Law. The main motto of this law is to make sure so that the environment does not get affected in the name of development. It tries to control pollution and pave the way for sustainable development.
International Environmental Law is just a part of the public international law, operating individually from the mid-twentieth century. Public International Law consists of a committee with the representatives of different states in order to peacefully solve the disputes between them.
IEL deals with quite a wide area of issues- starting from the population to climate change. The goal of International Environmental Law is to keep the level of pollution in control and to ensure that earth remains a place for habitation for human beings and other species.
History of foundation:
With the growing realization that the ill effects of pollution are not limited within a particular nation, an international body became required to take control. Based on this, the international environmental law was founded depending on customary international law, treaties made between nations, and international courts.
Customary international law is founded upon several unwritten and popular customary laws of different nations. Based on this, a nation is bound to inform its neighbor about an impending environmental crisis.
The international court resolves the disputes between the nations regarding the matters of pollution.
How to achieve sustainable development?
A proper balance between the workings of international law and pollution may only lead the way of sustainable development. Sustainable development refers to a system where the needs of a generation get fulfilled without making any damage to the environment. Several treaties got signed over the years in order to reach this goal determining various laws of the sea, air, and defining the duties of individual nations for controlling the levels of pollution.
These treaties address the law of the environment as an issue related to human rights. They also distribute the cost of purifying nature based on the capitals of the nations. All these, if implemented correctly may help to achieve the goal of sustainable development.
The presence of international law cannot only control pollution. Proper implementation is what is of utmost importance.
Aquatic Pollution: Definition, Types, And Effects
Water is one of the primary ingredients of this planet earth. It is essential for all living beings on this planet. That is why; aquatic pollution is something that is of real concern.
Definition of the term “ Aquatic Pollution”:
Water pollution is the result of the constant contamination of the water bodies of planet earth (starting from lakes to oceans). As the percentage of drinkable water is really limited in comparison to the total amount of water on earth, aquatic pollution has become a matter of serious concern for all of us.
What causes Aquatic Pollution?
The fact that water is the fundamental necessity of every living being makes the water more prone to get polluted by contaminants. Water, by nature, is very much accepting. So, almost every kind of substance gets mixed in water. Due to this, any kind of unhealthy substances emitted by nature or mostly by human beings causes the water sources of the planet to get polluted.
Types and Variations:
Just like the presence of various water bodies, there are different kinds of water pollution as well.
- Groundwater Pollution:
Groundwater is one of the most important sources of drinkable water. Majorities of people depend on groundwater sources for their everyday needs. Fertilizers and pesticides are the major pollutants in this case. They contaminate the water source from landfills and septic systems. In this way, a majority of the drinkable water gets contaminated. Purifying this contamination can be really costly and difficult. Groundwater pollution spreads and contaminates other water sources as well.
- Surface Water Pollution:
Water sources available on lakes and rivers are described as surface water sources. Nitrates and phosphates, which are actually nutrients, are the main contaminants that are responsible for the surface water pollution. Although these nutrients are necessary for living entities they pollute the water by getting mixed up with wastages from farms and pesticides. Apart from this, the discharges from municipalities and the industrial belts are responsible for contaminating these surface water sources as well.
- Ocean Water Pollution:
Although the name is ocean pollution, the cause is associated mainly with the land. Industrial emissions contribute mainly to this. Along with this, wastages from hundreds and thousands of cities around the world get thrown into the ocean causing ocean water pollution. Oil emitted from ship leaks as well as contaminates oceans.
The sources of the pollutants can be various too-
- Point Sources:
If the source is similar for the various contaminants- it is called point source pollution. For instance, wastewater causes such pollution. Wastewater- discharged either from septic systems, or industries. Although the source of contamination is fixed in this case, this is responsible for affecting a major portion of water sources.
- Non-Point Sources:
The sources of contamination are different in this case. The sources are various here- starting from agricultural waste to discharges from lands. Because of these various sources, it is harder to regulate this kind of pollution.
How Aquatic Pollution affects us?
Water is one of the primary elements of life. So aquatic pollution affects the primary necessity of all living beings around the planet. The effects of water pollution are various-
- Human health- If water is known to be the source of life then, to sum up, polluted water is equivalent to death. Millions of people die because of this every year. The number of people getting affected and sick because of drinking contaminated water is more than a billion per year. Some of the water-borne diseases are- cholera, giardia, and typhoid.
- Environment- Nature is all about balance. Every element of nature keeps the ecosystem intact and working. So, when water, one of the most important elements of this system gets contaminated, other inhabitants get affected too. For instance, algal blooms in several water bodies can make that area devoid of oxygen and devoid of life.
Similarly, when the ocean gets contaminated, it results in killing a lot of living creatures of that ocean. Many of the species have become extinct for the rising aquatic pollution every year.
When it comes to contaminated water, the list of ill effects does not end. That is why; it is extremely important to become more and more aware of this crisis and find a way out of this.
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