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a.meaning of environmental pollution

Environmental pollution is the contamination of the physical and biological

components of the earth/atmosphere system to such an extent that
normalenvironmental processes are adversely affected.
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the environment that
cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or that damage the
environment which can come in the form of chemical substances, or energy such
as noise, heat or light. Pollutants can be naturally occurring substances or
energies, but are considered contaminants when in excess of natural levels.
Pollution is the addition of any substance or form of energy (e.g., heat, sound,
radioactivity) to the environment at a rate faster than the environment can
accommodate it by dispersion, breakdown, recycling, or storage in some harmless
Pollution is a special case of habitat destruction; it is chemical destructionrather
than the more obvious physical destruction. Pollution occurs in all habitatsland,
sea, and fresh waterand in the atmosphere.
Much of what we have come to call pollution is in reality the nonrecoverable matter
resources and waste heat.
Any use of natural resources at a rate higher than nature's capacity to restore itself
can result in pollution of air, water, and land.
Pollution is habitat contamination.

b.types of environmental pollution and their causes

Air pollution is a result of industrial and certain domestic activity. An ever increasing
use of fossil fuels in power plants, industries, transportation, mining, construction of
buildings, stone quarries had led to air pollution. Air pollution may be defined as the
presence of any solid, liquid or gaseous substance including noise and radioactive
radiation in the atmosphere in such concentration that may be directly and
indirectly injurious to humans or other living organisms, plants, property or
interferes with the normal environmental processes. Air pollutants are of two types
(1) suspended particulate matter, and (2) gaseous pollutants.
Particulate matter suspended in air are dust and soot released from the
industrial chimneys. Their size ranges from 0.001 to 500 m in diameter.
Particles less than 10m float and move freely with the air current. Particles
which are more than 10m in diameter settle down. Particles less than 0.02
m form persisent aerosols. Major source of SPM (suspended particulate
matter) are vehicles, power plants, construction activities, oil refinery, railway
yard, market place, industries, etc.

Power plants, industries, different types of vehicles both private and
commercial use petrol, diesel as fuel and release gaseous pollutants such as
carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide along with particulate
matter in the form of smoke. All of these have harmful effects on plants and

Noise is one of the most pervasive pollutant. A musical clock may be nice to
listen during the day, but may be an irritant during sleep at night. Noise by
definition is sound without value or any noise that is unwanted by the
recipient. Noise in industries such as stone cutting and crushing, steel
forgings , loudspeakers, shouting by hawkers selling their wares, movement
of heavy transport vehicles, railways and airports leads to irritation and an
increased blood pressure, loss of temper, decrease in work efficiency, loss of
hearing which may be first temporary but can become permanent in the
noise stress continues. It is therefore of utmost importance that excessive
noise is controlled. Noise level is measured in terms of decibels (dB). W.H.O.
(World Health Organization) has prescribed optimum noise level as 45 dB by
day and 35 dB by night. Anything above 80 dB is hazardous.

Addition or presence of undesirable substances in water is called water
pollution. Water pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems.
Water pollution is caused by a variety of human activities such as industrial,
agricultural and domestic. Agricultural run off laden with excess fertilizers
and pesticides, industrial effluents with toxic substances and sewage water
with human and animal wastes pollute our water thoroughly. Natural sources
of pollution of water are soil erosion, leaching of minerals from rocks and
decaying of organic matter. Rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, estuaries and ground
water sources may be polluted by point or non-point sources. When
pollutants are discharged from a specific location such as a drain pipe
carrying industrial effluents discharged directly into a water body it
represents point source pollution. In contrast non-point sources include
discharge of pollutants from diffused sources or from a larger area such as
run off from agricultural fields, grazing lands, construction sites, abandoned
mines and pits, roads and streets.

Addition of substances which adversely affect the quality of soil or its fertility
is known as soil pollution. Generally polluted water also pollute soil. Solid
waste is a mixture of plastics, cloth, glass, metal and organic matter, sewage,
sewage sludge, building debris, generated from households, commercial and
industries establishments add to soil pollution. Fly ash, iron and steel slag,
medical and industrial wastes disposed on land are important sources of soil
pollution. In addition, fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural use which
reach soil as run-off and land filling by municipal waste are growing cause of
soil pollution. Acid rain and dry deposition of pollutants on land surface also
contribute to soil pollution.


Air pollution is a major environmental issue affecting people across the world. According to the World
Health Organisation(WHO), more than 2 million people worldwide die every year from air pollution. Of all
the air pollutants, fine particulate matter (PM) is one of the most hazardous pollution for the human health.
The particulate matter causes about 9% of lung cancer deaths worldwide, 5% of cardiopulmonary deaths
and about 1% of respiratory infection deaths. According to the WHO, there is mounting evidence that
concentration of particulate matter is increasing in Asia. Particulate matter mostly originates from dust
storms, grassland fires, burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants, but also various industrial plants
generate significant amounts of particulates. South Asia is badly hit by pollution caused by particulate
matter. While Pakistan has the highest concentration of particulate matter, countries like Bangladesh,
Nepal and India are placed by the WHO in a category called unhealthy for the sensitive people. That
means people in these countries suffering from respiratory and heart disease, as well as elderly and
children should limit outdoor exertion. Air pollution in China is as bad, if not worse, than in India but
according to the WHO,the particulate matter concentration in China and in countries such as Myanmar,
Sri Lanka, South Korea and Indonesia remains moderate. There is the least presence of particulate
matter in Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Japan.


The particulate matter represents a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles suspended in the air,
many of which are hazardous. These particles are either directly emitted into the air by sources such as

smoke, dust, pollen, or formed in the atmosphere by transformation of emitted gases. The particulate
matter can adversely affect human health and also have an impact on climate and precipitation. On the
basis of size, the particulate matter is divided into two categories. The particles up to 10 micrometers in
size are called PM 10 and smaller particles of 2.5 micrometer in size are called PM2.5. The WHO has
measured outdoor air pollution caused by both types of the particulate matter and according to these
findings, air can be contaminated by a range of different particles of which many can harm our health,
especially very small particles that enter into the lungs and bloodstream and cause the most serious
health problems. In Asia, like in other regions of the world, pollution caused by particulate matter is
spreading to new areas. The graph, based on the data obtained from the WHO, ranks Asian countries
according to the PM10 level in the air. As the data suggests, Pakistan is the most polluted country in the
region in terms of particulate matter concentration in the air. It is followed by Bangladesh, India, Nepal,
China, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and


Air pollution in some Asian cities is so bad that at times, the cities are enveloped by a blanket of smog
that impedes visibility. According to the WHO,air pollution has worsened in Asian cities in recent years
and presents a threat to human health. In many cities the levels of fine particulate matter - a key pollutant
in terms of its impact on human health - are exceeding the critical limit (as defined by the WHO),
specifically in densely populated, fast-growing and less developed countries like China, India, Pakistan
and Bangladesh. Even in small Asian cities like Kathmandu, the particulate matter level exceeds the most
lenient of several targets recommended by the WHO. Over the last few years, China has been in the

news for heavy pollution in its cities with the skies being completely blanketed by smog. India and
Pakistan, however, have the dubious distinction of having the most polluted cities in the region. If we take
a look at the statistics concerning capital cities in Asia, the air pollution caused by the particulate matter is
worst in Delhi. It is closely followed by Islamabad, Dhaka, Beijing and Kathmandu.


Air pollution is one of the main causes of premature deaths in the world. Of all major global health risks,
outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be much more dangerous for public health
than previously known - contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO
global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world, with 65 percent of all air pollution
deaths occurring in Asia. In 2010 alone, particulate matter pollution was the fourth-leading risk factor for
deaths in China, behind high blood pressure and smoking. Across the region, increasing levels of
particulate matter are causing higher numbers of premature deaths. The graph reveals the human toll due
to outdoor air pollution in 2008, which is the latest comparative data available. A record number of people
have died due to air pollution in the region. In the year 2008 alone, over half-million people have died in
China and India. Other countries in the region have also suffered heavily from air pollution. On top of that,
the future looks very bleak. By 2050, urban air pollution is estimated to cause up to 3.6 million premature
deaths worldwide each year, mostly in China and India.


Asias Forest Area

An area with a high density of trees is considered a forest, although it may vary in size and type of
vegetation. In the past, forests covered more than half of the total land area on earth. Present studies say
forests now cover less than 10% of the Earth's surface (or less than 30% of the total land area). As an
important part of our biosphere, forests function as habitats for organisms containing about 90% of the
world's terrestrial biodiversity, besides being hydrologic flow modulators and soil conservers. The
dominant paradigm in forest ecology is a focus on sustainable forest management which includes the
reforestation, or the practice of natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands that
have since been depleted. A sustainable forest management plan is crucial in mitigating the ill-effects of
pollution, providing for natural habitats and attaining balanced ecosystems, mitigating global warming
besides being a renewable storehouse for resources like timber. Till the 1990s, net forest area in Asia had
declined considerably. The trend was bucked the following decade due to state-led reforestation activity in
many countries with China assuming the lead. On the other end of the spectrum is Indonesia, where 82%
of the land area was covered by lush forests more than 50 years back. Now less than half of the country
is forested. The graph below shows the forest area in Asian countries.

Mid-2013.Uttarakhand, India. These few words will conjure up for posterity images of moving mountains,
roaring rivers and countless deaths after massive cloudbursts in the Himalayas resulted in killing
landslides that obliterated whatever came in its way including thousands of human lives. The understated
fact remained human greed which caused large-scale deforestation in these areas, resulting in the
inability of vegetation to absorb rainfall. Deforestation is a worldwide phenomenon and it is depriving
millions of people of forest goods and services that are crucial to food security, economic well-being and
environmental health. It is believed to have accelerated after 1852 and since then about half of the Earth's
tropical forests - 8 million sq km out of the total 16 million sq km have disappeared. There are many
reasons of which the overwhelming one is agriculture. The United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change says subsistence farming is responsible for 48% of deforestation; commercial agriculture
for 32%; logging is responsible for 14% of deforestation, while cutting trees for cooking fuel needs
accounts for 5%. Today with only 0.2 hectares of forest per person, the Asia-Pacific region is, per capita,
the least forested region in the world. Badly-affected Asian countries include India, Bangladesh,
Philippines, China, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. However good news is that at
the aggregate level, forest area in the Asia-Pacific region will increase or stabilise largely on account of
large scale reforestation in China and India. If gains in these countries are excluded, deforestation
elsewhere remains high.

The Asian experience in reforestation or the practice of natural or intentional restocking of existing forests
and woodlands that have since been depleted is yielding positive results. Area under forests in Asia has
changed for the better from net forest loss in the 1990s, to net forest expansion in the following decade.
China, as the graph shows, leads Asia in planting forests possibly due to its ban on logging in key river
basins and an effort to plant trees at a rapid rate. The main thrusts of these reforms which have paid off
really well are clarifying property rights, reducing taxes, liberalising business operations, and regulating
the transfer of rights over forest land. Forest farmers have been greatly motivated to engage in forestry
production since being granted use rights over forest land and disposal rights over forest. Countries like
Japan, India, Thailand and Indonesia, despite having lost huge swaths of its lush forests, are planting
more trees to save forests. One of the key focus geographical areas for increasing forest cover would
definitely be South Asia. The region, with 23 percent of the worlds population, has only 2 percent of the
worlds forests.

Overfishing occurs when fish are caught faster than they can reproduce, and for
many scientists it has become one of the greatest impacts of human activity on
oceans. Overfishing increases the vulnerability of ocean ecosystems and may
contribute to the decline of other marine species including birds and mammals
The deterioration of global fisheries is raising significant concern, mainly because
an estimated one billion people, mostly in low-income countries, depend on fish as
their primary source of food. On the average, fish supply 16% of animal protein
consumed by humans. The fishing industry, ranging from subsistence fishermen to
large-scale mechanised fishing vessels, directly or indirectly employs some 200
million people worldwide. The economic sector depending on fisheries is therefore a
crucial element for the development of a large number of countries.
1. Technology
Today's fishing technology is highly elaborate. Fishing lines can reach as
much as 120 km, furnished with thousands of hooks. Some trawlers reach
170 metres in length and can take on board the volume equivalent of 12
jumbo jets, and drift-nets can exceed 60 km in length. Fishing vessels cover
large distances at high speed, from coastal zone to high seas. They fish at
great depth, stay at sea for several months, while fish are often prepared for

the markets on board. Destructive sea-bed habitat bottom trawling involves

powerful boats dragging heavy metalweighed nets across the ocean floor to
catch the maximum possible amount of bottom-dwelling life.
2. Open access and over-capacity
Over-capacity is the presence of too many vessels in a growing number of
fisheries. Fish stocks have generally been considered common property, open
to exploitation by anyone with a boat and gear as long as they were used
outside a country's 200 Mile Exclusive Economic Zone. If enough fish are
caught to cover operating costs, there is little economic incentive to stop
fishing once a vessel is built. As more fishermen enter the system, greater
effort is required to catch a dwindling supply and revenues fall. In time, fish
stocks can be severely depleted. Excessive fishing capacity leads to
overfishing and therefore to the degradation of fishery resources. Such
unsustainable practices, creating a conflict between short-term and long-term
gains, lead to serious impacts on biodiversity and diminish vital food
production potential for a number of developing countries.
3. Bycatch
The word "bycatch" refers to the portion of marine life caught that was not
targeted. It may include low-value species but also vast tonnage of young or
undersized fish of valuable commercial species. Almost 25% of all the fish
pulled from the sea never make it to the market. An average of 27 million
tonnes of unwanted fish are thrown back each year, and a large portion does
not survive. Sometimes bycatch fish are kept for the market, but most often
they are thrown back dead, because they may be the wrong species, the
wrong size, of inferior quality, or surplus to the fishing operations quotas. The
potential effects of bycatch are not just for commercial fish stocks, but the
entire diversity of species in marine ecosystems and essential food chain


The question about the definition for global warming or in other words "what is global warming" is
relatively easy to answer. We hereby lean at the definitions and explanations given in Wikipedia:
Global warming is the observed and projected increases in the average temperature of
Earth's atmosphere and oceans. The Earth's average temperature rose about 0.6 Celsius (1.1
Fahrenheit) in the 20th century, see temperature graphs below.

Rise in sea level[edit]

The corresponding sea level rise at the end of the 21st Century relative to the end of the 20th
Century ranges from 0.18 to 0.59 m (excluding any rapid dynamical changes in ice flows in the
future).[1] Ongoing sea level rises have already submerged several low-lying islands in
the Sundarbans, displacing thousands of people.[3] Temperature rises on the Tibetan Plateau, which
are causing Himalayan glaciers to retreat. It has been predicted that the historical city
of Thatta and Badin, in Sindh, Pakistan would have been swallowed by the sea by 2025, as the sea
is already encroaching 80 acres of land here, every day


Increased landslides and flooding are projected to have an impact upon states such as Assam.

Ecological disasters, such as a 1998 coral bleaching event that killed off more than 70%

of corals in the reef ecosystems off Lakshadweep and the Andamans, and was brought on by
elevated ocean temperatures tied to global warming, are also projected to become increasingly

The Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research has reported that, if the predictions relating to
global warming made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changecome to fruition, climaterelated factors could cause India's GDP to decline by up to 9%; contributing to this would be shifting
growing seasons for major crops such as rice, production of which could fall by 40%. Around seven
million people are projected to be displaced due to, among other factors, submersion of parts of
Mumbai and Chennai, if global temperatures were to rise by a mere 2 C (3.6 F).[10]

Villagers in India's North Eastern state of Meghalaya are also concerned that rising sea levels will
submerge neighbouring low-lying Bangladesh, resulting in an influx of refugees into Meghalaya [citation
which has few resources to handle such a situation.


Climate Change in India will have a disproportionate impact on the more than 400 million that make
up India's poor (See Poverty in India). This is because so many depend on natural resources for
their food, shelter and income. More than 56% of people in India work in agriculture, while many
others earn their living in coastal areas.

Temp. increase in the last 1'000 years

Temp. increase in the last 150 years

Temp. increase in the last 25 years

Prediction for future temperature increase (global warming predictions)

According to different assumption about the future behaviour of mankind, a projection of current
trends as represented by a number of different scenarios gives temperature increases of about 3
to 5 C (5 to 9 Fahrenheit) by the year 2100 or soon afterwards. A 3C or 5
Fahrenheit rise would likely raise sea levels by about 25 meters (about 82 feet).


Driven by population growth and the need for increased agricultural production, water
resources are coming under intense pressure across Asia. Annual water withdrawal
andreturn flows are higher than in any other region. The volume of wastewater generated
annually, excluding agricultural drainage, is some 142 km3.1 Inadequate provision of
sanitation facilities, sewerage and wastewater treatment results in significant quantities of
this wastewater reaching water bodies that may service human consumption
Domestic Pollution
Rivers in Asia are highly polluted with domestic waste. Many of the regions rivers contain up to 3
times the world average of human waste derived bacteria (measured in faecal coliforms, or
FC).5 Inadequate access to sanitation infrastructure (such as connections to public sewers and
septic systems) is already a contributing factor today; yet, as urban centres grow so too will the need
for more of this infrastructure. Based on current trends demand will continue to outstrip supply,
worsening pollution. While there are strong efforts to equip exploding cities, a myriad of growing
Asian towns remain completely un-served.

Agricultural Pollution
Agricultural production in the region increased 62% from 1990 to 2002 and consumption of mineral
fertilizer increased 15%.6 Exceedingly high levels of nutrients were found in 50% of rivers in the
region and moderate levels in 25%.6 High nutrient levels cause eutrophication, including algal
blooms that severely damage freshwater ecosystems and hinder their provision of vital
environmental services to people.
Pesticides are another problem across the region. In India for example, pesticide use grew
by 750% from the mid-1900s to the present day and even prohibited pesticides have been
detected in excess of international recommendations in the Ganga River.7 Pesticide bans
have brought improvements in China, but nutrients are still inadequately controlled. In
Central Asia, the use of small quantities of unregulated imports is posing a serious risk.
Further south, in Sri Lanka the disposal of unused pesticides, equipment washing, and poor
storage have been identified as factors contributing to surface water pollution. 6,8

Industrial Pollution

The traditional agriculture-based economies of Asia are giving way to industrial economies. This
transformation is having serious environmental side-effects, particularly in the case of pollution.
Efforts have been made to improve regulation, but the absence, in most cases, of effective
governance makes enforcement very difficult. For example, in Pakistan only 5% of national
industries have provided environmental assessments.9

Urbanization: Causes and Effects of Urbanization in India!
Urbanisation has become a common feature of Indian society. Growth of Industries has
contributed to the growth of cities. As a result of industrialisation people have started moving
towards the industrial areas in search of employment. This has resulted in the growth of towns
and cities.
Urbanisation denotes a diffusion of the influence of urban centres to a rural hinterland.
Urbanisation can also be defined as a process of concentration of population in a particular
According to Mitchell urbanisation is a process of becoming urban, moving to cities, changing
from agriculture to other pursuits common to cities.
Urbanization can yield positive effects if it takes place up to a desirable limit. Extensive
urbanisation or indiscriminate growth of cities may result in adverse effects. They may be as
i. Problem of over population:
Concentration of population is a major problem of cities. It has resulted in accommodation
problem, growth of slums etc.

ii. Disintegration of Joint family:

Joint family cant be maintained in cities on account of high cost of living: People prefer to live in
the nuclear type of families.
iii. Cost of living:
High cost of living is a major problem of cities. In Metro cities like Mumbai, Bangalore etc. it is
very difficult for lower income groups to maintain a decent standard of living.
iv. Increase in Crime rates:
Urban centres are known for high rate of crimes. Theft, Dacoity, Murder, Cheating, Pick
pocketing, rape etc. are common in urban centres.
v. Impersonal relations:
Urban centres are characterised by highly secondary relations. The concept of neighbourhood,
community life are almost absent in cities. Urban life is highly monotonous. This may have an
adverse psychological effect on individuals. People are often self centred and they have no
concern for the fellow human beings.
vi. Problem of Pollution:
In industrialized cities pollution is a major problems. It may be caused by industries or by
excessive movement of vehicles.
viii. Stress:
Urban life is characterised by stress which may even strain family relations. In cities
employment of women is almost inevitable to meet the increasing cost of living. Changing role
of women in the family creates stress in the family which may result in divorce or strained