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Ecology and our planet

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ANGLIČTINA MATURITNÍ OTÁZKY ECOLOGY AND OUR PLANET We can live on this planet thanks to basic components, which are needed for human existence - air, water, soil and the sun. But the paradox is that we are polluting these most important things for us. Pollution is one of the greatest problems of our age. We must think of the quality of our air, water and soil more than any time before, because the environmental problems affect all countries of the world. To be in balance with nature is important not only for us but even for animals and plants, which don't pollute the environment. During the last years certain species of animals became extinct or very rare thanks to our behavior. Pollution There are different types of pollution such as water pollution, air pollution, sea pollution or for example noise pollution. We produce lots of waste in the home and toxic chemicals from industrial processes. Often we don´t treat our waste in the way it really should be, we are not enough aware how the waste should be treat and sometimes we don´t even want to be aware of that. Some of us just don´t care about what will happen with the waste they throw in the nature. Unfortunately, it´s less expensive to dump waste and toxic chemicals into rivers or holes in the ground than to dispose of them safely. Air Pollution Air pollution is the biggest problem in large cities and areas with concentrated industrial productin. Emissions range from smoke, dust and car exhausts. Coal-fired power stations and industrial plants burning fossil fuels cause these emissions. Greenhouse effect All life on our small blue planet depends on a thin layer of gases, called the atmosphere. Like a transparent blanket, the atmosphere keeps the surface of the Earth warm. Without it the average temperature on Earth would be around minus 18°C. With this atmospheric blanket the average temperature is actually around plus 14 degrees Celsius. The energy from the Sun warms the surface of the Earth. In a similar way, the energy is reflected back out into space as infrared radiation, and absorbed by gases such as carbon dioxide. This process is called the greenhouse effect which has become one of the world’s most discussed topics because it causes global warming. Man himself is the greatest contributor of the greenhouse effect. Global warming could also cause rising sea levels, unpredictable weather in the form of flooding or drought, hurricanes and it could destroy many tropical rain forests which are so important for the Earth’s climate. Ozone hole It was discovered that the ozone shield is thinning at a rapid speed, over the Antarctic it was even missing. But earth’s ozone layer, a protective layer of gas high in the earth’s atmosphere, is breaking down also over other populated places on the Earth. As it does, it is allowing more and more of the sun’s invisible harmful rays to reach Earth’s surface. These rays of the sun are called ultraviolet, or UV rays. UV rays are known to damage the life on the Earth because they bring about diseases like skin cancer, they break down the immune system Most scientists agree that the greatest damage to the ozone layer has been caused by chemicals released into the atmosphere by people. Deforestation Trees are vitally important for our life because they are the lungs of our planet. They absorbe carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen in return. If we lose tropical forests, it will become more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to breathe.If nothing is done about it, they will have nearly disappeared in twenty years. The effect on world´s climate, agriculture and food supplies will be disastrous.

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