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22. Environmental issues, catastrophes. Seasons of the year, weather, climate. The environment consists of four parts -atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphereand biosphere. These four have been in balance for million of years and are tied together.Atmosphere are all the gasses that make up the air.Lithosphere consists of all the rocks in and on the Earth.Hydrosphere means all the water in the seas, rivers, lakes and soils and finallybiosphere means simply all organisms living on the Earth. Most of the environmental issues arecaused by human activity. Civilization has brought people many advantages, but its products also pollute and damage the environment in which we live. And because human race is growing rapidly it’s dangerous to not solve how to lower the damage. Air pollution is the biggest problem in large cities and in areas with concentrated industrial production. It is also clearly noticeable in our region. Especially in winter, when we deal with smog.Smog is a mixture of solid, liquid and gaseous substances. The name comes from smoke and fog. It can be caused by car exhaust fumes and by coal-fired power stations and factories which burns fossil fuels. Big problem are alsoacid rainsGlobal warming is caused by thegreenhouse effect. Emissions, like carbon dioxide (produced by burning fossil fuels), nitrogen oxides (from car exhausts), Freon (from aerosol and refrigerators), methan and water vapour prevent the heat from escaping. Then the Earth’s overall temperature is rising. This could cause rising sea levels, unpredictable weather, floods, drought and so on. Freons alsodestruct the ozone layer. The ozone layer forms in the upper atmosphere and protect us from the dangerous UV rays, which cause skin cancer. The biggest ozone hole has formed over Antarctica and Australia. Finally,radioactive pollution. It’s mainly radon and its caused by testing nuclear weapons, nuclear power stations and not well conserved nuclear waste. How can the problems of air pollution be solved? First of all, people should try to usealternative sources of energy, such as solar, water, wind, geothermal and perhaps tidal energies. People should usepublic transport or fast railwaysmore.New cars should run onunleaded petrol.Factories and power stations should haveeffective filters and households shouldnot burn everything that burns, especiallyplastic bottles. Water pollutionis mainly caused bychemicalsused in agriculture(pesticides),heavy metals from industry andoilsfrom ships (mainly by tankers which crashed, and oil run out). Throwing away waste in seas and rivers is dangerous for animals. For example, sharks don’t recognise the difference between plastic bottle and fish. They can eat it and die. Oil spillHow can the problems of water pollution be solved? We should reduce use of chemicals, not throw away a waste and prevent oil spills by using alternative fuels. Soil pollution is mainly caused byagriculture. Pesticides can cause death of worms and other important organisms, also they remain in the soil for a long time. Tropical rainforests are being burned and cut down because people need more land for agriculture. Also, thedeforestation is happening because of palm oil, which is almost in every food, cosmetics and so on. We need to stop this, because rainforests and forests are the lungs of the earth. Also, many plants and animals will become extinct. Without trees carbon dioxide levels will increase, because they absorb them in process called photosynthesis. Manyecological organizations take care of our nature. The most known environmental organization isGreenpeace. This international organization fights against pollution, often by organizing various actions for example Save the Arctic campaign. Everyone can do something for our environment. For example, we can sort waste, recycle more, use glass bottles instead of plastic ones, make our surrounding clean or save energy. Of course, we can’t blame humans for everything. There are severalnatural disasterscaused by mother nature herself. In our country we can notice quite often thefloodsWildfiresThe movement of the tectonic plates causeearthquakes andexplosions of volcanoes. During the earthquake, the land is crashing and shaking. Buildings are falling, and everybody is in danger. In the Czech Republic there are weak earthquakes for example in Ostrava region. They are caused by mining activities. The volcanoes produce a lot of dust, smoke, magma and lava which pours out and burns everything what is in the land´s surface. Earthquake under the ocean can cause a big tidal wave which floods the coast and we call ittsunami.Hurricanes andtornadoes are caused by pressure changes in the atmosphere. We can meet with this phenomenon often in area of Caribbean Sea. The speed of hurricane can reach up to 119 km/hour. It´s very strong wind destroying everything on the way.TornadoThunderstorm consists of lightning and its acoustic effect known as thunder. It is usually accompanied by strong wind, heavy rain and sometimes snow, sleet, hail or nothing of these. There are 4 seasons in a year. Spring, summer, autumn and winter.Spring means the new beginning, because seeds take root, vegetation begins to grow and bloom. First flowers appear, and the weather is getting warmer. That is why the snow is melting. In spring there are sometimes floods, and the weather is changing a lot. Spring starts on the 20th of March and ends on 21st of June.Summer starts on the 21st of June and ends on 23rd of September. The temperature increases and it’s the hottest part of the year. Usually there are many storms, fires and drought. But still it’s the best season judging by kid’s opinion. Why? They have 2 months long holidays. At the beginning of theautumn there is Indian summer, when the weather is like in summer. After the Indian summer the temperature starts to lower. Animals prepare to upcoming cold weather (storing food or migrating) also leaves fall down and their colour is changing. Autumn is

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