The Main Causes of Environmental Problems

Written by dan taylor
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The Main Causes of Environmental Problems
Deforestation and land degradation is a significant problem in developing countries. (logging area image by Anton Chernenko from

Environmental problems are a hot-button issue in today's society. Many organisations have raised an alarm about disappearing habitats and global warming. The question of what is contributing to these problems is sometimes controversial, but there are a number of underlying causes of environmental problems with which most can agree.

Climate Change

Humans contribute to a warming Earth through the release of greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through deforestation, agriculture, industrial pollution and the use of the automobile. The use of domesticated animals also has an effect on the environment; cows, goats and pigs all release methane gas, a greenhouse gas, accounting for about a quarter of all methane emissions, according to EduGreen.

Land Degradation

Land degradation is a serious and growing problem in developing countries, which makes it difficult to grow crops and forests due to depleted soil. Land clearance, agricultural depletion of soil through poor land management, livestock overgrazing and urban sprawl are some common causes of land degradation.


Fuel combustion is a primary cause of air pollution, mainly due to either automobiles or coal-burning power plants, which produce high levels of carbon monoxide. Domestic, commercial and industrial solid waste contribute to land pollution, requiring landfills for storage or burning, which turns it into air pollution.

Habitat Destruction

Logging, mining, oil drilling and other methods of harvesting natural resources often lead to the destruction of habitats for many species. Wetlands are also at risk due to developers who fill in small ponds or parts of swamps. The loss of habitat means many animal species will find it hard to survive and adapt, sometimes leading to extinction.

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