Environmental science is squarely focused on studying the environment and providing solutions to problems affecting it adversely.
If you’re looking for ideas to write a definition essay on environmental science, this guide is filled with interesting and highly informative facts that should trigger your train of thought.
- Although studies related to ecology do not strictly come under the discipline of environmental science, it’s still often studied in detail under the same umbrella.
Ecologists study the interactions between various kinds of organisms and how it all affects the environment. Ecological training and research that generally focus on environmental issues directly impacting a certain organism they are studying. An environmental scientist has the option of including organism based research in their field, like some do while others don’t. The reason some don’t is because they like to focus on environmental problems of a physical nature.
Like acid depositions which are produced by emissions and are a trait of the atmosphere around them; this observation is collected without considering the impact on organisms.
- The environment is a very complex field of study which comprises of different sub-fields such as natural, cultural and constructed environments. The study itself is an amalgamation of other various disciplines such as biology, chemistry, geology, political studies, religion, engineering, economics and law.
This multidisciplinary study combines all the aforementioned disciplines to gather information about how people interact with the natural world. A student of Environmental Science combines knowledge of various disciplines and provides relevant and effective solutions to environmental problems.
- The issue of unequal consumption of natural resources is raised through the discipline of Environmental Science. Natural resources are consumed heavily in the developed world and resources often go to waste in developing countries.
Although it should be the other way around, the usage of resources per individual in developed countries is 50 times greater compared to the average usage in developed countries. This is why developed countries are accountable for 75% of the world’s greenhouse gases and industrial waste.
- Deforestation is a heated subject of focus in Environmental Science studies. It’s done for several reasons such as the establishment of agricultural lands, commercial logging, raising crops, mining, accommodation of growing population, establishing industries, mineral extraction, dam constructions and infrastructure expansion.
Although the importance of all the aforementioned reasons is significant, there are several environmental issues that are caused by deforestation like food shortages, ecological instability, increasing levels of CO2 and siltation, floods, significant changes in microclimate, decrease in biodiversity, desiccation of forest soil and global warming.
- According to United Nations, water is a basic human right and can’t be considered an ‘economic commodity’. However, Environmental Science has led us to believe that the consumption pattern of water is increasing exponentially.
There is a water scarcity threat lurking around the corner that will relentlessly affect the global population. The consumption rate is twice the population growth rate while it’s a growing concern that over a billion people don’t have access to fresh water.
It is estimated that around 2025, fresh water demand will have increased by more than 56%.
- Environmental Science has made it possible for us to study the decline in groundwater. Population levels have been increasing significantly while daily fresh water demand has increased by 3800 cubic kilometers.
Several agriculturists have also been using excessive amounts of water to grow crops. Deforestation on hill slopes can cause the loss of forest cover, leading to loss of rainwater which is supposed to nourish the ground. Hydropower generation and the usage of large dams is also contributing to the loss of groundwater.
- According to research by various environmental scientists food production is inadequate in almost all developing countries. All the while, populations are growing exponentially. Contributory factors include subpar agricultural practices, degradation of agricultural lands, overexploitation of fertile soil, deforestation, negligence towards the land’s ecosystem by using genetically modified seeds, degrading sea resources, shortage of nutritious food and loss of genetic diversity in crops. Water scarcity, salinization and waterlogging have also affected agricultural lands all over the world.
- Energy resources can have a major impact on the environment as well. Over the past decade, energy consumption has increased by 14 times compared to population growth.
There are several ways energy can be made such as wind power, tidal power, hydroelectric power, solar energy, biomass power, nuclear power, electro-chemical reaction, hydrogen fuel cells, geothermal power and the commonly used fossil fuels.
Due to concerns of rising temperatures, the scientific community is working tirelessly to harbor green energy sources. Untapped energy sources include the earth’s magnetic field, temperature differences, energy within combustible deposits of methyl hydrates and even a human being generates 60 watts of heat.
- Air pollution is one of the biggest contemporary issues that Environmental scientists have been trying to overcome, which is unavoidable due to oceanic aerosols, biogenic sources and volcanic emissions etc.
Artificial pollution is the result of burning fuel, construction, chemical manufacturing and other forms of industries. There are significant effects of air pollution on human health leading to hundreds of medical complications. It also affects food crops and other kinds of plantations.
- One of the biggest threats to the environment is radioactivity. Environmental scientists all over the world have been trying to curb issues caused by practices such as mining of radioactive ores, radioactive materials in power plants, radioactive isotopes used in medical facilities, nuclear waste from industrial reactors etc.
The effects of radioactivity can damage cell membranes, mitochondria and cell nuclei resulting in abnormality of cell function, division, growth and ultimately death. Radioactivity also causes genetic disorders that may lead to mutation or even blood and bone cancer.
You are now you one step closer towards your ideal Environmental Science topic and have the foundation of good research.
To learn more, head over to our next guide: 20 environmental essay topics for your college assignment followed by definition essay guide for these topics, which should provide further insights into writing a unique and impressive definition essay on any Environmental Science related topic.
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Miller, G. T., & Spoolman, S. (n.d.). Environmental science.
Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2014). Environment The Science Behind The Stories. Boston, Mass.: Pearson.
Cunningham, W. P., & Cunningham, M. A. (2013). Principles of Environmental Science: Inquiry & Applications. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Klein, N. (2015). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. New York: Simon & Schuster paperbacks.
Enger, E. D., & Smith, B. F. (n.d.). Environmental science: A study of interrelationships.
Cunningham, W. P., & Cunningham, M. A. (n.d.). Environmental science: A global concern.