Our demand for more and more products and things to do has resulted in less space for our oxygen-producing plants. Manufacturing plants and roads take up considerable space and destroy the soil around development. Everything we use gets thrown away, and the bacteria needed to supply nutrients to the soil is robbed by these demands.
A mere 12% of the Earth's landmass is entirely arable for agricultural land horticultural purposes. The remainder of the planet's surface consists of areas that cannot be cultivated, such as rocky terrains, tundras, arid regions, forests and deserts. The steady increase in agricultural industrialization and its constant, unrelenting utilization of chemicals completely leach the soil. Populations_ demand for space and poor agricultural practices limits available soil for plants upon which we need to survive!
Air pollution directly affects plants as smog and toxins are absorbed by the leaves. It also affects light as pollutants, particularly smog, may block the sun_s rays. Through the greenhouse affect, in which fluorocarbons affect a layer of our atmosphere, the ozone, temperature is also affected which may harm plants and surely will change the number and composition of the plant kingdom. Agriculture may be adversely affected by air pollution. Plants may suffer from leaf burn due to acid rain resulting from sulfur or nitrogen compounds emissions or may be weakened and made more subject to disease by exposure to ozone.
The United States releases 7,000,000 metric tons of air pollutants each day. These include carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur, and chlorofluorocarbons.
Radiation is another dangerous pollutant in some areas.and air and water, which can harm plant functioning. Many pollutants, such as those which form smog or acid rain, exert regionally harmful effects. The effects of other pollutants such as fluorocarbons and greenhouse gases, are global in scale.
Oxides of sulfur and nitrogen are among the worst air pollutants. Coal burning power plants, metal smelters and factories emit most sulfur dioxides. Motor vehicles, power plants that burn gas and oil, and nitrogen-rich fertilizers produce nitrogen oxides.
In dry weather, fine particles of oxides may briefly state airborne, then fall to earth as dry acid deposition. When they dissolve in atmospheric water they form weak solutions of sulfuric and nitrate acids. Strong windows may distribute them over great distances. When they fall to earth in rain or snow, we call it wet acid deposition, or acid rain. The pH of normal rain water is about 5.0. Acid rain can be 10 to 100 times more acidic than this, even as acidic as lemon juice. Rain in much of eastern North America is 30 - 40 times more acidic then it wasseveral decades ago. As a result forests and crops are being damaged and fish populations are rapidly declining.
The ozone (O3) layer is critical in filtering out radiation from the sun. The ozone may absorb up to 30% of the sun_s rays. Without the ozone, our planet would overheat. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are the major cause of atmospheric ozone reduction. These compounds of chlorine, fluorine and carbon are used in refrigerators, air conditioners, solvents, and plastic foams. CFCs slowly escape into the air and they resist breakdown.
Our air does not know any boundaries. Wind can carry pollutants hundreds of miles from their origin. The distance air pollutants travel depends on how high in the atmosphere they go. Pollutants that are lifted high into the atmosphere may travel thousands of miles before they drop back to Earth. Air does not know local, state, national or international boundaries.