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Top Ten Environmental Concerns of the 21st Century

Updated on June 19, 2011

What are the top ten environmental problems facing the world today?

A recent scientific paper published in Nature attempted to answer this question, with a twist. The Earth has spent roughly the last 12,000 years in a period of unusual climate stability known as the Holocene era. To put this era in perspective, all major human civilizations have existed since the beginning of the Holocene. In fact, humans have only practiced agriculture for roughly the last 10,000 years. This all-important development, which allowed civilizations from the ancient Sumerians to our own to thrive, was made possible by the stable climate of the Holocene


Unfortunately, this stable, pleasant period is currently coming to an end, and there is strong reason to believe that this is not the result of a change in the natural cycles of the Earth, but rather that the change is caused by human activity.

The authors of Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity, attempted to identify the most serious environmental threats the human race currently faces, and identify the potential "tipping points" beyond which the pleasant Holocene era would disappear and the Earth's natural resources would be seriously depleted.

The ten most serious environmental problems they identified were:

10. The Stratospheric Ozone Layer

The ozone layer filters out the most harmful wavelengths of UVB ultraviolet radiation from the sun before it reaches the earth's surface. A depleted ozone layer would mean increased rates of skin cancer for humans, as well as damage to plants and ecosystems. Ozone depletion received a lot of attention in the 1970s and 80's when scientists discovered a giant and growing "hole" in the ozone layer above Antarctica.

Fortunately, the scientists were able to convince the world community to act quickly to limit the production of ozone depleting substances such as CFCs and halons and the problem of ozone depletion today seems to be on the path to successful resolution, though due to the long lifetime of ozone depleting compounds the Antarctic ozone "hole" is not expected to recover completely until 2050 and the overall levels of ozone in the atmosphere will recover to pre-1980 levels only about 2060-2075.

The goal for the future will be to maintain the progress we have already made on this issue.

This chart depicts loss of virgin forest in the US between 1620 and the present, and demonstrates the scale of some of the land use changes humans have perpetrated.
This chart depicts loss of virgin forest in the US between 1620 and the present, and demonstrates the scale of some of the land use changes humans have perpetrated.

9. Land Use Changes

The authors of Planetary Boundaries chose Land Use Changes as one of their top environmental concerns, which I felt was a slightly redundant choice, because changes in land use, for the most part, have the same negative effects as several of their other choices. For example, loss of wildlife habitat leads to loss of biodiversity. Depending on what the habitat is replaced with, the change can also lead to air or water pollution from factories and farm fields, depleted groundwater reserves due to impervious surfaces such as city roads, and carbon emissions from almost any human activity you could name.

Land Use Changes are also particularly difficult to define a "tipping point" for because their effects vary so significantly, so that in fact the exact environmental impact of one land use change is different from the impact of every other land use change ever made.

I feel a less redundant and easier to measure choice might have been soil depletion due to erosion, desertification, and unsound agricultural practices, among other factors.

(Bonus) Learn More About Soil Depletion

8. Atmospheric Aerosol Pollution

Atmospheric aerosols can be either natural or man-made. Unlike greenhouse gases, most aerosols have a net cooling effect on the climate because they reflect sunlight back into space, instead of allowing it to warm the Earth. The famous Year Without a Summer in 1816 was the result of large amounts of natural aerosols being thrown into the atmosphere by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora.

Unfortunately, excessive aerosols are nevertheless undesirable because of their damaging effects on human and animal health, among other things. Smog and other forms of air pollution contribute to chronic respiratory illnesses and even deaths for millions of people every year. In fact the World Health Organization estimates that 2.4 million people every year die as a direct result of aerosols and other forms of air pollution. This problem is most severe in industrialized areas and areas that use "slash-and-burn" agriculture methods or wood fires for cooking.

Chemicals in Our Food

7. Chemical Pollution

Pollution of air, water, and soil by long-lasting chemical compounds is another tipping point that is hard to quantify, in part because many of the chemicals in question simply have not been around long enough for their long-term effects to be clear. These include many compounds suspected of being endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with the natural balance of hormones in the body. Some of these endocrine disrupting chemicals are blamed for a sudden rise in hermaphroditism among aquatic creatures such as fish and frogs. Others are believed to contribute to the rise in breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other hormone-related cancers in humans.

Other pollutants, such as some heavy metals, are already known to be both harmful and persistent.

Learn More

6. Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is a lesser known side effect of excessive CO2 production. About 1/4 of the CO2 produced by human activities every year is dissolved in the oceans, where it reacts to form various compounds, including carbonic acid, that increase the acidity of seawater. Over the last 250 years, surface acidity of the ocean has increased by an estimated 30%. The acidity is expected to increase by 150% by 2100.

The effects of this change are still poorly understood. However, what is known is that increased acidity decreases the amount of carbonate in seawater, an important component of shells for many shellfish and plankton, and skeletons for coral. The effect of more acidic seawater is similar to that of the disease osteoporosis on human bones - the shells and skeletons gradually become softer and weaker. Eventually, the shells and skeletons dissolve completely. Since shellfish and plankton provide food for many other creatures and coral reefs offer one of the richest and most biodiverse ocean habitats, this could result in a disastrous domino effect for ocean ecosystems, leading to the collapse of many fisheries and eventual extinction of thousands of species.

The Water Crisis

5. The Water Cycle

Many experts believe that water depletion will be one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. Currently, one third of humans have inadequate access to clean, fresh water. By 2025, the number is expected to reach one half to two thirds of the human population, thanks to a combination of many factors, including water pollution, climate change, and water depletion from unsustainable water uses.

Inadequate water resources have led to violent conflict throughout human history, but never on the scale that is likely to affect the 21st century. In addition to human suffering and armed conflicts, unsustainable water use also affects the environment as a whole. For example, irrigation of crops can lead to salinization of soil, ultimately leading to desertification and loss of habitat and biodiversity. Another concern is rising ocean levels. Recent studies have linked groundwater depletion around the world to rising sea levels. Rising sea levels already threaten many island nations and low-lying coastal regions.


The Real Dead Zone

4 and 3. The Phosphorus and Nitrogen Cycles

Although the effect of human activities on the carbon cycle is better known, the effect of human activities on the nitrogen cycle has been even more dramatic.

The human race's use (and abuse) of the nitrogen cycle has been one of the most beneficial for our own species for many years. Every year, humans convert 120 million tons of nitrogen from the atmosphere into reactive forms such as nitrates, mainly in the production of nitrogen-based fertilizer for crops. The widespread introduction of nitrogen fertilizers to the world's farmers was one of the driving forces of the remarkable Green Revolution of the 20th century, which increased crop yields in most regions of the globe by up to ten times.

However, human activities now remove more nitrogen from the atmosphere than all natural processes combined, and much of this nitrogen ends up as a pollutant. A particularly serious problem is nitrate pollution from agricultural runoff in ground and surface water supplies, which can not only poison humans and other living creatures drinking polluted waters, it can also significantly change freshwater and marine ecosystems. The Gulf of Mexico "Dead Zone" is caused by nitrate and phosphate pollution, primarily from agricultural runoff in the American Midwest. The fertilizers cause massive algae blooms, which consume all the oxygen in the water, leaving it too low in oxygen for anything to survive. The size of the Dead Zone varies from year to year, but it generally covers about 6000-7000 square miles and has seriously impacted fisheries in the area, as well as the health of the local ecosystem. Other Dead Zones exist in the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Chesapeake Bay, and some parts of the Pacific Ocean, as well as freshwater lakes and rivers around the world.

Phosphate pollution contributes to the problem as well, though to a far lesser degree. Unlike nitrogen, which is extracted from the air, phosphorus is mined.

The authors of the Planetary Boundaries report believe that the nitrogen cycle has already long passed its tipping point and the the human race should strive to reduce its consumption of atmospheric nitrogen to 35 million tons per year to return to sustainable levels.

One way to reduce nitrogen consumption is to increase use of nitrogen-fixing cover crops such as clovers and other legumes, and use of compost and animal manures as fertilizer.

The Sixth Extinction

Artist's rendering of ocean life in the late Permian, shortly before the Permian-Triassic extinction event.
Artist's rendering of ocean life in the late Permian, shortly before the Permian-Triassic extinction event. | Source
Artist's rendering of ocean life in the early Triassic, shortly after the Permian-Triassic extinction event.
Artist's rendering of ocean life in the early Triassic, shortly after the Permian-Triassic extinction event. | Source

2. Loss of Biodiversity

Of the three "tipping points" the authors of Planetary Boundaries believe the human race has already passed, the loss of biodiversity is the most dramatic. The Earth is currently in the midst of the greatest mass extinction since the death of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. As many as half of all plant and animal species that exist today could be extinct by 2100, a rate that is an estimated 1000 times the natural rate of 0.1-1.0 species per million species per year.

This catastrophic loss of biodiversity is already likely to affect the development of life on earth for millions of years to come. Following the largest mass extinction in Earth's history - the Permian-Triassic extinction event that occurred about 251 million years ago - it took 50 million years for land-dwelling species to regain their previous diversity, and more than 100 million years for ocean biodiversity to recover.

The cause or causes of the Permian-Triassic extinction are still unknown, but the cause of the current mass extinction sadly is not. The majority of modern extinctions are directly or indirectly caused by human activity. Habitat destruction, overhunting/overharvesting, competition from invasive alien species, and climate change are a few of the most common causes of extinction.

In addition to an almost unimaginably impoverished world, mass extinction also threatens to lead to the collapse, domino-style, of entire ecosystems, ecosystems that the human race depends on for its own survival. So-called "ecosystem services" are believed to save human societies trillions of dollars every year by performing functions such as the following:

  • purification of air and water
  • crop pollination
  • production of seafood, game, and other wild foods
  • pest control
  • waste decomposition
  • soil creation
  • drought and flood mitigation
  • and more

Healthy ecosystems perform ecosystem services more effectively than stressed or destroyed ecosystems.

1. Climate Change

The most controversial of the planetary tipping points named by the Planetary Boundaries Report is climate change. Climatology is a complex science, and there are some who believe that the changes of the past few decades are nothing but natural variations. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists, however, believe that human activities are currently affecting the climate and, like many other scientists, the Planetary Boundaries team believes that the tipping point has already been passed.

In order to maintain the stable Holocene climate humans have enjoyed for the last 12,000 years of our existence, a majority of scientists now believe that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels must remain below 350 parts per million (ppm). (This level is still 75 ppm higher than pre-industrial levels of 275 ppm.) Beyond 350 ppm, we begin to risk catastrophic and effectively irreversible changes, such as the disappearance of the Greenland ice sheet, which is already melting at a rate of 48 cubic miles (200 cubic kilometers) per year. Currently, the atmospheric carbon dioxide level is 390 ppm and climbing by nearly 2 ppm every year.

Reducing atmospheric carbon levels is likely to be one of the most difficult challenges in a century of difficult challenges. It will require a worldwide improvement in energy efficiency and conservation, a massive push to more carbon neutral forms of energy generation, and a revolution in land use practices.

The good news is that climate change is intimately connected with each of the other environmental problems outlined in this article, so by solving climate change we can help to solve other environmental problems, and by solving other environmental problems, we can likewise help reduce the problem of climate change. Pick an issue, study it, and set about creating the change you want to see in the world.


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    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 6 years ago from USA

      Haven't we been over this already, DiamondRN?

      Another major problem with your thesis that I didn't cover in that hub is the fact that rising temperatures reduce the amount of carbon dioxide plants are able to absorb:

      Also, higher temperatures affect the ability of many plants to produce food. If you've ever had a vegetable garden, you may have noticed that many vegetables such as tomatoes stop setting fruit when the temperature rises above a certain level. Rice production drops 10% for every 2 degree increase in average nighttime temperature. Higher temperatures reduce wheat and corn yields too. This is VERY bad news in a century when the human population is expected to add another three billion hungry mouths. Of course, global warming is also expected to increase the numbers of floods, droughts, and other severe weather events, which can also devastate crops.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

      Spectacular hub! I am standing up and applauding your work.


    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Excellent Hub! Thank you for speaking from the Scientific and Geological point of view. The general population doesn't want to have to "know" what is happening to our "only" habitat.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Excellent hub. It is great to be reminded of these environment concerns. More should be done to protect and save the earth !!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Brilliant hub and we have and had cut back on waste but the biggest damage is caused by the chemical industry with their pesticide. Now they are under pressure in the western world they selling it in the third world. They will not stop until it is too late and nobody really stops them because there is too much money in it.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 6 years ago

      Not many of us realize that our Earth is probably on the verge of totally breaking down. Despite all the information we are given and all the erratic climate changes that we experience, we still neglect our duties as human beings to take care of what's left of the earth. How I wish that through hubs like this we would all be inspired to preserve what we have left.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I feel as though you are playing right into the Rockefeller and Rothschild plan with this, but I liked it on facebook anyway, because at least you're thinking about something that is important.

    • amybradley77 profile image

      amybradley77 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for posting this, it's a great looking page too good work. I and many of my loved ones are very passionate about most of these issues. I think we all want and need for change in some of these areas in one way or another. You can see some of my hubs on energy effeciency and other environment issues, I will add more soon. Thank you again. A.B.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 6 years ago from Bristol England

      So much to think about, a great hub.

    • profile image

      KLeichester 6 years ago

      Very good information you got there. It interests me. Thanks for posting this.

    • Dawn S profile image

      Dawn S 6 years ago from Virginia

      Great hub. This perspective resets the environmental debate. We need to consider how the damage our activities have caused can affect the quality of (human) life on Earth.

    • bluejasmine profile image

      bluejasmine 6 years ago from Coastal Mid Atlantic

      This was a wonderful hub. Very informative BUT at the same time very, very hard to read. Its so sad what is happening to the Earth. You presented what needs to be brought to everyones attention although its so hard to face the fact that we are destroying the Earth at an alarming rate.

    • MtShastaWriter profile image

      MtShastaWriter 6 years ago from Mt. Shasta Valley, CA

      Excellent hub. Great job on this one!

    • ktowers profile image

      Kate 6 years ago from England

      very worrying, good hub

    • lender3212000 profile image

      lender3212000 6 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      Wow, we're in more trouble than I thought!

    • profile image

      bartwalt 6 years ago

      Very good hub!

      It gives a lot of information.

      But it is very worrying

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 6 years ago

      Great Hub! Yes it is troublesome how mankind is destroying the earth we walk on, the air we breathe, and the water that sustains us and every living creature. If we all do a little of something to help our environment the world would be in a much better state.

      Thank you!

    • tvpuram profile image

      tvpuram 6 years ago from India

      E waste is another hurdle. What about huge quantities of wastes from atomic plants? Humans are the only creatures destroying nature.

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 6 years ago from USA IL

      I really needed this hub as going Green seems to be popular. I have always cared about Mother Earth and the Pollution levels.

    • Iamsam profile image

      Iamsam 6 years ago

      very informative


    • kaoskakimu profile image

      kaoskakimu 6 years ago

      i will share it with my coworker... really nice hub!

    • sir slave profile image

      sir slave 6 years ago from Trinity county CA.

      there has been heavy amount of water stress in the California's central valley..increased farming and residential use has taxed californias snow pack fed water supplies. several years of below average rainfall hasn't helped. this sesason, trinity lake is likely to fill up for the first time in 5 years. weve gotten good rain fall amounts so far..... I wrote an article on SPI the nations biggests lumbet company and californias dominant timber grower(plunderer) as they own 2 million acres. it called "the prospect of tree farming in"

      check it out. thanks

    • kephrira profile image

      kephrira 6 years ago from Birmingham

      Very interesting hub, if a little bit scary.

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

      Great information, we all need to do more in regards to keeping our planet in good shape. Voted up!

    • dpatullo741 profile image

      dpatullo741 6 years ago from UK

      The information you have given are remarkable. Thanks for sharing this great knowledge.

    • Glassy profile image

      Glassy 6 years ago from Aus

      Fantastic Hub kerryg. You description about the ozone layer is certainly real. I am from Australia and i can tell you that the hole in the ozone must stretch very close to Australia from Antarctica, because i have been to other countries and the power of the sun seems to be stronger here than anywhere else on earth. Anyone i have met from another country, including from tropical climates, all seem to say the same thing. And to back up this claim, Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world by far.

    • Garlic Angel profile image

      Christine 6 years ago from Dublin

      Hi Kerryg thank you for such an interesting hub. It is very unsetttling to think of all the damage we are doing to our planet and even though we all do try to do our little bit to help the big industries really need to do more on their part to help.. All these chemicals etc etc that they use in order to make their products either 'last' longer or help them to make more 'profit' its shameful. As I have always said Mother Nature needs to be treated with respect. She has a way of fighting back and show off her awesome powers, which she has done recently with all these disasters going on around the world.. If something is not done soon then these 'Natural' 'Manmade' disasters will continue and get worse..

      Garlic Angel :-(

    • tcfsu profile image

      tcfsu 6 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Eye opening hub, great job!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great hub - I agree with you 100% and get frustrated by the "climate deniers" and those who look at extreme cold temps/snow as "proof" that the Earth is not warming.

      Rising sea levels, vanishing rain forests and encroaching development will significantly change our lives - in this lifetime. Rated up - very good.

    • mike6181 profile image

      mike6181 6 years ago

      Well written and organized.

    • mviadam profile image

      mviadam 6 years ago

      amen KeryG. Amen!

    • MikeNV profile image

      MikeNV 6 years ago from Henderson, NV

      "In order to maintain the stable Holocene climate humans have enjoyed for the last 12,000 years of our existence"

      12,000... 71,000... 2 million. Pick a number and pretend like it's right.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 6 years ago from USA

      Mike, the existence of the Holocene is hardly controversial:

    • superwags profile image

      superwags 6 years ago from UK

      Excellent hub; though I tend to disagree, as you do, with the inclusion of land use change. I also disagree with the inclusion of the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles so high up the list for similar reasons.

      First off; land use has changed towards the greater rewilding of land in most places, the idea that humans are using increasingly large amount of land for crops is largely disproved, as yields tend to increase, rather than the area of farmland. If the study means activities such as slash and burn of rainforest, then it should probably come under "loss of biodiversity" as it's actually a relatively small amount of land involved.

      The nitrogen and Phosphorus cycles are largely mitigated by plants and it would take a huge amount more of these chemicals to be used to throw out the balance significantly, apart from on very localised levels. The amount of chemical fertiliser used in developed countries has fallen, and is expected to fall in the future (particularly if GM is allowed to take off).

      For a slightly more contrary view, watch this (it's a few years old now, but the facts remain)


    • leeroper profile image

      leeroper 6 years ago from UK

      Loss of Biodiversity and Land Use Changes would seem very high in order of importance to me but that’s only from what I would personally consider, quite an eye opener this hub!

    • suejanet profile image

      suejanet 6 years ago

      Great Hub, more people need to take this seriously,.

    • Web World Watcher profile image

      Web World Watcher 6 years ago

      This is an amazing list. I think concern for the environment should really be a higher priority hese days than it really is.

    • texasgirlfw profile image

      texasgirlfw 5 years ago

      Really good hub. The problem is that not enough people take this problem seriously. How do we get people to believe this.

    • SteveHall profile image

      SteveHall 5 years ago from Mountain View, CA 94040

      I work on a tv show about sustainability can be seen on youtube and blip called Michael-Killen-on-Sustainability

      He has had guests with great knowledge on this subject and has painted a painting called Sustainability Base the biggest paining yet. will be touring the world soon.

    • arunii profile image

      arunii 5 years ago from Delhi

      The main thing is everyone should feel that he/she can contribute in a small way like mimimal use of plastic bags, save energy, use bicycle if possible instead of cars or bikes like this

    • BrantleyFoster profile image

      BrantleyFoster 5 years ago from Southeastern United States

      Great hub. The increased acidity of the ocean is incredibly obvious and yet I never even considered it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Vinodkpillai profile image

      Vinodkpillai 5 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      great hub - brings the focus back on environment - pulls it out from the back-burner and forces one to feel sad and scared for the future generations. Thanks.

      I wonder how we call ourselves an intelligent species when we have such tremendous propensity to continue damaging our world on the one hand, and at the same time develop such wonderful insight into the implications of the damage we are doing to our world and - this is the best part - find it so difficult to act on our knowledge and save our planet. This is obviously something that deserves to be our number one priority but truth be told, there are many silly things that command far greater attention.

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 5 years ago from Winnipeg

      That's a very informative hub, we all have concerns about our environment. We reaaly need to learn more about it. Thanks for sharing this info!

    • JosephSue profile image

      JosephSue 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      I guess what people need to do is to stop destroying our ecosystem. Mining, large fishing boats, factories who just throw their harmful waste materials anywhere and those industrial facilities who continue to destroy our remaining forests should be banned by the government.

    • invitationwrite profile image

      invitationwrite 5 years ago

      Well written and organized.

    • skyfire profile image

      skyfire 5 years ago

      Oil Spills are definitely having serious impact. Most of the seashore area after oil spill takes much time to recover. I witnessed two shipwrecks and oil spill last six months so i really feel for those who live nearby ocean. Nice hub.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      The link below was written four years ago, but it still applies and is scary to read. Great hub!

    • SocraticMethod profile image

      SocraticMethod 5 years ago from San Diego

      Peak oil! We have to stop this madness of irresponsibility and ecological devastation. Profits of Doom...

    • weightlossguru profile image

      weightlossguru 5 years ago

      Not to be forgotten, earthquakes that could damage nuclear plants like what happened to Japan.

    • Jennie Demario profile image

      Venture Boyz 5 years ago from Floating in the clouds

      Climate change is right on the money. So far in one week New England has had an earthquake and a hurricane. Have you seen the flooding in Vermont. Things are def changing. I'm nervous to see what's in store for us.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 5 years ago from Japan

      Excellent hub,I didn't realize all those issues. Shocking.

    • ItzMyMindRunning profile image

      ItzMyMindRunning 5 years ago from Brooklyn, NY

      Solar Energy, we need to stop our dependency on fossil fuels

    • profile image

      krak 5 years ago

      And at the same time you forgot to mention Peak Oil, which is probably the most important future climate change factor

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      krak, I'm very much aware of the issue, but though the onset of peak oil will have an effect on environmental issues such as climate change, ocean acidification, and air and water pollution, it's not an environmental issue by itself.

      For a rather interesting analysis of the interplay between peak oil, climate change, and human civilization, I recommend Future Scenarios:

    • Tara_in_NE profile image

      Tara_in_NE 5 years ago

      The United States has always been regarded as the premier polluter in the past, but that has changed. Much of the world's pollution comes from developing countries, where rapid industrialization is taking place with little regard to the environment. China and India are prime examples. Just as the U.S. is beginning to clean up it's act, the developing world is getting dirtier, literally - and big time.

      Interesting take on section 5, and I would like to add that the outlook for the water supply of the United States is not very promising, either. As we speak there are many states in the South and Southwest duking it out for water rights over the scant reserviors available there. You just don't hear about this symptom of our too-rapidly growing population all that much in the news.

      Which brings me to my main point: the biggest threat to the earth is our exploding population. And those countries with the highest birthrates, unfortunately, are among the most impoverished. And they are likely to stay that way well into this century. The more developed nations are seeing the effects of this calamity with the uncontrolled influx of immigrants from those impoverished countries.

      Good hub. Thanks.

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 5 years ago from Midwest USA

      What an outstanding summary! I can't seem to remember the exact source of the following quote but it goes something like this: 'The ultimate disease that any planet can incur is intelligent life capable of altering the environment.' Although a bit extreme literally, there is a LOT of truth hidden in those lines. Great work!

    • spokaneseo profile image

      spokaneseo 5 years ago from Spokane

      fantastic hub, the science is all there for the taking in. With social security nearly bk and now the enviornment going to hell, its good to be old!

    • gamercameo profile image

      gamercameo 5 years ago

      Climate change so fast.

    • gezondgewicht profile image

      gezondgewicht 5 years ago from Netherlands

      Great hub! However, what people often neglect is that a simple asteroid impact or a good vulcanic eruption has more impact (and has had more impact in the past) than we as humans could possibly achieve.

      Nevertheless, raising awareness and taken care of our planet should be the message we pass on to ourselves and future generations.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 5 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      very educating hub, this may serve as a reminder to all of us that this place where we live in needs our help and we better start now.

    • profile image

      netracer87 5 years ago

      Great hub! Even though I'm generally a very positive and optimistic person,when it comes to environmental issues, I'm very doubtful humans will come together and do something before it's too late. Politicians only care about their next election and no one wants to pay for the costs (even when they are minor in some cases) to reverse the damages we've done to mother earth. Still, great hub to raise awareness on many of the challenges we face today.

    • Nsirius profile image

      Nsirius 5 years ago from Fukuoka, Japan

      Informative. Thank you.

    • profile image

      conversationwnoam 5 years ago

      How did climate change become a hoax?

      Dear Prof. Chomsky,

      I remember enjoying a summer afternoon with family and friends, sitting under a large pine tree for shade. This particular tree could be beyond the century mark, judging from its size and character. The conversation occasionally would switch for family events to the incredibly hot month we are having, as expected when the temperature is constantly above one hundred degrees. “July was the hottest month in Texas’ recorded history” said a family friend. “And nobody believes in climate change” I replied, trying to read the popular opinion of the backyard.

      The poll results were a bit disturbing, it seems a majority of the populous shading themselves from the afternoon sun, believe that man-made climate change is a hoax. One doubter argued, “The average temperature of the globe is higher than it is today.”

      The media and politicians plant the seeds of doubt. Our current Governor and candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, Rick Perry said, “Almost weekly or even daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.” This is contrary to a 2010 study by the National Academy of Sciences, which surveyed 1,372 climate researchers, suggest growing acceptance, with as many as 98 percent believing in the concept of man-made climate change.

      President Obama’s policies seem to show little concern for the issue. His administration recently overruled the Environmental Protection Agency proposed regulation to reduce ground-level ozone and are showing support for Cap-and-Trade, which allows heavy polluters to buy carbon credits from more responsible companies, essentially creating a market from clean air.

      I know you regard environmental destruction as one of the greatest threats to species survival in any tolerable sense. How did climate change become a hoax?

      Warm regards,


      P.s. Last weekend it finally rained. Texas just endured its driest seven-month span on record and a large part of state is burning. Friday, Texas Forest Service responded to eight new fires for 322 acres and in the past seven days responding to 60 fires for 11,058 acres. Fortunately there are no fires near my house, although I live in one of the 250 of the 254 Texas counties reporting burn bans.

    • CJofEternalMother profile image

      CJofEternalMother 5 years ago from Bendigo, VIC, Australia.

      Good work. The only issue I have is the generally accepted notion that Australian natives (archaicly known as 'Aborigines') are considered to have come over from Africa. If you had met a pure blooded aussie native, you would know this is not the case.


    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      Thanks for sharing this valuable information. We are being flooded with environmental toxins. Our government should step up and help with this world disaster. Great hub.

    • wellspoken profile image

      Crystal Marie Antoinette 5 years ago from Missouri

      wow wow and wow again. this is wonderful information. its important to realize how these things are affecting us yet they tend to go unnoticed. thanks for bringing my head out the clouds as to what we can expect to occur and what is occuring in our ever so changing world. page looks really nice and well put together this was awesome info. i will be referring some friends of mine who are into these topics read it...thanks for what you do and all the hard work and effort you put into this it shows:)

    • kripkrip420 profile image

      kripkrip420 5 years ago from In relation to what?

      So this is what a fantastic Hub looks like. Very informative. I really enjoyed reading this. I am also very concerned for our future and I will do everything I can to change my own habits, and the habits of those around me. Thanks again!

    • STMerriman profile image

      STMerriman 5 years ago from Quincy ilinois

      For the Kids!

    • profile image

      Justice 5 years ago

      Too muchHuman activity could be solved by limiting childbirth to 1 child. It is very controvertial but it would work. If human populatin is increasing faster and fastet, this might help a lot. Please, stop having 8 kids.

    • rakibahamed profile image

      rakibahamed 5 years ago from Bangladesh


    • markmcknight profile image

      markmcknight 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Found this hub very interesting. I'm not really interested in what it has to say, but how it says it. This is the first time I have seen a hub with a 100% score. Very well presented.

    • profile image

      ryankett 5 years ago

      Climate change deniers make me laugh. Not because I can be 100% certain in my own beliefs on that particularly environmental issue, but because there are hundreds of other very real environmental issues which are not directly related to CO2 which they seem to group together as one collective. If you don't believe in global warming, then go and believe in the depletion of our fish stocks, if you don't want to believe in that then start believing in the shortage of fresh water that half of the world will soon find themselves experiencing. A climate change denier will tend to not give two hoots about ANY issue. Sorry, rant over!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Australia has just passed a Carbon Tax leading to an Emissions Trading Scheme in 2015 hope more countries follow suit. Great Hub!

    • grinnin1 profile image

      grinnin1 5 years ago from st louis,mo

      Enjoyed your hub. Very thorough and readable. I learned some things I hadn't known before. Thank you

    • ershruti304 profile image

      ershruti304 5 years ago from Shimla

      Nice hub with lots of information. Hope we can together fight back the evils of polythene and other environmental hazards.

    • Jethro1 profile image

      Jethro1 5 years ago from Canberra

      Fantastic hub, sadly I think you're being optomistic if you think we can solve these problems before it's too late. I see one major problem with climate change models which is probably impossible to include and that is the infinite number of variables which could and probably do affect climate change.

      There are a number of factors which have prety much sealed our fate, our arrogance in thinking we can put this problem on the back burner and take care of it at a later date, our belief in the ability of the planet to sustain us no matter how many much the population grows, our inate curiosity which drives us to improve our quality of life, be it medically or technological and finally but probably most important of all is the idea that we are somehow not part of the natural systems which make the ecosphere work.

      When we realise that we are just a small cog in the wheel and we need all of those other cogs for the wheel to rotate properly we might be half the way to getting it right.

      With an ever increasing population and an ever decreasing bio-diversity we as a species are doomed to failure. I hate to be the pessimist but planet earth can only benefit from our eventual extinction. consider this in a few million years our eventual replacement as the dominant species on this planet will only be aware of our previous existence through the fossil record and geological analysis that may indicate we lived through a stable period which ended rather abruptly. Considering life has existed on earth for only 500 million of its 4.5 billion year history in another billion years time the earths own cycle of renewal may well erase all trace of our existence.

    • doodlebugs profile image

      doodlebugs 5 years ago from Southwest

      I agree that the health of our oceans is what keeps everything else in balance. We need stronger treaties to prevent over harvesting so that the major fish species such as tuna can recover.

    • marymootoo profile image

      marymootoo 5 years ago

      Hi after reading your hub I think that the answers sum up the state of the the climate, some opptermistic some not that is where we are. We are in a state of limbo, who is going to lead us out of this mess? I fear politics gets in the way of progress. WE ARE DOOMED!

    • s t e l l a profile image

      s t e l l a 5 years ago from The Valley,England,

      Great hub. I learned a lot from this. Thank you.


    • Aceblogs profile image

      Aceblogs 5 years ago from India

      First of all i want to say , it is a great hub, Thumbs up ! Yes i agree with all the 10 concerns you have mentioned and i believe that climatic change is getting the worse of it all , we have now unpredictable changes in weather and seasons

    • MikeNV profile image

      MikeNV 5 years ago from Henderson, NV

      It's been over a year now since the BP Spill and no one is talking about it at all.

      Once a story leaves the National News it's quickly forgotten by the masses. The problems don't disappear and the human race is very quick to accept the continual destruction of the planet as they go ignorantly along with their day to day business. One day it will be too late, and the race will become extinct.

    • unlitips profile image

      unlitips 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Excellent hub

    • i_am_monk profile image

      John Crozier 5 years ago from Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, England

      A brilliant hub, it has some interesting points and i was very intrigued will read through.

    • alexa001 profile image

      alexa001 5 years ago from HOLTSVILLE NY

      Great informative post. This is such a nice hub for updating my knowledge. Thanks

    • nasake profile image

      nasake 5 years ago from England

      anybody that shrugs off this kind of information, or worse still, ignores it, doesn't deserve to be graced by living on the Earth. Some people don't understand how luck they are! and we should be trying hard to look after our home.

    • TheTruthasIseeit profile image

      TheTruthasIseeit 5 years ago from Virginia

      Good summary of the book. As a global community we all need to make some changes and live in a way that is less harmful to the environment.

    • ashleyasinglemom profile image

      ashleyasinglemom 5 years ago

      Bottom line, earth needs to be taken better care of. This is our home, and our home needs to be treated better.

    • atikrj profile image

      atikrj 5 years ago

      Great post

    • profile image

      csr 5 years ago

      Great article...


    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the nice post..

    • sidds123450 profile image

      sidds123450 5 years ago

      Those are some serious issues and need immediate attention from entire world community, a great detailed hub.

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub! Enjoyed learning more!

    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 5 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      This is a very good hub. However, too many people will not take the environmental concerns of our climate seriously. Politicians are getting paid off right and left. We who are ordinary citizens will be the ones who will save each other. This is because we will demand that the right thing will be done for our environment.

    • jonta profile image

      jonta 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Great Article... makes me sleepless

    • wanderlust9 profile image

      wanderlust9 5 years ago

      A very nice and in-depth article.

      On the issue of a Water Crisis. It is definitely a credible threat but over the last few years I have seen leaders taking noticeable action to protect their countries against it. For instance, in India, a massive rain water irrigation system project was undertaken and successfully completed. I do not see it being implemented properly for the next few years but at least the infrastructure is in place.

      Need is the mother of invention, I have faith in humans, we aren't perfect but the sh*t hits the fan we usually come through.:) But before that can happen we need articles like these to spread more awareness.

    • road2hell profile image

      road2hell 5 years ago from Linden, AB

      Finally, someone who can producereport the actual crises as they are. Well-reasearched and I agree that these ten are the most important issues humanity to face-- but there is one that is missing. The end of natural resources especially natural gas and oil. This will cause an economic crisis bigger than what we are facing now. And secondly, many of these crises will be upon on us in a very short time. I don't know which one of the above ten or my eleventh will happen first, but when one happens, believe it, the others will follow - the domino effect.

      Oh, I forgot one. But this has indirectly affected all the others -- the population explosion.

    • millioneers profile image

      millioneers 5 years ago

      Informative. nice hub

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      so much detail is fantastic this should be published in Scientific American for an easier way to comprehend climate change science. Well done!

    • laringo profile image

      laringo 5 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      This is a very in-depth account of what is going on with our planet. I'm aware of climate change and what have you but to read actual facts on what has and continues to go on it very serious. Do you have information on how this will affect whether patterns around the world. Say for instance places like California who never get Hurricanes like the eastern seaboared. Could that change?

    • bagsofwater profile image

      bagsofwater 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks for this very useful hub! I completely agree with the water cycle point, water depletion actually doesn't get enough attention and should be talked about a lot more

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 5 years ago from Idaho

      Excellent hub! Very well written and absolutely true. Voted up and linking.

    • sharewhatuknow profile image

      sharewhatuknow 5 years ago from Western Washington

      We all know that the earth experienced a major ice age about 10,000 years ago? What caused that?

      As for water depletion? Sewage companies recycle that water FOR human consumption.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      laid all out neatly and succinctly.. so much more interesting than listening to the political forays re the kyoto accord...

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      icountthetimes 5 years ago

      A great hub. In a time where we are very preoccupied with economic concerns, we must not forget about the very planet we live on. If anything, this could be a great opportunity to concentrate on making significant strides regarding renewable energy, and creating employment around that.

    • athena2011 profile image

      athena2011 5 years ago from Beachfront - In My Dreams:)

      Excellent information you have presented here. Hopefully we can all take away something from this hub and help to preserve our environment. Voted up and useful.

    • Ahyat profile image

      Ahyat 5 years ago from Canada

      Really interesting information. I hope we can all benefit from here, and make changes in our life for a better future. Great hub keep up the awareness ;)

    • profile image

      Jeff_McRitchie 5 years ago

      This is an excellent Hub that's full of sobering information. Voted up.

    • sjain101 profile image

      sjain101 5 years ago from Delhi

      Great informative work. indeed climate change is the biggest worry of all times which sadly has been ignored

    • TroyM profile image

      TroyM 5 years ago

      Excellent Hub! Informative article on environmental problems.

      Everybody should at-least read this article.Thanks!

    • Shaddie profile image

      Shaddie 5 years ago from Washington state

      When I read things like this, it makes me want to throw in the flag and cry. The only thing that comforts me is knowing that I will never assist in the continuation of the human race - humans voluntarily abstaining from reproduction is the only way things can get better.

    • Tonu1973 profile image

      Tonu1973 5 years ago from the outer reaches of reality

      Excellent hub. As you said many of these environmental problems interact and co-evolve over time, with climate change being a key player in many of them. With so much scientific evidence and a growing grassroots desire to help why are the world governements that are capable not doing more. It seems to me that even when they are touting "be green" they are still helping the good old boys (oil, etc.) behind our backs. There should be much more funding for research into green energy alternatives. There should also be more access to existing green energy options for those who want to help. It just seems wrong to have to pay 3X more for something because it is the right thing to do.

    • natures47friend profile image

      natures47friend 5 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

      Brilliant hub. There are so many who wreck the environment. I have mates who will not recycle...too much effort apparently..Then we had the Rena in Tauranga stuck on a reef...20,000 birds died and they gave $1 million for their mess. Greenpeace are still trying to get them to fork over more money...after all they were all asleep when the ship hit the reef.

      Big countries are not good at environmental costs and governments dont seem to care.

      Nissan are going to produce 1.5 million small electric cars in 2016 so I wonder how other countries will act...follow.....hmmmm.

      Voted up and AWESOME!!!!!!

    • ivantsoft profile image

      ivantsoft 5 years ago from US

      thanks for sharing this info. it is really interesting.. end of the world is it..

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      The top 10 environmental concerns are the concerns of all of us if we want a future. Some of the problems are intractable. No matter what we do some of these issues will get worse. If we get serious about solving these problems we can reduce the damage done and future damage, too.

    • A Life Underwater profile image

      A Life Underwater 5 years ago from Coconut Creek, Florida, USA

      In my life as a professional diver examining marine eco systems on coral reefs around the world I have watched a systematic breakdown of our coral reefs, their bio diversity, and over stressed fish stocks in my lifetime alone. It is without a doubt the beginning of the end for our planet's oceans. Population growth, asian fad foods killing off apex predators for their fins only, destruction of habitat, ocean acidity and a myriad of other stresses is the condemnation of out life giving ocean. It is a grim picture indeed. Thanks for the facts!

    • profile image

      SanXuary 5 years ago

      There are some other major tipping factors that work against our current agenda but creates some variables that might keep us from committing suicide. Despite the unquestionable truth that global warming has been influenced by carbon we are headed towards another ice age. According to past geology it is a cycle and should return. The other variable is peak oil, it is already impossible to imagine another 80 years of supplies. Right now the battles for control over the last supplies is a game of winner takes all or last man standing. Even more scary is to imagine a World with no oil and having no plan to replace this energy source. Still I find the argument that ethanol is not a good choice. How can a one for one carbon exchange from plants to carbon be bad compared to no exchange but increased carbon. Still if we do not create a plan based on sustainment we are likely facing a longer list.

    • kxdorey profile image

      kxdorey 5 years ago from Beverly Hills, California, USA

      Another great one that nobody seems to be talking about is the fact the layer of top soil on our Earth is slowly depleting. Because we don't recycle crops, many plants have less than 10% of the nutrition they did even 50 years ago. It's not popular in the media but it's greatly affecting our ability to fight off all these bugs.

    • profile image

      Azure 5 years ago


    • profile image

      SarahBodo 5 years ago

      Useful and informative.Am voting this up and sharing it!

    • charles wade profile image

      charles wade 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Don’t worry, the same brilliant minds that created so many of our problems will certainly get us out of them; will they not?

    • Magicdust Staff profile image

      Magicdust Staff 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Excellent hub, so full of info and worrisome on several levels. The water situation is possibly closer than we think.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Fascinating hub; much of this I taught in my science classes but I probably never was this eloquent in my delivery. I hope this is read and read and read again. Keep up the good work!

    • Eliminate Cancer profile image

      Eliminate Cancer 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Not just interesting - critically important!! How do we get the message across to the people who can do something about this??

    • quiet tracer profile image

      quiet tracer 5 years ago from South-Asia

      A great effort to bring such a concerning issue in people's view.

      Though, nothing is going to be changed positively in favour of the green environment for at least some long time in future. Behaviour comes from the top to bottom. When the largest economies in the world at present are not going to accept to reduce a bit of the growth rate of their economies, how can you imagine the companies and the businesses at any domestic level in those countries will ever dare reducing their productions and excretions for the sake of protecting environment?

      People can raise the volume of their voices to cry that the environment is in danger but it does not seem possible that people can ever make the governments to think green. Its just impossible. Every big giant needs money and money comes faster when they destroy the environment. I think you guys get the point.

    • Hawkstryker profile image

      Matt Dawes 5 years ago from England

      Great hub! Good information and nicely written. Voting up and interesting!

    • christopher9882 profile image

      christopher9882 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thank you for sharing.....

      Very interesting.

    • john hayls profile image

      john hayls 5 years ago

      This hub has very interesting topics for us. All the topics related our socially environment. Thanks for the shearing information.

    • Jennifer Madison profile image

      Jennifer Madison 5 years ago from Lohmar

      There is lots of useful information in this hub and it is very comprehensive. I like it a lot. People need to become aware of these issues and act accordingly. Especially schools and universities. Climate change and environmental protection measures need to be integrated into the science curriculums of all schools.

    • chelseacharleston profile image

      chelseacharleston 5 years ago

      Well there's just no such thing as too much of this kind of awareness, great hub!

    • Helpingyoufindit profile image

      Helpingyoufindit 5 years ago

      Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      If climate "stability" is unusual as you stated at the beginning of this hub, instability is the norm. Climate Change is instability. If instability was present before MAN, what moron would believe it's mans fault concerning climate instability? Science is supposed to be logical. Your conclusions are anything but.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      Gusser, by that logic, humans never start forest fires because forest fires have been started by lightning in the past.

      We have known that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas since the 19th century.

      We know that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is currently increasing. We also know that the pattern of warming we are currently observing is consistent with warming caused by an increase in CO2. For example, overnight temperatures are warming faster than daytime temperatures because the extra CO2 traps the heat longer near the surface, whereas if the sun were causing the warming you would expect daytime temperatures to warm faster and the heat to be lost fairly quickly to space once the sun went down.

      Finally, we know that humans are the primary cause of the increase in CO2, because carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning have a different carbon isotope ratio than carbon emissions from most natural sources such as volcanoes. Carbon isotopes associated with carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning are increasing in the atmosphere and oceans, while carbon isotopes associated with natural CO2 sources are remaining more or less steady, or even declining.

      Therefore, since the increase in CO2 is the primary cause of the current warming and human emissions are the primary cause of the increase in CO2, it is logical to say that humans are the primary cause of the current warming. A recent study pegged our contribution at about 74%.

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      So you blame man, how did the last Ice Age end? Man wasn't here, YET the earth warmed. Perhaps you believe the Dyno's were driving SUV's. CO2 can easily be lowered. All Global Warming Morons can stop exhaling. WAIT that would mean the plant life would die since they breathe CO2 & give off oxygen for the air breathers to use. Wow the more CO2, the more plants. The more plants, the more oxygen for us. Isn't that a great way to help life AND the planet?

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      Okay, now you've flipped your previous logic on its head and are suggesting that because man is responsible for one forest fire, then he must also be responsible for all forest fires ever. This is just as illogical as your previous suggestion.

      The end of the last Ice Age came about because of the Milankovitch Cycles, and, by the way, dinosaurs died out about 65 million years previously.

      The CO2 produced through exhalation by the entire human race, let alone us climate hawks by ourselves, is pretty negligible, so the extinction of the human race, in whole or in part, wouldn't have much effect on plants if exhaling was our only contribution to atmospheric CO2.

      Additionally, "the more CO2, the more plants" is a gross oversimplification. Due to their greater genetic diversity, weeds are much more able to take advantage of higher CO2 levels than crop plants, so even if the overall number and growth rate of plants increases, it's not likely to particularly benefit the human race:

      Additionally, even the success rate of weeds will depend on how much the rising CO2 levels affect the temperature. Photosynthesis is a temperature dependent process. It slows down above 90 degrees F, shuts down above 95 degrees, and has stopped entirely by 105 degrees, so regions with significant temperature increases can expect reduced plant growth of all sorts despite the higher CO2 levels. For example, the business as usual carbon emissions scenario predicts that Kansas will see 120 days per year above 90 degrees by the year 2090, more than twice the ~50 it gets today and comparable to the climate of modern Tucson or Las Vegas. I know I can't wait to see one of the breadbaskets of our country reduced to desert scrubland. :P

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      Talk about lost. YOUR kind called for a mini Ice Age in the 70's & 80's Reversed itself in the 90's to call it Global Warming. Then being totally exposed as a hoax, had to change your mantra to Climate CHANGE. Now some of the "learned" are going back to the mini Ice Age again. As far a desert scrubland: The desert of Death Valley has sea life fossels. Things changed long before man got here, they will always change. WOW THATS GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, let's blame man. An eco system that has survived billions of years, thru astroids, ice ages, warming etc can certainly survive little old man. If I could buy "Warmers" for what they know, then resell them for what they think they know, I would have wealth beyond imagination.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      Actually, reviews of the peer-reviewed scientific literature of the time reveal that the papers predicting warming greatly outnumbered the papers predicting cooling, but you know the mainstream media - always looking to sell another magazine or newspaper with a sensational headline! Apparently Newsweek thought a new ice age sounded more sensational than a global heat wave, so "scientists predict a new ice age" passed into the mainstream consciousness in the 70's, while hardly anybody outside the scientific community discussed the possibility of global warming until the late 80's, despite the fact that the basic science behind the greenhouse effect had been established for 150 years and scientists had been saying that humans might be influencing it for nearly 100.

      "An eco system that has survived billions of years, thru astroids, ice ages, warming etc" certainly can survive little old man. The question is whether "little old man" can survive himself. Unchecked global warming has the potential to be a civilization ending catastrophe, literally by 2100. It's pretty clear from your avatar that you don't have to worry about being alive then, and neither do I, but my children by all rights should be, and you'll pardon me if I prefer to do everything in my power to reduce the chance that they will experience total societal collapse. :P

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      Peer reviewed eh. That simply means one moron agrees with another moron. Morons would be peers CORRECT? These morons did as stated: 1970's & 1980's cry wolf for COOLING. 1990's & early 2000 WARMING. From then to now CHANGE. As far as Civilization ending catastrophe by 2100: These same Peer reviewed Morons predicted that for to be happening NOW. Remember Al Gores movies? New York should be underwater with the rising sea levels. OOPS Thats right Obama was going to " Lower sea levels". The Polar Bears should be extinct, by now. Just saw 1 3 weeks ago on vacation. The Global Warming-Cooling-Change movement is the only thing moving, MOVING from one lie to the next.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      You think if you just keep repeating the same old lie about the majority of scientists predicting global cooling in the 70's it will magically become true?

      The possibility of global warming caused by anthropogenic carbon emissions was first suggested by Arrhenius in 1896. Other scientists started to become concerned about it in the 1950s, and it's been the majority scientific consensus since the 70's.

      Al Gore's movies did NOT predict New York would be underwater in 2012. That was The Day After Tomorrow, a sensationalized Hollywood vision of global warming. Real scientists (neither Al Gore nor Hollywood qualifies) have actually consistently *under*estimated the speed and violence of changes caused by global warming. There is currently less Arctic ice, for example, than most 2007 IPCC models predicted we would have by 2050:

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      Less ARTIC ice----oh crap MORE Anartic ice ---oopsy--The "possibility" of pink unicorns was first suggested in 1897.... Proves nothing. Since the 70's means before 1980... when the science of the day was predicting Ice Age. AND if science is " consistently *under* estimating" THAT alone shows science to be in ERROR AGAIN. Believe what you want, that's called faith, not proof.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      Antarctica is gaining sea ice thanks to changes in ocean circulation from freshwater running off from its melting land ice - hardly evidence against global warming.

      For the third time, the science of the 70's was NOT predicting an ice age. The possibility was discussed on account of cooling from aerosols, but rejected on the grounds that the cooling effect of aerosols was more than offset by the warming effect from CO2. Newsweek, which is not and never has been a science journal, noticed the discussion but not the conclusion and ran a sensationalist story, thus ensuring that people like you would spend the next 40 years lying about what the scientists said. Thanks, Newsweek.

      "AND if science is " consistently *under* estimating" THAT alone shows science to be in ERROR AGAIN."

      Yes, but not the way you want them to be in error! The arctic wasn't supposed to be ice free in summer until 2100. Now it looks like it may happen by 2030. This is not good news for a lot of people. Additionally, you will find that when scientists make mistakes, they admit it and correct them. With all the unexpectedly violent climate-related chaos of the last 5 years, the next IPCC report is likely to be a doozy.

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      "Looks like it MAY happen"--- now there is something to hang your hat on. "Looks like" is not proof---"May happen" is not proof. Let's just change our way of life, without proof. Theory is what the whole Global Climate Warming, Cooling, Change thing is. Theory is NOT proof even in the scientific community. The theory is based on SOME evidence pointing to a future happening. SOME evidence, points to the Messiah's return too. Do you state that as FACT also? Some "believe" in the Messiah's return. (FAITH). Some believe in Warming,Cooling, Change. (FAITH). Perhaps you need to recognize Global Warming, Cooling , Change, as the Liberals Religion.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      Sure. There is always the possibility that the sun will go into some deep solar minimum or something and the whole warming trend will reverse. However, it would have to be a very DEEP solar minimum, since humans emit enough CO2 in just 7 years to completely negate a minimum such as the one that caused Europe's "Little Ice Age" a few centuries ago.

      Like many anti-science types, you completely misunderstand the concept of scientific theory. In the scientific world, a theory is something that has survived rigorous testing and is the best available explanation for a given phenomenon that fits all the known facts. Gravity is a theory. So is the heliocentric solar system.

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      Your Science had a theory the the Sun orbited the earth. Or getting closer to your time: that the speed of light couldn't be broken. WRONG AGAIN Theory is not proof of anything. AND don't bring the sun into this just because it is the SOURCE of heat for this planet.... WAIT.... The SUN warms our planet. I have a theory that "The man in the moon could apply sunscreen to himself & reflect the suns rays away from earth thus cooling global Warming". This new "theory" has not failed any rigorous testing, And nobody disputes its facts. SCIENCE at it's finest.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      It hasn't survived any either. It is therefore a hypothesis and not a theory at all. Enjoy your trip to the moon in search of observational evidence to back it up!

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      Still enjoying science's red face over the speed of light being broken. Einstein's THEORY was peer reviewed, past rigorous testing, was the best explaination available, had observational evidence to back it up, Science at its finest. YET COMPLETELY FALSE My sunscreen theory is just as accurate.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      I'm not sure why, since it hasn't been definitively confirmed yet. Even if it is, that hardly debunks the scientific method itself. Real scientists admit their mistakes. Climatologists will do the same if it ever becomes necessary. As it stands currently, however, climate skeptics and deniers have poured millions into funding research attempting to debunk anthropogenic global warming without the slightest success. It is certainly possible that it may be debunked in the future, but meanwhile, given that it predicts civilization-ending catastrophe if we don't take action, I feel that this is a clear case where the benefits outweigh the risks.

      Even if anthropogenic climate change is ultimately debunked, fossil fuels are a finite resource that should be conserved for indispensable uses, not wasted frivolously. Extracting and burning them is also a major contributor to air, water, and soil pollution worldwide, which kills millions of humans and untold billions of plants and animals every year by exacerbating respiratory problems and causing cancer, birth defects, and other problems via exposure to toxic by-products. Reducing deforestation, unnecessary tillage, and meat consumption also have benefits to both human and environmental health that go far beyond their effects on climate.

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      You certainly believe in the full line of leftist causes. If only you could get laws passed controlling what the deniers are allowed to do. THAT is the real reason behind the Left's agenda. Control. After all only the left has learned people, the rest are to stupid to think for themselves. It's your hub, you can tell your fairytale anyway you wish.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      Reality has a well-known liberal bias. :D

      Ironically, it's climate deniers who are more likely to end up causing climate-related loss of freedoms, by delaying sensible gradual action to the point where only urgent, severe action will have any hope of saving our skins.

      We need to peak carbon emissions by 2015 to have a hope of keeping warming below 2 degrees C. If we delay even until 2020, we'd have to go down by 10% a year, globally. The total collapse of the USSR reduced its national emissions by only 5%, so I'm sure you can imagine how much fun a 10% global drop would be. :P

    • profile image

      Gusser 5 years ago

      Ah yes I forgot. Liberals need not believe in a savior. They believe they are the savior. Thousands of little messiahs. Like I said : Your fairytale, you tell it anyway you want.,

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      And conservatives want to bring on the Apocalypse so Jesus will show up and Rapture them out of this world they've ruined. :P

      Save the world or destroy it - I know which I'd rather face my Maker having attempted.

    • Helpingyoufindit profile image

      Helpingyoufindit 5 years ago

      Kerryg you have a great post don't let this Gusser Guy turn it into a political or religious argument. Gusser must I remind you of 2 Timothy 2:23-24.

      Please let people discuss things without changing it into an argument over religion or politics. If you want to discuss those things then find a hub that talks about those things or write your own.

      I think allot of us including me have found kerryg's Hub very interesting. I have a brain and can look at the information presented to me and find out for myself what I believe to be true.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 5 years ago from USA

      Helpingyoufindit, thanks for the reminder. Though I am a liberal, I consider concern for our environment to be something far beyond politics. Politics (and religion, too) become completely irrelevant if we no longer have a livable planet, therefore it's in the best interest of everyone - liberal and conservative, religious and non-religious - to promote environmental conservation.

      I definitely encourage everyone who reads this hub to read widely on environmental issues and make up your own mind about who is telling the truth. I recommend Skeptical Science as the best starting point. It is pro-AGW and includes detailed refutations of pretty much every anti-AGW argument ever made, but the comments section frequently includes posts by AGW deniers and skeptics that bring up other interesting points. At the very least, those readers inclined to disagree with AGW may return with more novel arguments than "it's the sun" and "it's a liberal conspiracy!"

    • ftclick profile image

      ftclick 5 years ago

      I don't come back to many hubs but this is one I will stay on top of. I remember we used to drink from the hose in the late 70s as kids in our front yard. I see "no water stress" levels in the Brazil but nobody there drinks water from their own faucet either but they will boil it. So, that is a bit misleading

    • bmukherjii profile image

      bmukherjii 5 years ago

      I am really shocked to see this hub. at the same time I am really worried about the fact that you mentioned in your hub regarding acidification of ocean waters that will gone up to 150% in next 100 years..I don't know whether our earth is heading towards another dissaster

    • mrshadyside1 profile image

      mrshadyside1 5 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub! As far as Global Warming is concerned if anyone would actually think about the planet and civilization it's not hard to see that Global Warming has to be occurring.Every person on the planet produces a body temp of 98.5 degrees add that to all the light bulbs producing heat plus in-home-heating and industrial heat production,it has to be warmer now than anytime in man's history. That's not even accounting for all of the asphalt paving laid out everywhere,which if you have ever walked out on the driveway barefoot in summer,you will understand is trapping a huge amount of heat and holding it long after sundown. Asphaltic Shingle Roofing also traps a lot of heat. Without the other causes we would be experiencing increased temperatures. It blows my mind that anyone could not see this to be true.Anyway,that was a very good hub,thanks for the information.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

      @ kerryg

      This is a very informative and interesting Hub, not only for common readers but also for students of this subject. Thank you for sharing it. Voted up and shared.

    • skinsman82000 profile image

      skinsman82000 5 years ago from Frederick Maryland

      No one can deny that global warming is taking place in the world. But the sources exactly is an interesting discussion topic. I think it's most likely a mixture of natural climate change that is always happening and humans hurrying that change along with pollution. Great Hub. Voted Up.

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 5 years ago

      We live environment. We have to decrease environmental pollution.Need is the mother of invention, I have faith in humans, we aren't perfect but the sh*t hits the fan we usually come through.:) But before that can happen we need articles like these to spread more awareness.

    • Eliminate Cancer profile image

      Eliminate Cancer 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Excellent - what an IMPORTANT hub!!

      Your loss of biodiversity is one I am particularly concerned with, the effects of Genetic Engineering is complicating this. GMOs are becoming ubiquitous, and are cross pollinating with other plants - the political and legal issues are crazy. It's affecting our health, it's affecting our environment, and it's irreversible.

      While other countries are banning this, sadly, we are supporting it. We need more active citizens and articles like yours to spread the word, and save our planet and ourselves!!

    • chrae profile image

      chrae 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Fantastic Hub, all very relevant issues that will continue to effect to people on earth into the future. In my opinion more needs to be done about these issues and prevent global disasters. I wrote a hub specifically about no. 10 here:

    • guyjackson profile image

      Guyene Jackson 5 years ago from USA


      We have follow the every people than after take care in forest.

      Actually article is every important?

    • sammythrone profile image

      sammythrone 5 years ago from North America/South America/Europe/Asia


      I think, we humans are really responsible for all the environmental concerns. Like what you have mentioned in #5, water is going to be a big concern. And I'm not surprise. What do you think is our most pressing environment issue?

    • networmed profile image

      networmed 5 years ago from SPL

      Hi kerryg... Thank you for enumerating all these problems we are facing currently. This will serve as reminder for all of us that we should do something about it.

    • leenamartha profile image

      Leena Martha 5 years ago from USA

      Very informative but at the same time very, very hard to read. Its so sad what is happening to the Earth. You presented what needs to be brought to everyone's attention... Thanks for sharing great hub.

    • TotalHealth profile image

      TotalHealth 5 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      Nice hub! It's crazy to think about how our actions impact the environment. Sammythrone pointed another important fact about water supply. I'm curious, do people realize the rate at which the world population of humans is expanding? As we know, this planet has a limited supply of natural resources. I wonder what life will be like in 20 years. ~ Great job!

    • Rusti Mccollum profile image

      Ruth McCollum 5 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

      This Hub was so informative. You gave me some really great insight.great hub voted up!

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 5 years ago

      Interesting hub!

    • ackman1465 profile image

      ackman1465 5 years ago from Cape Coral, Florida

      I believe that it's likely that we (humans) are mostly at risk for totally depleting the fossil fuel supplies before we face any of the other disasters enumerated in Kerry's hub.

      My take on it is found in this submittal, which I made relative to gasoline prices.....


      ackman1465posted 8 days ago

      The entire fossil-fuel picture is really pretty amusing.... Consider this riddle:

      If you find yourself low of fuel while driving on an expressway.... you might exhaust your supply of gas at any moment ... what is the smartest way to proceed? .... to go FASTER, to get to a gas-station SOONER? ... or, drive still slower, in the belief that your car will burn LESS GAS at that slower pace? ... BUT, you'll have to be patient, as you'll drive slower, longer...

      The answer is the latter, of course... and there's plenty of quantifiable details to explain it....

      BUT, back to amusing.... I see us HUMANS as the one(s) with the low fuel supply (the Earth's supply of fossil fuels is, after all, finite)... and many people are proposing that we race like crazy to find those last supplies - wherever they are - and burn THEM.... overlooking that, ultimately, our "tank" will go empty!!!!

      We will be wise to morph/adjust our means of making electricity (the "real" power, after all) to some other source besides fossil fuels. We can do so in a measured, deliberate manner, over time.... OR, we can do so in haste, maybe even in chaos, under the impending threat of our running out of fossil fuels altogether....

      Fuel prices (the original subject of this thread) are strictly subject to market considerations.... and "the market" these days, is much more of "the World" competing for the available crude than was the case 20, 50 or 75 years ago.... The price at the pump reflects THAT.... and EVERY PROSPECTIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WHO CLAIMS THAT HE HAS THE "SECRET PLAN" TO REDUCE GASOLINE PRICES AT THE PUMP is deluding himself and hoping, as well, to delude you!!!!!

    • taw2012 profile image

      taw2012 5 years ago from India

      useful information. Nice hub about the hot topic.

    • maxgraham441 profile image

      maxgraham441 5 years ago from NYC

      Great Hub! Surprised to see Russia in the "No-Stress" category.

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

      Thanks for the incredibly informative hub on a sometimes dry and hard to plow through topic. Great job on this important topic.

    • alzheimersfacts profile image

      alzheimersfacts 5 years ago from Santa Fe, NM

      Great hub! Very interesting.

    • pandula77 profile image

      pandula77 5 years ago from Norway

      Thank you for a great hub with lots of information. Nicely presented! Voted up.

    • guyjackson profile image

      Guyene Jackson 5 years ago from USA

      It is a good think that we have this kind of Ocean Acidification post really Good.

    • Vegas Elias profile image

      Vegas Elias 5 years ago from Mumbai

      This is a very informative article. I feel consumerism is the main cause of most of the ills man is faced with. We consume more leading to more production which in turn leads to pollution and the other undesirable effects.

      Anyway a very eye opening article and deserves praise.

    • Mlssilva profile image

      Mlssilva 5 years ago from Figueira da Foz

      Well done! A very informative and educational hub. It is unfortunate that despite the man being aware of how much it hurts the planet Earth, the measures taken are insufficient. I am concerned about the future of next generations. How will be the planet Earth in the future if we continue to neglect it at this rate? We must do something now and quickly.

    • networmed profile image

      networmed 5 years ago from SPL

      You're absolutely correct on that @Mlssilva. A simple recycling which we can start at home can be of help if we all do it, or at least the majority of the people will do it.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 5 years ago from Austin, TX

      Nice - very interesting!

    • hvacunits profile image

      hvacunits 5 years ago from Longview, TeXas

      Simply an amazing Hub. Thanks so much for all your wonderful work. "Awesome." A big vote here for your hub! Just had to share it on Twitter and Facebook with my followers!

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this very informative hub. The more knowledge people get of this matter the better chances we have to save the earth. Voted up and interesting!

    • amithak50 profile image

      amithak50 5 years ago from India

      Chemical pollution,ocean solidification all are great concerns ..We have to do something to remove it otherwise we have to pay off in future

    • hi friend profile image

      hi friend 5 years ago from India

      more informative. good luck

    • Rusti Mccollum profile image

      Ruth McCollum 5 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

      Wow I got alot out of this article.Thankyou .I live in Oregon ,so we are big on trees and we have a great recycle programs. It's plain common sense to put things where they can be reused ,than fill our landfills with garbage it'll take years to start to become part of the earth. Oregon pioneered the recycle program.

      That being said I think this was a great article,people need to read!

    • shepheka profile image

      shepheka 5 years ago

      Over the last 250 years, surface acidity of the ocean has increased by an estimated 30%. The acidity is expected to increase by 150% by 2100....

      30% of the entire ocean, covering 75% of our planet?

      This number is quite enormous, I am not really sure I can believe it.

    • panpa profile image

      panpa 5 years ago

      Worrying about the earth's future. Great hub

    • hi friend profile image

      hi friend 5 years ago from India


    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 5 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      I vote this up and awesome. Although fairly new to the hub community I have read quite a few hubs that have made a lasting impact on how I view things i.e. the environment,social issues and political ideologies. I will be looking for the documentary you used via You-Tube as this subject really interests me and has for some time. Living in PA which is largely "pro-fracking" I have wondered often how it will effect our soil (already know how it is going to effect our long-term water supply which even a laymen can surmise is going to effect our soil as well. Ty for a well documented and research hub I will be using it to start looking deeper into this issue as well.

    • tiffany delite profile image

      tiffany delite 5 years ago from united states

      this is a great hub...our family recycles, and i try to be overall conscience of the environment, but typically when i think of pollution, i tend to think of air pollution and/or just the large amount of garbage humans create. i never really stopped to think about all of the other elements that are polluted when we live carelessly. voted up and interesting...thanks!

    • Sarahhh666 profile image

      Sarahhh666 5 years ago from near Philly

      I had to write a college paper on this subject recently. I wish I would have read this first! Lol.

    • laringo profile image

      laringo 5 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      As I watched Frozen Planet last Sunday this topic about our oceans it just goes to show how we should never take our planet for granted. I really enjoyed this Hub and learned a lot from it.

    • Michael Toole profile image

      Michael Toole 5 years ago from Gainesville, Missouri

      Very, planned, motivated, and unique Hub, +1 on this Hub, keep up the good work! :)

    • profile image

      hi friends 5 years ago


    • ancestralstory profile image

      ancestralstory 5 years ago from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

      Interesting hub. Good to see some media used in the article - always helps with understanding. Thanks.

    • profile image

      mimie 5 years ago

      very interesting

    • Mittalmailbox profile image

      Amit Mittal 4 years ago from Patiala, India

      Hope the world will work together to solve these problems

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 4 years ago

      Great article, Kerry, as usual. However I do have a possible correction or two. You state that groundwater depletion leads to rising sea levels. I disagree with that. Groundwater depletion actually leads to absorption of sea water, as desiccated ground around the edge of the ocean sucks it up like a sponge. It's the melting of landbound glaciers (Iceland, Greenland, etc) that adds volume to the ocean.

      Secondly, it's not the irrigation of crops, per se, that leads to soil salinization. It's the use of crop-related chemicals and the breakup of mycelium underground that does it. Mycelium (mushrooms are their fruit) break down complex compounds like fertilizers, so other microbes can use them as food, which makes nutrients available for plants. When the mycelium nets are broken up by tilling, they can't do their job. Fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides collect in the soil and get washed down by whatever water is applied - irrigation, rain, floods. Water actually cleans salts from the ground as it sinks down into the aquifer.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 4 years ago from USA

      watergeek, there are quite a few groundwater reserves that are far from any ocean. Scientists have found that groundwater depletion is adding about 0.8 millimeters per year to sea level rise.

      Soil salinization due to irrigation has been a problem for thousands of years, long before chemical fertilizers, etc. came into play. Salts from the irrigation water are left behind in the soil after the water evaporates and over time these accumulate. There are ways of managing the problem, including flushing out the salts with more water, but it's still a well documented problem.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 4 years ago

      OK now I can see it. Evaporation of irrigation spray and runoff of excess water into the storm drains is causing as much sea level rise as melting glaciers. That's amazing . . . and an important addition to the book I'm writing. Good article, thanks!

    • shai77 profile image

      Chen 4 years ago

      I had heard about some of these, but not all of them. What a great resource you've compiled here... so informative, and it';s so important to get the word out. Great hub, vU & Useful!

    • jayshreepattanaik profile image

      JITENDRA 4 years ago from INDIA

      very interesting hub .........and the information is very supportive

    • joe-christmas profile image

      Malek Zarzour 4 years ago from Turkey, Istanbul

      very useful and interesting hub. Voted up.

    • Angela Kane profile image

      Angela Kane 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Great hub and information. My biggest concerns are chemicals and water.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Most interesting read ever on environment concerns. I wonder why population explosion didn't appear in the list.

      However, I am glad that an area that I tend to cover in my hubs and on Facebook for my followers, that is, biodiversity and wildlife conservation, did make it to the list.

      Thank you for sharing a very informative hub.

    • livewirez profile image

      Romel Tarroza 4 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Sea

      Environmental concerns is a concern of everybody. We must act to preserve our world. This hub is very informative.

    • weedprices profile image

      Mat 4 years ago

      Wow. Impressive Hub i must say. I am all for it.

    • ryanraff profile image

      Ryan Rafferty 4 years ago

      very nice hub. Sad to see that these issues have long been identified and there has been very little progress being made on them. Hopefully more awareness will bring about more change.

    • profile image

      Misha 3 years ago

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      This is quite a read with great detail and information. I've always stressed the importance of climate change and I've been a huge weather and climate hobbyist for years. People are finally getting it that there's a problem going on. Since this article was written, we've had the warmest year on record, record breaking droughts, floods, and massive superstorms and hurricanes plaguing the earth. The levels of carbon dioxide have exceeded 400 ppm, which haven't been seen since humans have been on this Earth.

      Also the levels of extinction for various plant and animal life is approaching crisis mode and the year 2015 is already highly likely to surpass 2014 as the warmest year ending the so called hiatus. Excellent read voted up.

    • profile image

      MR. Rahul Raj 12 months ago

      now our environment is better now compare to 21th century

      i would like to tell to you all plz give me the help by that we clean our environment .

    • MarionMicahTinio profile image

      Marion Micah Tinio 3 weeks ago from Philippines

      Reading this in 2017, and I found one missing environmental concern: overpopulation. Population is the root of all environmental problems, and it is the most complicated concern to deal with.

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