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Essay on “Understanding Environment ” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

 

UNDERSTANDING ENVIRONMENT

 

Synopsis: Environment is an all-inclusive and complex phenomenon which supports life on the earth. It is only because of this that the earth is the only known living planet. The environment consists mainly of oxygen, nitrogen and water vapour and protects the earth as does the skin of our body. The environment may be divided into 5 main layers body. Troposphere is the lowest layer and region of clouds and weather. Then there is stratosphere containing the significant belt of ozone layer which protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. A big hole has developed in the ozone shield as a result of the release of chlorine atoms in the atmosphere. And it is a matter of great concern. Above stratosphere is mesosphere and then ionosphere. The outermost zone is called exosphere. Biosphere is another important indicator of the health of our environment. Bio-diversity is an integral part of environment and so is man. Causing and deterioration in the environment and ecosystem is a great sin and should not be committed. Environmental degradation is suicidal. Atmospheric and climatic changes are directly responsible for the changes in human behaviour. Imbalance in the various constituents of environment adversely affects mankind. Many of our problems are direct result of the imbalance created by us through pollution.

 

            Environment is a comprehensive and collective term that describes the conditions surroundings etc. of organisms. It includes land, water, air, temperature, light etc. all the conditions that help development and growth of life. Life depends upon this environment. Life presupposes this environment. Life is there on the earth because of its peculiar climate, weather, geography, geology and all the natural resources that nature has bestowed upon it. All these form an integral part of the environment. There has been a certain balance between these various elements. Without this balance life and existence would have been impossible.

 

            The earth is the only known living planet. It is the only planet where there is life. Its life-supporting environment makes it unique. In the absence of this environment the earth would have been a sterile, dead and lifeless as the rest of the planet are in our solar system. On other planets there is no environment, no atmosphere and, therefore, on life at all. After all, it is the earth’s biosphere that supports and sustains life on it.

 

            The earth’s atmosphere which encircles the earth protects it like a skin-cover which chiefly consists of nitrogen and life-giving oxygen. Other gases found in minor ratio are argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, neon, helium, krypton etc. Water vapour is also there in the range of 0.2 per cent to 0.4 per cent. Without water vapour in the atmosphere there would be no weather on our planet. The earth’s atmosphere extends up to about 200 km. from its surface. It is this atmosphere that moderates and regulates temperatures prevents excess of heating that would destroy life on the earth. This layer of atmosphere can be divided into 5 main layers. The lowest layer is called troposphere which extends upto 7 to 9 miles in height. It contains about 2/3 of the total mass of the earth’s atmosphere. It is warmed up by the sun’s heat which is bounced back from the earth’s surface. In the troposphere the temperature decreases by about 60 c for every km. rise in altitude upto the height of 6 miles and thereafter the decrease slows down. It is the region of weather and clouds. Above troposphere is another layer called stratosphere. It is characterized by fairly constant temperatures and ozone concentration. In it temperature increases with height. It is also free from the violent weather changes which occur below in troposphere.

 

            The belt of ozone in stratosphere absorbs most of the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays. The layer of ozone lies between altitudes 12 and 50 km. The ozone layer is self-generating, that is, the ozone concentration in the stratosphere remains more or less constant over a period of time. It works as an effective shield to protect the earth’s surface from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Ozone is a bluish gas with a penetrating smell. It is one of the 2 allotropes of oxygen. Ozone is oxygen with 3 rather than 2 atoms, and therefore, can be called trioxygen O3. The existence of several forms of an element in the same state, but with different physical rather than chemical properties, is called allotropes. Ozone decomposes to oxygen on warming.

 

            Recently a gaping hole has been observed in the ozone layer over the Antarctica and it has set the alarm bells ringing. This is said to be getting bigger day by day resulting in cancer-causing ultra-violet rays of the sun reaching the earth more and more. This depletion of the ozone layer is mainly caused by release of chlorine atoms in abundance from man-mad chemicals. The atoms of chlorine react with the molecules of ozone and the 3 atoms of ozone breaks down and oxygen is released. This decomposition of ozone into oxygen because of the presence of chloroflouracarbons (CFCS) is a very danger phenomenon. This phenomenon that has been occurring for a long time was not known till 1973.

 

            Above stratosphere lies mesosphere stretching between 50 and 80 km. It is marked by a fall in temperature from 100 c at 50 Km. to – 800 c. beyond this lays ionosphere, between 80 and 500 km. Ionosphere contains gas molecules that are ionized, or electrically charged by cosmic or solar rays. There are violent disturbances in ionosphere which result in bright lights, called aurorae. Here the temperatures rise steadily with altitude from about – 800 c at 80 km. to 2200c at 400 km. then there is finally the outermost zone, called exosphere which begins at about 500 km. above the surface of the earth and ends about 700 km above the earth. It is so extremely rarefied that its atoms seldom collide with one another. Consisting mainly of hydrogen and helium gases, the exosphere merges into space.

 

            Besides ozone layer and temperature, the biosphere, the part of the earth and its atmosphere inhabited by living things, is another important indicator of our environment. These key indicators also include the forest-cover, the rain-pattern, soil condition, flora and fauna, that is biodiversity. Thus, thousands and thousands of species of plants, trees, vegetation and animals are an integral part of our environment. The range of biodiversity is very vast which includes the world’s all ecosystems. In this all-comprehensive environment and atmosphere, all things, living and non-living are inter-connected and interdependent. Any adverse effect on one thing is bound to influence the rest of the things adversely. This indicates the oneness of life and existence. Therefore, protection of the environment in its various forms of manifestation, whether it is water, air, soil, forests, wildlife, seas , rivers or animals, is a vital significance. The question of environment conservation and protection has assumed for greater urgency and significance now than ever before. Our very existence and survival is closely linked with the proper and healthy balance in the environment. Our natural resources are nature’s great fights to us, but they are not endless and should be used wisely and not exploited foolishly. The ruthless destruction of environment or “ecocide” is nothing short of “genocide” and self-annihilation. In the ultimate analysis it is the fine and delicate balance between various constituents of the environment that makes the earth a living and unique planet.

 

            Man is inseparable part of the earth’s biosphere and ecosystem. It is his duty to maintain and preserve the sanctity of the earth’s ecosystem and not to spoil and destroy it in any way. There cannot be a greater sin and immoral act than to help in the degradation of the environment. Our health, working-habits, behaviour, way of life etc. are very closely linked with the environment. The climate is an integral part of the environment. The varied climatic conditions on our planet earth have been responsible for all the variety, beauty and fascination that mankind possesses in respect of its cultures, religions, foods, festivals and social customs. There is marked socio-cultural diversity among various races, countries, ethnic groups because of different geographical and climatic conditions. Conservation of the earth’s environment means the protection and growth of life, the very evolution of mankind. The pollution and depletion of the atmosphere is nothing short of suicide. The constituents of environment are the very ingredients of our life and should be kept live, vibrant, rich and healthy.

 

            The direct and close co-relation between environmental conditions and our psychological activities is well established. Changes in atmospheric and climatic conditions affect our behavioral pattern in spite of our wonderful adaptability and marvellour scientific and technological advancements. There should be no conflict between ours so called industrial development and environmental conditions. In no way should we affect the delicate balance between its various elements like soil, forest, water resources, wildlife, bio-diversity and biomass. There cannot be any development and progress in the true sense of the term, by creating an imbalance in nature. Growths not possible at the cost of harmony, beauty and balance. Our many problems are in direct relation and proportion to the imbalance created by us in environment. Our over-indulgence in exploitation of the boons of nature is bound to create doom and disaster for us and more so for the generation to come. A proper balance is imperative between our environment and industrial growth and development.

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