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Basics of Environmental Sciences

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Environmental science embraces all fields concerned with physical, chemical and biological settings under which different organisms live (Allaby, 2000, P.2). Environmental science should not be confused with ecology. Ecology is the study of interrelations between different organisms at different levels while environmental science is rather broad area of study that include meteorology, atmospheric chemistry and such diverse fields. Environmental sciences in its widest meaning cover all the aspects of natural sciences. As far as the nature is concerned, environmental science is concerned with pollution and the human hand in environmental degradation and the impact on biodiversity and sustainability (wikipedia 2007 [online]). The main issues that environmental science deals with are climate change, conservation, biodiversity, water, soil, natural resource use, sustainable development, air and noise pollution. These aspects of environmental science have been controversial as they have some political implications. Stakeholders in a particular activity will no doubt resist efforts to designate their activity as environmentally unacceptable by environmental science especially by the state or its agencies.


Environmental science concerns connected with human activity have always been with us since antiquity only that this time the scale of environmental related activities is so huge than ever before. This can be explained by the fact that the world's population has been growing at a fast rate. Nowadays, it takes just under 47 years for the population to double, meaning that there could be 12 billion of us living on earth by 2040. The rapid growth leads to an increased demand for energy and consumables, creating considerable pressure on the world's natural resources. This situation did not start recently, and the accumulation of the environmental unfriendly activities has only made things worse. Securing the environmental future for the coming generations will require concerted efforts from numerous disciplines, and environmental science will be in the forefront of this battle. Unfortunately, there seems to be no shortage of environmental skeptics, who refuse to acknowledge the immense environmental problems the world is currently facing by providing appealing but misleading rhetoric (Ehrlich, 1998, p.2). There are many supposedly "factual" explanations of environmental problems which typically overlook how people value environmental science.


Some of the questions asked by children as well as autodidacts are whether the air that we breathe nowadays was still the same that dinosaurs inhaled. The oxygen that we breathe these days has been used by so many organisms to provide energy and the elements that make up our bodies have undergone many different cycles that move from place to place (Allaby, 2000, p.4). Clearly, there is need to understand the complex social and political influences over environmental science and how it operates, and only after that can the aforementioned explanations be termed as factual. People often concerned with environmental science are so often baffled at the way the widely known environmental issues are explained to the public. For instance, the media has chronicled bitter disagreements over whether global warming is happening or not, or who is responsible (Forsyth, 2003, p.25). In addition, many other environmental science factors that are often taken as factual and conclusive are argued over. Perhaps the greatest challenge for environmental science is to clear the air in these issues because if the disagreements were to be allowed to continue,  they can have serious implications on how we tackle immediate concerns such as global warming.





1. ALLABY, M (2000). Basis of Environmental Science. Oxford. Routledge.


2. FORSYTH, T, (2003). Critical Political Ecology: The Politics of

Environmental Science. Oxford, Routledge.


3. EHRLICH, P.R, EHRLICH, A.H. (1998). Betrayal of Science and Reason.

Washington D.C, Island Press.


4. URL, Last accessed on 8th November, 2007.

C/N/114. Removal of NOx and SOx Pollutants from the Atmosphere

S/N/80. Assess the utility of the concept of critical loads for understanding and managing urban air pollution problems

S/N/79. What is nature?

S/N/78. Discuss how recent scientific progress in understanding earthquakes might help reduce the hazards associated with such events

S/N/77. Discuss the causes, nature and impacts of climatic fluctuations in the Holocene.

S/N/76. Assess the evidence for global warming and discuss the predictions for climate change over the 21st century.

S/N/75. How can an understanding of the natural dynamism of an environment help environmental management? Discuss with reference to tropical forests

S/N/73. Discuss the relative impacts of local and global stresses on coastal wetlands in tropical settings

S/N/94. Human Influences on Species Biodiversity: A Model for Conservation of Hypothetiland

S/N/92. Why is the Environmental Movement against GM Crops?

S/N/103. Environmental plant science – sand dune ecology

S/B/156. Sustainable Development: Battle for Trees

P/N/79. Influence of particular matter emission on morbidity and mortality

P/N/77. Impacts of agricultural intensification on birds habitat in UK

P/N/67. Coral reefs and fish diversity

P/N/66. Methodology of ecosystem analysis: case study

P/N/63. Environmental impacts of North Sea exploitation

P/N/61. Regulation in fishing industry

P/N/57. Decline in marine ecosystem

S/N/26. Dissertation. Evaluate farmer's knowledge on the common agricultural policy and responses to the changes in the Peak District

P/N/42. Fish population: problems and solutions

S/N/23. Why do Animals live in groups?

P/N/31. Dealing with waste: problems and solutions

P/N/25. Environmental indicators as methods of evaluating the quality of life

P/N/19. The process of eutrophication: case study of Lake Erie

P/N/17. Biodiversity conservation: protected area networks

P/N/12. The environmental effects of coal burning: global warming and acid rain are threats to humanity

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