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Pollution is something that is introduced into the environment that has harmful or poisonous effects to people, animals and/ or plants. The things that we do every day such as driving our cars and heating our homes add to the amount of pollution in the air. Waste is something that is eliminated or discarded because it is no longer needed after the doing a task or project. Our daily activities also add waste to the environment much of which goes directly to landfills.


  • Global Climate Change:

    • Air contains two gases that are extremely important to us: oxygen and carbon dioxide. Animals use oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. In contrast plants take in carbon dioxide and give back oxygen. Plants and animals balance each other out. The problem is that we also have vehicles, machines, factories, and our homes that also release carbon dioxide that offset this balance.

    • When there is too much carbon dioxide in the air, it wraps around the earth like a heavy blanket, warming up the planet. This is known as “Global Warming”. It makes icy places such as Greenland, the Arctic, and Antarctica melt around the edges. The water that melts raises sea levels, changes sea temperatures, drops salt levels and shifts ocean currents. These changes can kill ocean life. Sea levels are now rising three times faster than usual. Eventually seas will begin to flood low costal area such as Venice, Italy and much of Florida.

    • Other problems affected by Global Warming:

      • Changes weather patterns

      • Spreads hot weather diseases to new areas

      • Changes plant and animal life

    • Evidences of Global Warming:

      • Temperatures worldwide are increasing at an accelerated pace.

      • Migrating birds are arriving to breeding grounds earlier and leaving later than in past.

      • Many flowers are blooming earlier than usual.

  • Acid Rain:

    • Pollution can mix with rain to make acid rain. This toxic mixture burns holes in leaves, making plants and trees more open to disease. Acid rains also ruins lakes and harms the fish (and anyone who eats them).

  • Other Issues and Interesting Facts

    • Sea turtles that normally eat jellyfish eat and choke on plastic debris mistaking them for food.

    • Amphibians are especially sensitive to pollution in the water (highly permeable skin soaks up toxins quickly).

    • Many medical professionals believe air pollution hurts kids by increasing the risk of getting asthma.

    • Just like pollution increases disease in people, it does the same thing to animals and plants.

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