What steps do you think can be taken to reduce the harmful effects of human activities on biogeochemical cycles? Which businesses would these changes impact the most?
There are a myriad of steps that can be undertaken in order to lessen the harmful effects of human activity on the earth’s various biogeochemical processes. Upholding the balance in the various biogeochemical cycles is important for maintaining the Earth’s overall health—any imbalance within these cycles could mean the difference between the sustainability and unsustainability of our planet. Environmental effects such as extreme weather conditions and global warming are just some of the concerns brought about by changes in the Earth’s cycles.
One of the most important biogeochemical cycles is the carbon cycle. Carbon is an essential and fundamental part of life on Earth. Aside from helping regulate the atmosphere, carbon plays an important role in the creation of life; all living things include this element in their make-up. However, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere has risen and is steadily rising to unhealthy amounts since the advent of industrialization—this has lead to global warming and climate change. Human consumption, particularly those involving fossil fuels, has greatly contributed to these problems.
As such, reducing consumption of fossil fuels can help alleviate the harmful effects of increased carbon build-up in the atmosphere. One way of doing this is by using solar power and hydrogen fuel cells (and other alternative energy sources) for generating energy instead of using fossil fuels. Integrating measures that are in favor of lower carbon emissions into current environmental policies, as well as educating the public about relevant issues, can also help reduce the harmful effects on the carbon cycle. Other ways of reducing carbon emissions include switching from high-carbon coal to low-carbon natural gas and discovering means for burning fossil fuels more efficiently. The world oil market (which includes petroleum companies) will be most affected if such measures are put to place.