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Biggest Danger to the Enviroment?

  1. Sep 3, 2003 #1
    Provide one activity nature and humans do that posses the most threat to the enviroment?

    My picks:

    Nature: Volcanos
    Humans: non-reinforcement of enviromental laws (I guess that is indirect)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2003 #2
    I think Earthquakes beat Volcanos
    Nuklear weapons or nothing for humans. (It depends on scale. Humans could cause some major short-term damage to the environment of Earth, but 2 trillion years from now things would be fine again.)
  4. Sep 3, 2003 #3
    Large, I mean HUGE, Meteor strike.

    Continue to generate all of the heat that we are currently generating, and adding more to that number every-single-day!
  5. Sep 3, 2003 #4


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    Isn't it a bit of a misnomer to say that nature can threaten the environment? We need to add the qualifier that we are talking about the present evironment, or the human friendly environment.

    As for threat, are we talking impact, or probability?

    Impact: Sun going nova.
    Probability: Drastic climate change.

    Impact: Nuclear war.
    Probability: Greenhouse effect.
  6. Sep 3, 2003 #5


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    Posted by FZ+
    Impact: Sun going nova.
    Probability: Drastic climate change.

    My guess is our sunrises and sunsets wouldn't be NEAR as pretty, either.
  7. Sep 3, 2003 #6
    Sorry for this out-topic question, but, about the heating...

    Since we are at inter-glacial age, could some facts of the global-heating be explained by a no-human reason?

    The last glacial-age finished "only" 10,000 years ago, so... maybe the defrosting of some of eternal snows (like at Kilimanharo), or the growing of some deserts (like Sahara) is a kind of delayed effect of this natural change...

    I have hear people saying that this last temperature-record-summer is an effect of the global-heating, but, when I see the newspaper, they say "Since the year 18## we haven't registered temperatures like these"... that minds at the year 18## we had another record on temperature! and in that year it could not be due to the human-global-heating...

    I'm not trying to say that the Humanity are free of sin, but maybe we are not so powerfull as we think and we don't have enought power for the total-destruction-of-Nature...

    About the nuclear power, maybe there are only 100 nuclear bombs in good conditions around the world, and the politicians and the military have invented the numbers... (well, now we can see the best army of the world cannot confront the expenses of a military occupation, so maybe the armies of the world are not so powefull as we think)
  8. Sep 3, 2003 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    For nature: Changes in the sun's intensity.

    For humans: Reproduction.
  9. Sep 4, 2003 #8
    Man, I was pretty convinced that people will always be fine and the environment won't get totally screwed up, but I was reading a biology textbook earlier today and it sounds like we're screwing things up pretty nicely

    All sorts of cropland is being destroyed by overusing it and not letting salts drain out of the soil, underground water supplies are being depleted faster than they're regenerating themselves, acid rain is harming fish populations, petroleum supplies are running out and won't be there to help humanity bootstrap itself back up if there's a catastrophic collapse of civilization, and by 2010 there won't be any untouched rainforests left except for a few small tracts..

    Even just that last part is really vicious, considering all the possible advances in medicine and biology in general that could come from studying the rainforests

    I mean, I'm sure that humanity doesn't presently have the power to prevent the Earth from still being stocked with all sorts of life when the sun explodes four billion years from now, but I'm also pretty sure that we'll be able to cause plenty of trouble for ourselves, and maybe eventually we'll warp enough of the biosphere that only a thousandth of the people we have now will be able to live here afterward
  10. Sep 4, 2003 #9


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    Note: The sun only has about 5 billion years of fuel left. Plus, as it ages, it will grow hotter so that in perhaps less than 1 billion years, it will be too much for us (at least, in our current form).
  11. Sep 4, 2003 #10


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    Excellent point.

    Note: Our sun will neither go "nova" or "supernova" (which are very different things by the way). It will swell up into a "red giant" (perhaps engulfing the Earth) and then shrink down to a "white dwarf".

    A nova is a star that suddenly brightens...usually by the accretion of a lot of new matter. A supernova is a larger that explodes at the ends of its "life"...and its remaining core collapses into either a neutron star or a black hole (depending on the mass).
  12. Sep 4, 2003 #11
    Well, I agree that the death of our sun is a powerful threat. However, our moon is said to be moving farther and farther away from us, and at the same time bulging out Earth's equator. So, I'd say that the moon is another potential threat (even though it has been so useful to us (humans) in the past).

    As far as humans go, I'd say the biggest threat is probably war - nuclear or otherwise.
  13. Sep 4, 2003 #12
    What are your opinions on the statement that, the civilized world is the biggest threat to the enviroment, in that most polution and byproducts come from manufacturing and production. These byproducts destroy the environment. Third world countries produce some harmful agents but not in the amount that civilized countries do.
  14. Sep 4, 2003 #13
    HUH? try like seven thousand, and more, in reserves, and storages etc. etc.

    And when I mentioned "heating", I do not mean the greenhouse effect, I mean the actual and real heat that is generated every single day by human activities, compounded as to add to the greenhouse effect. (run your car, turn on the lights, take a shower, cook dinner, all that HEAT!)
  15. Sep 4, 2003 #14
    Have u ever seen them?

    Remember that the communists used false inter-continental missiles in their military parades in order to scare their enemies... if they have deceived to us once, they can do it another time!

    Don't be so ingenuous! It's an ancient political strategy to seem more powerfull that you are in fact! If USA had only 50 A-bombs, do you think they would be sincere with North-Korea or Iran?? They will tell that they have 10000!! and if they have 10000, they will tell that they have 20000!...

    And... (since there is a nuclear arms forum I invite to you to continue this discussion there at https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5470)

    Sorry, can you read my post and tell me if I have said "greenhouse effect"? I haven't... In fact, I say "global-heating", and this concept envolve all reasons that make this effect... and, since three people have talked about climate changes, I posted that... that was not a reply only to you... (I don't undestand why you are so ugly with me :frown: sniff, sniff)

    As I have said, I don't try to free us of all our failures, but I think we must to be less sensationalists and more objectives... Are we making the climate change? Maybe not. Are we making the climate change goes faster? Maybe yes...
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2003
  16. Sep 5, 2003 #15


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    Yes and no. Yes, in that naturally the earth may be getting hotter. No for that natural being the dominant factor.

    If we look at ice core records and amazon rainforest growth data, we can see that the rate of change of the climate is abnormally fast. In fact, evidence shows that natural factors etc are currently working to damp down the effect from greenhouse gases, and this effect will not last much longer.

    Global heating is probably a bad word, as though on average we may see an increase in temperature, what we are in fact seeing is a change in the weather system of the world. Places like the UK would actually get colder due to disrupted ocean currents. Basically, as weather is a chaotic system, we should expect to see more unpredictable extremes of temperature, such as the recent heatwaves.

    As far as I know, of course.
  17. Sep 5, 2003 #16
    Can you see how your second statement is in contradiction to your first statement?, inasmuch as you seem to have decided that I was ugly with you, apparently based upon nothing more then me clarifieing my point.

    As for the nukes. If I find the time, I will find the link to the previous discourse, on that topic, in the PF forums, and link that one for you.

    EDIT SP and, look down, the link!
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2003
  18. Sep 5, 2003 #17
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  19. Sep 5, 2003 #18
    Since meteorology and paleontologic-meteorology are not very developed I read their data with care... We only have trustworthy data for the last century, and before the S.XIX some eventual points... At these points we can see the worst flood in the History of Europe was at S.XVII (some times bigger than the ones of the last summer) and the worst drought was at Middle Age (some years with drought, maybe be with highter temperatures than this summer)... that mind that the records of this last years are not History records... Maybe some time at the past we suffered another climate change like this one but it come back to the equilibrium state in few decades or centuries...

    What I try to say is maybe the meteorology doesn't have enought theoretical basis to determine that only us are the problem...

    But about species extinction I have nothing to say... we are doing it very bad... the rate of extinction now is biggest than the dinosaurs one... we are causing the 6th global extinction!!... sometimes I feel a kind of shame of the human being...:frown:

    Sorry! Maybe I have had a linguistic problem! (english is not my commun language)

    Thanx! That's my first mounth here and I am not very up-to-date!
  20. Sep 11, 2003 #19
    If you go and read the entire thread you'll find that the 7000, that I stated, is a misnomer, it's way more.

    The reason why I had used the 7K figure is because it is one that I remembered from reading(s) on the recent SALT talks, wherein, the Presidents of America, and Russia, agreed to dismantle thousands of Weapons.

    Since then, America has decided to Store the weapons, rather then dismantle them, which, economically, for a conservative representation of Government, is sorta contra-indicated as storing the 'entire weapon' is a greater long term cost then dismantling, and storing, only the remnant radioactive waste. (wastes tax dollars storing the entire Bomb!)

    On the positive side it is an homage to Honesty in American, and Global Society, that the figures, that kat was able to come up with, are publically/generally available.

    It is an Homage to the power of "Freedom of Speech" simply that we can all know this kind of "stuff".
  21. May 16, 2004 #20
    Don't believe everything you read, most of it is aimed at scaring you and ignores anything, which shows any positive effect.
    Most of it doesn't stand up to close examination, especially the bit about running out of petrol!!!! This has been forecast as about to happen since the first supplies were extracted!!!!!!!!!!!!
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