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June Free Topic- Eco problems in Europe

by Aaditya Singh | 02-07-2019 14:09 recommendations 0

2 major environmental problems in Europe that need immediate attention


Through this report I am bringing to light two of the most common environment related problems that European countries need to discuss openly and collaborate to resolve.


Forest degradation


Forests cover 43% of Europe's land area and Germany and Austria are some of the more heavily forested places in the EU. Forest degradation in the EU mainly occurs because of 2 reasons, air pollution and forest fires.


Air pollution threatens the forest area more in Central and Eastern Europe. A survey in 1992 showed that of 113 tree species in 34 European countries, 24% of trees were damaged and that their defoliation exceeded 25%. Among these species, 10% of trees were suffering from discoloration. In Czech Republic (A neighboring country to Austria), as much as 54% of forests suffered from irreversible damage.


Forest fires are a major concern in Southern Europe. The analysis of the damage dealt comes from large-scale spatial observations of European-wide surveys. However, many times the cause-effect relationships are not identified which makes it difficult to identify the problem at hand. Looking at the statistics, an average of 700 000 ha of wooded land is burnt each year by a total of 60 000 fires in Europe.



Acidification


Acidification is a complex procedure where sulfur and nitrogen dioxides are emitted into the atmosphere because of combustion of fossil fuels. These gasses are then converted into acids which lead to a series of undesired changes in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems after deposition. The topic mainly highlights adverse biological and chemical effects in lakes, soils and forests as a result of deposition of acidifying substances in amounts exceeding critical loads.

 

Southern Scandinavia is facing a major problem because severe acidification of freshwater is causing widespread fish kills. The problem has existed as far back as the 1920s but has never been brought to light. At this point over 13 000 km2  of water area is devoid of fish.

 

Acidification and high concentrations of ozone and sulfur dioxide in the air is playing a role in damaging coniferous forests all around Europe. Reports have already been made in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Poland and the Slovak Republic.

 

There are a number of agreements that are being discussed in Europe to solve this problem right now, however, even though acid deposition is expected to decrease in the EU following emission reductions, critical loads will still be exceeded in more than half the area.

 

References:

https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/92-827-5122-8/page014.html

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2396102?seq=1/subjects#page_scan_tab_contents

 

AadityaSingh

  • Canada E-gen Ambassador Aaditya Singh
 
 

5 Comments

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Aaditya

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Eco problems in Europe.

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Regards,
    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 24-07-2019 02:49

Aaditya Singh

  • Aaditya Singh says :
    Thank you mentors and Rosa for your encouragement and valuable comments.
    Apologies for the late submission due to exams and a school trip thereafter when I had no access to internet.
    Posted 21-07-2019 01:38

  • Louis Mentor says :
    Hi Aaditya,

    Thank you for writing about 2 major environmental problems in Europe that need immediate attention - deforestation and acidification. I have to admit that these two are really important issues these days. It was great to know such information. But please submit your report on time. This report was supposedly to submit in June.

    Louis Mentor
    Posted 08-07-2019 00:29

  • Wonhee Mentor says :
    Hello Aaditya

    Thank you for bringing up these two most common environmental issues in European countries. Forest degradation and acidification can be categorized as common global environmental issues as well. The point is that while air pollution has caused the forest degradation, deforestation in turn can worsen air pollution. To stop this vicious cycle, countries must work together and follow obligations in environmental governance. Keep up the good work!

    Wonhee Mentor
    Posted 03-07-2019 21:41

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey there Aaditya!

    I hope you are well today :)
    The issue of deforestation is a matter that I truely empathise with you. It is unfortunate that with rising levels of poor air quality, industries still go for cutting trees to enrich themselves financially.

    This is played out in factories and mining, utility/energy industries when they emit pollutants over an above they cap level. Moreover, I believe that one way we can aid fast track the conservation of our air and forests, by closely monitoring the activities conducted by those industries, evaluate them systematically and ask citizens to be whistle blowers when then see uncontrolled use triggered.

    Thank you so much for sharing this article piece, I wish you peace throughout your day ahead,
    With gratitude,
    Rosa

    Posted 02-07-2019 15:17

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