What is environment?
Environment is everything that makes up our surroundings and effects our ability to live on the earth. The air are breathe, the water that covers most of the earth’s surface, the plants and animals around us and mountains, hill rock, rivers, soil and vegetation (climate features like rainfall, wind, weather, etc.). Environment can be physical and social.
How man influences his physical environment or makes them better to suit him in different ways, he makes bridges and roads to join places.For example, he builds bridges across rivers, lakes and forest to joins towns, village, markets. Man makes canals (water-way made by man) to shorten the distances between countries and towns.
Man also builds dams to irrigate his farms, to catch fish and generate hydroelectric power. E.g.Kanji dam in Nigeria. He farms to raise crop both cash and subsistence crops. Man builds shelter to protect himself from wild animals and weather. It is important to note that man is a product of his environment. He has influenced his physical environment and the physical environment has equally influenced him too.
All resources of the environment are usually organized by man for optimum use. The ability of men to make the best use of these resources depends on his level of education, culture and technology. Through the available mineral resources, men engages in many different activities or occupation such as farming, fishing, plantation, agriculture etc. Man interferes with his environment through a number of these activities.
The Influence of Human Beings on the Physical Environment
Environment has a profound influence on man since it (environment) is the aggregate of external condition in the life of man. To survive, people depend on the physical environment. They adapt to it and modify it to suit their changing needs for things such as food, clothing, water, shelter and energy. However, in attempt to control the environment, they bring knowledge in science and technology.
Man influences his environment in the following ways.
- Man has exploited the resources of his environment to make life easier and comfortable for living. E.g. Generation of electricity, construction of dams for irrigation, etc.
- Man generates solar energy from sun light.
- Man builds modern houses, mines minerals resources and other valuables resources for his own use.
The intervention of human in the environment leads to environmental problems.
The Negative Effects of the Influence of Man in his Physical Environment
- Pollution: It involves the reduction of the quality of the natural resources- land, air and water bodies that are made dirty by dumping or adding unpleasant and harmful substances.
- Flooding: Is defined as the occurrence of excessive volume of water in areas not usually under water. It may occur where there is heavy rain fall in an area and all the water refuses to sink into the soil but flows on the earth’s surface as floods. Example of a state that experiences this is Lagos State.
- Erosion:Is the gradual removal of the top layer of the soil by agent of current such as wind, water or ice. It is the major global environmental problem.
- Deforestation: It involves the practice or processes that result in the change of forested land to non forest uses. It is the destruction of the forest without adequate provisions or measures to replenish it. E.g. wood has been used as building materials for houses and other things. The causes of deforestation vary from place to place.
- Global warming: This is referred to as “Green House Effect” is a situation where the atmosphere becomes warm due to rise in temperature as a result accumulation of harmful gases in the atmosphere. As the earth is getting hotter disaster like hurricanes, floods and droughts are getting more frequent.
- Define Environment.
- How does man influence his environment?
GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS
- What is physical environment?
- Differentiate between the physical and social environment.
- List four features of the physical environment.
- List four ways by which man influences his physical environment.
- The two types of environment are Physical and religious B. Physical and social C. Physical and spiritual D. Religious and social E. Social and spiritual
- Which of these is not a natural feature of man’s environment? Adamawa mountains B. Borehole C. Madara mountains D. Savanna hill E. Swamp forest
- The process of learning begins at ____ A. Adolescence B. Birth C. Puberty D. Six years E. Teenage age
- Lagos State experiences flood during rainy season. Yes/No
- Human beings have altered the balance of nature in ways that have brought both positive or negative development to the society. Yes/No
- Write short notes on the following
- Global warming
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