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Lithosphere

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Autor:   •  January 1, 2011  •  458 Words (2 Pages)  •  200 Views

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The lithosphere is vital to life on earth. It supports the food webs that sustain life; it provides us with a vast collection of natural resources, and it plays a vital role in the purification of the water we drink. We also depend on it to dispose of some of our wastes. The increasing population within the world has had an impact on the lithosphere and consequently as led to the deterioration of this essential component of the biophysical environment.

Land degradation has become one of the primary issues of concern arising from the human interaction with the lithosphere. It encompasses soil degradation and the deterioration of natural landscapes and vegetation. It includes the adverse effects of overgrazing, excessive tillage, erosion, sediment deposition, extractive industries, urbanisation, disposal of industrial wastes, decline of plant communities, and the effects of noxious plants and animals.

Whenever the natural balance is altered by developments for agricultures, mining, forestry, industry etc, the lithosphere is a risk. From these human interactions land degradation take places or becomes worse. It has been called the AIDS of the Earth as it leaves farmlands white with crusted salt, shrivelled crops and a dying landscape. Each year it leaves vast expanses of our Earth barren. Land degradation is not just a problem for framers but it probably the most fundamental environmental issue of our time.

Another global problem affecting the Lithosphere contributed by human impact is desertification that now threatens one-third of the earth's surface. Desertification occurs where landuse practises in marginal areas leave the soil vulnerable to erosion by wind and water. The human practices that contribute to desertification include:

* Overgrazing

* Improper soil and water resource management

* Cultivation of land with unsuitable terrain or soils

* Deforestation without adequate replanting

One of the main problems is the increased intensity of landuse associated with rapid population growth and high population densities. Poverty is also a related issue as the poor are often strained by their desperate circumstances to exploit the lands beyond what would normally be regarded as a sustainable level of use.

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