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Human Impact on Biogeochemical Cycles

1. In what ways could the use of fertilizers negatively impact aquatic ecosystems? Fertilizers are needed to boost crop productions, especially those of our staple foods. It is often high in nitrogen or phosphorous. And when it leaks into our water systems, it creates havoc on aquatic living things and the aquatic ecosystem. At the start, runoff of nitrogen and phosphorous to our rivers, streams, etc increases primary productivity (i. e. excessive plant growth and decay). Often it is the phytoplankton that increases in number (algal bloom).

These consume oxygen, hence, with the unregulated growth of phytoplankton, oxygen levels in the water decrease until it cannot support the oxygen needs of aquatic animals. These animals soon die off, and the water becomes turbid. Biodiversity will decrease, and the aquatic ecosystems become useless. This is how careless application and disposal of fertilizers negatively impact aquatic ecosystems. That’s why it is important to educate farmers, big corporations and those who use fertilizers on a big scale on the proper handling of fertilizers.

2. What are some measures that governments could implement to reduce the combustion of fossil fuels? To reduce fossil fuel combustion, the government can implement the use of alternative energy sources like solar power and hydropower especially in industries that widely use fossil fuels (factories, etc). Also, they can create a law requiring oil companies to have a biofuel line. Biofuel is any solid, liquid or gas fuel that is made from biomass.

This type of fuel has reduced carbon emissions, the main byproduct problem of fossil fuels that contribute to global warming. Already, there are biofuel products that is used to power automotives (like E10 fuel). If the government can give incentives to oil companies that produce biofuel and citizens who use them, I’m sure it will become popular. Thus, considerably lessening fossil fuel combustion. Also, the government can also ask the citizens to reduce energy consumption and use less fossil fuels.

They should encourage the citizens to use energy-efficient appliances, make carpool mandatory, tell companies to make a “green” space (plant trees) in their buildings, etc, etc. 3. Should the government implement measures to protect ecosystems from man’s actions? Why or why not? Yes, the government should implement protective measures to preserve our ecosystems. I’m sure there are people who are conscious of doing what’s right for the environment. However, there are much more people who don’t care, hence the need for government laws.

The protective measures are needed to be implemented because if not, destruction of our environment will continue. And before we know it, our world is dying already, and the future generations face a bleak future with wastelands to live in. With modernization came the price of our environment’s destruction, mostly brought about by careless actions on our part. It is the government’s duty and OUR duty to implement and follow laws meant to protect the only world we live in.

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