Environmental problem generally means the condition around an organism or a group of organisms. The conditions around denote all those elements on which the existence as well as growth of organisms basically depend. The element of environment covers both biotic and abiotic worlds and is functionally interlinked. In simple words, environment means the network of relationships that exist among the elements in an area or a region.
The human society and their activities are integral parts of the network of relationships. The towns and villages, industries, transport and communication and all other human activities are also constitutes of an environment. Thus, it is human- nature relationship that creates the environment of an area.
As long as the natural and human elements remain in balance; problems do not raise their heads. When all the elements of lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere maintained a balance among themselves, no environmental problems put human beings in such an acute trouble as it is today. At that time human society tried their best to live with nature. But during the last three centuries the numerical strength of population and the demand for resources increased in such a way that the balance among the environmental elements got disturbed to a large extent. As a consequence new problems have started emerging. As all the problems are basically linked with the environment, they are called environmental problems.
It is a known fact that carbon dioxide constitutes 0.035 % of the atmospheric gases. Co2 absorbs the radiated solar energy and helps the earth’s surface and the immediate atmosphere to maintain a favorable temperature. There are some other gases like Methane CH4, Nitrous Oxide N2O, and Chlorofluorocarbons CFCs which plays similar role. These gases are known as greenhouse gases. Now the point is that if the proportion of these gases some how increases, then the temperature of the atmosphere and the earth’s surface will also increase. Currently the industries and vehicles are emitting huge amount of Co2 to the atmosphere causing a raise in the surface temperature of the earth. Similarly the agriculture and livestock practices are also adding Methane content to the atmosphere. All these human induced factors are responsible for serious problems like global warming.
If the atmospheric gases remain at a balance or in other words if there had been no increase in Co2 level in the atmosphere, perhaps there wouldn’t have been problems like global warming. Similarly, deforestation, degradation of the wetlands, application of chemical fertilizers and insecticides etc. in agriculture, overgrazing in desert margins have also contributed towards making an imbalance in the natural system and has caused a variety of problems. All these problems are closely related with the environment and therefore they are called environmental problems. Almost every part of world is affected by this problem.