Definition of the environment

The environment is a language that is the home and the situation, and the environment includes many species, there is the natural environment, the social environment, and the political environment, and in the scientific field, the term “environment” is called the group of biological, chemical, and physical elements that surround an organism or a group of living organisms Ecology is a comprehensive science concerned with the study of interrelationships between living organisms themselves, and between living organisms and the non-living factors and organisms that surround them and affect their existence and distribution, and ecology is related to many sciences, such as: Earth sciences chemistry, meteorology, soils, physics, biology, and geography.

Boring’s definition of the environment: (The human environment is the total sum of the stimuli that he receives from the moment of his birth until his death), so the definition of the environment includes all different types of forces, including: physical, intellectual, economic, political, cultural, and social forces, Ethical, emotional, and all affect his behavior, nature, growth and development.

Douglas and Holland definition of the environment: (Environment is the total description of all external forces, influences, and conditions that affect the life, nature, behavior, growth, development, and maturation of living things).

Components of the environment The components of the environment can be divided into:

The lithosphere: (English: Lithosphere) It is the outer shell that surrounds the globe of mountains, rocks, and soil, and provides living organisms with soil, minerals, and other elements.

The hydrosphere: (English: Hydrosphere) It is the part of the Earth that contains water, and it includes: lakes, rivers, oceans, groundwater, rain, and ice.

Atmosphere: (English: Atmosphere) It is a layer of air and gases that extends from the Earth's surface to several kilometers above it.

Biosphere: (English: Bioshphere) It means all living things found in the lithosphere, water, and atmosphere.

The environment is also affected by a number of factors or components, including biotic factors and abiotic factors:

Abiotic factors: These include physical and chemical factors, such as temperature, salinity, pH, soil composition, sunlight, climate, and others.

Biological factors: They include organisms that interact with each other, and are divided into: producers, consumers, and decomposers.

The environment consists of the interaction of physical and biological systems in addition to cultural elements, and these elements are linked to each other in different ways individually and collectively, and the following points explain these elements in brief: -

Physical elements: they are the elements that determine the changing nature of the human habitat, its opportunities, and limitations. Examples of them are: space, topography, water bodies, soil, climate, rocks, and minerals.

Biological elements: are the elements that make up the biosphere.

Cultural elements: are the features made by man and form the cultural environment for him, such as: economic, social, and political elements.

Types of environment in terms of their impact on the individual 

The environment is represented in three types that affect the personality of the individual, according to the scientist Kurt Lewin, and they are as follows: -

Physical environment: It is the conditions in which the individual lives, such as the geographical climate, weather, or physical conditions, and the human being is greatly affected by the climate, and the following are some examples that illustrate this influence:

European countries are characterized by a cold climate, and the indigenous people are distinguished by their light skin, while the indigenous peoples of Asian and African countries, which are characterized by a hot climate, are distinguished by their dark skin.

The human physical structure is affected by the climatic conditions surrounding it, and individuals try to modify it according to what is commensurate with the environment.

The efficiency of human work also depends on the surrounding climatic conditions.

Social environment: It includes the social, economic, and political conditions of a person in the society in which he lives, where moral, cultural, and emotional factors affect the behavior of individuals, and society can be classified into two categories as follows:

Psychological environment: In contrast to both the physical environment and the social environment in terms of considering them to be a common factor between individuals in certain cases, the psychological environment differs from one person to another, and was described by the scientist Kurt Levin with the term life space; Because it represents the individual and his goal, and through which his personality can be understood, for example: when a person encounters pitfalls in his life, he may face in two cases, either he becomes frustrated, or overcomes those pitfalls, and completes his life by changing his goal to obtain a better psychological environment, as this mechanism contributes Changing the way an individual adapts to his environment.

environment problems

Among the most important problems faced by the environment are the following:

Pollution: There are many types of pollutants that increase the risk of pollution in the environment, including: heavy metals, plastics, and nitrates. Oil spills and acid rain contribute greatly to water pollution. As for gases and toxic materials resulting from various industries and the burning of fossil fuels, they cause pollution. The air, as well as soil pollution due to the residues resulting from industrial processes, and the decrease in the amount of nutrients in it. Basically, both industrial waste and the combustion of fossil fuels contribute to the pollution of water, air, and soil.

Global warming: Global warming leads to an increase in the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which leads to climate change, ocean warming, and the melting of icebergs at the poles; Sea level rise, and man is the main cause of this phenomenon.

Overcrowding or overpopulation: an increase in the population leads to a shortage of natural resources, such as: food, water, and energy, so excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural operations is resorted to to compensate for this shortage.

Depletion of natural resources: including fossil fuel sources, so the use of renewable energy sources is directed, such as: water energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, and biogas.

Increasing the volume of waste: including nuclear waste, electronic waste, in addition to plastic, and other waste that must be disposed of in safe ways.

Loss of biodiversity: human activities lead to the destruction of natural habitats for many types of living organisms; leading to its extinction.

Deforestation: The increased demand for food and shelter leads to the cutting of trees, and this, in turn, affects the level of oxygen in the atmosphere.

Ocean acidification: The acidity of the oceans increases as a result of the excessive production of carbon dioxide, and this affects marine plankton and oysters, making their shells brittle.

Depletion of the ozone layer: Excessive use of chlorofluorocarbons causes depletion of ozone gas, which acts as an insulating layer that prevents harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth's surface, and countries are currently resorting to banning the use of such compounds in industry.

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