Fundamentals of Environmental Science

Essay by rlmarshUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2010

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Environmental science is the branch of science that deals with the physical, chemical and biological components of the environment and their effects on organisms. Environmental science encompasses various aspects of biology, chemistry, economics, hydrology, physics, law, and other social sciences and topical environmental issues like climate change, conservation, groundwater and soil contamination, ozone depletion, use of natural resources, waste management, air and noise pollution. Environmental science encompasses the surrounding conditions that affect man and other organisms. Natural and human resources are interdependent and the use or misuse of one affects the other.

Environmental science also includes subjects such as pollution control and improvement of natural resource management which encompasses the management of land, water, soil, plants, and animals. Natural resource management is similar to the concept of sustainable development. Environmental sustainability briefly defined is the capacity and ability to endure. It is the study of "development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Geneseo State University of New York, 2009).

Simply stated it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the well being of the natural world and the responsible use of the natural resources available. Sustainability has become a wide-ranging term that can be applied to almost every facet of life on Earth, from local to a global scale and over various time periods. The long-lived and healthy ecosystems are prime examples of sustainable biological systems with chemical cycles that redistribute water, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon through the world's living and non-living systems, and have sustained life for millions of years. As the earth's human population has increased these natural ecosystems have declined and changes in the balance of natural cycles have had a negative impact on both humans and...