Impact of Society on Earth’s Atmosphere

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Everyday society is impacting the earth’s atmosphere weather it is in a good or bad way. Mostly society effects the earth’s atmosphere in a negative way, although people are aware of the current situation, they still continue to do the things that effect the earth atmosphere in a negative way. These things being burning fossil fuels, deforestation, or as easy as using fertilizers. According to climate change sheet 22 last modified on 07/18/2012 nitrogen contained in many fertilizers enhances the natural processes of nitrification and denitrification that are carried out by bacteria and other microbes in the soil.

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These processes convert some nitrogen into nitrous oxide. The amount of N2O emitted for each unit of nitrogen applied to the soil depends on the type and amount of fertilizer, soil conditions, and climate also stated in the climate change sheet 22. The atmosphere is so bad off that even if humans quit polluting the atmosphere by reducing carbon dioxide releases right now it still could take more than a century before the air clears.

Main Man-made greenhouse-gases

According NASA which is an agency of the US Federal Government responsible for the space program, aeronautics and aerospace research, the greenhouse gases that humans emit directly in huge loads are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. Carbon dioxide accounts for about three quarters of the warming impact of current human greenhouse-gas emissions. The key source of carbon is the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Methane accounts for around 14% of the impact of current human greenhouse-gas emissions. The key sources are agriculture, fossil fuel extraction and the decay of organic waste in landfill sites. Methane does not last in the atmosphere as long as carbon does, but its warming effect is much more powerful for each gram of gas released. Nitrous oxide accounts for around 8% of the warming impact of current human greenhouse-gas emissions. The key sources include agriculture like nitrogen-fertilized soils and livestock waste and industrial processes. Nitrous oxide is even more powerful per gram than methane. Lastly, fluorinated gases account for around 1% of the warming impact of current human greenhouse-gas emissions. The key source are industrial processes. Fluorinated gases are even more powerful per gram than nitrous oxide.

What’s Really Happening

Earth’s atmosphere is about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, with amounts of water, argon, carbon dioxide and other gases. The atmosphere is divided into layers: The troposphere is the lowest layer and extends from Earth’s surface up to a height of about 30 miles it is where most of Earth’s weather occurs. Above the troposphere is the stratosphere, where the ultraviolet blocking ozone layer is found. Above that is the mesosphere, the thermosphere and the ionosphere. Scientist and engineers from around the world, tell us that the planet is warming, and over the last half century, the warming has been made worse by human activity. U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since 1895 according to geoinformatics and geo-statistics. 2012 was the hottest year on record in the continental United States. Temperatures are projected to rise another 2°F to 4°F in most areas of the U.S. over the next few decades. According to the introduction to international and global studies the second edition, storms will become more intense, including prolonged periods of heat, heavy rains, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. Also, warming is causing sea level to rise and glaciers and Arctic sea ice to melt. The ozone hole over Antarctica is more distinct on the South American side of the frozen continent. In 1985, researchers found that over half of the ozone layer over the South Pole had been destroyed in just a decade. Scientists believe the North Pole begins to see more frequent polar stratospheric clouds in the future then this would cause severe ozone depletion over Alaska, Canada, and parts of northern Europe. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world due to the severe lack of ozone in the area. Also, oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and climate change is impacting biodiversity and disrupting ecosystems.

Losing the Ozone Layer

Even with our ozone layer, we can’t stare at the Sun for more than 60 seconds without risking blindness with a complete decrease of ozone layer blindness could set in immediately. Also, human skin can burn and begin to boil after even less than a day of being in the Sun, just imagine if our ozone layer was fully removed. Without this barrier in place, all of the radiation would reach Earth, damaging the DNA of plants and animals, and humans. Skin cancer rates would rise, we might not even live long enough to experience that cause of death. After days of the ozone layer’s hone, many plants would die. The intensity of the sun’s radiation would make photosynthesis an impossible. Without plants, the food chain would be gone. Herbivores would starve, omnivores and carnivores could feed off their bodies for a while, but their food supply would decrease and causing an extinction.

A Helping Hand

To slow down the process of the ozone layer being depleted we can change a couple of everyday things that affect the atmosphere negatively like reducing the use of your car and lawn mowers. Use buses, bikes, and or walk. Reduce the use of heating and air-conditioning, energy saving gadgets and bulbs. Avoid the use of aerosol sprays containing CFCs, the use of fire extinguishers with halogenated hydrocarbon, buying insulating material made from CFC, keep the air conditioning clean because if a malfunction occurs it emits CFCs in the atmosphere. Check the freezer and the car air-conditioning frequently because if they malfunction, they may leak. Doing these things will help you save money and also reduce pollution to help our atmosphere.


If we don’t get some type of control of this issue our days on this earth will be numbered. We should take more care of a place that we know we live and depend on and other generations have to live here after us. At this rate the living conditions will be very bad for the generations to come, the radiation may be unbearable. We all are aware of the current issues so why not make a difference and try to do some of our everyday activities differently.

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Impact of Society on Earth's Atmosphere. (2020, Feb 07). Retrieved from