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4.2 Human Influences on the Environment

Modern Agriculture

  • How can you increase the yield of certain crops using glasshouses and polythene tunnels?
  • How does increased carbon dioxide and increased temperature in glasshouses affect crop yield?
  • How is fertiliser used to increase crop yield?
  • Why is pest control important?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using pesticides and biological control with crop plants?
  • Can you explain the methods used to farm large numbers of fish? You should understand how the following factors are controlled; water quality maintenance, intraspecific and interspecific predation, disease, removal of waste products, quality and frequency of feeding, as well as how selective breeding is used.

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An interesting video looking at the remarkable array of new weapons that scientists are developing to keep the hordes of pests at bay that destroy our crops every year.

Click here to watch a video about how fish farming can be used to improve human health and fish stocks.

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Pollution

  • Can you recall that greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and CFCs?
  • How do human activities contribute to greenhouse gases?
  • What is the greenhouse effect and how does it lead to global warming?
  • What are the potential consequences of global warming?
  • Do you understand that leaching, soil erosion, disturbance of the water cycle, and of the balance in atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide, are all effects of deforestation?
  • What are the biological consequences of air pollution by sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide?
  • What is eutrophication?
  • Can you explain the biological consequences of water pollution by sewage, including the increase of microorganisms resulting in the depletion of oxygen in the water?

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What happens when fertilisers get washed into lakes and rivers? A process called eutrophication. Learn all about it in the YouTube video below.

Have a look at the effects of deforestation in this video.


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Extension Material

There are approximately 7 billion people on the planet. In this video Hank discusses the issues associated with a rising population.

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