Our world is constantly shifting and changing, and not always for the better. Some of the different types of environmental problems are caused by humans and some are not. It is important to know the main issues facing the planet in 2016 and going forward into 2017. Some of these are things each of us can help combat every day through small changes in our behaviour or habits. Others are larger, long-term issues that we may never be able to solve.

1) Climate Change

Climate Change

Global Warming


Climate change has been one of the most hotly debated topics in the last century. Ironically, just like global warming, the debate has only gotten hotter. The funny thing about this issue is that, within the scientific community, the debate is essentially settled. Despite all the naysaying by politicians, this is a real issue we are facing. The fact of this is backed up by a growing body of scientific facts.

 2) Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture

As population growth has continued at an unparcelled rate worldwide, the food to feed this growing body of human beings is required to grow at an even faster rate. This has led to the increasingly industrialized agriculture industry that exists today. Many of the current practices within the industrial agriculture industry are not environmentally friendly nor sustainable for the future. 

3) Deforestation


Every tree, blade of grass and flower is an asset to our planet. And aside from sounding like poetry, it is true. All (or most) plants absorb CO2 and expel oxygen. This is an essential need to help combat climate change. Forests are unfortunately being cut down at a fast rate. This destroys not only their function as CO2 filters but as hosts and part of ecosystems that many other plants and animals rely on.

4) Oceans

The Big Blue

The oceans of the world seem so vast and untouchable. What could possibly pollute or injure the inhabitants of the ocean? At first glance, this appears to be so, and at low levels of pollution, it may be a fair assumption. However, we are no longer at low levels of pollution. The impact of the continued pollution and dumping into the ocean will be dire in the years to come.

5) Mining Impacts

mining issues

Environmental changes are inextricably linked to mining. And none more so than hydraulic fracking. A method of extracting oil that has grown to become extremely popular within the US as well. The consequences of the increased mining of recent decades will be felt for a long time. Mining changes landscapes, pollutes the air, destroys or displaces flora and fauna and contributes to a variety of environmental problems. 


Hopefully, this short article has helped you understand the top 5 different types of environmental problems in 2016. Armed with this information, there may well be something you can do to help. Only together can we beat these larger issues. But to defeat them, first, we must come to understand them. 

This is no easy task due to the size and scale of the issues our planet is facing. Human brains are not equipped to understand such large scale and so it is hard to imagine what is going on.

Want to know more about climate change? Watch this informational video from none other than the Science Guy himself Bill Nye