Wars are never prolific for mankind. They cause severe damages to humanity on many justifications. For instance, a lot of valued individual lives are lost as a consequence. The economic circumstances become worst. The overall feel of the war hit area gets damaged by a great deal. The political worth of the losing country declines as well.
What is most serious damage?:
But above all of the damages mentioned above, the most somber hazard which a war can cause is the environmental obliteration. These hazards not only make damages to the contestants of war but almost the entire world as all world shares a common air and environment.
How wars and weapons of mass destruction affect environment?:
Let us have a look how a war and especially the weapons of mass destruction can cause severe damage to environment.
Air gets polluted:
The most affected environmental factor, which is affected as a result of the warfare, is the air. Use of weapons, both, the ordinary ones, and also the weapons of mass destruction, are a big factor towards global warming. The amount of carbon increases in the air composition due to use of bombs and other destructive weapons. Moreover, the military tanks and other vehicles chomp through a lot of fuel as compared to ordinary transportation and this fact causes a lot of carbon monoxide to liberate in the air and this is a big reason of air pollution.
Toxic dust is another factor:
Military vehicles damage the soil and the dust particles in the air combine with some very harmful metals such as arsenic, lead, cobalt, barium and aluminium. This combination gives rise to toxic dust.
In regard to US army, the neurological disorders have increased by 251 percent, respiratory problems have increased by 47 percent and cardiac problems have increased by 34 percent.
Water pollution: Now let us have a look how water quality is damaged as an upshot of war. A major annihilation to water is the oil spill. It may happen that attacking army may release tons of oil into water to the country being attacked by launching an attack at the oil fields. An example from olden times is being quoted here:
In 1991, Iraq attacked Kuwait and shattered 700 oil wells and this caused to spill out 60 million barrel of oil in the water. 2/5th of Kuwait’s fresh water got affected due to that oil spill. 1500 km of Kuwait’s coastline was affected as a result and it had cost $700 million to clean the coastline.
It may also happen that if sewerage plants are destroyed, then waste material may take the route to freshwater, causing the water creatures to die and also render the water, non-usable for humans for drinking and other rationales.
One such incident also happened in Kuwait war when sewerage treatment plants were destroyed and 50,000 cubic of sewerage flew in Kuwait Bay.
Harm to marine and freshwater life:
Another consequence of the war may be harm to marine life. Fish and other water animals, both, marine and freshwater, suffer a great deal due to the war hazards. Such a tortuous effect to marine life was spotted in Somalia. The details are as under:
It happened in the Somalia Civil war of 1991, that International Red Cross Society encouraged use of fish for rationale of food consumption. And the society also provided people with special training and fishing equipment. The people started the fishing activity but didn’t take care of international laws regarding fishing. And it was also unable to stop them from doing so as the fishermen were carrying arms. This had a very bad impact on fish in the water.
Almost all the factors in an ecosystem are affected as a result of war and soil is no exception. The use of weapons of mass destruction causes soil to erode and in many instances, it renders soil unfit to use for agricultural purposes. An example is Vietnam, where agriculture suffered for a long time as a consequence of war.
Movement of military vehicles and use of weapons also contribute to land degradation. Moreover, when industrial and military machines and other equipment s get destroyed, it releases some heavy metals and other harmful substances.
Some other indirect effects:
All of the effects may not be direct, but many are indirect. It may happen that attack is made on one object and it heavily affected many other things. One such example is quoted below:
In May 1943, some pilots of RAF destroyed two German dams and as a result, the dam water caused great havoc to 7000 acres of farmland and affected 125 factories.
Gist of the tale:
Keeping in the view the above presented information, it can be firmly said that wars affect our ecosystems by a great deal. So for survival of mankind and conservation of environment, wars should be avoided or at least the use of weapons of mass destruction should be abandoned.
Photo courtesy of: MarcinMonko
Tasha Karen is working as a content researcher in vibrant dynamics. She loves to write on different topics especially on health, environment and current affairs. Main focus of her writing pieces is to provide valuable information her readers.