Global Ecological Problems in Ukraine

Global Ecological Problems in Ukraine


S. Shevtsov

SumyStateUniversity, Sumy, Ukraine

Fifty years ago hardly anybody was concerned about environmental problems. Industrial and economic development, progress and profit were more important. Now, more and more people are aware of environmental problems such as the pollution of the air, the exhaust fumes and factory chimneys, global warming, the pollution of the ocean and many others. Environmental protection has become a global concern.

Pollution is the contamination of the environment, including air, water and land with undesirable amounts of material or energy. Air pollution is especially severe in many of the heavily industrialized cities and towns of southeastern Ukraine, notably in Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk. Coal-using industries such as metallurgical coke-chemical plants, still mills and thermal power plants are major sources of high levels of uncontrolled emissions of sulfur dioxide, dust.

Almost all surface waters of Ukraine belong to the Black Sea and Sea of Azov basins. The high population density, heavy industrial development and relatively low freshwater endowment of those basins and the low governmental priority placed upon environmental protection until very recently have given rise to chronic and serious levels of water pollution throughout Ukraine.

Greenhouse effect is the phenomenon of the Earth’s atmosphere by which solar radiation trapped by the Earth and re-emitted from the surface is prevented from escaping by various gases in the air. The result is a rise in the Earth’s temperature. The main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is estimated to have risen by 25% since industrial revolution. Chlorofluorocarbon levels are rising by 5% a year.

Acid rain is an acidic precipitation thought to be caused principally by the release into the atmosphere of sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen. Acid deposition occurs not only as wet precipitation. It also comes out of the atmosphere as dry particles is absorbed directly by lakes plants and masonry as gases. Acidic gases can travel over 500 km a day. Acid rain is linked with damage to and health of forests and lake organisms. It also results in damage to buildings and statues.

The main affect of acid rains is to damage the chemical balance of soil. Plants living in such soil suffer from mineral loss. Lakes and rivers suffer more direct damage as well because they become acidified by rainfall draining directly from their catchments. 22

We must take care of our nature. That’s why we must not drop litter in street, we must improve traffic transport, use bicycles, create more parks. Also we should clean the air, we should protect animals, we must change people’s attitude towards the environment.