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Types of environmental impacts

In recent years, environmental impacts have increased and that is why the environment is gaining more recognition and importance. In addition, for this reason, the term sustainable development also takes on more relevance. Environmental impacts are those that produce an alteration, change or modification in the environment, with a certain complexity and magnitude as a consequence of human activities. Whenever there are anthropogenic activities an impact occurs, although depending on the activity these will be negligible or significant, and can also be negative or positive.

In this interesting AgroCorrn article, the different types of environmental impacts will be shown , as well as some examples of them.

You may also be interested in: What is an environmental impact study
  1. Positive and negative environmental impact
  2. Direct and indirect environmental impact
  3. Cumulative or synergistic environmental impact
  4. Reversible or irreversible impact
  5. Actual or potential impact
  6. Temporary and permanent impact
  7. Local and disseminated impact
  8. Examples of environmental impact
  9. What is the EIA

Positive and negative environmental impact

The environmental impacts are not only negative, there are also positive environmental impacts, as a result of an activity that aims to improve and recover natural areas. On the one hand, some examples of negative impacts are pollution, overexploitation of natural resources, climate change and environmental degradation. On the other hand, some examples of positive impacts can be reforestation, the use of renewable energies, efficient water management and good water purification treatment or having good recycling areas.

Here you can learn more about What is negative and positive environmental impact with examples .

Direct and indirect environmental impact

When talking about direct environmental impact , reference is made to that impact that is appreciated immediately or in a short period of time. On the other hand, the indirect environmental impact also becomes noticeable after a long time. In turn, they can be positive or negative impacts and / or of other types.

Cumulative or synergistic environmental impact

On the one hand, the cumulative impact is one that is produced by the sum of small impacts over time in the same area, although the impacts are small, their accumulation means that they end up having a greater effect. On the other hand, synergistic impacts occur when different activities that cause a greater environmental impact are taking place together.

Reversible or irreversible impact

An impact is reversible when the affected area or territory can be recovered thanks to specialized treatments (polluted water treatment), restorations, deforestation, among other actions. However, that irreversible impact refers to spaces that cannot be recovered, due to the great magnitude of the impact or because there are no applicable recovery treatments.

Actual or potential impact

On the one hand, a current impact is one that, as is implied by the name itself, is occurring at the moment. On the other hand, the potential impact refers to the one that may occur and it is estimated that it is quite likely to happen at a future time, if measures are not taken to avoid it.

Temporary and permanent impact

When an impact is classified as a temporary impact , it means that over time it could disappear and the affected area recover, a temporary impact would be one with an average duration of between 10 and 19 years. However, those that last for more than 20 years would be permanent impacts .

Local and disseminated impact

If an impact affects only one territory, it is called a local impact , while if the latter expands, affecting distant spaces from where the initial impact occurred, it is classified as a disseminated impact . Again, as we have commented before, an impact can be of several of these types at the same time, it can be negative, disseminated and permanent or it can be positive, local and permanent, among other possibilities.

Examples of environmental impact

Here are some examples of environmental impacts :

  • Pollution of the atmosphere: all the gases produced by industrial activity, the emissions of all the vehicles that circulate in cities, as well as the burning of fossil fuels are the origin of the pollution of the atmosphere .
  • Water pollution: bodies of water are contaminated by discharges from industries and untreated wastewater, plastic is another great pollutant of water areas, since tons of plastic waste each year end up in seas and oceans damaging to aquatic species. Here you can learn all about the Causes and consequences of water pollution .
  • Soil contamination: activities such as livestock, agriculture or the exploitation of resources deteriorate and pollute the soil. In this link you will see a lot of information about soil pollution: causes, consequences and solutions .
  • Noise pollution: this occurs, above all, in large cities where there is a large concentration of sounds. In this post you will learn about what noise pollution is and how it affects us .
  • Light pollution: this type of pollution also occurs in large cities, from which it is impossible to appreciate the stars. Learn more about Light Pollution: definition, causes and consequences with this other article.
  • Loss of biodiversity and extinction of species: the loss of ecosystems is causing a loss of biodiversity, even some species have become extinct when their habitats are affected. Another cause is illegal hunting for animals that are of special interest for commercial purposes. Here we talk more about the Loss of biodiversity: causes and consequences .
  • Deforestation: the overexploitation of the timber industry, as well as the setting of fires to destroy territories and then allocate them to agriculture or extensive livestock are the main problems that cause deforestation. In this other post you can consult more information about the Causes of deforestation .

What is the EIA

The EIA or environmental impact assessment assesses the impact that can be generated by carrying out certain activities such as, for example, a mining operation or also evaluates the establishment of new infrastructures. It is very important to carry out an environmental impact assessment to prevent or mitigate any damage to the environment that may occur.

Finally, here you can learn about what is an environmental impact study .

If you want to read more articles similar to Types of environmental impacts , we recommend that you enter our category of Other environment .

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