What Does the Term "environmental Factors" Mean?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 27, 2020 10:43:06 PM ET
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Environmental factors refer to any element that might bring change to an existing environment. This include human factors such as litter that does not biodegrade, as well as such natural forces as the weather. One thing that is always true about the environment is that it is always in the state of change. Some of these shifts are easy to see, like an avalanche that happens on the side of a mountain as the result of traffic construction activity, while others are less obvious, such as sand finally becoming sandstone.

Water is one of the most inexorable natural forces. Over time, rivers have gouged out such immense features as the Grand Canyon, and waves from the ocean grind cliff sides away over time, leaving behind beaches consisting of shells and smaller rocks. When water freezes in gaps, cliffs shatter into boulders, and then boulders turn into smaller stones.

Wind is another force that is difficult to avoid. It blows over trees, but it also allows seedlings to spread out in their ecosystem, giving them room to find a place to grow. Fire behaves similarly, as lightning storms thin out forests, creating new space for seedlings.

When humans enter an environment, they create a vast number of environmental factors, but one of the most ironic factors happens when people feed human food to animals in the wild. This creates a sense of dependence and harms animals' ability to forage for themselves.