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Several statistical measures called environmental Indicators have been devised by the scientists to assess the state of the environment. This state need not be necessarily the result of the impact of human activities, but usually human activity has substantial impact on the state of any environment within which the activity takes place. These indicators do not actually describe the state of the environment in detail. Rather they provide information on some specific aspect of the environment which is indicative of the more detailed state of the environment. For example a measure like average global temperature is used a measure to describe global environment as it impacts so many different aspects of the environment including size of polar caps, sea water levels and area submerged by the sea, and impact on life of flora and fauna.
Some major environmental indicators include the following:
- Atmospheric temperature
- Concentration of ozone in the atmosphere
- Amount of greenhouse gas emissions
- Ocean acidification levels
- Presence of of specific chemicals or toxins in water, land, atmosphere.
- Presence of of specific chemicals or toxins in plants and animals used as food.
- Population/density of different types of flora and fauna
- Desertification or the extent of land covered by deserts
- Noise levels
- Smog levels
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