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What are Human Environmental Interactions?

Human Environmental Interactions. If you’re wondering what human-environment interaction is, read on. Hey!!! You are not by yourself. I often find myself wondering what the term “human-environment interaction” actually means. There are lots of articles on this issue, I suppose. The table of contents is below.

Human-environmental interaction, according to Marten (2001), is the interaction between the human social system and the rest of the ecosystem. Both the biosphere and the human social system are extremely sophisticated adaptive mechanisms. This is due to the fact that both have a large number of parts and connections between them. They are able to adapt because of their extensive feedback structures, which let them survive in a setting that is continuously changing.

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Illustration of Human-Environmental Interaction

It is crucial to be aware of the distinctive behaviors or characteristics of the human social system in order to truly comprehend and study the interaction between humans and their surroundings. The kind of society a person is a part of has a big impact on how they act, how they think, and how they affect the ecosystem.

The following are some significant aspects of the human social system that have a significant impact on the ecosystem:

  • population size
  • social organization
  • values
  • technology
  • wealth
  • education
  • knowledge and many more

People’s values and knowledge have a significant impact on their “View of Life” and, as a result, define the way they act, according to the previously mentioned variables. The range of conceivable actions is nevertheless constrained by the current technology.

It is known as ECOSYSTEM SERVICES when people modify the environment to serve their own interests and gain from it.

These ecosystem services are crucial for people’s welfare. For instance, the availability of resources like water, wood, food, energy, knowledge, agricultural land, and many others. As a result, humans exploit these resources to have an unknown impact on their surroundings. Even more so, people change the way ecosystems work to build new ones that can better meet their demands.

The relationship between components of human well-being and ecosystem services was examined by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). In 2001, the MA research program was launched with funding from the UN.

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What are Examples of Human-Environment interaction?

Since they help us better understand how humans have impacted their environment in the past and what may be done to alleviate the environmental issues we currently face, studies of human-environment interactions are crucial.

1. Agriculture

Due to various human uses of the land, including crop cultivation and commercial forestry, changes are made to the vegetation, landscapes, habitats of wildlife, patterns of soil erosion and accumulation, and water flow and drainage.

2. Human-built structures

Urbanization has changed how land is used, for example, by putting up more impervious surface area, which encourages more water to run off and cause erosion, floods, and silting of streams. Furthermore, industries transform raw materials into finished goods while frequently releasing toxic waste and byproducts into the environment, poisoning air and water sources and having a detrimental effect on human health and natural ecosystems.

3. Industrialization

Huge quantities of chemicals are taken from the Earth for use in industrial processes. When released into the environment, they can cause significant damage to soil, water, air, and land animals if not properly treated or disposed of.

4. Transportation & Roads

Although they are an essential form of transportation, roads frequently have a negative influence on the environment due to their impermeable surface. Noise pollution, air pollution, and other physical effects of pollution are also present.

5. Climate Change

Climate change has been the focus of extensive study for many years and is one of the geological themes that is currently most in demand. Studies carried out over the last century have shown that people have significantly impacted global climate patterns. Examples of human influences on climate change include the emission of greenhouse gases, deforestation, and modifications to land usage.

What Role Does the Environment Play in Society?

In society, there are many different ways that humanity is dependent on the environment. The resources and services provided by the environment play the biggest part in how this occurs. Existence requires food, water, a predictable climate, clean air, and raw materials. This is an illustration of how people and the environment interact.

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Environmental dependence and coevolution of human beings

Coevolution and coadaptation refer to the ongoing process of change and reciprocal adaptation between human social structures and the environment. However, the environment itself has an impact on human activity.

Human social systems must in this situation adjust to their unique surroundings. Natural events like storms and earthquakes, which compel human response, are an illustration of how humans and the environment interact in this context.

Additionally, these natural phenomena may or may not be predominantly the product of human behavior, which in turn affects how people behave as they react to novel circumstances.


The European Environment Agency (EEA) was the first to design the Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) model, which was used to manage and evaluate various environmental issues. The conceptual framework was embraced by numerous nations and European organizations.

This approach identifies the haphazard connections between human activity and environmental damage. In order to clarify how changes in the environment due to human activity are explained, the model distinguishes between various categories of indicators.

Therefore, human actions either increase or decrease environmental pressure. The socio-economic and socio-cultural forces are primarily the principal drivers of human activity.

Human Environment Interaction in the USA and Canada

A perspective on people The early occupants of the American Southwest, who are the forerunners of today’s Pueblo peoples, found it to be a hard environment. But these early inhabitants wisely utilized the resources at hand. They extracted building materials like clay and stone from the ground.

In cliffs, they constructed multi-room homes that resembled apartments. This provided defense against the heat of the day, the chill of the night, and foes both human and animal. The early colonists obtained their food and clothes from plants and animals. They survived because they were able to adapt to their surroundings.

Example of human-environment interaction Canada and the USA

Before the arrival of people, only natural factors like weathering and erosion had an impact on the landforms of North America. That changed thousands of years ago with the arrival of the first settlers, who were the forerunners of the native peoples of North America.


The first people to live in the region of North America that is now known as the United States and Canada were nomads, or wanderers. The majority of archaeologists think that they most likely crossed the Bering Strait, a land bridge that previously united Siberia and Alaska, on their way from Asia.

They traveled the countryside. They engaged in hunting, fishing, and foraging for edible wild plants. These early Americans established temporary villages around coasts and close to rivers and streams because they needed water to survive.

They adapted to climatic and temperature extremes. Additionally, they adapted to the diverse natural landscapes of the area, which included mountains, forests, plains, and deserts.

Human Environment Interaction in Africa

Africa is renowned for having distinctive topography, which is the study of the shape and characteristics of land surfaces. Over the years, texture has had an uncountable number of effects on the human social structure.

For instance, human activity has caused oil spills in Nigeria, which have resulted in the loss of agricultural area to oil spills and the desertification of the Sahel.

Arabic for “shore of the desert” is the Sahel. As you can see, the Sahel is a slender strip of arid grassland that hugs the southern edge of the Sahara from east to west. The Sahel is used by people for farming and livestock.

The Sahel has been invaded by the desert since the 1960s. Desertification describes this change in the desert. Desertification is the spreading of arid conditions into nearby wet areas. It typically results from a long-term cycle in nature, but human activity is accelerating the process.

Human-Environment Interaction in Europe |European Human-Environment Interaction

Over the past 10,000 years, European nations like Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland, Greece, the Netherlands, and others have fundamentally changed the European landscape by cultivating agricultural land and taking resources from the environment.

Both beneficial and harmful effects have resulted from this alteration of Europe’s natural environment. An old proverb claims, for instance, that “God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland.” (The Netherlands is also known as Holland.) The Dutch recovered land from the sea in order to accommodate their expanding population.

At least 40% of the Netherlands used to be underwater. A polder is a piece of land that has been reclaimed through dyking and drainage. One way that people engage with their environment is through this action.

FAQs on Human Environmental Interactions

What questions would you ask about how humans interact with their environment?

How do humans negatively impact the earth? What is the relationship between humans and the environment? How are humans and their environment similar?

What are the 3 things we consider when looking at human environment interaction?

The way people depend on the environment for food, water, timber, natural gas etc. The way people adpat the environment to fulfill their own needs. The way people modify the environment positively or negatively like drilling holes, building dams.

What influences human environment interaction?

Humans impact the physical environment in many ways: overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels, and deforestation. Changes like these have triggered climate change, soil erosion, poor air quality, and undrinkable water.

How do human environment interactions become beneficial to humans?

People modify the environment for their purposes and obtain benefits (Ecosystem Services) from it. These Ecosystem Services are essential for human well-being and include for example the provision of resources like water, timber, food, energy, information, land for farming and many more.

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