The Environment Chronicle Notable environmental events
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- 500 0 Events
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- 800 0 Events
- 900 0 Events
- 1000 0 Events
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- 1200 2 Events
- 1300 3 Events
- 1400 2 Events
- 1500 2 Events
- 1600 0 Events
- 1700 4 Events
- 1800 26 Events
- 1900 5 Events
- 1910 6 Events
- 1920 6 Events
- 1930 7 Events
- 1940 7 Events
- 1950 15 Events
- 1960 25 Events
- 1970 106 Events
- 1980 138 Events
- 1990 271 Events
- 2000 30 Events
- 2001 32 Events
- 2002 39 Events
- 2003 37 Events
- 2004 44 Events
- 2005 47 Events
- 2006 46 Events
- 2007 57 Events
- 2008 119 Events
- 2009 286 Events
- 2010 315 Events
- 2011 293 Events
- 2012 231 Events
- 2013 331 Events
- 2014 366 Events
- 2015 373 Events
- 2016 341 Events
- 2017 303 Events
- 2018 25 Events
- 2019 4 Events
Around this date there are reports of serious environmental damage in Mesopotamia due to inadequate irrigation and a lack of drainage systems.
At around this time, large areas of Ancient Greece become steppe, as a result of deforestation (e.g. for wood for Attic ceramics production, intensive agriculture) and the associated erosion.
The first regulations in Germany on health and the purity of ingredients are decreed.
From the 13th century onwards, large areas of forest in Europe (Italy, France, England and Ireland) are lost due to the increased demand for fuel (e.g. for smelting iron). At a later date, Lüneburg Heath is deforested in Germany, to meet increased demand for charcoal.
The Amberg "Forest ban" is decreeed, to protect woodlands.
Munich decrees detailed regulations on hygiene.
Zittau receives its first water mains.
The Schultheisser ordinance is intended to stop the destruction of forests by charcoal burners.
Breslau is supplied with mains water from the Oder.
In Silesia, Bunzlau hosts the first public sewage treatment works.
The first decree on orderly waste disposal in Hamburg.
Count Leopold III. Friedrich Franz (1740-1817) attempts to transform his small territory Anhalt-Dessau, in the spirit of the Enlightenment, into a realm of gardens and parks. Some of his project has survived, including the park at Wörlitz, a remarkable and beautiful example of large-scale landscape gardening.
The Leblanc soda process marks the start of the new chemicals industry. From the outset, there are problems with waste. Traditional, now scarce, resources, wood-ash and dried seaweed for soda production, are replaced by other raw materials.
The first Leblanc soda factory in Germany brings much pollution.
Johann Gottfried Tulla (1770 - 1828) starts work on expanding the Upper Rhine between the Black Forest and the Vosges. The Weser, Elbe and Danube are also excavated in the 19th century.
J. von Liebig founds the science of agricultural chemistry and forms of artificial fertilisers multiply.
The first central water supply is built in Hamburg. Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne follow suit. The water is not yet filtered.
The first sewage system is put into operation in Hamburg.
Discovery and use of aniline dye. The aniline dye industry leads to much pollution and damage to public health.
Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882) finally publishes his landmark opus " On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection...". The mechanics of nature and thereby the environment become more consciously understood.
The start of the potash industry in Staßfurt near Magdeburg contaminates rivers with spoil salts.
George Perkin Marsh (1801 - 1882) publishes his exhaustive "Man and Nature", reissued as "The Earth as modified by Human Action" in 1874. This is the first comprehensive description of the impact of human economic activity on land and sea around the world.
The zoologist Ernst Haeckel coins the term ecology to describe "the body of knowledge concerning the economy of nature - the investigation of the total relation of the animal both to its inorganic and to its organic environment"
Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) formed the Ecology term in his book "General Morphology of Organisms". However, he can not be named as the inventor of this scientific branch, as ecological problems had already been covered since ancient times. As early as around 300 B.C. the works of Theophrast contained many corresponding examples.
The first allotment club founded in Leipzig. The first major allotment parks are created in 1870.
At their 26th general meeting, farmers and foresters pass a resolution protecting birds deemed useful to agriculture. An international agreement follows in 1902.
On July, 13th, 1870 the Royal Prussian Commission for the Research of the German Seas took up work in Kiel on behalf of the fishery. The commission had been established by the Royal Prussian Ministry of Agricultural Affairs aiming at improved fishing results.
The Yellowstone First National Park situated in the US states Wyoming (96%), Montana (3%), and Idaho (1%) was founded on March 1st, 1872 as the first national park of the world, setting an example followed in other countries, including Germany.
The first hydroelectric power is used to illuminate Castle Linderhof in Bavaria.
Berlin's sewage system is begun. Following Gdansk's example, the sewage is passed onto sewage fields.
Robert Hasenclever (1841 - 1902), a soda producer in Stolberg, reports to the Aachen Scientific Society on desulphurisation of "smelting smoke", and publishes "On Harm to Vegetation Through Acid Gas" - a pioneering achievement in air quality.
The first sewage treatment works comes into operation in Frankfurt-Niederrad.
The hydroelectric plant Lauffen on the Neckar provides power to Frankfurt, 175 km away, marking the start of distributed electricity supply.
The first German drinking water reservoir comes into operation at Remscheid. By WW1, more reservoirs are built, such as at the Eder and Möhne valleys.
The Sierra Club was founded on May 28, 1892, by John Muir, a noted preservationist, and a group of influential friends who sought to create an organization to protect the boundaries of the newly established Yosemite National Park. Today, the Sierra Club has over 1.3 million members and supporters and is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.
The world's first waste incinerator comes into operation in Hamburg.
W.C. Röntgen discovers X-rays and receives the first Nobel Prize for physics in 1901.
In his authoritative speech as President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the physicist William Crookes (1832 - 1919) warns of the scarcity of resources, particularly nitrogen fertiliser.
The Baltic Sea is suffering from a lack of oxygen. Poor oxygen conditions on the seabed are killing animals and plants, and experts are now sounding the alarm – releasing fewer nutrients into the Baltic Sea is absolutely necessary. After several years of discussions, researchers from Aarhus University (Denmark), Lund University and Stockholm University (Sweden) have determined that nutrients from the land are the main cause of widespread areas of oxygen depletion. During the last century, the areas of oxygen depletion have increased drastically from approximately 5,000 km2 in around 1900 to the present day, where they extend to 60,000 km2. The results were published on 31 March in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The "Society for Protection of Birds" (BfV) is founded by Lina Hähnle. In 1906, members of the aristocracy are successfully recruited, including the kings of Sweden, Rumania and Bulgaria, the royal couple in Wurttemburg, as well as most German Counts. US president Wilson joins in 1912, when the society gains charitable status. In 1934, the Forestry Minister orders it to be renamed the "Imperial Society for Protection of Birds" (RfV). After 1945, the society rebuilds in West Germany with its former name, becoming the "German Society for Protection of Birds" (DBV) with its White Stork logo in 1966, while the East German society is first subsumed under the GDR Cultural Society. After reunification, the society merges with the GDR Conservation Society to form the German Nature Conservation Society (NABU). After 100 years, NABU has 225,000 members, organised in some 200 local and youth groups, as well as 15 regional (Land) societies.