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Chemical Measures of Environmental Indicators

Chemical measures of environmental indicators are a type of ecological measure which are critical in assessing the state of the environment. Often times the most practical and economical method for tracking the state of a particular area is through the use of environmental indicators. For example, what if a municipal government was concerned that the water being supplied to households was unhealthy? Well, a possible way for assessing the water quality from the supply lake would be to track the levels of certain chemical measures such as the pH, pesticides and the amount of specific metals such as lead and copper. These variables can be measured using collected water samples. Water does contain trace amounts of many metals, but high levels are toxic. By using these chemical measures, the municipality would be able to gather specific information pertaining to the quality of the city’s drinking and household water supply. There are a multitude of chemical measures which can be used to track the state of the environment. Some examples of potential chemical measures include pH levels, heavy metals, nutrients, pesticides, greenhouse gas emissions, soil quality and water quality. Often, particular species, such as frogs which have very sensitive skin, can be used to track chemical changes in the environment as well. Thus, chemical measures can be used in combination with other ecological measures, such as biological measures, to track the state of the environment. Clearly there is a diversity of chemical measures available, which can be measured and tracked across different scales. The overall objective in using these measures is to supply the general public, policy makers and other stakeholders with information pertaining to the state of the environment. Hopefully, this will assist society in making decisions to preserve the health and integrity of different environments across the globe.

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