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Lecture 11

GEOG 3RW3 Lecture 11: Geography 3RW3 - Lecture 11 - Environmental Issues

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McMaster University
Segei Basik

Geography 3RW3 – Dr. Basik – Page 1 Lecture 11 – Wednesday January 28 Environmental Issues Introduction • Image o Climate change and global warming leading to sea level rise • The focus on environmental problems in South Asia is on o 1) Climate Change and its Consequences o 2) Deforestation o 3) Land Degradation o 4) Water Resources Scarcity o 5) Air Pollution o 6) Biodiversity and Ecosystems o All environmental problems in South Asia have been driven by anthropogenic factors (including population growth, inefficient economies, policy, and institutional failures) and climate change o Air pollution over Delhi kills at least 20 people every day and triggers an estimated six million asthma attacks each year o Delhi one of the most polluted cities in the world 1) Climate Change & Consequences • South Asia is one of the regions that will be a major casualty of all the negative impacts of climate change: o Reduced availability of water due to reduced snow-melt in the glaciers o Erratic pattern of the monsoon rains o Reduced agricultural yields due to higher temperatures o An increase in the number, frequency, duration, and intensity of extreme natural events o Sea level rise o An increase in tropical diseases due to higher temperatures o Change in precipitation by the end of 21 century o Orange regions will get less and less water in the future o SA has a wide range of negative climate • Temperature o In the South Asian region, the temperature increase as a result of climate change is estimated at 0.4°C – 2.0°C in the year 2070 o Increasing floods, cyclones, and droughts are ongoing concerns for many Asian nations o Low-income rural populations that depend on traditional agricultural systems or on marginal lands will be particularly vulnerable • Sea Level o Global mean sea level has been rising at an average rate of 1.9 mm/year over the past 100 years (much larger than the averaged rate over the last thousand years)  dangerous tendency o Large populations live in coastal areas – are especially vulnerable Geography 3RW3 – Dr. Basik – Page 2 o Bangladesh would lose up to 20% of territory (if sea level were to rise 1 m) o The Maldives and other Indian Ocean archipelagoes are likely to become submerged in the future o Other problems: intrusion and salinity of soil and aquifers in the coastal regions (mangroves would be severely affected) 2) Deforestation • Causes o Industrialization o Agricultural expansion o Urbanization o Large dependence on forest products for meeting the energy o People in these areas depend on forests and wood to survive (elementary levels such as cooking and food) – for economy and every day life o Most affected areas: The Himalayas (Nepal), The Indus Valley, The Ganges Valley, the coastal plains of India o Northern Plains – most populous part of Indian sub continent 3) Land Degradation • Causes: o The land
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