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Quantitative Methods
QMS 102
Shavin Malhotra

WEBSITE Science Education Resource Center. (2009 March 10) Retrieved on 2013 Jan 8 from This website discusses how mining affects our environment and the vital environmental problems. Mining refers to the process of extracting metals and minerals from the earth such as gold, silver, diamond, iron, coal and uranium. Mining is the source of all the substances that cannot be obtained by industrial processes or through agriculture. Mining provides huge profits for the mining companies and provides employment to a large number of people. It is also a huge source of revenue for the government. Despite its economic importance, it's damage to our environment is starting to take a toll. Mining requires large areas of land to be cleared so that the earth could be dug into by the miners. (University of Carleton) For mining to be possible, a large area of land must be cleared which typically results in large areas of deforestation. Besides clearing the mining area of just trees, other forms of vegetation in the area are also destroyed in order to construct roads for transportation purposes. The forests that are cleared are home to many species such as the spotted woodpecker and as a result of the mining, their habitats are being destroyed. So not only does mining cause deforestation, it also threatens biodiversity. The cutting down of trees in itself is a big threat to a number of plants and trees growing in the forests. Mining also pollutes our environment by releasing chemical waste such as heavy metals into our atmosphere and bodies of water. Although harsh measures are being taken to prevent chemical waste from harming the environment by transporting the waste through pipes into tailing ponds, it's still leaking onto the land and results in leaving the soil degraded. Chemical wastes pollute bodies of water with chemicals such as mercury, cyanide, sulfuric acid, arsenic and methyl. (University of Carleton) The release of toxic chemicals into the water is harmful for the flora and fauna of the bodies of water. This relates to the course because throughout the course we studied mining and its impact on the environment and also because it's a major resource used in the world today. All of the metals we have today are obtained through mining. This website illustrates the environmental impact of mining mixed with self-indulgence and how the production of one natural resource may have many ever lasting effects on the environment. Annotation I chose this website because it was clear in describing exactly how mining affected our environment. Also because it came from a reliable source; the University of Carleton. This source has been placed on the internet for educational purposes which can be proved by looking at the web address which ends in .edu. This source has enriched my understanding of geology by enlightening me that the earth is very delicate and that many human activities such as mining are harming our delicate earth. If humans keep focusing on their short terms needs and not thinking of the consequences of their actions, one day earth will not be such a pretty place anymore. It's only a matter of time. WEBSITE Wolf, S. Climate Change Threatens Penguins (2009 Sept) Retrieved on 2013 Jan 8 from This website discusses the effect of climate change on penguins. Penguins are flightless seabirds found almost entirely in the Southern Hemisphere. Although their wings have become useless for flight, they have become adapted to swimming and diving. The Antarctic continent is warming as a whole, and is warming faster than any other. Because of this sudden change in temperature, sea ice is shrinking in size and the sea-ice season is shorter. Penguins raise their chicks on land-locked sea ice. When sea ice breaks up before their chicks have matured and grown their waterproof feathers, chicks that are swept into the ocean are likely to die. For adults, the loss of sea ice can lead to lower food availability, which can result in increased mortality. Rapidly reducing global greenhouse gas emissions is the most important action needed to protect penguins from global climate change. If we continue on our current course, global temperatures will rise by an average of 2.8–4°C. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Climate scientists have concluded that the atmospheric carbon dioxide level must be reduced from 385 parts per million (ppm) to less than 350 ppm to prevent dangerous climate change, species extinction and huge sea level rise caused by the melting ice.(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) This website relates to our course because it discusses environmental issues such as climate change and how it affects and threatens the life of various species, the fact that our earth's temperature is rising at a fast rate and that the polar ice caps are melting which will lead (and already has led) to a rise in sea level. Annotation I chose this website because it provided me with a lot of information regarding endangered species due to the actions of humans. Not only did this source provide information; but it also provides images depicting penguins losing their habitats which helped me truly understand the seriousness of the issue. The source also provided many different diagrams depicting the rise in sea level and other diagrams showing the rising global temperatures. The source has enriched my understanding of geology by informing me how sensitive our earth is to change. I have learned that the slightest change in global temperatures can have catastrophic impacts. MUSIC Noah Gomez. The Recycle song (2010) Reduce, reuse, recycle. Those are the first few words to the song “Recycle” by Noah Gomez. In this song, Noah sings about the benefits of recycling and how it “will save the earth”. (Gomez) Recycling is processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage and reduce air pollution. Noah repeatedly says in his lyrics “you can make a difference” and he is absolutely right. When materials are recycled, are brought to a collection center then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials bound for manufacturing. This process helps to minimize pollution since the material will be re-used instead of ending up in a landfill which over time may release toxins into the atmosphere and pollute ground water through leakages. In the song, Noah sings “recycle means to use again so we can reduce the amount of waste” and that is exactly what recycling does. Reducing the amount of waste in our dumps reduces greenhouse gas emissions which in turn help to slow down global warming. “If you throw it on the floor, you hurt the earth ...animals too!” (Gomez) Gomez is encouraging people to recycle instead of littering because according to him it hurts the earth and the environment. Littering hurts the earth in many ways. First of all it pollutes the earth and contributes to global warming. Second of all, it hurts wildlife because our trash such as cigarette butts may look like food to other animals. When they eat it, they get sick and die. So instead of littering and hurting our environment, Noah suggests recycling which will in turn minimize our effect on the environment through and help make our habits more sustainable. Today, many of the good we consume on a daily basis are recyclable such as plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper, cardboard and even electronics. Noah concludes his song by singing “let‟s come together and save the earth and be a green nation”. Annotation I chose this source because it educates people about the benefits of recycling in a fun, easy to follow manner. The lyrics combined with the music were really catchy and definitely got the message across. I learned that recycling is not the solution to the environmental issue regarding pollution but rather a way to make our habits and processes more sustainable. MOVIE Davis Guggenheim . An Inconvenient Truth (2006) Former vice president Al Gore shares his concerns on the pressing issue of global warming in this documentary. As a longtime environmental activist, Gore first became aware of evidence on global warming in the 1970s, and since leaving public office he has become more aware of these issues. An Inconvenient Truth records a multi-media presentation hosted by Gore in which he discusses the scientific facts behind global warming, explains how it has already begun to affect our environment, talks about the disastrous consequences if the world's governments and citizens do not act, and shares what each individual can do to help protect the Earth for this and future generations. This documentary relates to the course because throughout his documentary he talks about global issues such as the melting glaciers and has proposed many different courses of action to try and fix this issue. Gore showed a series of "then and now" images depicting the decrease in size of the glaciers over the past century. Most dramatically, he shows Kenya's Mt. Kilimanjaro, whose 11,000 year- old glaciers are almost gone. While not all the world's glaciers have retreated in the past century, Gore's presentation is an effective and reasonable way to show how global warming has affected the majority of the world's glaciers. Al Gore also showed how climate change plays a huge role in hurricanes and used the devastation in New Orleans by Katrina to show the dangers climate change. We are told that Katrina grew stronger and stronger (Al Gore) as it passed over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico that were heated up by global warming. This allows me to conclude that global warming is increasing the intensity of hurricanes. That should definitely be an incentive for humans to stop or slow global warming. Annotation I chose this source because it is extremely educational by enlightening people about the dangers of global warming. He uses real facts and diagrams to make his point crystal clear. Furthermore, he referenced many real events that have occurred due to global warming such as hurricane Katrina. This documentary really did a great job at spreading awareness about the dangers of global warming. I learned that methane is one of the leading gases that cause global warming and also that methane gas is released into the environment by the excrements of grazing animals. AGENCY United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2012 Dec 7) Retrieved on 2013 Jan 8 from Asian carp are an invasive species of fish which have invaded the Mississippi and Illinois river. These fish are able to consume 40% of their body weight each day. (United States Environmental Protection Agency) These fish feed on plankton and algae in the river. Due to their size and their consumption capabilities, Asian carp threaten aquatic biodiversity by vacuuming a tremendous amount of plankton from the river. More desirable fishes such as the salmon are having trouble finding food and are dying out in the Mississippi river. These fish have disturbed the aquatic food chain and will do the same in any body of water they enter. There is a threat that the Asian carp may enter into the great lakes via the Chicago waterway system. If these fish were to enter the great lakes, the issue will be even more out of control. The Asian carp will multiply and as soon as we know it there will be millions of them in the great lakes. It would be catastrophic because it is projected that many species of fish which are currently found in the great lakes such as the smelt and musky fish. (US Environmental Protection Agency) As a desperate attempt to prevent the Asian carp from entering into the great lakes, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have created an electric barrier at the canal so that the Asian carp will not be able to bypass it. Annotation I chose this source because it provides information and facts from a reliable government agency who have wit taken their own primary research regarding the asian carp investigation. It provided up to date information on what was going on with the current asian carp crisis. The mission of the US EPA is to ensure that national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information and that federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively. I have learned that taking one specie from its natural habitat and placing it in a foreign habitat will certainly have some sort of environmental impact. In this case the asian carp were brought to the United States from asia for aquaculture farms and sewage treatment facilities thanks to whoever‟s idea that was, asian carp have turned into one of the most notorious invasive species north america has ever see. Mailing address: Environmental Protection Agency Ariel Rios Building 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20460 VIDEO A landfill is a location designed for the systematic long term storage of waste. A landfill may be designed for the storage of inert waste such as sand, sanitary waste such as human excrement or hazardous industrial waste such as poisonous chemicals. There are many health effects along with environmental effects associated with landfills which were discussed in the video. Living in proximity to a poorly maintained landfill or hazardous waste site can cause serious health effects. Exposure to harmful chemicals can come from the air we breathe. Toxic chemicals from the soil can be vaporized in areas such as basements, causing high concentrations of hazardous chemical gases in the home. Breathing in these toxic chemicals can cause cancer, birth defects and even genetic mutation. (EPA) If harmful chemicals are present in the soil, they may leach into groundwater systems nearby and contaminate them. If this issue goes unmonitored for even a short period of time, it has the capacity to make many people who drink the contaminated water very sick. Another environmental effect of landfills is that they leave the soil contaminated due to all the toxic waste that seeps into the soil. So after the landfill is gone fromt the site, the soil must go through remediation measures or it will remain contaminated. Plants and vegetation will still be able to grow on the site but the plants will absorb the chemicals in the soil making the edible plant contaminated. Here in Ontario, there are about 25 different landfills where all our waste is dumped. (Ministry of the Environment) Precautions and strict regulations are in place to ensure the safety of Ontarians from landfills. For example, the municipal government will not allow property development to take place near a landfill, it must be a safe distance away to ensure safety. An
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