BIOC63Fall2013 Lecture 24.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Karen Williams

BIOC63Fall2013 Lecture 24: The big picture - Sustainability  Sustainability o Exploitation rate < regeneration rate for resources o Available for future generations o Don’t use resources faster than they replenish o No disruption of ecosystem function o Preserve for the future o “Bigger, faster, and more” is better?  i.e. keeping up with the Joneses  we are addicted to our way of life (unsustainable) o i.e. rich don’t wanna give up their way of life and style  theyre using up irreplaceable fossil fuels o unsustainable use of renewable and non-renewable resources  human population growth has grown exponentially since the 1800s  reached 7 billion in 2011  Impacts of increased number of humans  If we continue living the way we do now thenhow many people can the planet take anyways?  IMPACT: land use change o Human Appropriation of Net Primary Productivity (HANPP)  Highest concentration in Asian regions  Some parts of the world we are using almost all of theland that could be use for NPP  Everything that is growing is used by humand beings  red  o Global surface temperature have been significantly increasing  0.8 degrees since 1920 o Large scale local Nitrogen overload concentration  IMPACT: change in NPP o o Effect of climate change predicted under the A1B emissions scenario a2d CO increase (from 375.7 to 720 ppm) on NPP between 2001–2010 and 2091–2100. o With increasing temperature there will be huge changes in primary productivity especially towards the pole  more biomass o Huge changes for the organisms which are addapted for different conditions o Depending on which perspective you take, it can be good or bad  IMPACT: Oceans o Moving To time where reefs aren’t dominated by corals o Increasing concentrations of CO2 and carbonate ion with increasing temperatures 1  How can we live more sustainably?  Old def of sustainability = Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs o Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro 1992 Human bias against sustainability?  Biological and cultural predispositions are encoded in human behavioural ecology, reinforced by cultural factors o Fitness through possession (bigger, faster, more)  Substitute for natural selection (body size or vigour) o Why do it yourself if a machine can do it easier?  Non-sustainability o Easter island  Most isolated island on earth villagers used up all the wood in the area to move the statues  They ran out of wood therefore couldn’t make rafts to fish  I.e. they starved Human population pressure through:  Use of non-renewable energy  Fossil fuels o Energy source is key to everything else o Maximum power principle  Best characteristics get the best mates  Maximization of energy use  selective advantage o The use of fossil fuels has resulted in a four fold increase in human pop  called the great energetic leap  Humans and energy o Structure of economies o Nature of technologies o Geopolitics o Quality of human life o At the beginning of industrial revolution, most work was done by domesticated animals (less than 20% was done by fossil fuels) but now its done through the use of fossil fuels 100% almost 2 o o Energy driven materials flows  Everything is subsidized by fossil fuels  in the last 100 years:  16x energy use  4x the population  35x more fish  9x more use some of which is non-renewable fossil water  17x more CO2  13x more sulphur release  5x more air pollution Unsustainable use of renewable resources: tragedy of the commons o use the resource up before someone else does o the little bit I pollute isn’t enough to make a difference o depleting fisheries  fisherman increase harvest which further depletes fisheries o benefits are reaped by the individual o cost shared with everyone o applies to Air water, soil, common biotic resources like open seas fisheries, Ecological footprint and Overshoot o measure of the “load” imposed by a given entity on nature o land neces
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