EESA06H3 Lecture 11: EESA06 Lecture 11

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8 Aug 2016
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EESA06 Lecture 11 Page 1
EESA06 Lecture 11
Environmental Challenges:
- Urban sprawl – need for concrete
- Urban shadow
- Managing/protecting water resources
- Watersheds and ecosystems (rivers are hardened – only flows straight,
more flashy, less groundwater, more flooding
- Wastes (nuclear, municipal, industrial etc) – landfills “out of sight out of mind”
- Remediation of contaminated sites – clean them up, ground fill sites use horse manure
- Radon gas – Uranium to lead, invisible = lung cancer etc. from granite and shales
- Hazards: earthquakes, landslides & tsunamis
- Mitigation of climate warming effects – 1998 was the warmest year, cooling in the future?
- Environmental impact of resource extraction and energy supplies – coal/gold mining, quarrying,
Alberta oil sands
- Environmental policy and planning
… We need environmental geoscientists
Scope of Environmental Geo sciences – protecting humans from natural hazards
- Understanding earth processes
- Providing resource security – iron, coal, gold etc.
- Helping society adjust to global change – the way in which the planet is evolving naturally
- Providing reliable information for planning and environmental decision making -
- Protection from natural hazards
- Public health and safety – Radon, Medical geology
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EESA06 Lecture 11 Page 2
High Costs of US & China & Japan = as urban areas get bigger, more susceptible
to hazards
- Population in cities =
Welcome to the Anthropocene: “the Epoch of Man”
1947 & 1962 – Scarborough bluffs
- Rapid harming, replacing permeable surfaces with hard asphalt -
- Began with the invention of the steam engine
- Beginning of industrial revolution, demand for resources, move of people to urban areas,
urbanization
Blue = surface flow = Runoff
Red = base flow = ground water
Hydro water graph
- Measure the rising and falling of stream flow
- Less water to dilute contaminants, warmer
Steeles Avenue – August 2005
- Micro burst – hard watershed more surface run
Severe and Unusual Weather
- Saguenay Flood 1996 – trees intercept a lot of rainfall
- The ice storm 1998
- Climate Warming – Temperature Departures from Normal 1998 –
- middle of Canada = hottest and coldest
- Permafrost – ground that remains frozen throughout the year
- Depth of the active layer (melted) is decreasing with time = subsidence, land actually goes
down, airports, big buildings settle
- Mackenzie valley – has a lot of gas, building of pipelines over ground that is now thawing
-
Thaw Ponds: Probably formed during hypsithermal c.5000 years ago - hypsi (the
warmest time)
- Where permafrost has melted
- 5000 years ago – warm event caused by astronomical variables
- Tuktoyaktuk, – whole area is subsiding – in 50years whole area won’t be there
Mackenzie gas pipline
- A proposed 1220-kilometer natural gas pipeline system along the
Mackenzie Valley
- Will cross large areas of permafrost
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