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Lecture 12

Lecture 12

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Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

Environmental ChallengesLecture 12Anthropocene is used by some scientists to describe the most recent period in the Earths history It has no precise start date but may be considered to start in the late 18th century when the activities of humans first began to have a significant global impact on the Earths climate and ecosystemsTopics covered1Urban Sprawl Severe Weather most important from the list2hardening of watersheds3wastes ground water contaminated sites4Radon Gas 5Earthquakes landslides and tsunamis 6Acid mine drainage 7Climate warming8Water shortagesUrban Sprawl Severe Weather Hardening of watershedsUrbanization results in hardening of watersheds by asphalt and concrete such that infiltration of precipitation is reduced and runoff is increased This results in more water entering rivers by overland flow such that these rivers rise quickly with increased erosion and sedimentation and the destruction of habitats The water which originally would have infiltrated to groundwater and would have been slowly released to creeks and rivers as baseflow quickly runs off the land Because of this reduced baseflow in summer river levels will decline further placing additional stress on aquatic habitatsRivers have a flashy dischargeGround water and rivers fill up rapidly and run off quickly in urban areas as sprawls changes the quality and quantity See pictureoStream flow gaugemeasures water flow First flush and poor rain quality Affects of post urbanization oreduce capacity to dilute toxic elements because of less water oPoor river constructionoEx Don RiverConstructed at right anglesinhibits flow of waterflow which leads to garbage accumulation and has to be manually removed
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