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Lecture 1

Lecture One - Human Connections and Geology.docx

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Earth Sciences
Earth Sciences 1081A/B

1081A: Human Connections with Geology Geology: the science of the process related to the composition, structure and history of earth and its life. Geology is also interdisciplinary science- chemistry, physics, biology. Environmental Geology: a form of applied geology where geological information is used to solve land use issues, minimize degradation, predict and possibly mitigate natural hazards, etc. Human Impact on the Environment?  How do we asses it? It can be quite difficult.  Environmental issues may not become apparent for years. I = P + A +T I= Impact P=Population -> the more people on earth, the more resources were using and consuming A= Affluence (standard of living, disposable income) -> The more money we have the more stuff we can buy, even though we might not necessarily need it T= technology (for example how many computers or televisions in a household) Fundamental Concepts in Resource, Environment and Sustainability  Human Population Growth o Number one environmental problem o Many human habits would not be harmful if there were fewer people o Natural disasters would not be affecting as many people if our population was not as large o As population density increases, more and more people will be in harm’s way from that standpoint of natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, flooding and volcanic activity o Why are some nations growing more quickly?  Birth Control  Un-educated  Conflict  Sustainability o improving the quality of life while remaining within the carrying capacity of our support ecosystem o Two types of Resources  Renewable (e.g. Wood, air, water)  Non-Renewable (e.g. Fossil fuels) o Increased population =  Increased urbanization, industrialization =  increased demand for resources  increased production of wastes Leads to:  intensive agriculture; soil degradation (e.g. India)  deforestation; soil erosion, loss o2 CO sink (e.g. Brazil)  mining and the subsequent environmental damage( e.g. Sudbury)  ground and surface water loss and pollution( e.g. Walkerton, The Aral Sea) o Deforestation  Wildlife loss  Soil erosion  Reduced soil quality  Loss of a carbon dioxide sink?  Systems and Change o Open -> Matter can
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