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Geography Lecture #3 - October 1 -10 2013.docx

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Geography 1400F/G
Anthony Weis

Finishing Previous Lecture -hour glass UN Development Program (divided in quintiles – 20%s) -if you track wealth disparity it has gotten incredibly worse – 1820 3 to 1 and 1960 30 to 1 and 1997 74 to 1 (average richest person is 74x richer than the poorest average person) -colonial making of world and colonial independence resulted in more disparity -top 5 to bottom 5 is a factor of 80 – average person in Canada has 80X greater income than poorest people in Africa -this UN scale is very deceptive – there is affluence in very poor countries – like south Jamaica (Kingston, the capital for example) -the US has the most unequal wealth distribution in the entire world (the 1%). This is the greatest difference since the cusp of the depression. This 10% controls half the wealth of the US -the 2/5 is incredible getting bigger (China, Brazil, India, South Africa) -top 8% of humanity controls 80% of world wealth – this therefore has very different environmental impacts around the world -environmentalists suggest population growth determines environmental degradation -Canadian consumes 16X more resources than the average person in a developing country -Ecological footprint – average Canadian consumes 16x for resources than someone in a developing country -Canada is .5% of humanity and Canada and the US are 5% of humanity -20% of the world's population consumes over 70% of its material resources -greatly disproportionate production of resources from poor and rich countries AMAZON RAINFOREST LECTURE (biggest tropical rainforest in the world) -to finish natural geographic article 200 football fields of rainforest are destroyed Rainforest – half of earths biodiversity, 6% of worlds land area, 50% of worlds plant and animals species, deforestation rate 1-2% every year -ITCZ is fundamental control of tropical rainforest -latitudes receiving movement of ITCZ (warm and wet) is the Amazon and Congo area – Amazon is 2% of worlds land surface and is Worlds Frontier Forest -Frontier Forests – American Boreal, Russian Boreal and Amazon -30% of worlds land is cultivated and the amazon doesn’t have that much agriculture but it is increasing (more speckled) -UN millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) – very comprehensive survey – they concluded 2/3 of earths ecosystems are at risk – 1400 scientists (biggest of its kind) -2/3 of ecosystems are at risk -expected extinctions (if things are not reversed) 1/3 fish, 1/10 of birds and 1/4 of mammals will become extinct in the next 100 years if the spasm continues -extinction spasm – (increasingly recognized by ecologist) through evolution species die off and others continue and emerge. There is a slow rate of evolution. A spasm is a quick loss of species in short amount of time (in relation to earth’s history). 5 periods in history of extinction spasms: famous one was Dinosaurs - we may be in the 6 great spasm -this spasm can apply to anything (plants, animals and fish) – extinction crisis is hitting primates (especially in the tropics) -Coral reefs)– extinction spasm is more acute there >20% of all coral reefs destroyed since 1980 (AKA rainforest of the world) -Amazon home to 30% of all known plant and animals species – Amazon Canopies “last great unexplored frontiers of the natural world…” -why is there so much life in the rainforest? Greatest exposure to ice-free terrain and climatic stability (Not outrun by glacial advance/retreat – doesn’t happen here) -when earth is in period of glacial advance the earth becomes drier and the rainforest distribution changes – this leads to forest fragmenting and reconnecting (glacial advances and retreat). Advance of the glaciers made it dried and forests retreated -the amazon also has the most photosynthesis and plant biomass therefore there is specialization -rainforest – largest hydrographic basin in the world (largest in terms of volume) –drains about th 40% of south America (Size of lower 48 states in the US) and dumps about 1/5 of worlds freshwater in the world into the ocean – 2 longest river in the world – can get to 2km wide and is very deep – lots of shipping and can get to the middle of Brazil (60m deep) -how long for amazon to drain lake Ontario – 3 hours -Andes mountains important to rainforest (they are growing and very active) – they are active in the sense they are growing – the ocean shelf is diving under the continental plate and therefore the mountain is growing – Andes important to Amazonian basin because they are the source of a lot of water (glacial melt and snow runoff) and they drive the rainfall in the western amazon NEXT LECTURE – October 3, 2013 -deforestation of rainforest
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