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ES102 OC- Environmental Problems.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Environmental Studies
Edmund Okoree

ES102 OC- Environmental Problems Module 1: Lessons 1 Carrying capacity – maximize population size that can be supported The Millennium Ecosystems Assessment o Initiated in 2001 o The objective was to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and the action needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use off those systems o Was an attempt to create a global assessment of ecological impacts and trends Ecological services 1. Supporting services • Necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services 2. Provisioning • Products people obtain from their ecosystem 3. Regulating • Benefits people obtain from the regulation of ecosystem processes 4. Cultural • Non-material people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment Sustainability o Meet the basic resource needs of its people without degrading or depleting the natural capital that supplies the resources Module 1: Lessons 2 & 3 Air pollutants o Chemical compounds released into the atmosphere o Might cause humans harm or reduces human health o Natural sources include dust, chemicals released by plants, forest fires, volcanic eruptions and sea spray o Human related pollutants include carbon monoxide, aerosols, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and lead Smog o In the lower troposphere ozone because a health hazard and source of premature death o Brown-air smog is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic hydrocarbon compounds react chemically o Industrial smog consists of sulphur dioxide, sulfuric acid and a variety of particles or droplets that give the smog its gray color o Smog is more common in developed countries that have high use of gasoline cars o Pollutants in the lower atmosphere will stay at the surface rather than disperse which extends the contact the population will have with them o Can lead to respiratory problems and loss of life o 4,000 deaths occurred in England in 1992 due to smog o This summer 700/day died in Russia due to the smog o 5900 premature deaths in 8 of the larger cities in Canada are linked to smog Acid rain o A concern in central Ontario where the effects of acid rain have had a serious impact on the ecology and the economics of cottage country o The primary sources are the burning of fossil fuels in industrial processes o When SO2 and Nitrogen oxides combine with water, oxygen and oxidants acid rain occurs o Divided into dry and wet deposition o Wet deposition is snow, rain, fog and cloud vapor o Dry deposition include acidic particles o Can cause respiratory problems, leach toxic metals into water, damages statues, national monuments, buildings, parks, cars, can kill fish in lakes if the PH falls below a 6 o Western Canada has a lower critical load or least resistance to acid rain o Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec have exceeded the critical loads between 1994-89 Arctic contaminants o An example of long-range dispersion o Have two primary sources such as local pollution from
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