ENVS 1010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Grazing Fee, Hydrosphere, Lithosphere

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Published on 23 Jan 2019
What is Environment?
-everything that affects or interacts with an organism
-in return all organisms affect and interact with many components in their environment
(bacteria, worms, beavers, plants)
-environment comprises all components of our surroundings
-atmosphere (air)
-hydrosphere (water)
-lithosphere (soil)
-biosphere (living organisms)
What is it?
-issues with the planets biophysical systems (air, water, soil) that have developed human interference
-harmful effects of anthropogenic activity on earths biophysical systems
-arise from interactions between humans and nature
-not new, have been with us for a long time
-made by accumulating damage in the past
Two main organs of environmental problems :
-rapid expansion
-increase in consumption of energy and materials per person
Theres always connections between everything (via webs)
———bc there are so many different interrelations, issues are NOT limited to one specific area
First worldwide meeting of heads of state took place at the earth summit
-two issues were resolved
-united nations and environmental sub.
1997- 125 nations got together in Japan for the convention on climate change
-US signed but it did not ratify
The natural world is organized into interrelated units called ecosystems
ECOSYSTEM definition-in which organisms and the physical environment form and interacting unit
-elevations (las Vegas mountains) new species the farther you go up
Areas with minimal human reaction
Much of its land is owned by the government
-bc of this, these areas have high values in trees, animals, scenery
Exploration of these resources involves trade-offs bc these areas take a longer time to repair
Dominated by intensive agriculture
Natural has been replaces by managed
Great economic value
Mostly private land
Soil and groundwater contamination
Rainfall is limited
Low economic value
Controlled by government
Encourages use by providing cheap water for livestock and irrigation, cheap grazing fees
-as cities grow, conflict arises between urban dwellers and ranchers and farmers
-economic livestock v.s wilderness preservation
Coastal and mountainous areas
Receive enough rain to support forests
Government owns most
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