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Lecture 29

BSC 385 Lecture 29: Chapter 20

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Biological Sciences
BSC 385
Carla Atkinson

Chapter 20: Human Global Ecology The History of the Human Environmental Impact • A turning point in the environmental history of humans – the emergence of agriculture and animal husbandry 8,000 years ago • The human population increased • Our impact was concentrated into much smaller space Scale of Human Impact Varies • Pollution o Point sources – discrete, local sources of pollution ▪ E.g., power plant, car exhaust, sewage treatment plant ▪ Easier to regulate ▪ Regulations could shift the scale of the effects (e.g., taller smoke stacks  long distance impacts) o Nonpoint sources – releases of pollution across a broad area ▪ Agricultural fertilizer entering streams and rivers, storm- water ▪ More difficult to regulate • Migration of animals can lead to a broad distribution of environmental impact • E.g., one-fold mine could impact the whole North Pacific Ocean • E.g., Animals River, Colorado, August 2015 Acid Rain • Acid precipitation – the decrease in the pH of rain and snow o Sulfur dioxide (SO )2released from burning coal ▪ 2SO +2O  2SO 3 SO 3 H O2 H SO 2 4 o Nitrous oxides -> HNO 3 ▪ Most atmospheric nitrous oxide from agriculture (fertilizer) and burning fossil fuels Ocean Acidification • Ocean acidification due to elevated CO le2els Nitrogen Deposition • Can cause leaching of important minerals from soil • Altered N:P ratio effects lake biodiversity • NO axso a powerful greenhouse gas • Coastal “dead zones” • Result from the nitrogen pollutio
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