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SCIE 1P50 Study Guide - Comprehensive Midterm Guide: Ecological Footprint, Global Hectare, Biocapacity


Department
Science
Course Code
SCIE 1P50
Professor
Caroline Starrs
Study Guide
Midterm

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Brock U
SCIE 1P50
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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SCIE 1P50 Lecture 2 Monday, September 12th, 2016
Sustainability
Living Within Our Means
Means the earth has to support our different lifestyles
Sustainable Consumption
Using goods & services of the planet for our needs
Like when we don’t have to change our lifestyle
Leaving sufficient goods & services of the planet for others – including future
generations
oIf everyone wanted the same thing, our world doesn’t have enough stuff to
satisfy those wants
Sustainability & The Future of Our World
Human population growth impacts all environmental problems & consumptions
of goods & services
Our consumption of resources has increased faster than our population growth
Over shoot & over draft is because we are taking it from somewhere else
How to Measure Consumption of a Lifestyle?
Problems with scale & complexity
oWant to make a change; does the change actually work & increase the
sustainability
oLifestyles varies depending on location (scale)
oHow can you measure every single I use to support my lifestyle?
How to Evaluate
Give up?
Biocapacity
The capacity of ecosystems to produce useful biological materials and to absorb
waster materials generated by humans, using current management schemes and
extraction technologies
Biocapacity is usually expressed in global hectares – gha
oPiece of area that you can physically measure
Ecological Footprint
Sums up our lifestyles & determines whether or not we are living sustainably
Metric of comparing boundaries
Mathis Wackernagel & William Rees came up with this concept in the 70’s
o“The ecological footprint of a specified is the area of land and water
ecosystems required, on a continuous basis, to produce the resources
that the population consumes and to assimilate the (mainly carbon)
wastes that the population produces, wherever on Earth the relevant
land/water may be located”
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SCIE 1P50 Lecture 2 Monday, September 12th, 2016
easiest measure
How much of the earth’s regenerative biocapacity is used by humans?
How much of what can be replenished is being used?
Production & use of goods & services involve land use: have ecological footprints
(gas you have in your car)
The amount of ecologically productive land must supply all the water, food,
energy & goods & services we need/use to support our lifestyle
It must also absorb all the wastes we produce
Has to be productive/useful
Calculating the footprint
oKeep track of most of the resources consumed & the wastes generated
oConverted to an ecologically productive area necessary to provide these
functions
oThe footprint is neither a continuous nor a contiguous piece of land:
Due to international trade, the land & water areas used by most
global citizens are scattered all over the planet
Crop-based food requires an average of 0.78 global hectares per tonne of food
Animal based food requires 2.1 global hectares to produce one tonne
How Much Biosphere/Biocapacity Available per Person?
18% = productive land
4% = productive ocean
~12 billion hectares
~7.4 billion people
~1.6 global hectares per person
Should everybody have their fair share of an ecological footprint?
National Footprints
Canada’s Footprints
oIn Canada, each person uses about ~7.1 hectares/person
Worldwide average = ~1.6 global hectares/person
Therefore, if everybody adopted the Canadian consumptive lifestyle, we would need >4
planets.
Global Footprints (ha/person)
1. Qatar = 11.7
2. Kuwait = 9.72
3. UAE = 8.44
4. UK = 4.7
5. Ghana = 1.2
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