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GEOG 1220 Study Guide - Final Guide: Arctic Air, Renewable Energy, Sea Breeze

Course Code
GEOG 1220
Lorne Bennett
Study Guide

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Exam Breakdown
Multiple Choice: (43 marks)
There will be 43 multiple choice questions, each worth one mark.
Fill in the Blanks: (32 marks)
For this section, you will be given only a fraction of a term/concept or theory and you will be
asked to complete it. It can appear as any of the following:
· Define ....
· Identify two 2 ...
· List two 2 forms of ...
· What is the difference between ...
Column matching: (5 marks)
Match the terminology/theory/title/process that relate to one another.
Short Answer Section: (20 marks)
There will be 6 options, you must choose four and answer the question accordingly, each
answer will be approximately half a page! Each question is worth 5 marks.
Distinguish between human impact on the environment and environmental impact on
Human Impact- demand, acquisition, use (e.g. agriculture)
Environmental Impact- supply and character of resource
Explain the human-environment interaction model
Consists of 3 components
Population- size, density, distribution, growth rate
Resources- supply of resource, character, demand, acquisition, use
Environment- biotic environment (living), abiotic environment (non-living)
List several ways in which humans may be able to affect the components of the model
(e.g. population, resources, environment)
Understand alternate definitions of a “resource” and be aware of the challenges in
defining a resource (linked to personal scientific, technological, economic, political and
emotional knowledge and experiences)
Human resources labor, skills
Non-tangible resources silence, knowledge
Suggesting that there are different kinds of resources, my perception may be very different than yours;
it is a value judgment based on needs and wants
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Anthropocentric View - Not simply a thing or substance, rather the resource is the function which that
thing performs or the operation which that thing takes part.
Biocentric View - Greater Value is placed on the living thing or substance than the function which it
performs or operation which that thing may take part.
Identify characteristics of a functional resource
1) Resources are dynamic
· The value of resources will change over time, which will have an effect on their demand.
What we need or what we want changes over time reflecting this dynamism.
· The increasing “value” of solar and wind energy may reduce the demand (and thus value) for
natural gas and oil.
2) Resources may be depleted/ degraded and/or made obsolete
3) The life of resources can be extended
· Hybrid cars
· Bussing
4) Resources can become hazards
· The most expensive property (this property, being the resource!) is often waterfront property.
Living just one or two blocks back from the water may cost considerably less in taxes. However,
waterfront property is likely to be most affected by flooding, or by a tsunami, or by water erosion
and so on. Thus, some resources may become natural hazards.
· Other resources may become technological hazards. While the internal combustion engine
allows us to get around quite easily (especially outside of rush hour), it also releases NOx and
SOx and these, when mixed with condensed water in the atmosphere, produce acid rain. Also,
nuclear energy is an important resource in many parts of the world. Nuclear waste, however, is
a technological hazard.
· Asbestos is a natural mineral mined and then converted to a fireproof fibre useful in many
industrial applications. Unfortunately, it is a proven health hazard. Today, it is most often used
in countries with lax environmental laws.
Distinguish between the three classes of resources (flow, stock, continuous)
Flow (potentially renewable)- based on management e.g. soil, wildlife
Stock (non-renewable)- limited in supply, replaced over geologic time e.g. coal, natural gas
Continuous (renewable)- available forever e.g. wind, solar energy
Understand the difficulties in defining “environmental impact” (linked to personal
scientific, technological, economic, political and emotional knowledge and experiences)
An impact is difficult to define for the same reason that resources are difficult to
Whether one considers an “impact” an impact is also based on a value judgment
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An impact is considered insignificant or minor if it has no or minimal effect on the
function of the resource
Define environmental sustainability
Maintaining or restoring quantity and quality of biophysical resources upon which humans
List the rules guaranteed to lead to environmental sustainability
Rule 1
Associated with the movement of natural resources from the natural environment to us (inputs)
a) For renewable resources
The harvest or consumption rate of renewable resources must be within the regenerative
capacity of the natural system that generates them
If we use more than what nature provides us with we are “mining” the resource and it becomes
a stock resource
b) For non-renewables
Depletion rates of non-renewable resource should be equal or less than the rate at which
renewable substitutes are developed
Rule 2
Associated with the movement of “used” natural resources from us back into the environment
a) For all resources
Emissions or wastes (outputs) from human activities should be within the assimilative capacity
of the affected resource e.g. air, water
Nature has the ability to convert most of our waste to relatively organic or inorganic materials as
long as we don’t overwhelm the system
List the types of human activities impairing environmental sustainability
1. We have acted to change the physical structure of the biophysical environment.
We are converting wetlands to dry lands and visa versa for farming.
2. We have acted to change the biodiversity of the environment.
We have converted complex ecosystems to simple fields of wheat or canola. We have added non-
native species
3. We have acted to change the chemical composition of the biophysical environment.
We are dumping toxic waste in rivers, releasing chemicals to the atmosphere, transforming the
ozone layer and so on
4. We have acted to change the supply or storage of natural resources.
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