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Human Impact Post Midterm Summary

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University of Guelph
GEOG 1220
Lorne Bennett

HUMAN IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT: POST MIDTERM Summaries ALL are rather extensive and reading through this once and simplifying it in the process would be more than enough review for all!!! Great work everyone and good luck! Week 7 Readings: Pages 249 252, 265 278, and Chapter 13: Chapter 12: The Hydrologic Environment: Precipitation, Land use, and Water Resources - All water frozen is in polar ice caps - Hydrologic condition of earth essential to understand life and support system - Most important factor of life = water - Water delivered by atmosphere to land as part of weather - Water supply uneven geographically - People manipulate water system(s) The Hydrologic Cycle: - Five natural reservoirs of water: 1) oceans 2) Glacial ice caps 3) Groundwater 4) Surface water 5) Atmosphere - Ocean holds most - Glacial ice = largest reservoir for freshwater - The rest are sources that humans and organisms depend on for water supplies - Hydrologic Cycle: flow-system characterized by exchanges of water among five major reservoirs. Supplies water to land masses. And, exchanges saltwater for freshwater - Driven by heat of earths absorption of solar radiation. - Heat triggers evaporation, making water vapor - Condensation makes vapor into water droplets - Most lands on oceans, not land - Transpiration also returns water into the atmosphere, when coupled with evaporation - Groundwater released from land through stream and river discharge - Atmosphere exchanges on average every nine days - Precipitation Process: 1) Condensation of water vapor from atmospheric cooling. 2) Particles form into droplets to fall - Condensation nucleus: airborne particle from natural or human sources - Debris and pollution effect precipitation, joining it as it hits ground...acid rain, acid clouds, and acid fog. - When temperature drops, capacity of air to hold water vapor declines until condensation sets in. - Dew Point: Temperature when air is 100% fully saturated - Condensation increases fast when temperatures below dew point or when condensation nuclei are abundant Types of precipitation: - Convectional storm: type of precipitation that takes place when air moves into a low-pressure trough or topographic depression and escapes by moving upward; precipitation in the equatorial zone is at least partially convergent - Thermals: Rising upward flow of air currents from the surface - Storm can become turbulent with release of heat - Impact this has includes flash floods, climate change, and wind destruction - Convectional precipitation affected by global warming. - Thunderstorms fueled by heat vapor Groundwater: - Groundwater: accumulation of liquid water in rock and soil materials underground - Largest supply of liquid water on earth - Aquifers: Materials containing large amounts of usable groundwater - Porosity: total void space available among particles or in the cracks where water can reside - Water budget: an practices of an aquifer as a water system - Inflow: Process of surface water percolating down from soil - Outflow: Process of seepage into streams, evaporation, etc. - Recharge: process of groundwater/soil water being replenished - Discharge: The rate of water flow in a stream channel; measured as volume of water passing through a cross section. - Safe aquifer yield: Rate of water being pumped from an aquifer without significant decline in aquifer - At our consumption rates aquifers being depleted. - Salt water intrusion: Invasion of saltwater into fresh groundwater because of over pumping of the fresh groundwater - This leads to well contamination - This can be prevented through limited urban growth Lakes, Ponds, and Wetlands: - Water table: uppermost surface of the zone of groundwater - Natural impoundment: Seepage water accumulation in a low spot where a stream is limited/nonexistent. This creates a wetland/body of water - Water balance: Impoundment characterized by relatively permanent body of water that fluctuates seasonally through changes in inputs and outputs. - Wetlands: characterized by shallow water with heavy growth in aquatic or semi aquatic plants, and thick organic deposits. - Wetland systems: marine, riverine, etc. - Wetlands been destroyed and drained through farming and development - Eradication: agriculture causing complete destruction of the wetlands - Lakes and ponds characterized by sizable areas of open water, enough to inhibit aquatic life. - Eutrophication: water body becomes overgrown with plants fed by nutrients carried through runoff, depleting the water source. Human Use of Water: - We use way too much water - Domestic, municipal, industrial, agricultural, and power generation - Ways to reduce use: land planning, recycling, change laws, use storm water, fix delivery systems, reduce use, change designs of landscape, reduce irrigation applications. - Huge problem is the inconsistency of global supplies geographically - Some have high demand and little water, and vice versa. - Privitation of water supplies could limit our use - Consumptive: Water use in which the water is not returned to the environment in a liquid form - Nonconsumptive: water is returned back into the environment - Degrading: As we consume and dont return water as a resource, it decreases - Dams and water diversions effect water flow, and speeds - Water Management: Prioritizing a system of management of water as a resource - Prior Appreciation: A method of water allocation in which rights of water are assigned on a predetermined basis - Riparian Rights: A method of water allocation based on first come, first served for users bordering on a stream. - Sustained use: Using water in a sustainable manner that maintains the quantity and quality Chapter 13: Water Pollution: Patterns, Trends, and Impacts Types of water Pollution: - Oxygen-demanding wastes
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