Study Guides (248,447)
Canada (121,541)
UOIT (345)

ENVS 1000U Midterm: Environmental science midterm 1 notes

10 Pages
Unlock Document

Environmental Science
ENVS 1000U
Mary Olavson

Environment: total sum of our surroundings (humans are a part of environment Humans interact with environment Human population is continuously growing Natural resources: renewable and non-renewable resources obtained from nature like sunlight, wind energy, wave energy, geothermal energy and crude oil, gas, coal etc. The consumption of these resources causes social and environmental impacts I = PATS Interaction = population*affluence*technology*sensitivity What is environmental science? IT IS NOT ENVIRONMENTALISM; it is a science not an advocacy It is the search and knowledge of how the environment works It is interdisciplinary- solutions to environmental problems come from different disciplines working together What is an environmental problem? - An undesirable change, what constitutes undesirable change depends perception, varies with age, culture, education level and world view Human population has slowed down but it is still growing, and this growth can be harmful - Dramatic growth of human population results from food production - The cost is massive use of chemicals - Poor management of farmland wastes millions of acres ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: - Pollution: CO2 has increased 31%, CH4 increased 151%, and ozone has increased 36% \ o Pollution causes millions of premature deaths a year o Waste products and chemicals pollute air, water and land worldwide - AQUATIC RESOURCE ISSUES o Over harvesting and pollution in freshwaters and oceans are getting more attention o Release of pollutants into the ocean poses a serious danger to sea life o Many marine and freshwater fisheries have collapsed - NON RENEWABLE RESOURCES o Many non-renewable resources are overused o Between 19:50 and 2001, the human population has doubled o Oil, gas and coal consumption has increased 4x o Society needs minerals and fossil fuels but their extraction degrades the environment - BIO DIVERSITY DECLINE o Habitat destruction and other causes have driven species to extinct o Biodiversity loss is actually the biggest problem, because these mistakes cannot be corrected, once a species is gone, its gone forever TRENDS THAT INCREASED THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: - Industrialization - Commodification - Consumerism - Globalization - Goal of endless growth SOLUTIONS - Alternative energy - Bio mimicry: looking to nature to find answers Environmental science allows us to avoid mistakes of the past - Past civilizations greatly impacted their environment - The Easter islands were once inhabited by 6000-20000 people and due to forestation, it destroyed the habitat, and therefore the civilization as well 5 FACTORS THAT DETERMINE SURVIVAL OF A CIVILIZATION - Climate change - Hostile neighbours - Trade partners - Environmental problems - Response to environmental problems GOALS: - SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - Meets the need of present without sacrificing future ability WHAT IS A SYSTEM Network and relationships among parts elements or components that interact with and influence one another - Exchange of energy, matter or information - Receives inputs of energy, matter, or information - Produces outputs Systems show behavior that is hard to understand and predict Systems are active - Dynamic equilibrium: system processes move in opposing directions at equivalent rates, balancing their effects - Homeostasis: a system maintains constant or stable internal conditions - Emergent properties: system characteristics not evident in components alone FEEDBACKS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS: - Feedback loop, lynx and rabbit population comparison Environmental systems are studied at several levels: - BIOSPHERE: GLOBAL PROCESS - ECOSYSTEM: energy flux and cycling nutrients - COMMUNITY: interactions among populations - POPULATION: population dynamics, the unit of evolution - ORGANISM: survival and reproduction, the unit of natural selection SYSTEMS ARE PERCEIVED IN VARIOUS WAYS - Atmosphere-air, hydrosphere-water, geosphere-land, cryosphere-ice, biosphere- life, anthrosphere-humans - Categorizing environmental systems helps make earths dazzling complexity, so the systems interact Need ecosystem approach to environmental problems? - Environmental entities are complex systems (ecosystems) that interact with each other - To solve environmental problems all appropriate systems must be considered WHAT IS AN ECOSYSTEM? - All organisms and nonliving entities that occur and interact in a particular area at the same time o Includes abiotic and biotic components o Energy flows/matter cycles among these components - Biological entities are highly intertwined with chemical and physical entities - Ecosystems involve biotic and abiotic interactions o ENERGY FROM THE SUN FLOWS IN ONE DIRECTION  ENERGY ENTERING THE ECOSYSTEM IS PROCESSED AND TRANSFORMED o Matter is recycled within ecosystem  Results in outputs(heat, water flow, waste products) - Variation in productivity cayuses global patterns o Productivity: rate at which ecosystem generates new biomass from energy o NPP (NET PRIMARY PRODUCTIVITY): rate at which new matter is produced that can be used by other organisms for food - Net primary productivity of various ecosystems o High Net primary productivity = ecosystems where photosynthetic organisms rapidly convert solar energy to biomass - Nutrient availability can limit productivity o Nutrients elements and compounds that are required for survival and are consumed by organisms like plants and animals and HOOOMAANS o Macronutrients: nutrients required in relative large amounts  Nitrogen, carbon, phosphorous o Micronutrients: nutrients needed in smaller amounts o Stimulate production of cyanobacteria, algae, and plants o Nitrogen and phosphorus are important for plant and algal grow
More Less

Related notes for ENVS 1000U

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.