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MIDTERM notes Chapter 1,5,6,11,13

38 Pages

Environmental Science
Course Code
Carl Mitchell

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EESA01 Chapter one -The first photographs of the planet earth were taken in 1967. A photograph of the planet earth reveals a great deal but it does not show the complexity of our environment. - Our environment is more then water land and air; it is the total of our surroundings. It includes biotic (living things) and abiotic (none living things) components. - Our environment has abiotic physical constituents such as ocean, clouds, rivers, and icecaps. It also has biotic such as animals, plants, forests, soils, and people that occupy the landscape. - People commonly use the term environment in a narrow sense such that it is apart from human society. This is unfortunate because it masks the fact that humans are a part of the interactions that characterise the environment. - In its most inclusive sense our environment includes the complex webs of scientific, ethical, political, economic and social relationships that shape our daily lives. - Environment Canada is here to preserve and enhance the quality of Canadas natural environment, conserve our renewable resources, and protect our water resources. International relations, politics, ethics, business management, economics, social quality, engineering, law enforcement all play a role in managing and protecting the environment. - We depend utterly on our environment for air, water, food, shelter, and everything else essential for living. However our actions modify our environment ; many of which have enriched our lives bringing us longer life spans, mobility, and leisure however many of them have damaged the natural systems that sustain us. Such impacts are air, water pollution, soil erosion, species extinction, risk to human life and threaten our ability to build a society that will survive and thrive in the long term. -Environmental Science is the study of how the natural world works, how our environment effects us, and how we effect our environment. - With these problems come opportunities for devising creative solutions. As of now global conditions are changing rapidly, we as a civilization are gaining knowledge rapidly through science, with all this happening this time is really exciting to be studying environmental science. -There are limits to our Natural resources which are vital to our survival. Natural www.notesolution.comresources lie along a continuum from perpetually renewable to non-renewable or inexhaustible also called stock-and-flow resources. - Natural resources that are replenishable over short periods are known as renewable natural resources. Some renewable resources such as sunlight, wind, and wave energy will always be there for us. - Resource management is strategic decision making and planning aimed at balancing the use of a resource with its protection and preservation. This means to balance the rate of withdrawal from the stock with the rate of renewal or regeneration. The stoke is the harvestable portion of the resource. If the stock is being harvested or withdrawn at a faster rate then it can be replenished then the stock will eventually be depleted. ( faster then trees can be seeded and grown to maturity or faster then fish can be born and grown to harvest). - Non-renewable natural resources like crude oil, natural gas, coal, copper, are in finite supply and are depletable, because they are formed much more slowly then we use them. It can take 100million years for this to form. Once we use them up they are no longer available because they will not be replenished on a humanly accessible time scale. - Iron makes steel - Copper is used in pipes, electrical wires, etc... - Aluminum used for packaging Lead in batteries - Human population growth has shaped our resource use. Our population has surpassed 6 billion people just before the start of the 21 century. - There are 4 significant periods which seemed to have triggered population growth. 1 2.5 million years ago when early humans gained control of fire and began to shape and use stones as tools. 2 the transition from a hunter-gathering life style to settled agricultural way of life. Agricultural revolution. ( this began around 10000 to 12000 years ago) people began to grown their own crops and rise domestic animals. rd 3 known as the industrial revolution began in the mid 1700s and entitled a shift from rural life to urban society. This is when pollution started, and air quality declined. Workplace heal and safety also affected. Introduced sanitation and medical technology. Agricultural production was greatly enhanced by introducing the fossil fuels powered equipment, fertilizers, and steam engines. th 4 today we are in the midst of the forth transition which some have labelled the medical technological revolution. Advances in medicine and sanitation, explosion of communication technology. The shift to modern agricultural practices known as the green revolution that have allowed people to live a longer and healthier life. -Each transition introduced technological advancements that made life easier and resources more available, which allowed the human population to increase dramatically. -Population growth affects resource use and availability, and it is the root of many environmental problems. Total impact(I) = Population (P)x affluence(A) x technology(T)...I=PxAxT - This IPAT model shows that impact is a function not only of population but also of affluence and technology. An increase in the number of people (P) has impact in the environment. - When we think of the capacity of the planet we think of carrying capacity. -Carrying Capacity refers to the biological productivity of a system; it is a measure of the ability of a system to support life. Environmental scientists see it as the number of individuals of a particular species that can be sustained by the biological productivity of a given area of land. When the CC of the land system is exceeded one of two things happen: the population of that species will decline or collapse, or the system itself will be altered, damaged, or depleted. (page 11 ex: rapa nui) - Garrett Hardin made a study about this: he based his argument on a scenario on a commons that is open to unregulated grazing. He argued that each person who puts animals to graze on the commons will be motivated by selfish interest to increase the number of his or her animal in the pasture. Because no one owns the pasture no one has the right to limit the number of grazing animals. This is known as the tragedy of the commons: each individual withdraws whatever benefits are available from the common property as quickly as possible, until the resource becomes overused and depleted. -The ecological footprint was invented by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees. It is a tool that can be used to express the environmental impact of an individual or a population. It is calculated in terms of the amount of land and water required to provide the raw materials that person or population consumes and to absorb or recycle the waste the person or population produces.
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