EESA01 Lec 01 9/15/2013 8:48:00 AM
Any theory is good only until there is one piece of info that is against the
theory. Our scientific understandings become theories or laws only because
there is always doubt about there being evidence that might be agains our
theory. None of these theories/laws every become fact!
NOTE: a theory becomes a law when for a very long time, no one
has proven it to be wrong. But it still doesn’t mean that the law is
absolutely right or that it will remain a law. (EX. For centuries ppl
thought that the sun rotated around earth… proven to be wrong….
Earth rotates around sun!)
Example of this:
OBSERVATION: grass turns
green every spring
QUESTION: how n why does
HYP: The grass turns green
every spring because etc…
PRE: this happens because
the animals poop on the
grass n that fertilizes the
TEST: u test n if u fail,
change hyp n try again, if
pass, keep trying to c if u
can fail.. u obv do this with
1. Manipulative Experiment (this is better way.. if u can) i. U can make sure all the factors in the experiment are the same
except for one which is what u r trying to find results of to help
2. Natural experiment / correlational study
i. This case is kinda impossible to purely control, there are many
things that u need to keep in mind and record every
surrounding because many different things that u cant control
can effect the experiment and the result.
ii. Correlation != there is a scientific explanation for the
correlation Lec 02 9/15/2013 8:48:00 AM
Base cause of enivironmental degregation:
World population growth
Consumption (of energy ie. non-renewable energy)
Ignorance to recognizing this
2 types of views of the future:
1. Cornucopia: The idea that everything will be okay and technology
will improve in the future and we will use the recourses more
efficiently than we r now.
2. Cassandra: the idea that all is lost, give up, we r screwed!
Population and Environmental Consequences
I = P x A x T x S where
o I is the impact on environment
o P is population which usually has a impact of environ (so P is
usually positive number)
o A is affluence (defn: the state of having a lot of money, being
rich) which also has a impact on environ (so A is also +ve cuz
ppl with more money have more impact on the environ.)
o T is technology (could be +ve or –ve number) depends if the
technology is helping the environment (ex. cleaning water
system, recycling systems => number will be -ve) or
impacting the environ (ex. Oil extracting machines, which
means that it will have an increasing impact => the number
will be +ve)
o S is sensitivity depends on which place is more sensitive to
disasters (ex. If an oil spill happens here and in the arctic, the
arctic would be more sensitive cuz more damage would be
done over there and there would be less adle ways to fix the
area of the oil spill) so S can also be >1 or less.
NOTE: NON OF THESE VALUES WILL BE –VE, THE ONES THAT DNT
HAV A IMPACT OF THE ENVIRON, WILL BE NUMBERS LESS THAN 1, THE VARIABLE THAT WILL HAVE IMPACT ON THE INVIRONMENT
WILL BE GREATER THAN 1.
Doubling time: the time in yrs, given a growth rate, it will take to double the
tD= 70 / growthrate(in %)
NOTE: Ex. If growthrate is 1.2%, the calculation is 70/1.2 = 58.3
Defn: Carrying Capacity: the limit to which a population can increase.
4 distinct increases in the Carrying Capacity for humans:
1. Paleolithic Revolution: births = deaths, and the populations reaches
its max, ppl started drastically dying from disease. Then ppl start
making tools and fire which led to decrease in starvation, vaster
range of diet, development of speech and communication for
trading => population increase.
2. Agricultural Revolution: Start of farmers, ppl started cropping which
meant u cn feed more ppl, increase in variety in diet. For first time
in history there was more food than could be eaten. There were
now also social structures: priests, accountants, salesmen etc.. =>
3. Industrial Revolution: started mid 1700’s in Great Britain. Transition
from rural to urban, more technology, better ways to prevent
diseases with medicines. Easier ways to make foods, introduction of
motorized things. => population increase.
4. Medical-Technological Revolution: we r in the middle of this one.
Devolpoment of large ammounts of medicine and pharmaciticals.
Improved sanitation, better global communication. Also Green
Revolution which is agricultural advancements (ex. Pesticide
improvement) so we cn feed more ppl. All => ppl living longer lives
and population increase.
Ususally growth rates are highest where GDP is lowest in the world.
Usually there are more boys born in the world than girls, 106 : 100 ratio
Demogrative Transition: Pre-industrial Stage: => stable population.
Transition Stage: => large increase in population (growthrate increases).
Industrial Stage: => growthrate decrease.
Post-industrial Stage: => gets to stable, low population.
NOTE: this transition could break for places where:
Greater importance is given to child birth (more babies are born).
Less women freedom to decide if she wants a child or not.
Factors effecting population growth:
1. Women status and education: usually if education increases,
fertility rate decreases.
2. Poverty: where growth rate is high, usually GDP is low, so ppl aren’t
rich. If richness goes up, fertility goes down. Most of the worlds
poor live in “sensitive areas” of the world like Africa etc….
3. Disease (major ex. HIV/AID): This can be from the lack of
resources, information about deceases and medicine available to
treat these diseases. Overall Hope:
Although population worldwide is increasing, growth rates are
Women are getting more rights/freedom and education that would
=> to a decrease in fertility. Lec 3 9/15/2013 8:48:00 AM
Defn: A system is some sort of processes that occur to do something with
some sort of input and output. (Ex. Local motor train, imput: coal, output:
stream and all the combustion for moving the train)
Defn: Open System:
A system with a energy and matter as inputs and outputs. Note
that all the energy and matter that inputs the system does not
necessary output it, the system can store the input.
Defn: Closed System:
Doesn’t have a virtual input/output but the inputs/outputs are just
energy. A closed system has a very high, efficient use of the energy
that is inputted (i.e. a lot of recycling takes place in the system with
Defn: A feedback loop: is when the output of the system effects the input of
Positive feedback loop: As the input is changing, the process to use
the input is also changing which may take it completely out of the
zone of sustainability. (ex. World population with a fixed birth rate,
Negative feedback loop: The system converts back the input to its
original state after changing it for getting a output. (ex. Human body temperature, Human Blood pressure or simply a spring that
will return to its original state after pressure is released)
Defn: Emergent Properties: the characteristics of a system not evident from
only its components. (Ex. If u look at a tree, u see leaves, branches, etc….
but emergent properties would be the environment it is in and its non
evident characteristics that: it is producing CO2and it supports wildlife that
use this system(birds n stuff) and the trees part to help the elements of the
Defn: Study of Ecosystems: A study of living things which is the study of
basically what eats what in the environment and how the energy gets
transferred + abiotic world which is the study of the world of the
components of soils, gases, water, rocks etc….
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 and matter cycles among these components
o – Generally, the smallest ecologically “self-sufficient” space.
Conversion of energy to biomass in Ecosystem:
Biggest source of natural energy: sun
Biomass: organic material that makes up living organisms
Autotrophs: self-feeders, which are organisms that don’t need other
matter from other organisms to reproduce. i.e. primary producers
(ex. Plants and some types of bacteria)
Gross Primary Production (GPP): the amount of conversion of solar
energy into chemical energy by autotrophs.
Net Primary Productivity (NPP): energy remaining after respiration Net Ecosystem Productivity (NSP