Midterm #1 Review Summary of notes from Chapter 1-8

33 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
School of Environment
Barbara Murck

Chapter 1 - environmental science study of how the natural world works, how our environment affects us and how we affect our environment - the environment is made up of biotic and abiotic components o biotic constituents ex: animals, plants, forests, soils ,etc o abiotic constituents ex: oceans, clouds, rivers, and icecaps, etc - Natural resources o Various substances and energy sources we need to survive o Renewable natural resources (sunlight, wind, geothermal, etc) and non- renewable resources (fossil fuels) o Renewable natural resources might take awhile, restricted by rates of physical processes, such as the infiltration of groundwater to replenish an aquafier o Resource management strategic decision making and planning aimed at balancing the use of a resource with its protection preservation Balancing the rate of withdrawal from the stock with the rate of renewal or regeneration Stock harvestable portion of the resource o It is vital to make efficient use of resource management so consumption is not greater than renewal or regeneration - Four significant periods of societal change appear to have triggered remarkable increases in population size along with increase environmental impacts o Paleolithic or Old Stone Age period 2.5 million years ago When early humans made use of fire and stones o Agricultural period or Neolithic or agricultural revolution 10000 to 12000 years ago o Industrial revolution Urban society powered by fossil fuels. Improved standards of living but marked the beginning of industrial scale pollution and many other environmental and social problems Decline in air quality, water quality o Medical technological revolution Right now Medicine and sanitation = longer life spans and health Keeping people alive longer - Resource consumption exerts social and environmental impacts o I = P x A x T - Carry Capacity and the tragedy of the commons o Biological productivity of a system; it is a measure of the ability of a system to support life o In terms of the number of individuals of a particular species that can be sustained by the biological productivity of a given area of land. o If carrying capacity of and system is exceeded the population of that species will decline of collapse or the system itself will be altered, damaged or depleted o 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. - Ecological footprint o Measure of the land required to sustain an individual o Inverse of carry capacity (number of individuals that can be sustained by an area of land) - Environmental science can help us avoid mistakes made in the past o Learn from failures to avoid them in the future o Rapa nui overconsumption led to devastation of the entire race/population o Jared Diamond Identified five critical factors that determine the survival of civilizations Climate change Hostile neighbours Trade partners Environmental problems Societys response to environment problems - Environmental science if an interdisciplinary pursuit o Requires ecology, earth science, chemistry, biology, economics, political science, demography, ethics, and many others o Natural sciences + social sciences - People differ in their perception of environmental problems o Example DDT people in the 1950s didnt see the health problems it posed but now we do o Rich people might not give a damn, poor might care more - Environmental science vs environmentalism o Env science is the pursuit of knowledge about the working of the environment and our interactions with it o Environmentalism is a social movement dedicated to protecting the natural world - Scientific method o Technique for testing ideas with observations, it involves several assumptions and a series of interrelated steps o Not only one way to do it though, it is a theme with variations, scientists pursue their work in many different ways o Relies on a few assumptions The universe function in accordance with fixed natural laws that do not change from time to time or from place to place All events arise form some cause and, in turn, lead to other events We can use our senses and reasoning abilities to detect and describe natural laws that underlie the cause and effect relationships we observe in nature o Basic outline of the scientific method Make observations Ask questions Develop a hypothesis Attempt to answer their questions by devising explanations that can be tested Educated guess that explains a phenomenon or answers a scientific question Make predictions Based on hypothesis, predict what will happen Test predications Experimentally, manipulate variables Controlled experiments Analyze and interpret results Based on data obtained from experiment o If experiments disprove a hypothesis, the scientist will reject the hypothesis and may develop a new one to replace it o If experiments fail to disprove the hypothesis, this outcome lends support to the hypothesis but does not prove that the hypothesis is correct. o If repeated tests fail to disprove a hypothesis and evidence in its favour is accumulating, the research may eventually conclude that the idea is well supported - After an hypothesis has been proven, a scientific paper is produced o Peer review valuable guard against faulty science contaminating the literature on which all scientists rely o Conference presentation presenting their work at profession conferences, where they interact with colleagues and receive comments informally on their research o Grants and funding o Repeatability ability to reproduce the exact same experiment and results with stay consistent o After many processes, the hypothesis can become a theory; a widely accepted, well tested explanation of one or more cause and effect relationships, which has bee extensive validated by extensive research - Science may go through paradigm shifts - Sustainability is a goal for the future o Sustainable development use of renewable and non-renewable resources in a manner that satisfies our current needs without compromising future availability of resources Chapter 2 From chemistry to Energy to life - Bioremediation the use of naturally occurring microbial organisms to accelerate the clean up of chemicals at polluted sites o Example oil spills - Phytoremediation using plants to soak up toxic materials o Wheat, tobacco, water hyacinths, chrysanthemums and cattails have been used to clean up o Draw up heavy metals such as lead an cadmium, through their roots and stomata - Atoms and elements are chemical building blocks o Matter can be transformed from one form into another, but it cannot be created or destroyed Law of conservation of matter - Element is a fundamental type of matter, a chemical substance with a given set of properties, which cannot be broken down into substances with other properties o 92 elements occurring naturally and 20 other artificially created - Elements are made up of atoms - Atoms have a nucleus consisting of protons and neutrons o Surrounded by electrons (or lack thereof) - Isotopes atoms of the same element with differing numbers of neutrons are referred to as isotopes o Isotopes are radioactive and therefore decay spontaneously o Radioisotopes decay into lighter radioisotopes, until they become stable isotopes o Decays based on half-life - Ions o Atoms gain or lose electrons, thereby become ions o Lose electrons positively charged aka cations o Gain electrons negatively charged aka anions - Atoms bond to form molecules and compounds o Molecules composed of atoms of two or more different elements is called a compound o Bonding happens because of an attraction for one anothers electrons sharing electrons = covalent bond o if the strength of attraction is sufficiently unequal, transf
More Less

Related notes for ENV100H1

Log In


Don't have an account?

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.