Geography 1400F/G- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 58 pages long!)

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Published on 11 Oct 2017
School
Western University
Department
Geography
Course
Geography 1400F/G
Professor
Western
Geography 1400F/G
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Lecture 5 Humans Impact on Natural Systems
- Human geographers are now doing research to expose human impact on the environment
- E.g. Doing GIS for global warming
- Why is it important?
- We make decisions about the environment (e.g. Transportation, etc.)
Introduction
- The relationship between humans and environment is a 2-way relationship
- We impact the environment and the environment also influences our way of life (e.g. what
we can do, where we can live, and etc.)
Human-environment interactions
- Every human activity has an impact
- Environment impacts human activity
- Humans can be blind to their impact
- Humans have become the active and dominant agents of environmental change
- Every human activity has a direct or indirect impact
- May be insignificant, but in a long period time it will become significant
- Humans are agents of change, particularly because of their increasing population
- More need for transportation, etc.
- Environment can refer to water; oil spillage no way the water can be cleaned up to its
original state
- Humans do farming or plantation that alters the environment
- Need chemicals to grow food
o The chemicals will lead to deterioration of the landscape
- Generate garbage
- Canadians produce more garbage than anyone else (because of economy)
Global perspective
- A global perspective is employed in geography because of the fact that
everything is related to everything else
- One cannot change one aspect of nature without directly or indirectly affecting other
aspects.
- This is one of the principles in human geography
- E.g. What is happening in the US can affect Canada
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- Because everything is related, we tend to take a global relationship between human and
environment
Concept of systems and ecology
- Systems Definition: sets of interrelated parts linked together form a unified whole
o Useful to describe a wide range of phenomena and offer a simplified description of
what is a usually complex reality.
- Ecology Definition: from the Greek eco comes oikos, house or place to live, and logy
meaning study of, comes from the logos
o 'Study of house', study of organisms in their homes
- Whatever happens to one part of the system can affect the other component of the system
Ecosystems
- Ecosystem: a community of living organisms (plants, animals, microbes) in conjunction with
the non-living components of their environment (air, water, soil etc.) interacting as a system
- Link together through nutrient cycles and energy flows
- Ecosystems as network of interactions
- Can be any size but exists as an overlapping web- no distinct boundary
- everything is connected = planet as ecosystem
Humans as simplifiers of ecosystems
- Humans are active and dominant agents of environmental change
- Any human change to an ecosystem is usually a simplification, and a simplified ecosystem
usually is vulnerable.
- Humans activities include:
o Farming (e.g. clearing of forests)
o Buildings of dams
o Building cities
o Oil or energy exploration etc…
- Of all the living organisms, human are the most prominent agent of change
- Whatever humans do to the system changes and it cannot be brought back to the original
state simplification
- Farming = for food
- Buildings of dams = for energy
- Presently, one of the most urgent issues facing us is the need to change the way we live
inside our ecosystems.
- Domination can be illustrated in our use of energy and our high valuation of technology
- Because there is a need for energy, we are causing a lot of impact on the environment
- Energy = the capacity to do work
- For every human activity, we need energy
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Document Summary

Lecture 5 humans impact on natural systems. Human geographers are now doing research to expose human impact on the environment. We make decisions about the environment (e. g. transportation, etc. ) The relationship between humans and environment is a 2-way relationship. We impact the environment and the environment also influences our way of life (e. g. what we can do, where we can live, and etc. ) Humans can be blind to their impact. Humans have become the active and dominant agents of environmental change. Every human activity has a direct or indirect impact. May be insignificant, but in a long period time it will become significant. Humans are agents of change, particularly because of their increasing population. Environment can refer to water; oil spillage no way the water can be cleaned up to its original state. Humans do farming or plantation that alters the environment. Need chemicals to grow food: the chemicals will lead to deterioration of the landscape.