Overview of Environmental Science 1-19 notes
Overview of Environmental Science 1-19 notes 103
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maddy Yates on Wednesday February 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 103 at University of Tennessee - Knoxville taught by Edmund Perfect in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Earth's Environments in Geology at University of Tennessee - Knoxville.
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Date Created: 02/03/16
Week 1/18/15-1/22/15 Geology 103 Overview Overview Of Environmental Science What is environmental science? It is a multidisciplinary field- meaning it combines multiple different branches of science (dictionary.com) It requires knowledge of basic biology, chemistry, physics, etc. Also draws upon knowledge of politics and ethical standards Environmental science employs scientific method. Observation and experimentation Laws- unfailing empirical rules that describe observational trends Systems approach to the environment There are four spheres of the environment Lithosphere- “rocks” or Earth’s crust Biosphere- living layer of the Earth Atmosphere- air layer Hydrosphere- water layer What is the relationship between the spheres of the environment and matter? Matter within the spheres cycles E A D B C What about the relationship between energy and the spheres? Energy within the spheres flows A B C Environment as a system. System- a set of components functioning together as a whole Most systems are hierarchical, composed of many smaller systems (much like a food chain) Global environment can be analyzed in terms of three traits Openness- degree of isolation Integration- strength of interaction within and around the environment Complexity- number of members (or if you think of it like a machine, parts) in the system Society and the environment. Positive feedback- the environmental system responds to change in a way that magnifies the change (like a single domino that falls on two, and so on, knocking more down as they go). Mostly this creates a bad outcome. Week 1/18/15-1/22/15 Geology 103 Overview Negative feedback- the environmental system responds in a way that lessons the initial change (like five dominos that fall on four, and so on, knocking less down as they go). This change is generally good. Environmental impact- the alteration of the natural environment by human activity Two types: Resource depletion Pollution A full understanding of how humans impact the environment has only recently developed There are five basic stages of the development of human impact on an environment Economic activity Perception of environment Environmental impact Environmental response To quantify is to find or calculate the quantity or amount of something (Merriam-Webster dictionary), so when you quantify environmental impact, you are calculating the amount of impact the population has on the environment. To do that, you use the following equation: i=PxC i stands for impact P stands for population C stands for consumption Population times consumption equals the amount of impact the environment faces As consumption grows, the waste grows This accelerates both the depletion or resources and the pollution When i=PxC is calculated, it equals and exponential growth formula Impact can only be reduced through a reduction in population or consumption. China’s “one child law” is an example of a reduction of P. Week 1/18/15-1/22/15 Geology 103 Overview Population Impacts Reducing consumption per person. Reducing consumption can only happen in two ways: reduce material needs, or use more sustainable approaches to obtaining our needs We would achieve this by: Efficiency improvements (e.g. using compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent) Reuse and reduce (e.g. reusable glass bottles) Substitution (e.g. solar/ wind power) World population growth. The current world population is over 7 billion (more accurately, around 7.3 billion) Over time there has been an exponential increase in world population Exponential growth formula: N= R/100 x N x t (read as: delta N equals R divided by 100 times N times delta t) N is the change in the number of people over a given time period,t (years) N is the number of people already existent in the beginning of the time period R (also seen as r) is percent annual growth rate (birth rate minus death rate) Time needed for population to double (D) can be calculated using: D=70/r Worked example: The percent annual growth rate is 1.43% per year. Calculate the world population in 2020 given the population in 2011 (N) was 7x10^9 i.e. t= 2020-2011= 9 years N= r/100 x N x t = 0.0143 x 7x10^9 x 9 (or 0.0143 times 7x10^9 times 9) = N= 0.9x10^9 N (2020) = N+ N= 7x10^9 + 0.9x10^9 =7.9x10^9 It may also help to think of delta () as the “change in” N and t. Worked example: How long will it take for the population to double? D=70/r D=70/1.43 D=50 years Week 1/18/15-1/22/15 Geology 103 Overview Reducing population growth as a whole. The following below are four actions that can be implemented to lower population growth: Demographic transition model (as technology advances and a population becomes more industrial instead of agricultural, the birth rate decreases) Economic incentives and government regulation on child bearing (tax cuts presented for each child is an example of government incentives while the opposite is child bearing regulation which can be explained through the earlier example of China’s “one child law”) Family planning (birth control, condoms, etc.) Education, particularly of women If a population continues to grow it will reach its carrying capacity Carrying capacity: the number of individuals of a certain population that can be supported by a certain area When population exceeds the capacity, growth is no longer sustainable When a population lives within its capacity it does not degrade its resources The equation for carrying capacity is: N= R x N x ((K-N)/K) x t Consequences of over-population. Resources take a millennia to hundreds of millions of years to accumulate and are being consumed faster than they can replenish Disease Social disagreement Many parts of the environment are considered “commons” or of common use such as the ocean or the atmosphere. Pollution from Group A may pollute the air or sea of Group B and vice versa. Resources and environmental sinks held in common by many people are often overused and overwhelmed by pollution.
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