Week 1 Notes
Popular in Earth as a Living Planet
Popular in Science
This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sophie Levy on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EENS 1300 at Tulane University taught by Sigler, Jeffrey in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Earth as a Living Planet in Science at Tulane University.
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Date Created: 09/05/16
Slide 1 Tuesday, August 30, 2016 2:16 PM Environmental science: an interdisciplinary study of human relationship with other organisms and the earth Earth as a system - System: a set of components that interact and function as a whole - Global Earth Systems : climate, atmosphere, land, coastal zones, ocean - Ecosystem: a natural system consisting of a community of organisms and its physical environment - System approach to environmental science ○ Helps explain how human activities affect global environmental parameters "Steady State": sometimes referred to as dynamic equilibrium, meaning that systems on planet earth tend to move toward an equilibrium Feedback - Positive feedback: A disturbance or variable in a system causes a response that intensifies the disturbance ex: arctic methane and ice melting - Negative feedback: a change in some condition within a system that causes a response which counteracts the change ex: higher temperatures leading to more evaporation, leads to more clouds, leads to more solar radiation reflected back into space rather than into the Earth's surface ○ Clouds can have a negative or positive feedback Urban environment - Milestone: as of 2008, half of world's population lives in urban areas - Urbanization: process in which people increasingly move from rural areas to densely populated cities; most times by economic pressures - Jobs define urban vs. rural, not populations ○ Rural area occupations involve harvesting natural resources ○ Urban area occupations involve different jobs - People are moving to cities due to decrease in employment opportunities in rural areas Urban Population characteristics Rural area occupations involve harvesting natural resources ○ ○ Urban area occupations involve different jobs - People are moving to cities due to decrease in employment opportunities in rural areas Urban Population characteristics - More diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic, etc. - Younger population - More males in developing nation cities b/c men are expected to move to cities to have their careers - More females in developed nation cities Urbanization Trends - Urbanization is increasing rapidly; especially in developing countries - World's 9/10 largest cities are in developing countries - Megacities: cities over 10 million inhabitants - Urban agglomeration : urbanized core region that consists of several adjunct cities or megacities and their surrounding developed suburbs Substandard housing - Occupied by "squatters" - No city services aka water, sewage, garbage collection, emergency services - Squatters make up 1/3 of urban population in developing countries Environmental problems in urban areas - Growing urban areas affect land use patterns ○ Fragment wildlife ○ Encroach wetlands, forests, desert, etc. - Impermeable surfaces and urban runoff discharged into waterways ○ Motor oil, lawn fertilizers, heavy materials - Noise and light pollution - Brownfields: urban areas of abandoned industrial or residential sites that may be contaminated from past use - Long commutes ○ Buildup of emissions due to cars and industry - Urban heat: local heat buildup in an area of high population density (buildings trap heat) ○ Affect local air currents and weather conditions ○ Contribute to buildup of pollutants-‐dust domes that cover the city; when the wind speeds increase, the pollutants move downwind from the city - Transportation availability affects city's spatial structure - Suburbansprawl: patchwork of vacant and developed tracts around the edges of cities ○ Problems: ○ Contribute to buildup of pollutants-‐dust domes that cover the city; when the wind speeds increase, the pollutants move downwind from the city - Transportation availability affects city's spatial structure - Suburbansprawl: patchwork of vacant and developed tracts around the edges of cities ○ Problems: § Loss of wetlands § Air and water pollution § Loss of biological habitat Environmental benefits of urbanization - Well-‐planned city can benefit the environment ○ Reduces pollution ○ Preserves rural areas - Compact development ○ Design of cities where residential buildings are close to shopping, jobs, and public transportation Making cities more sustainable - Big issue: we plan our cities around cars and suburbs, leading to even more cars and suburbs are a larger impact on natural resources - Must be done through legislature aka zoning laws - A lot of times it's done through grassroots efforts - Characteristics of a sustainable city ○ Efficient use of energy and other resources ○ Reduction of pollution and waste ○ Large areas of green – reduces urban heat island and is useful ○ Designed to be peo-‐centered, not -‐centered (transi-‐oriented development; pedestrian and bicycle friendly) ○ Food grown IN the city aka rooftop gardens ○ Compact development ○ Accomplish through zoning laws, tax incentives, Env. Impact Assessments - Urban gardening Urban development and sprawl encroaches on local farmland ○ ○ Increases food security, relationship with land and food ○ Many restaurants, businesses, private citizens, non -‐profit groups looking to creatively produce local food - Green architecture ○ Achieved through zoning laws, tax incentives, etc ○ Rise of architecture that is sustainable (and even positive for surrounding environment) § Wastewater recycling - Green architecture Achieved through zoning laws, tax incentives, etc ○ ○ Rise of architecture that is sustainable (and even positive for surrounding environment) § Wastewater recycling § Efficient lighting § Sustainable building materials - Case example: Curitiba, Brazil ○ Over a million people, famous for having a very happy population ○ High quality of life, high wages, high desire to live there ○ 70% of waste is recycled (highest in the world) which they can make money off of ○ Largest downtown pedestrian zone in the world ○ ~50 sq. meters of green space per inhabitant ○ Flood zones–build parks instead of developing land or building canals – shouldn’t build things in places that flood all of the time! ○ "Lighthouses of knowledge": tax money goes to public buildings which house libraries, provide internet, job training, etc. ○ Homeless/unemployed are hired at recycling centers ○ "Trinary roads": state of the art public transportation system ○ Issues with people coming from rural areas to try to find jobs § Fix: social workers who recognized these migrant workers at the bus stations and try to figure out why they're coming to Curitiba and possibly give them some training or help - Case example: New Orleans ○ Much of the city is below sea level ○ Flood risk because it is between 2 large bodies of water and below sea level ○ Subsidence: land is sinking lower and lower § Result because the Mississippi River has been constructed by the city of New Orleans to go in a certain direction § Also from water withdrawal (after water is drained from land) § Leads to wetland loss and soil erosion ○ Hurricane issue–post Katrina protection system: § Incited a lot of fear; we know it can happen again; how do we protect ourselves? § Cost about 15 billion § Aims to block storm surge from lakes into canals, stormproof pumping stations, better structural integrity § Designed for a "100 year storm" but there is probably better than a 2:1 odds of such a storm occurring in the next century § Can be beat by a Category 3…! § Cost about 15 billion § Aims to block storm surge from lakes into canals, stormproof pumping stations, better structural integrity § Designed for a "100 year storm" but there is probably better than a 2:1 odds of such a storm occurring in the next century § Can be beat by a Category 3…! § Sea level is still a concern Slide 2 Thursday, September 1, 2016 2:47 PM Overview - Brief US Environmental History - Us Environmental legislation - Economics and the environment Environment History of the US - 17th and 18th centuries: Frontier Attitude: it's our destiny to explore the land ○ Natural resources (land, timber, soil, water) seemed inexhaustible ○ Widespread environmental destruction ○ Chopping down trees, hunting, etc. ○ There is really no "virgin forest" in the US; everything has been cut down or reverted to farmland at some point and then regrown - 19th century: US Naturalists voiced concerns about natural resources ○ Growing undercurrent of naturalism; explosion in scientific research; popularized concern of environment ○ Audubon: painted nature, which increased interest in environment § Had them printed and put them into a book ○ Thoreau: naturalist author who wrote on simplifying life § Advantages of living in nature ○ Marsh: wrote Man and Nature ○ Yellowstone 1872 § Granted the 1st national park ○ General Revision Act 1891 : gave president authority to establish forest reserves § Presidents B. Harrison, Cleveland, T. Roosevelt designated 17.4 million hectares ○ Theodore Roosevelt( 1901-‐09) § Became vice president in 1900 but McKinley was assassinated § Most important person in history of environmental movement § "Conservation as a National Duty" § Created US Forest Service § Created first national forest § Signed Antiquities Act in 1906 which gave him the power to designate areas of importance § Nearly 1 million square km protected § Created Federal Bird reservations "I Do So Declare…" § Created US Forest Service § Created first national forest § Signed Antiquities Act in 1906 which gave him the power to designate areas of importance § Nearly 1 million square km protected § Created Federal Bird reservations "I Do So Declare…" § Set aside more land for natural parks and nature preserves than all predecessors combined § "We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as an inexhaustible, this is not so" § "there can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country"