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1972 Week 3 Lecture 2 Class Notes

by: Bradleigh Jenkins

1972 Week 3 Lecture 2 Class Notes geog 1972

Marketplace > University of Colorado at Boulder > Geography > geog 1972 > 1972 Week 3 Lecture 2 Class Notes
Bradleigh Jenkins


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About this Document

Introduction of Theme 2: Human Transformations of the Earth The book does not go over this subject too much; lecture slides will be the main resource for this theme.
Environment-Society Geography
Professor Travis
Class Notes
geography, Environment, Society
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bradleigh Jenkins on Friday September 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to geog 1972 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Professor Travis in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Environment-Society Geography in Geography at University of Colorado at Boulder.


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Date Created: 09/09/16
Thursday September 8 Week 3 Lecture 2 **SAMPLE EXAM QUESTIONS ARE UP** Summary: models of environment & society; start of Theme 2 Human Transformation of the Earth. Models of Environment & Society  Descriptive vs. prescriptive  Locally vs. universally in force  “Useful” universally or limited  Environmental determinism (biocentric)  Natural limits  Nature dominates  Society determines (anthropocentric)  Technological determinism  Human transformation of nature ** This is what our first assignment project is about. Do we believe that the environment determines our fate, or do humans have more of a say over this? ** Example: Fragility of nature  Is nature inherently stable and kind, or is it unstable and frightening? Limits of Environment & Planetary Boundaries  There are limits that we should not push, but we can see them coming (thank you technology & research), and so can create a sustainable world  Planetary boundaries: safe bound for humans to operate in, based off of quantitative data as far as we know.  Sustainable development: forms of development & acceptable transformations. Serve human needs, but also sustains natural systems.  I=PAT is the measure we talked about earlier.  Ecological footprint: a theoretical spatial extent required to sustain individuals/group/system/organization. How much land & energy is needed to sustain?  Carrying capacity: limit of population any given area or system can sustain (Ex: carrying capacity of the earth is about 2 billion people; we’ve over tripled that.) Thursday September 8 Week 3 Lecture 2  Rockstrom Planetary Boundaries: the model that outlines 9 systems and their proposed limits. We’ve passed 3: climate change, nitrogen & biodiversity Theme 2: Human Transformations of the Earth  Earth systems/processes affected  Types, rates, and outcomes of changes  Change from baseline: anthropogenic vs natural  Driving forces  Purposeful vs. inadvertent  Unintended consequences  Interaction among systems, cumulative effects Earth systems & processes affected  Landforms: shape of terrain (geomorphology), soil erosion  Land cover: main, visible material stuff on the surface. E.g. crops, forests, shrubs, soils, water. Usually refers to the dominant covering (think lawns)  Hydrosphere: the shape and condition of the land affects the flow of water into, onto and off the surface. Water cycle: evaporation, transpiration, precipitation, infiltration, storage, runoff  Biosphere: biodiversity, ecological communities & composition, species pop., age structure  Atmosphere/weather/climate: composition, weather & climate- average temps, precipitation, wind, etc.  Bio-geochemical cycles: e.g. carbon & nitrogen cycles. Difficult to see, but can be inferred - Radiation balance: Albedo- rough measure of reflectivity of land cover; if it’s brighter, net radiation has been reduced. Transformation  State: status of system right now, forest or grassland vegetation cover; flat or sloped, etc.  Composition: detailed description of system elements; species mix, land cover, land use types, atmospheric composition. What is actually making up the area of interest?  Fluxes: transfers of energy or mass across space. E.g. nitrogen fixation. - Ex: Sink: carbon uptake, “sinks” something - Ex: Source: “release” something, water runoff  Storages: energy or mass at the site. Ex: volume of water in a lake, amount of bio-mass, amount of carbon stored in a forest Thursday September 8 Week 3 Lecture 2 Transformation Behavior  Purposeful: changes made with the goal of that change.  Inadvertent: results of a purposeful change that were not actually sough after.  “Law of unintended consequences”: along with the intended outcomes, come a set of unintended and negative outcomes Baselines Natural - Usually a time in the past - Pre-industrial, pre-historic, pre-settlement Background - Background radiation, trace chemicals, etc. Reference Site - Usually less perturbed - A comparison to see what effect humans have Target - Cost vs. benefit, “significant” - Threshold of some impacts, harm - Ecosystem functionality (restoration target) Driving Forces  I=PAT  Political economy: structure of the linked economic and political systems; commodities markets, globalization, regulations  Socio-cultural: traditions, beliefs, ideologies; markets, property rights, resource availability


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