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GEOG Week 4 Lecture Notes

by: jared.stein Notetaker

GEOG Week 4 Lecture Notes geog 1972

jared.stein Notetaker


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These are my notes for Week 4 (lectures 6&7) for GEOG 1972 Sections 100 & 200 with Prof. William Travis
Environment-Society Geography
Professor Travis
Class Notes
Environment, Society, geography
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by jared.stein Notetaker on Tuesday September 27, 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 8 views. For similar materials see Environment-Society Geography in Geography at University of Colorado at Boulder.


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Date Created: 09/27/16
9/13/16 Week 4 Lecture 1: Chapter 3&4 I. Review-Human Transformations of the Earth A. Earth Systems and Processes affected 1. Landforms 2. Land cover 3. Hydrosphere 4. Biosphere 5. Atmosphere 6. Biogeochemical cycles 7. Radiation balance B. Transformation 1. State 2. Composition 3. Fluxes 4. Storages C. Transformation Behavio r 1. Purposeful 2. Inadvertent 3. Law of Unintended Consequences D. Baselines 1. Natural 2. Background 3. Reference Site 4. Target II. Driving Forces A. IPAT 1. Population growth 2. Consumption growth 3. Technology 4. Impact can continue to grow even if population is stable. Consumption and technology can grow keep growing. B. Political Economy 1. Structure of the linked economic and political systems, features like commodities markets, globalization, and regulations C. Socio-cultural 1. Traditions, beliefs, and ideologies 2. Institutions like markets, property rights, and resource allocation III. Earth Systems Affected A. Land Forms 1. Geomorphology a. Terracing for agriculture b. Coastal • Construction of beaches for tourism $$ • Ports and canals c. Construction of dams and reservoirs d. Cities, housing developments, and roadways e. Land cover • Albedo • State Change: • Forest cleared for grasslands (pasture) then some of forest replanted, usually in blocks • Huge differences in plant life, species types, population, windiness, temperature, and food web. Can you list some of them? 2. Soil structure and erosion a. Terracing • Reduces soil erosion and runoff, what soil is moved just ends up in a different spot on the terrace or a different terrace, good topsoil. • Increased agricultural yield • Changes plant populations b. Coastal Geomorphology • Construction on shorelines means moving earth, most is dumped into ocean. Increases turbidity • Turbidity: Cloudiness or Haziness; amount of sediment suspended in water • Beach construction: sediments taken from ocean to dump onto shoreline, eventually wash back into ocean. Increases turbidity • Different types of fish live in cloudier or clearer water, birds eat the fish, food web is affected c. Construction of dams and reservoirs • Dams built will hold back water, cause upstream flooding until reservoir is filled. • Stops/greatly diminishes sediment deposit downstream, soil will erode but is not being replenished. • Water becomes cold and clear, new fish species move in. • Ex: Brown Trout like cold, clear water, become invasive d. Cities, housing developments, and roadways • Decrease land that is covered in dirt and natural Flora/Fauna. • Water cannot permeate through concrete and asphalt easily, turns into runoff • Soil no longer settles into ground, sits on rooftops, roads, and sidewalks until washed away in runoff. Other things can get washed away too: oil, gas, rubber (from tires), metallic dust (ex: like what comes off car brakes), paint, toxic chemicals (ex: cleaning products like bleach/rat poison), fertilizers (from lawns), diseases too. All get trapped in runoff • Increased soil erosion and runoff e. Land Cover: Forest to Grassland to Forest • Soil erosion and runoff in a forest compared to grassland • Trees and more plants in a forest consume more water, less runoff and less wind means less soil erosion • Grass keeps soil in place, mostly, but high wind speeds and excess water can blow away or compact soil around roots. B. Hydrological Cycle 1. USGS Water Cycle Chart (Know) a. Humans intercept runoff, increase storage, groundwater discharge, and infiltration through irrigation 2. Inadvertent vs. Purposeful a. Evapotranspiration (ET) (know): movement of liquid water to water vapor (gas) as it evaporates and is transpired from plants (like plant sweat) • Purposeful ET Control: Remove vegetation (Burning, spray weed killer) • Inadvertently reduces ET: Deforestation, surface water storage b. Precipitation (P): rain • Purposeful P Control: Cloud seeding • Inadvertent P Control: Air pollution, global warming c. Runoff (Ro): Water that doesn’t infiltrate/percolate, get used by plants, or evaporate, runs downhill, usually picking up dirt and stuff until it reaches a river, lake, or ocean • Purposeful Ro Control: Stormwater drains, dams and reservoirs • Inadvertent Ro Control: Paving roads and building structures d. Infiltration (I): Also called percolation, water that soaks into the ground and sits in the soil, water table, or as groundwater, or recharges aquifers. • Purposeful I Control: Plowing, impermeable covers, GW injection/recharge • Inadvertent I Control: Soil compaction (result from over farming, runoff, lack of plant cover, construction, high temperatures) e. Groundwater (GW): Water stored in the ground, both in aquifers and the water table, moves, and sometimes comes up as a spring. • Purposeful GW Control: Pumping/ wells • Inadvertent GW Control: Water logging (Water table is too high and ground is perpetually saturated), filling of wetlands and building over recharge areas 3. Dams: a. Key Things to note: • Dam controls flooding down river, so peaks in water level get filed down and troughs get filled. • Water downriver is devoid of sediments, and has been sitting in reservoir for a while so is cold. b. Inadvertent effect: • Water used to be murky and warm: Pikeminnow thrives • After Dam, water became clear and cold: Brown Trout flourished, took over habitat. • Brown Trout are a sport fish • Sport fishing developed in a place where there wasn’t before. 9/15/16 Week 4 Lecture 2: I. The Book A. Chapter 9 Key Terms B. Chapter 10 Key Terms II. Human Transformation of the Carbon Cycle and Carbon as a natural object. A. The Carbon Cycle: 1. a. Soil, Ocean, & Plants represent the Biosphere b. Physical dirt in the soil is technically part of the crust, but biotic (living) elements in the soil release the CO2 2. a. Natural systems emit carbon on their own • Volcanoes, naturally burning tar pits, oil, coal seams, and forests. • Ocean erodes limestone which releases CO2 b. Anthropogenic flux increases net carbon B. Carbon in the Earth Systems 1. The main storages of Carbon in Earth Systems a. Gaseous in atmosphere and in solution in oceans (key is CO in 2 atmosphere). b. Fixed in biomass (wood = 50% carbon) c. Fixed in sedimentary layers (Limestone, coal, etc.) in lithosphere d. Stored in deep ocean 2. The main fluxes of carbon are: a. From atmosphere to biosphere, oceans, & lithosphere • Photosynthesis fixes C in biomass (plants) • Absorption by oceans(storage in deep cold ocean water • Fixed into the bodies/shells of ocean organism (like phytoplankton, which can photosynthesize) and then fall to the ocean floor and slowly become sedimentary layers in the solid earth. b. From biosphere, oceans, & lithosphere to atmosphere • Respiration (vegetation releasing releasing carbon as it grows) • Outgassing (Volcanoes, and other gasses seeping out of Earth’s crust) • Release from oceans (ocean spray can move carbon back into atmosphere, upwelling can bring C-rich water into compact with air. • Human caused, “anthropogenic”, burning and decay of biomass (deforestation), and burning of fossil carbon (coal & oil) c. Anthropogenic flux increase is a net increase in atmospheric storage (the basis for concerns over enhanced “greenhouse effect”) 3. Human Interventions in the Carbon Cycle: a. De-vegetation: Clearing forests, settlement that clears vegetation. Vegetation then decays, releasing stored carbon (CO2). b. Extraction and burning of sedimentary carbon (fossil fuels) increase flux to atmosphere. c. Sequestering of carbon in various ways, incidental and purposeful: • We may increase vegetation in some cases (re-vegetation and aforestation) and some cropping systems put more organic matter into soils • We may preserve biomass (wood used in construction) that otherwise might have been decayed and oxidized (release carbon into atmosphere. 4. Keeling Curve a. b. CO2 measured since 1958 in Mauna Loa record • Notice plateau 1973-74, OPEC Oil Embargo c. Annual rise and fall because Earth “breathes” • Most land mass and deciduous/boreal trees (trees that go dormant in the winter), are in the Northern Hemisphere, so when it’s winter, trees go dormant. • In the spring, leaves grow and trees take in oxygen, so there’s a drop. • Overall trends still going upwards d. Atmospheric concentrations of Carbon, over the past 3,000 years, has hovered around 280 ppm. (Pre-industrial level #baseline) C. Earth’s Energy Budget 1. a. Climate is driven almost entirely by heat from solar radiation b. Some of the energy is absorbed by the atmosphere as it comes in, some by land and sea, some is reflected back into space c. Incoming radiation is shortwave, high energy (Ultraviolet) d. Outgoing radiation is longer wave, lower energy (Infrared) 2. Volcanoes a. Naturally release gasses into the atmosphere b. Eruptions also throw particulates into the air, can deflect solar radiation and cool the planet. 3. Human Transformations of Radiation a. Mostly inadvertent: • Changes surface flux • Asphalt absorbs more heat • Sidewalks, roads, and buildings can absorb heat and hold in, releasing it overnight. 4. Famous case study, CO2 is transparent to incoming radiation (UV), but opaque to outgoing radiation (IR). IV. Carbon Dioxide Case Study (Ch. 9 p.142-148) A. Introduction and overview 1. Greenhouse gas content in the atmosphere has changed over the eons, as have global temperatures. On the other hand, it also points to the profound influence and difficult-to-reverse effects that a specific form of society form of society (industrial society) can have on complex, Earth systems, with implications not only for the sustaining that form of society, but also for sustaining the current diversity on life on the planet. 2. More specifically, this review stresses two things about carbon dioxide that make it a specific content a. First, it is ubiquitous; carbon is everywhere, in all of us, and in a state of constant flow, making it hard to capture, pin down, and isolate and making its impact often distant in time and place from its sources. b. Second, it is extremely sensitive to economic activity: the history of modern economic growth is completely intertwined with carbon dioxide, making a simple delinking of human social formations and the content of the atmosphere difficult, like an operation on conjoined twins rather than a mere amputation. B. Stuck in Pittsburg traffic 1. For every two molecules of fuel that go into the process of combustion, 16 molecules of Carbon Dioxide come out. a. Average car emits ~150 grams of CO2 for every kilometer it travels b. Average driver in America travels about ~19,000km in a year c. so a car produces about 2,800 kilograms of CO2 per year. (more than it’s own weight) 2. Carbon is colorless, odorless, and thus invisible to the naked eye 3. Carbon is emitted by most industrial processes in the modern world a. Cars emit it b. burning oil and coal for energy releases it into the atmosphere c. Life on Earth is carbon based C. A Short History of CO2 1. Carbon makes up a tiny fraction of Earth a. About 99% is trapped in the crust as sediment b. The other 1% is in constant motion between the Atmosphere, Ocean, plants, animals, and soil. c. occurs most often as solids (i.e. Diamonds) and gasses (i.e. Methane) d. Found in many organic molecules: most fats and sugars, it is the building block of life on Earth 2. CO2 is used mainly for Photosynthesis a. Plants take in CO2 and it reacts in the Chloroplast with energy from the sun and water to be broken down into sugars and oxygen. b. Carbon is stored in the plant as sugar, some CO2 is re-released as plants use energy c. Animals that get energy from eating plants or other animals (so all animals) also take up carbon in the form of sugars and fats. d. When plants and animals die and decay, the excess stored carbon is released once again. 3. Some carbon is taken out of this 1% cycle as it gets trapped as sediment forms, or is fixed as Carbonic Acid in the deep ocean. a. Carbon is also stored in high concentrations in Coal and Oil (carbonized plant and animal matter respectively) b. As we burn Coal and Oil, we are releasing all that CO2 back into the atmosphere 4. We are putting CO2 into the atmosphere far faster than it can be geologically stored naturally. 5. Early on in Earth’s formation, the atmosphere consisted mostly of CO2, anaerobic and Cyanobacteria were good at breaking it down using water and sunlight energy and as a byproduct released Oxygen over the millennia a. Today the Earth’s atmosphere is dominated by Nitrogen, contains about 20% Oxygen and less than .1% CO2 b. As the atmosphere became more Oxygen and less CO2, the bacteria that made this Oxygen atmosphere suffocated. c. New life forms were able to flourish in the Oxygen rich environment d. It is important to note that, as the ancient bacteria changed, living organisms have the ability to influence and change the biochemical characteristics of Earth. D. Mauna Loa: 1. A record of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere since 1958 until now taken in Mauna Loa, Hawaii (chart earlier in notes) 2. The steady rise in CO2 is called the Keeling Curve a. Shows how anthropogenic activity has increased carbon emissions by releasing sequestered Carbon or wiping out sequesters b. These measurements only show recent data (since 1958) or the “tail end” of carbon emissions. 3. Carbon Sequestration: The capture and storage of Carbon from the atmosphere into the biosphere or the geosphere through entirely biological means (photosynthesis) or engineered means. 4. Greenhouse Effect: The characteristic of the Earth’s atmosphere, based on the presence of important gases, including water vapor and carbon dioxide, to trap and retain heat, leading to temperatures that can sustain life. V. Trees and Forests Case Study (Ch. 10 p.164-175) A. Chained to a Tree in Berkeley, California 1. For 21 months protesters occupied a grove of ancient Oak and Redwood trees that the University planned to remove to make way for a new athletic field. a. Called themselves “Save the Oak at the Stadium” for the 200 year old Oak and many other trees that had been in the grove longer than the University had been around. b. In 2008 the protest ultimately failed 2. Still, protests protecting trees resonate globally since we’ve stripped away most of them a. Trees have both symbolic and material worth in human society b. Before coal and oi, and still in many parts of the world, trees were/are the main source of energy. B. A Short History of Trees 1. The Tree a. Has both deep emotional role in society, but also historically significant in the rise of civilization as both a material and obstacle for cities, agriculture and land. • Appear in holy, spiritual, and divine human constructs: Budha, Newton, Eden, etc. • “Forest” originating from a French word, referred to the exterior, wilderness”, outside of society, and away from culture • Tree’s provided food, material for shelter, and fuel b. By the general definition there are about over 100,000 tree species around the world c. As significant portion of the world’s trees are not in forests. 2. Forests: For this Case Study they are considered a whole different entity, but a quick overview: a. The 3 main concepts covered in Key Terms: Climax Vegetation, Disturbance, and Succession • Climax Vegetation: The normal/average plant cover fully developed and “best suited” for the environment • Disturbance: Things like forest fires, hurricanes, rock falls, landslides, and human disturbances are all considered natural yet unusual, deviations from the natural trend. Only temporary change. • Succession: After a disturbance clears an area, it will usually slowly be colonized grasses, then shrubs and then trees. b. Estimate about ⅕ of the world’s forests have been cleared in the past 200 years • The net loss in forest cover was higher from 1995-2000 than it was in 2000-2005, suggesting that maybe deforestation will stop soon • Reforestation in places like Europe, who cleared all their trees. 3. The Forest Transition Theory a. Typically, as populations and markets expand, forest cover decreases. • European example: been deforesting since the Bronze Age (about 1200 BCE) but in past 100 years forests have been making a comeback • But in the past 100 years population and the economy in Europe have expanded greatly, goes against trend. b. European example led to the rise of the Forest Transition Theory • Over time forest cover declines, but at some point a transition occurs and the trend reverses and forest cover expands. • c. Some issues: • Still young and Europe is the only country old enough to back it up • Secondary growth forests are often different than the original primary growth • Most nations are still developing and thus undergoing massive deforestation • Forest recovery is much more difficult in some areas than others (ie Ghana v. Germany)


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