Lecture3_Land_Use

Lecture3_Land_Use - EAS 1600 Introduction to Environmental...

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EAS 1600 Introduction to Environmental Sciences Lecture 2 Land use / Land Cover In the next two lectures, our focus will be on two important aspects of the so-called: ¾ human dimensions of global change ”: ± Land Use/Land Cover ± Human Population Obviously these two phenomena are related, but each has its own particular characteristics worthy of independent consideration. Today, our topic will be Land Use/Land Cover Changes. .. What do we mean by Land Cover and Land Use? • According to Meyer, W.B. Past and present land use and land cover in the USA. Consequences 1, 1: 24-33. – Land use "is the way in which, and the purposes for which, human beings employ the land and its resources.“ for example, farming, urban, lumber – Land cover "describes the physical state of the land surface.” for example, cropland, mountains, or forests As well as the specific characteristics of the land such as soil-type, biodiversity, and surface and groundwater Why should we care about Land use/land cover? 1. Land cover is of obvious relevance to our lives (i.e., we need arable land to grow food). ± Thus a valuable resource to be used wisely . .. ¾ An example of unwise use? Assessing the Impact of Urban Sprawl on Soil Resources in the United States Using Nighttime "City Lights" Satellite Images and Digital Soils Maps by Marc L. Imhoff, William T. Lawrence, David Stutzer, Christopher Elvidge Nighttime "city lights" image for the continental United States derived from a 231_orbit composite of the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's Optical Linescan System. The nation's highway system is overlaid on the image. Urban areas are shown as yellow and represent areas heavily lit at night as observed from the satellite. A soils map of the United States created from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization digital soils map of the world. Soils are classified by their number of agronomic limiting factors. Soils with a high number of limiting factors are problematic and require remediation for agricultural production. The best soils for agriculture have the fewest limiting factors
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Combining the data from these two figures, we have determined to what degree each type of soil has been converted to urban uses. .. The Soils with the fewest limiting factors are bearing the brunt of urbanization 2. Climate http://www.aag.org/HDGC/Intro_HDGC.html Question: What important interaction between land cover and climate has been left out of this figure? 3. Biodiversity • The loss of biodiversity today largely relates to loss of habitats • Some habitats are especially critical Some habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate. For example the Amazon: These Landsat images of the state of Rondonia, Brazil were taken in 1975 and 1986. After 11 years of immigration from surrounding states,
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course EAS 1600 taught by Professor Jimstjohn during the Spring '08 term at Georgia Tech.

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Lecture3_Land_Use - EAS 1600 Introduction to Environmental...

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