Lectures 02 & 03 Biomes 2010

Lectures 02 & 03 Biomes 2010 - Why study ecology...

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Why study ecology? What processes determine the distribution and abundance of species? What impact do humans have on global ecosystems? • Humans divert 40% of the biological productivity of the planet. • Between 1 / 3 and ½ of the land surface has been transformed or degraded. Forests have decreased by ~50%. • Worldwide release of carbon from combustion of fossil fuels is ~ 6.5 billion tons/year. U.S. transportation accounts for ~5% of global CO 2 emissions. • Biodiversity: 2 of 3 species worldwide are thought to be in decline. About 5,200 animal species are currently threatened with extinction. • Water demand doubles every 21 years. More than half of the available fresh water (only 1% of the world’s water) is already used. • World population may reach 9 billion by 2045. U.S. population may reach 400 million by 2050. As of 9 PM Sunday night: 6,811,410,315 • Every day, almost one Riverside (~ 288,000) is added to the world population: 206,563 d -1 = 75,395,378 yr -1
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Impact = Population X Affluence X Technology: I = P A T
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What is your “ ecological footprint ”? An ecological footprint is a measure of the load or impact on nature by a particular population (Wm. Rees and M. Wackernagel, Univ. British Columbia). - represents the land area necessary to sustain current levels of resource consumption and waste discharge by that population: ~ carrying capacity
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What is your “ ecological footprint ”? - includes mode of transportation used, amount of living space, diet, energy use, waste generation, and other consumption patterns
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What is your “ ecological footprint ”? New Jersey individual: 24 acres If all cultures adopted our lifestyle: would require 5 planet Earths; - currently humans use the resources of 1.25 Earths per year Dehli individual: 2.5 acres Want to calculate your footprint?
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