ENS 314 - 1A - ENS-314 Global Environmental Change Living...

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ENS-314 Global Environmental Change Living in the Environment: Concepts, Connections, and Solutions , 16th ed., by G. Tyler Miller, Jr., and Scott E. Spoolman (Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole CENGAGE Learning, 2009). Written Assignment 1 Answer each of the following questions thoroughly. Provide each answer with scientific/technical detail. For certain questions you may need to supplement your answers with statistics or relevant examples. Be sure to acknowledge and cite your sources properly, preferably in APA style. 1. The average American consumes 30 times more resources than the average Indian citizen. How do you feel about this and why? How does this relate to the causes of environmental problems? Your answer should include a thorough explanation of your position. (LO 1.1) I’m not angered by the average American consuming 30 times more resources than the average Indian citizen. What inflames me and catalyzed my return to school, propelling me to learn all I can, is the absolute denial from the public (surrounding me) of the effects of this behavior on our environment. I. The increased carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, car emissions and additional forest fires due to human contribution are changing our global climate, the temperature of the Earth and weather patterns. Scientists have consistent data from multiple sources documenting millions of years of data related to air quality. Through this data we can see the carbon levels often fluctuate around 280ppm. However, we can also see where the industrial age (1800’s) initiates an increase in carbon levels to where they are today at 390ppm. As far as scientists can understand, the Earth has never experienced such a high carbon concentration in the atmosphere and certainly not at this particular rate of increase. As a result many species (i.e. amphibians) who have survived millions of years are decreasing. Raising the question of the long term effects on various ecosystems and
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the effects of possible rapid extinction of particular keystone species. (i.e. alligator) II. The decrease in non-renewable minerals and energy. These minerals and fossil fuels have taken the Earth millions of years to create. To reproduce, some may take another million years and some may never return due to current oxygen levels and the Earth’s atmosphere. If we look at this from a slightly different perspective, we are using the Earth’s own resources to possibly push it towards a tipping point it’s never experienced with greenhouse gasses and raised temperatures. While everything evolves and adapts on Earth, the human population may accomplish an extreme change in the atmosphere stripping it of vital fossil fuels and minerals before Earth, it’s ecosystems and species have time to adapt and prevail. 2.
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ENS 314 - 1A - ENS-314 Global Environmental Change Living...

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