Geog. 110 Notes

Geog. 110 Notes - -reductionist science(20th century parts...

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-reductionist science (20 th century, “parts”, western prospective) vs. integrated science (21 st century, “connections”, eastern “holistic” perspective) - system -consists of an organized assemblage of flows and components that is distinct from the environment; each component serves some function in the system, and the flows essentially act as communication lines b/w each component -as systems develop they display more and more organization; their components or parts are more efficient and more easily seen (ex. hurricane); in some cases it is challenging to determine what exactly constitutes a system, in other words it is sometimes difficult to ascertain the outer boundaries of a system; this difficulty is greatest when the system is poorly organized (ex. tropical depression); the choosing of boundaries in the social realm is somewhat more subjective and depends on the processes, feedbacks, etc. that one emphasizes -budgets can be constructed that illustrate the changing material or energy states of each component or reservoir; systems can be diagrammed by boxes representing components that are connected w/ arrows that represent the flows as well as the inputs and outputs (ex. water budget in the Earth-atmosphere system) -most systems are dynamic, that is, the state of a system is constantly changing; matter contained w/i a reservoir or component is constantly cycling through; ongoing interactions b/w components in the system produce ebbs and flows of energy and material fluxes (ex. droughts, floods and continental glaciations in the earth-atmosphere system have changes in precipitation, atmospheric water vapor, water salinity, etc.) -various components in many systems act as reservoirs that store things such as matter and energy; the material in the reservoirs of a system flows through or it “turns over” at a certain rate (ex. ice storage in glacier system) -nestedness- smaller (micro) sub systems are nested inside bigger (macro) systems and often serve critical functions in the bigger system; this nestedness is often found across a wide range of scales (ex. the cells, organs in the body, the body, family, community; ex. multiple vortex tornado) -interconnectedness-every component or reservoir in a system is connected proximately or distally to every other reservoir or component in the system; a change in the state of one reservoir causes changes in all of the other reservoirs of the system; removal or change in a single component can cause major dysfunctions in a system (ex. removal of key organism in food web of ecosystem causes changes in
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This note was uploaded on 05/13/2011 for the course GEOG 110 taught by Professor Konrad during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Geog. 110 Notes - -reductionist science(20th century parts...

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