Human Impacts - Human Impacts Human That means you fool Biosphere Biosphere Area of air water and earth Area in which life exists on earth in

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Unformatted text preview: Human Impacts Human That means you fool! Biosphere Biosphere Area of air, water, and earth Area in which life exists on earth in Troposphere • Lowest layer of atmosphere Hydrosphere • Water systems Water Streams, ice Earth’s crust • A few thousand feet down Delicate Balance Delicate Non-living energy & chemicals Organisms Ecosystems Ecosystems Self-sustaining units Self-sustaining contain: contain: Organisms (plants and Organisms animals) animals) Physical Features (air, Physical water, soil, etc…) water, Interconnection of all Interconnection things things • Niches: specific role Niches: within an ecosystem within Human Impact on the Environment: I=PAT I=PAT I = impact on Earth’s resources P = population A = affluence, as measured by per capita income T = a technology factor Suggests that the level of affluence of Suggests households plays an important role in their impact on the global environment. Human-Environment Relationship Human-Environment Modernism Late 19th early 20th century Belief in power of human beings to create, Belief improve, and reshape their environment improve, • Rationality, order, scientific progress High Modernism: extreme self-confidence in High science and technical progress science • Human mastery over nature Water Availability Water Water supplies low or shrinking in many Water places places Problem of Distribution Reliability • Threat of drought/famine • Intermittent streams At least 10 countries run a water deficit Water Availability Water Ogallala aquifer Water Availability Water Ogallala aquifer 94% of use is agricultural 1/5th wheat, corn, cotton, cattle in U.S. cattle Many parts cannot be Many recharged recharged Some recent declines in Some drawdown drawdown • Conservation • Needs of today vs. Needs tomorrow tomorrow • Managed solution Las Vegas: Fastest Growing Urban Area in U.S. P.S. It’s a desert!!! Las Vegas’ Water Problem Las Currently takes water Currently from Lake Mead and Colorado River Colorado But has reached its But limit limit Plan to take water Plan from northern areas from Rancher’s are pissed USSR: A Legacy of Environmental USSR: A Legacy of Environmental Disaster Aral Sea Dropped 33 ft. due to irrigation Monoculture • Pesticides • Fertilizers A Dead Zone • No fish • Vanishing coastal habitat Health Problems • Toxic Dust Where has the Aral Sea gone? Where Water Pollution Water Dead Zone Eutrophication • • • Nutrient Enrichment Algae Decomposition Decomposition lowers O² lowers Water Pollution: Industry Water Bioaccumulative Bioaccumulative contaminants Polychlorinated Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (PCBs) Mercury DDT (banned in DDT the US in 1975) the http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/terrestrial/images/ccuster_5003 485.jpg http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advisories/2006/tech.pdf Water Pollution Water Total Number of Fish Consumption Advisories in 2006 Total Modification of Streams Modification Channelization Modifying river flow Modifying with: with: Dikes, dams, levies Deepening or Deepening widening channels widening Purpose is to control, Purpose but can create new problems problems Invasive and Exotic Species Invasive Africanized Bees Africanized (Killer Bees) (Killer Zebra Mussels Honeysuckle Kudzu Invasive Species Invasive The release of an The organism into an ecosystem in which it didn’t evolve didn’t Kudzu Japanese plant (1876) • Ornamental • Used for animal food • Anti-erosion efforts US South a perfect US climate climate Can grow a foot a day Very difficult to kill Environmental History Environmental Isolation breeds Isolation fragility fragility Little competition Little resistance Dingo Introduced to Australia Introduced 3000 years ago 3000 • Asian origin • Out competed local Out species species Environmental History Environmental Ecological Ecological Imperialism Imperialism Way in which Way organisms from the West took over other ecosystems ecosystems European rabbit • • • Infested Australia 600 million by 1950’s Poisoning and Genetic Poisoning Warfare as controls Warfare Rabbit-Proof Fence Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive 1st appearance: 1988 1988 From the Caspian From Sea Sea Ballast water US waterways = US “ecological ecological Nirvana” Nirvana” Found in all Great Found Lakes Lakes 21 States Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive 2003 Source: US Geological Survey Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel Invasive Zebra mussels: Block water supply pipes • Power plants • Water supply plants • Industrial facilities • Density of 700,000/m2 on one MI power plant Clean water • Deny food to other animals • Too much sunlight to lower layers Ecosystem change Air Pollution: Pollutants Air Carbon Dioxide Carbon Monoxide Hydrocarbons Nitrogen Oxides Particulates Sulfur Oxides Air Pollution: Health Impacts Air Smog Smog http://proto5.thinkquest.nl/~kle0001/images/smog.jpg www.inklinepress.com/beast/tree­of­life520.gif Air Pollution: Health Impacts Air http://www.ec.gc.ca/acidrain/images/f­19e.jpg Air Pollution: Acid Rain Acid Ph Scale http://www.fst.vt.edu/extension/valueadded/I mages/pH%20scale.gif Air Pollution: Acid Rain Air Air Pollution: Acid Rain Acid http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/youthdevelopmen t/images/6340f26.gif Air Pollution: Acid Rain Air Terrestrial Effects 1963 1983 http://classes.colgate.edu/aleventer/geol101/acidadir/acid16.htm http://www.merritton.ca/acid55.jpg Air Pollution: Acid Rain Air Material Effects Material 1908 1969 Air Pollution: Acid Rain Air Aquatic Effects Air Pollution: Air Ozone Layer http://www.ec.gc.ca/ozone/DOCS/KI DZONE/images/ozn_layr.gif Air Pollution: Ozone Layer Air http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/sbuv2to/gif_files/sbuv17_nh_latest.gif Solid Waste Disposal Solid U.S. generates approximately 230 million U.S. tons of "trash” per year tons 4.6 pounds per person per day Less than 25% is recycled Less http://www.learner.org/interactives/garbage/solidwaste.html Solid Waste Disposal Solid Landfills Incineration Plant & Animal Domestication Plant & Animal Domestication Not always so arid 18,000­16,000BC • Earth begins to warm Warming continues to 3000BC • 16,000BC to 7,000BC precipitation in the Near East improves Plant & Animal Domestication Plant & Animal Domestication Increasing rainfall = increasing local vegetation From 10,000BC to 8500BC: • Human settlements increase • 1st permanent settlements Rich local environment = no migration Plant & Animal Domestication Plant & Animal Domestication Important crop: seed crops a b- S ah ara nA fric Su st As ia 0 Ea Similar numbers for domesticated animals 5 s 10 ca 15 me ri The Americas had 11 East Asia had 6 Sub Saharan Africa had 4 20 eA 25 Th • Middle East and North Africa had 32 species 30 A Crops with edible seed parts 35 ME N Distribution of Seed Crops Number of Crops Plant & Animal Domestication Plant & Animal Domestication Transition 9000 – 7000 years ago Hunter­gatherer Seed agriculture • • • • • Population density Social organization Labor specialization Trade Irrigation Early Cities Early Cities Mesopotamia 4500 BC Walled towns Writing Babylon Egypt God­kings Pyramids The Impact of Domesticated Food The Impact of Domesticated Food Supplies Environmental Degradation Forests cleared for agriculture • Changed ecosystems = less natural food • Loss of biological diversity Domesticated animals denuded grasslands • Erosion • Declining crop returns The Impact of Domesticated Food The Impact of Domesticated Food Supplies Local environmental degradation compounded: Earth continues to warm • Rainfall begins to decline • Fertile Crescent becomes infertile I pity the fool that slept through this lecture! ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course GEOG 103 taught by Professor Cook during the Spring '10 term at South Carolina.

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