2What is Environmental Science? Environmental Science is the study of the air, water, and land surrounding an organism or a community, which ranges from a small area to Earth’s entire biosphere.It includes the study of the impact of humans on the environment.
3The Earth Life has existed on earth for 3.8 billion years Earth is well suited for lifeWater covers over 71% of the planetHabitable temperaturesModerate sunlightAtmosphere provides oxygen and carbon dioxideSoil provides essential minerals for plantsHowever, each day humans are altering the planet.
4Human Impact through History Hunter-gathers- caused some animals to become extinct, including:giant slothsgiant bisonmastodonscave bearssaber-toothed catsAgricultural revolution-caused human population to grow and destroyed land.Industrial revolution- shift to fossil fuels. Improved quality of life for people but allowed for urban areas to flourish.
5Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution introduced many positive changes. However, it also introduced many new environmental problems, such as pollution and habitat loss.In the 1900s, modern societies began to use artificial substances in place of raw animal and plant products.As a result, we know have materials such as plastics, artificial pesticides, and fertilizers.
6Earth As a System System A set of components that interact and function as a wholeGlobal Earth SystemsClimate, atmosphere, land, coastal zones, oceanEcosystemA natural system consisting of a community of organisms and its physical environmentSystem approach to environmental scienceHelps us understand how human activities effect global environmental parameters
7The Earth -Closed System We produce wastes (pollution) that we can not get rid of.We have local and global environmental issues.Limited resourcesPopulation increase causes a strain on resources
8Population GrowthIn the past 50 years, nations have used vast amounts of resources to meet the worlds need for food.Producing enough food for large populations has environmental consequences such as habitat destruction and pesticide pollution.
9Carrying CapacityCarrying capacity is the largest population that can be maintained for an indefinite period by a particular environment that is not undergoing change9
10Human Population Growth The world population reached 7 billion in 2012Growing exponentiallyVideo from:10
11Population Globally, 1 in 4 people lives in extreme poverty Without basic food, clothing, and shelterDifficult to meet population needs without utilizing earth’s resources
12Gap Between Rich and Poor In highly developed countries (U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Japan…):Low birth rate, low infant mortality, low fertility rate, long life expectancies, and goods and services a citizen can buyIn developing countriesHigh birth rate, high infant mortality, high fertility rate, short life expectancies, and low goods and services a citizen can buy
13Overpopulation People overpopulation Consumption overpopulation Too many people in a given geographic areaProblem in many developing nationsConsumption overpopulationEach individual in a population consumes too large a share of the resourcesProblem in many highly developed nations
14What are our main Environmental Problems? 1. Resource depletion- Using our resources up faster that they can be replaced.a. Renewable resource- resources that can be replaced relatively quicklyex. Trees, water, soil, air and cropsb. Nonrenewable resource- can not be replaced quicklyEx. Fossil fuels, minerals, and metals
16Tragedy of the Commons Garrett Hardin (1915-2003) Solving Environmental Problems is result of struggle between:Short term welfareLong term environmental stability and societal welfareGarrett used Common Pastureland in medieval Europe to illustrate the struggle
18Tragedy of the CommonsThe commons were eventually replaced by closed fields owned by individuals.Owners were now careful not to but too many animals on their land, because overgrazing wouldn’t allow them to raise as many animals next year.Hardin’s point being that someone or some group must take responsibility for maintaining a resource or it will become depleted.
20Ecological FootprintThe average amount of land, water and ocean required to provide that person with all the resources they consume
21What are our main Environmental Problems? 2.Pollution- undesired change in air, water or soil that has adverse affects.a. biodegradable pollutants- can be broken down by natural processes.ex. Human sewage and paperb. nonbiodegradable pollutants- can not be broken down by nature.ex. Mercury, lead, and some types of plastic
23What are our main Environmental Problems? 3. Loss of biodiversity- refers to the number and variety of species that live in an area.Endangered species-A species that is in danger of becoming extinctThreatened species-a species that numbers are falling rapidly
24Environmental Sustainability The ability to meet current human need for natural resources without compromising the needs of future generationsRequires understanding:The effects of our actions on the earthThat earth’s resources are not infinite