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Resource Issues. Objectives Describe how geography and geographic analysis helps us understand environmental issues. Define and apply environmental and.

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Presentation on theme: "Resource Issues. Objectives Describe how geography and geographic analysis helps us understand environmental issues. Define and apply environmental and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Resource Issues

2 Objectives Describe how geography and geographic analysis helps us understand environmental issues. Define and apply environmental and geographic terminology to environmental issues. Explain the state of nonrewable and renewable energy sources. Evaluate the various areas of environmental degradation.

3 Why Study Environmental Issues in a Human Geography class? Uneven environmental impacts, consumption and distribution of resources ▫Energy  ½ of the world’s energy consumption occurs in MDCs  Per capita consumption in MDCs is 3x higher  North America uses ¼ of the energy supply Human-environment relations Connections

4 People without access to modern energy services by region, 2010

5 Environmental Concepts Environment – includes the living and non- living surroundings in which we coexist with other organisms. Scale – ecosystems (includes organisms, their surroundings, and the processes that connect them) ▫Interconnected ecosystems comprise the biosphere

6 Cultural ecology and human- environment relations Nature and society are interconnected Natural capital – goods and services provided by nature: renewable and nonrenewable resources, biodiversity, and ecosystems Goes back to integrated systems approach

7 Nonrewable Resources Do not replenish or take extremely long amounts of time. ▫Economic depletion – more expensive to extract the resource than its value. 80% of resource extracted  Finite resources  Uneven distribution  Uneven economic gains  Political problems / power

8 US Total Energy Flow, 2011 Quadrillion BTU US Energy Information Administration

9 Oil Reserves – Figure 12.6 2008 & 2009 data If Canada’s oil sands were included, they would move to 2 nd place. At the current reserves-to- production ratio, we have enough oil to last 41.6 years.

10 Uneven Distribution of Fossil Fuels The location of most of the reserves is also where consumption tends to be lowest. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) created in 1960 ▫Coordinates oil production & influences price through supply. ▫Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Nigeria, and Venezuela Political power ▫1973 OPEC states limited sale of oil to states that supported Israel in their 1973 war w/ Egypt, Jordan, and Syria

11 Oil Production Vs. Consumption 2008 & 2009 Data Figure 12.8a Between 1997 and 2007 oil consumption in China increased by 88% and 50% in India. Current rankings from the US Energy Information Administration

12 Coal Partially decomposed and compressed plant and tree materials from swampy areas. Largest source of energy, most widespread, 2 nd in rate of consumption ▫US, Russia, and China ▫Reserves-to-production ratio – 133 years ▫China is largest producer and consumer

13 Mountain-top Removal NASA Earth Observatory – West Virginia Mountain-top RemovalWest Virginia Mountain-top Removal 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act – requires restoration of mined land. Coal combustion adds mercury to the environment

14 Holt, Reinhart, and Winston

15 Uranium Nuclear Energy – Reserves-to-production 100 years Concentrated in industrial regions – knowledge, costs, infrastructure Easily stored and efficient, minimal air pollution ▫Risk of nuclear accidents ▫Problem of waste disposal – Not In My Backyard! ▫Material for bombs ▫Limited uranium ▫Expensive (building, safety, transport of uranium) North Anna Power Station


17 Renewable Options Biomass burning ▫Direct and Indirect (create a gas or fuel) ▫Very important for cooking in developing regions ▫Efficiency?  Forest depletion  Gendered division of labor – impacts opportunities  Indoor air pollution  Changes to agricultural production Replenished through natural or human activities. --Sustainable yield vs. ecologically sustainable yield–how much can be harvested without impacting resource renewal? Remember impacts on the ecosystem.


19 Renewable Options Wind power ▫Site specific ▫Minimal environmental impact ▫Can be loud and hurt animals Geothermal energy ▫Using energy from heated groundwater ▫Site specific – plates meet Solar energy ▫Passive- energy for heat captured by building design ▫Active-panels, mirrors or photovoltaic cells generate electricity from energy  Expensive and need to ^ efficiency

20 Environmental Degradation Occurs when: 1.A resource is used faster than it can replenish itself 2.Long-term productivity / biodiversity of an area is impacted 3.Pollutant concentrations exceed maximum allowable levels

21 Destruction of Resources: Pollution Air pollution can be analyzed at different scales  Globally  Greenhouse Effect – natural process that warms the Earth  Carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation ▫Leads to global warming through the greenhouse effect ▫Increased temps from trapped radiation ▫Seeing glacial melt ▫Changes in climate zones ▫March 2013: 396.52 ppm March 2012: 393.57 ppm at Mauna Loa ▫Atmospheric CO2 concentrationsAtmospheric CO2 concentrations ▫Atmospheric Methane ConcentrationsAtmospheric Methane Concentrations

22 NASA Carbon Dioxide Outputs

23 Global Warming – A global issue NASA Earth Observatory Arctic Sea Ice But the emissions are geographically uneven

24 Forest Impacts and Adaptation –

25 Air pollution ▫Globally, cont’d  Stratospheric ozone depletion  Result of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)  Ozone is supposed to absorb UV rays, but they are getting through  NASA NASA ▫Regionally  Acid deposition  The acidification of precipitation by nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides  Not restricted to geographic borders! Shipping Lane Clouds, NASA

26 Air Pollution ▫Locally  Impacts of pollution worse in urban areas  Largest impact from fossil fuel use  Smog closed the Beijing Airport in China 12/5/11. NASA

27 Land-Use and Land-Cover Change An interdisciplinary approach to studying human-environment relations based on the linkages between ecosystem processes and social conditions. Amazon Deforestation

28 water.html

29 Shrinking Aral Sea

30 Water Pollution Pollution from point and non-point sources Greater in LDCs than in MDC despite higher levels of waste in MDCs Non-point agricultural runoff impacts aquatic life ▫Increased nitrogen in water increases # of algae and phytoplankton ▫Increased competition for oxygen (decomposition of biotic materials) ▫Impacts temperature of water ▫Dead zones can result TED talk: Sailing the Great Pacific Garage Patch

31 Aquatic Dead Zones g

32 Soil Deforestation, erosion, agriculture all impact topsoil

33 Land Pollution Solid wastes can accumulate ▫US concentrates solid wastes into sanitary landfills ▫Wastes can leach into the soils ▫Incineration becoming more popular ▫Recycling programs do help EPA Superfund sites Tar Creek In OK, Sierra Club

34 Review Why did we discuss environmental issues in a geography course? How does geography help us analyze environmental problems? Be specific. Differences between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. Describe the state of nonrenewable energy sources, and the geography of reserves, consumption, and production where appropriate. Describe renewable energy options and the challenges associated with them. Difference between sustainable yield and ecologically sustainability yield? What are three different ways of looking at environmental degradation? How can we use scale to examine the consequences of air pollution? What is the greenhouse effect? What is a Land-Use and Land-Cover Change analysis? What are some of the issues facing our water and land resources? Terms: Environment, ecosystems, biosphere, natural capital, biodiversity, carbon footprint, Kyoto Protocol, open-access resources

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