Presentation on theme: "The Environmental Movement Rachel Carson: Silent Spring Effect of DDT in the food chain."— Presentation transcript:
The Environmental Movement Rachel Carson: Silent Spring Effect of DDT in the food chain
Point-Source Pollution Early problems were obvious –point-source pollution –... the “bad guys” were someone “else” –... but the battles were tough –... progress has a price High costs of changing/regulating industry –litigation –retooling
Government Action Early Progress –Earth Day 1970 –EPA 1970 –Clean Air Act 1970 –Clean Water Act 1972 –Marine Mammals Protection Act 1972 –Endangered Species Act 1973 –Safe Drinking Water Act 1974
What is the Science in Environmental Science?
Science Systematized knowledge derived from observation, study and experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature or principles of what is being studied
Assumptions of the Process of Science We perceive reality with our five basic senses Objective reality functions according to certain basic principles and laws
Assumptions of the Process of Science Causes and effects are explainable We have tools and capabilities to understand basic principles and natural laws
The Scientific Method Voted greatest scientific advancement of the last Millennium Based on observation and fact Subject to verification by other researchers
Scientific Method Observation Question Hypothesis Test (e.g. experiment) Supports hypothesis Contradicts hypothesis Further questions
Which of the following are TESTABLE hypotheses? Try suggesting an experiment to test it. Exotic species are bad The addition of phosphorus fertilizer increases algae growth in fresh water habitats The oil industry hurts the environment The herbicide atrazine causes deformities in frogs
observationcorrelation experimentation Tools for Science
Observation benefits can be simple & cheap (or high tech) can be done in the real world draw backs needs to be followed with hypothesis testing the first step in the process of science provides the ideas to generate hypotheses Hypothesis: provides tentative explanations, must be testable
Number fish species Lake area (m 2 ) Correlation (fabricated data for explanation purposes only)
Correlation benefits can be predictive can establish association, (e.g. low cancer associated with high fiber diet) can be done in real ecosystems draw backs does not establish causation can be done across space e.g. survey a large number of lakes can be done across time, e.g. sample one lake for many years (special statistical considerations)
Experimentation benefits establishes probable causation draw backs usually on small scale (or very expensive) can be artificial situation manipulate one or few variables and measure response variable (or dependent variable) must have control and replication
Theories Consistent with all observations Has been supported by repeated testing
The scientific method is carried out by people who may be: Influenced by cultural beliefs Advocating a position Dishonest
Junk Science Selective presentation (data omitted) Politically motivated distortion of scientifically sound papers Attribution of false information to a respected researcher or organization –Wall street journal reports CDC finds organic foods can kill you
Environmental Sciences: Towards a Sustainable Future Chapter 21 The Atmosphere: Climate and Climate Change
"climate is what you expect, weather is what you get." Weather: day to day variation in temperature, wind, humidity, and precipitation Climate: average temperature and precipitation expected throughout a typical year in a given region
The Atmosphere Where weather takes place
Global warming and the greenhouse effect
Some gasses and water vapor in the atmosphere absorb and reemit solar energy, making earth warmer than it otherwise would be.
Atmospheric CO 2 concentrations are increasing
6 CO H 2 0C 6 H 12 O H Photosynthesis by plants and algae, more with light & in summer carbon dioxide watercarbohydratewateroxygen 0202 C0 2
Respiration, emission of CO 2 by all life, all the time 6 CO H ATPC 6 H 12 O H 2 0 carbon dioxide water carbohydrate water energy C0 2
Carbon cycle: numerous exchanges of C
Other Greenhouse Gases And Sources Water vapor Methane Nitrous oxide CFC’s and other halocarbons Hydrological cycle Animal husbandry Chemical fertilizers Refrigerants
Atmospheric CO 2 is rising Will this cause increased temperatures? What are some of the consequences of increased temperature?
Global Surface Temperatures
Ice core data shows strong correlation between greenhouse gasses and temperature.
Hurricanes and Climate Change For hurricanes to occur, surface ocean temperatures must exceed 80 F. The warmer the ocean, the greater the potential for stronger storms. Rising sea levels, also caused in part by rising global temperatures, intensify storm damage along coasts. red indicates area of temp > 84F
Water Supply and Pollution Lake levels expected to decline, more evaporation Reduced summer water levels; small streams & wetlands may dry up Pressure to increase water extraction from the Great Lakes Development and climate change will degrade the flood- absorbing capacities of wetlands and floodplains, resulting in increased erosion, flooding, and runoff polluted with nutrients, pesticides, and other toxins. Predictions for Ohio
Agriculture Increased atmospheric CO2 and longer growing season could boost yields of soybeans, corn, and wheat Severe rainstorms during planting and harvest seasons will likely depress productivity Higher ozone concentrations can damage soybeans and horticultural crops, countering positive impacts of a warmer climate. Several climate changes will likely combine to create more favorable conditions for a number of pests and pathogens. Predictions for Ohio
Human Health. Winter cold-related deaths will decrease, while summer heat-related death is likely to increase. Some waterborne infectious diseases such as cryptosporidiosis or or giardiasis may become more frequent or widespread if extreme rainstorms occur more often. Predictions for Ohio
Water Supply and Pollution Lake levels expected to decline, more evaporation Reduced summer water levels; small streams & wetlands may dry up Pressure to increase water extraction from the Great Lakes Development and climate change will degrade the flood- absorbing capacities of wetlands and floodplains, resulting in increased erosion, flooding, and runoff polluted with nutrients, pesticides, and other toxins. Agriculture Increased atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen as well as a longer growing season could boost yields of some crops, such as soybeans, corn, and wheat. Severe rainstorms and fl oods during planting and harvest seasons will likely depress productivity. Similarly, hotter and drier conditions during the main growing season also disrupt production and may require irrigation of currently rain-fed crops. Higher ozone concentrations can damage soybeans and horticultural crops, countering positive impacts of a warmer climate. Several climate changes will likely combine to create more favorable conditions for a number of pests and pathogens. Extreme heat and droughts can severely affect livestock health and production. Human Health Climate projections suggest that extreme heat periods are likely to become more common, as will severe storm events. Winter cold-related morbidity or mortality will decrease, while summer heat-related morbidity or mortality is likely to increase. Of particular concern is the large projected increase in extreme heat days (exceeding 97°F) by 2080–2100, which will require improved warning systems and preparation to avoid severe health impacts. Ohio Fred Snyder, Ohio Sea Grant Dr. George Kling (734) · Dr. Donald Wuebbles (217) The full report is available from UCS at or call (617) This fact sheet is based on the fi ndings of Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region, a report published in April 2003 by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Ecological Society of America. The report was written by regional experts under the leadership of George Kling (University of Michigan). The regional climate analysis was led by Donald Wuebbles (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Higher temperatures and more electricity generation for air conditioning increase the formation of ground-level ozone, likely exacerbating asthma and other respiratory diseases. Some waterborne infectious diseases such as cryptosporidiosis or or giardiasis may become more frequent or widespread if extreme rainstorms occur more often. The occurrence of many infectious diseases is strongly seasonal, suggesting that climate plays a role in infl uencing transmission. Some diseases carried by insects such as Lyme disease (ticks) or, more recently, West Nile encephalitis (mosquitoes) have expanded across the region. While this spread is attributed largely to land-use changes, future changes in rainfall or temperatures could encourage greater reproduction or survival of the disease-carrying insects. Property and Infrastructure Ohio’s cities and other heavily developed areas are particularly vulnerable to the risks of climate extremes, incurring direct economic losses or requiring costly adaptations. More frequent extreme rainstorms and fl oods, exacerbated by stream channeling and more paved surfaces, result in greater property damage, place heavier burdens on emergency management, increase cleanup and rebuilding costs, and exact a fi nancial toll on businesses and homeowners. Municipalities in Ohio will have to upgrade water-related infrastructure including levees, sewer pipes, and wastewater treatment plants in anticipation of more frequent extreme downpours. Lower lake levels have costly implications for shipping on Lake Erie, requiring more frequent dredging of channels and harbors and adjusting docks, water intake pipes, and other infrastructure. On the other hand, a longer ice-free season will extend the shipping season. Recreation and Tourism Tourism is one of Ohio’s major economic sectors, with travelers spending $23 billion in Ohio boasts an exceptional state park system, including Clifton Gorge, above, but it is the beautiful Lake Erie shoreline that draws most visitors. Anglers on Lake Erie and inland lakes will be affected by range shifts, loss of habitat, and increases or declines of their preferred catch. For example, the range of warm-water fi sh such as smallmouth bass or bluegill is likely to expand northward, while cold-water species and even some cool-water fi sh may disappear from southern parts of the region. In all lakes, the duration of summer stratifi cation will increase, adding to the risk of oxygen depletion and formation of deep-water “dead zones” for fi sh and other organisms—a risk especially for Lake Erie. The summer recreation season will likely expand as temperatures warm further, but extreme heat, heavy rains, elevated ozone levels, and possible increases in risk from insect- and waterborne diseases may dampen outdoor enthusiasm. Lower water levels coupled with warmer water temperatures may accelerate the accumulation of mercury and other contaminants in the aquatic food chain. Earlier spring runoff, more intense fl ooding, and lower summer water levels generally mean growing challenges for Ohio’s wetlands, such as the Great Black Swamp, already signifi - cantly reduced by development and agriculture. Loss of habitat or food resources for migratory birds, shorebirds, and waterfowl will affect Ohio’s birdwatching and hunting industries. Climate Change Predictions for Ohio
It is very difficult to prove that increased CO2 emissions cause increased temperature on Earth List some of the risks involved in waiting for 100% proof of causation. How much risk are you comfortable with?
Precautionary Principle Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, the absence of scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost- effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
A closer look at anthropogenic (human) sources of greenhouse gasses
Most emissions come from developed nations
Coal use emits disproportional amount of CO 2 Transportation results in a lot of CO 2 emissions
Tragedy of the Commons, Garrett Hardin, 1968 Benefit of new sheepCost of new sheep 10$ (sale price for adult).01$ loss of productivity due to overgrazing