Presentation on theme: "Science & The Environment"— Presentation transcript:
1 Science & The Environment Section #1:Understanding Our Environment
2 What exactly does the term ENVIRONMENT mean? includes everything around younatural worldthings produced by humansmore that just what can be seen by the naked eyecomplex web of relationships – everything is connected to everything else
3 Discussion Question:It is often difficult for people to reach an agreement about environmental issues.Why?
4 What is Environmental Science? the study of how humans interact with the environmentmajor goal = to understand & to solve environmental problemsfocus on how we use natural resources & how our actions alter our environment
5 Fields of StudyBiology – living organisms (zoology, botany, microbiology, ecology)Earth Science – nonliving systems (geology, paleontology, climatology, hydrology)Physics – matter & energy (engineering)Chemistry – chemicals & their interactions (biochemistry, geochemistry)Social Sciences – human populations (geography, anthropology, sociology)
6 An Interdisciplinary Science One field plays a key role . . .Ecology – the study of how living things interact with each other and with their nonliving environment
8 How Have We Changed Our Environment Over Time? Hunter-Gathererssmall groups that migrated to find foodburned prairies to maintain open grasslands for some speciesspread plants to other areasover-hunting lead to disappearance of some species (mass graves)
10 How Have We Changed Our Environment Over Time? Agricultural Revolution (10,000 yrs. ago)stopped migrating, staying in one placesmaller areas could support greater populations leading to rapid population growthsaved seeds of the “good” plants, leading to the domestication of wild plantsslash & burn destroyed habitats, leading to soil loss, flooding, water shortagesover time the fields lost fertility
12 How Have We Changed Our Environment Over Time? Industrial Revolution (mid 1700s)shift in animal power to fossil fuelshow did this change society?how did this change the efficiency ofagricultureindustrytransportation
13 Discussion Question:How have the things that make life easier also lead to more problems?What are some more recent problems we’re facing as technological advances continue?
14 What is a CLOSED system?Earth – it cannot get rid of used material nor can it take on new suppliesWhat problems do you see on alocal scale?regional scale?global scale?
15 Compare the differences in population growth in the past 50 years Compare the differences in population growth in the past 50 years. Why do you think this is happening?
16 Population Growthbeing able to produce more food & transport that food to a sprawling nation has spurred a growth in the world’s populationimprovements to modern medicine & sanitation have also added in the survival rate
18 What are Our Main Environmental Problems? Resource DepletionPollutionLoss of Biodiversity
19 Resource Depletion Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Any natural resource, renewable or nonrenewable, can become depleted when a large fraction of the resource has been used up
20 PollutionAn undesired change in air, water, or soil that adversely affects the health, survival, or activities of humans or other organismsName some forms of pollution from human activites
21 2 Types of PollutantsBiodegradable = can be broken down by natural processes (ex. include human sewage & a stack of newpapers)Nondegradable = cannot be broken down by natural processes (ex. include mercury, lead, some types of plastic)
22 Loss of BiodiversityExtinctions, even mass extinctions, are a natural process & have occurred many times in Earth’s historySome scientists believe the rate of current extinctions is high & this may cause problems for humans down the road