Chapter 6 Environmental Conservation
Words to Know
Forests – Any area where 10% or more of the land is covered by trees
Old growth forests – Forests that have been undisturbed long enough for a tree to live a natural life cycle
Monoculture forestry – Planting and harvesting a large area with a single tree species
Clear-cutting – clearing an entire area of all trees regardless of size
Shelterwood harvesting – Removing only mature trees
Strip-cutting – trees in a strip of the forest are removed
Selective cutting – A small percentage of mature trees are harvested
Ecosystem management – A system of resource management which considers economic, ecological, and social aspects
Pastoralists – Peoples living depends on herding animals
Overgrazing – Allowing livestock to graze so much on one area that it causes damage to the soil and vegetation.
Rotational grazing – Rotating livestock between areas in order to make sure all areas are grazed equally.
World conservation strategy – A program set up by IUCN to protect natural resources.
Man and Biosphere (MAB) program – The way a preserve is set up and divided up into protective areas with different purposes.
Corridors – Strips of natural habitat that connects two or more habitats. Used for the migration of species between habitats
Core habitat – The middle or inside of a habitat
Edge Effect – The edge of any habitat
*Forest throughout the world provide many of lives essential such as lumber, climate control, wildlife habitats, water purifying air and water and many more.
*There are 5 different types of forests: boreal forests, tropical moist forests, temperate forests, subtropical forests and tropical dry forests.
*Forests are any land that has more than 10% covered by trees.
*Forests contain huge amount of carbon and the burning and clearing of forests release this carbon into the atmosphere.
*Deforestation is the removal of trees from the forest. This can be anything from selective harvesting to extreme clear-cutting.
*Deforestation is done for a variety of reasons ranging from clearing lands for farming to harvesting lumber for products or roads.
*As forests are cleared the effects on the environments from weather to the biodiversity is disrupted.
*Organizations and programs such as REDD and ecosystem management have been adopted and put in place to protect and control the deforestation of the world’s forests.
*Grassland makes up about 25% of the worlds land.
*Grasslands are the second most used biomes by humans.
*Majority of the grasslands are used for grazing animals.
*The biggest threat to grasslands is the overgrazing on the lands. This is caused when pastoralists do not limit the amount of time livestock is allowed to graze resulting in significant irrevocable damage to the soil and vegetation.
*New methods are being tried in order to ensure that overgrazing doesn’t happen. These methods include rotational grazing which is when livestock are allowed to grazed in one area so long and then moved this insures all areas are grazed the same amount. Also some ranchers are raising wild species that have benefits that domestic cattle do not have.
Parks and Preserves
*Fourteen percent of land is reserved in some type of preserve, park or wildlife management area.
*These areas vary considerably from one to another. The spectrum ranges from high human interaction to no human interaction.
*These areas vary from heavy biodiversity to places like Iceland which has little wildlife and no vegetation.
*The one area being said to need more protection is marine areas.
*Each of us on the planet need to take responsibility for our actions in helping to preserve our natural resources.
*We need to be aware of the balance between meeting our own needs and providing for the future.
Case Study- Saving the Great Bear Rainforest
The Great Bear Rainforest is located in British Columbia. It 2006 an agreement was reached to protect this area. This agreement included government, logging companies, and environmental groups. The Great Bear Rainforest is home to a wide range of wildlife which includes a rare white or cream black bear called “spirit bears.” Over 60% of the world’s temperate rainforests have been destroyed and this area makes up 25% of what is left. Before the area to be protected was established researches looked at many aspects. Aspects such as water, wildlife habitats, tree age, and native tradition and important sites before drawing boundaries that included areas where selective logging will take place.
A Closer Look- Save a Tree Save a Climate
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degeneration or REDD is a group that is trying to reduce the 17% of human caused CO2 that is released into the atmosphere from deforestation. There are effects to deforestation such as the environments inability to store carbon. Water supplies are disrupted in areas where deforestation has occurred. Biodiversity is destroyed as an area is deforested. Climate can dramatically change in areas where deforestation has taken place. REDD knows that it is a balancing act between protecting forests from deforestation and also providing countries with the resources they need to be successful.
Exploring Science – Finding Common Ground on the Range
There has long been a debate between ranchers and environmentalists on the best ways in which to protect and preserve the land while still earning a living. Recently a new relationship was formed that could become an example for other ranchers and government agencies. This new program was formed between ranchers, conservationists, and government agencies in an area called the “boot heel” (an area that incorporates the bottom of New Mexico and parts of Arizona). These groups have come together and setup a program that ensures the long term survival of both the ecosystems of the ranches and the sustainable income those ranches provide.
Chapter 10.1, 10.2, 10.6 Water: Resources and Pollution
Words to Know
Hydrologic cycle – endless cycle water travels through the environment
Residence time – time water typically stays in a compartment
Zone of aeration – layer of soil comprised of air and water where plants extract moisture
Zone of saturation – lower layers of soil that are filled with water
Aquifers – areas underground that serve as reservoirs for groundwater
Recharge zones – places where water drains into aquifers
Discharge – amount of water that passed a point in a river over a specific amount of time
Pathogens – disease causing organisms
Coliform bacteria – bacteria found in human and animals, finding these bacteria in water suggest the water is not safe
Biological Oxygen Demand – A way to measure water quality, amount of dissolved oxygen found in aquatic microorganisms
Oxygen sag – the measure of oxygen decline as it goes downstream
Oligotrophic – Bodies of water that have clear water and low biological productivity
Eutrophic – Bodies of water that are rich in organisms and organic matter
Cultural eutrophication – accelerated eutrophication caused by human activity
*Water is essential to life.
*Sixty percent of our bodies are made up of water we cannot survive more than a few days without water.
*Water endlessly cycles through our environment. This is through the process called the hydrologic cycle shown below.
*Renewable freshwater supply is made up of 10% of evaporated water from the oceans and evaporation from rivers, plants, soil and lakes.
*Plants are a major component in the hydrologic cycle by absorbing ground water and releasing it back into the atmosphere through transpiration.
Major Water Compartments
*These compartments are the holders of water.
*Glaciers, ice and snow, make up nearly 90 percent of freshwater.
*Drought and climate change can change the amount of water runoff we receive from snowfall.
*Groundwater is stored in aquifers below the surface
* Aquifers are the largest compartment of freshwater.
*Groundwater renews itself through recharge zones.
*Rivers contain a small amount of freshwater compared to other sources and they are in constant need of replenishing.
*Lakes on the other hand have 100 times more water then rivers but the majority of that water is found in just a few lakes.
*Wetlands are the last compartments and are extremely important as they help hold water long enough to be absorbed into aquifers.
*Water Pollution is any effect biological, chemical, or physical that changes the water quality making it unsuitable for the desired uses.
* Point sources are when you can trace the pollution back to a source.
Example – Drainage from a factories, power plants, and sewage treatment plants.
*Non-point sources are when the pollution cannot be traced to a specific source and are therefore harder to monitor and regulate.
Example – Atmospheric deposition which can drop pollution hundreds of miles away from the source.
Case Study – When will Lake Mead Go Dry?
This case study looks at the Colorado River and the effect of climate change, increased population, and drought. Eighty-five percent of the water storage for the Colorado River is held in Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Over the last decade it has been discovered that if changes are not made soon those lakes might become unusable. The major problems stem from the Colorado Compact which was a water allocation set up in 1922. The water rights were given to 7 states that share the Colorado River. At the time the compact was written no state withdrew their full allocation. Now with states wanting their allocated water, water being diverted for other water projects and climate change the lakes are in trouble. With Lake Mead already below fifty percent capacity and Lake Powell only at fifty-eight percent decisions need to be made at how to save one or both of the lakes.
Exploring Science – Studying the Gulf Dead Zone
A “dead zone” is an area that is void of all aquatic life. There are said to be over 200 known dead zones around the world. This study focused on one located in the Gulf of Mexico. It was said to be cause because of excessive nitrogen and other nutrients being dumped into the gulf from rain and runoff from the Mississippi River. There are many factors in nutrient runoff but if it is not looked at and study more dead zones could arise.
Chapter 7.1-7.4 Food and Agriculture
Words to Know
Food security – Ability to receive healthy, adequate food on a daily bases.
Famines – Large scale food shortage
Malnourishment – Nutritional imbalance caused by lack of nutrients
Obese – A person who is more the 20% over their ideal weight
Confined animal feeding operation – Places that house and fed enormous amounts of a specific animal in order to achieve rapid growth
Surface soil – The first level of soil containing the nutrients for plant growth
Subsoil – The layer of soil under the topsoil usually rich in minerals and low in organic matter
Global Trends in Food and Nutrition
*World food problems have more to do with food distributions rather than the supply of food.
*Ninety-five percent of people that do not have food security are in developing countries.
*Males often receive more nutrients the women and children who need it more.
*Famine is usually caused by political disturbances or social disruptions.
* Natural disasters may lead toward famine but most farmers would be able to survive if it wasn’t for corrupt government or greedy elites.
How Much Food Do We Need
*Over half of the world is said to have vitamin, minerals, or protein deficiencies.
* Deficiencies can cause illnesses and death.
* A healthy diet is made up of nutrients that are essential for an active lifestyle.
*Overeating is a problem that is on the rise.
* There are more people overweight then underweight.
*Sixty-four percent of adult Americans are overweight.
*The food pyramid is a visual representation of what a healthy diet looks like.
*More Food doesn’t end world hunger because the food supply doesn’t get to where it is needed nor has other consequences on the economy where it is sent.
What do we eat?
*There are thousands of edible animal and plants in the world.
*Majority of people’s diets contain only a few of these plants and animals.
* Wheat and rice are considered the stable food source for developing countries.
* In recent years, because of all the uses of corn, it has become the major commodity crop in the U.S.
* Meat consumption in a country is a sign of wealth.
*CAFO is the process that houses animals in large buildings feed them grains and pushes for fast growth.
*Seafood is an important part of the world’s diet but needs to be managed because of over-harvesting.
* Antibiotic resistant diseases may occur because livestock are given so many antibiotics and bacteria in manure are being put into the water supply.
* Even though we are producing food at a faster rate the effects on the environment are also felt.
* It is a battle between cheaper food prices and environmental effects that are constantly being looked at.
Living Soil is a Precious Resource
*Soil has six ingredients: sand and gravel, silts and clays, dead organic matter, soil fauna and flora, water and air.
*All soil in the world has these components but the amount of each make up the type of soil and how rich or productive it is.
*Fauna in the soil is the main ingredient for rich productive soil.
*Soil Horizon is made up of 6 parts traveling downward into the ground.
*Food grows mostly because of the A horizon.
Case Study – Farming the Cerrado
This Case Study discussed soy bean production in Brazil. Cerrado is a grassland and tropical forest situated in the middle of Brazil and, until recently, was thought to be unsuitable for farming. Recently, it was discovered that soy beans can thrive in the Cerrado. This has led to both positive and negative consequences for Brazil. The positive consequences are the financial benefits of being the world’s top soy producer and the world’s largest beef exporter. Another positive is the amount of high quality food this region provides to help feed the world. The negative aspects of the cultivation of the Cerrado are felt most by those who live in the area. The expansion of the soy bean and beef production limits the biodiversity in the region. Small family farms are being taken over leading to conflicts between poor farmers and big landowners. Many of these farmers and the workers end up without a way to support their families and either migrate to overpopulated cities or live in squatter camps.
Chapter 11 Environmental Geology and Earth Resources
Words to Know
Core – The center of the earth comprised of a hot mass of metal
Mantle – The area between the outer core of the earth and the crust
Tectonic plates – huge sections of the earths crust that move around slowly
Magma – molten rock that comes from deep within the earth’s core, called lava when it is released through volcanoes
Mid-ocean ridges – mountains under the ocean that have cracks where magma come through cool and form new crust
Subducted – when the ocean floor pushes down into the mantle
Mineral – A naturally occurring inorganic solid
Rock – a solid mass of one or more minerals
Rock cycle – The endless cycle that creates, morphs, and destroys rocks
Igneous rock – rocks formed by hot molten magma or lava
Metamorphic rock – rocks formed from contouring, melting, and re-crystalizing of other rocks
Sedimentary rock – rocks formed when grains of other rocks are pushed together by time and pressure
Sedimentation – The breakdown of rocks caused from weather forces
Smelting –Heating ore to separate metals from other compounds
Earthquake – movement of the earth’s crust suddenly
Tsunami – waves that are caused by earthquakes or underwater landslides
Volcanoes – tunnels that go down through the earth that release magma, gases, and ash
Floods – when water flows into normally dry land
Floodplains – area that is carved out by river to fill up when occasionally
Landslides – sudden collapse of a hillside
Earth Processes Shape Our Resources
*The earth is made up of layers.
*The layers of the earth are core, outer core, mantle and crust
*Breaks in the earth crust that form huge areas that move slowly are tectonic plates.
*There are huge mountain ranges under the ocean formed by cracks where magma is released and then cooled forming a land mass.
Minerals and Rocks
* A mineral is solid so ice is a mineral and water is not.
*There are three different types of rock classification igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, and sedimentary rocks.
Igneous rock example – basalt, gabbro, and granite
Metamorphic rock example – diamonds, jades, marble, and quartz
Sedimentary rocks example – rock salt and limestone
*Sedimentation is the breakdown caused by weather to rocks.
Economic Geology and Mineralogy
*Metals are extremely valuable and also very useful in our world.
*Metals are strong, relatively light and can be shaped for a variety of uses.
*Nonmetal resources include gravel, clay, glass, and salt.
* The earth also provides fossil fuels oil, gas, and coal which currently provide almost all of our fuel.
Environmental Effects of Resource Extraction
*Mining and drilling to extract the natural resources cause environmental and social consequences.
*Even after mining or drilling often times the area is not cleaned up to reduce the damage.
* Sediment –runoff, chemical pollution and sulfur dioxide released into the atmosphere are some of the causes from mining that are in air and water pollution.
* There are over 100 air pollutions caused from mining and drilling.
* There is a risk when extracting some metals because of the other substances needed that can then contaminate water supplies.
Conserving Geologic Resources
*Recycling saves energy because it is easier to recycle the material then extract it.
*New materials such as plastic or fiber-optics are replacing some of the demand for the natural resources.
*Geological hazards include earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, landslides.
*These geological hazards are part of the normal earth process however they can have devastating effects of the human race.
* As we understand the geological hazards we can prepare ourselves to have fewest casualties.
Case Study – Earthquake
This case study looked at two earthquakes one in Haiti and one in Chile. These two earth quakes turned out differently because of the areas that the occurred in. The one that hit Haiti killed 220,000 people because it occurred in a populated city. The city’s building codes were not strictly enforced so there was more building destruction. On the other hand the one in Chile was 500 times stronger than the one in Haiti but only 700 people died. This is because building codes are stricter and the center of the quake was in a remote area. Geologic hazards can wreck havoc on the world and those countries that are prepared are better equipped to handle the disasters.