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BCC 207

(Connection and Relationship)

• in general, environment refers to the surroundings of an object

Scope of ‘Environment’
• Natural environment, all living and non-living things that occur naturally on Earth • Built environment, constructed surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging from the large-scale civic surroundings to the personal places • Environment (biophysical), the physical and biological factors along with their chemical interactions that affect an organism • Environment (systems), the surroundings of a physical system that may interact with the system by exchanging mass, energy, or other properties


hear.” . as a solar system.• ENVIRONMENT is the physical and biotic habitat which surround us. that which we can see. smell and taste. irrigation system. • SYSTEM – “a set or arrangement of things so related or connected as to form a unit or organic whole. touch. supply system. the world or universe.


different types of buildings are found in different parts of the world… climate is a major factor .Connections between Environments • Built environment responds to the local natural environment • Thus.

Connections between Environments .

such as hardwood forests • Harmful changes to local habitat. such as climate change .Natural vs Built Environment: Interactions and Issue • Consumption of non-replenishable resources like fossil fuel • Consumption of resources without replacement. such as deforestation • Harmful changes to global habitat.

and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems .• ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE • An interdisciplinary study of how the earth works. quantitative. how human activities affect the earth and ways to resolve the environmental problems • Environmental science provides an integrated.

clean water and shelter into indefinite future •not depleting or degrading earth’s natural resources .ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY •aim : satisfies basic needs of people food clean air.


. and natural disturbances like fire. and water cycles.An ecosystem contains all the interactions among living (plants. soil organisms) and nonliving (nutrients. Examples of interactions include nutrient. animals. Native plant communities provide habitat for plants and animals. moisture. disturbances) components. mineral. minerals.

ECOLOGY • The scientific study of the interaction between organisms and their environment • Involves the understanding of biotic and abiotic factors influencing the distribution and abundance of living things (Krebs. 1994) • Greek word – ‘oikos’ – house/place to live .‘ology’ .the study of .‘ecology’ – the study of living things in their environment .

SYSTEM • A grouping of parts that operates together for a common purpose. Each part has a specific function that allows the group to work as a greater whole. area to area and problem to problem • No two eco-systems are alike . sort of like an assembly line • ECO and SYSTEM – interaction between living and non-living things within a given area • The characteristics that make up an eco-system will vary from region to region.

atmosphere. Some of the more important components are: soil.Major Components of Ecosystems Ecosystems are composed of a variety of abiotic and biotic components that function in an interrelated fashion. water. radiation from the Sun. and living organisms. Relationships within an ecosystem .

.Inputs and outputs of energy and matter in a typical ecosystem.

• [ Brundtland Commission of the United Nations on March 20.SUSTAINABILITY • The word sustainability is derived from the Latin sustinere (tenere. to hold. 1987 ] – “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs . • This has resulted in the most widely quoted definition of sustainability and sustainable development. sus. up) • Since the 1980s sustainability has been used more in the sense of human sustainability on planet Earth.

Scheme of sustainable development: at the confluence of three constituent parts. A representation of sustainability showing how both economy and society are constrained by environmental limits .

.Richard Register (Founder of The global EcoCity movement .


Products extracted from ecosystem • • • • • • Food Fiber Timber /building materials Minerals (for manufacturing) Medicines Water .

plants and micro-organisms Nutrients .Services provided by ecosystem • • • • • • Water and Air cleansing Detoxification of harmful chemical compound Erosion control Flood attenuation Habitats – animal.

Consequences of Human Activities Intended results Improved Quality of Life Food production Shelter Water supply Maintenance of Culture Jobs Enjoyment Knowledge Wealth Esteem Spirituality Human Activities Land clearing Agriculture Forestry Grazing Water Diversion and Detention Irrigation Mineral/Energy Extraction Road Building Recreation Vegetation Manipulation Preservation Unintended Results: Environmental Costs Riparian Destruction Habitat alteration Erosion Sedimentation Soil degradation Loss of productivity Altered biodiversity Species extinction Desertification Deforestration Pollution Climate change Economic decline Social decline .


ENVIRONMENTAL DISTURBANCES Major Improvements to human standard of living such as: -The production of more and better quality food -Creation of housing as protection from extremes of climate and as living space -Building of fast and reliable means of transportation -Invention of various system of communication -Invention of machines to replace human or animal power -The supply of safe water and the good system of waste disposal -The elimination of many infectious diseases -The elimination of most waterborne diseases in the developed world through improved water technology -The availability of leisure time through greater productivity. providing the opportunity for cultural and recreational activities -The protection from the worst effects of natural disasters such as floods. Earthquakes and volcanic eruption . droughts.

• Video presentation… .

Lecture 2 .


• These gases let in light but keep heat from escaping.Greenhouse Effect • The "greenhouse effect" is the warming that happens when certain gases in Earth's atmosphere trap heat. like the glass walls of a greenhouse .

“greenhouse” gases trap some of this heat. sunlight shines onto the Earth's surface.• First. • The more greenhouse gases are in the atmosphere. where it is absorbed and then radiates back into the atmosphere as heat. the more heat gets trapped . • In the atmosphere. and the rest escapes into space.

5oC]. when Joseph Fourier calculated that the Earth would be much colder if it had no atmosphere.History: study of greenhouse effect • Scientists have known about the greenhouse effect since 1824. • This greenhouse effect is what keeps the Earth's climate livable. • Without it. the Earth's surface would be an average of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit cooler [15. .

• In 1895. the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius discovered that humans could enhance the greenhouse effect by making carbon dioxide. • He kicked off 100 years of climate research that has given us a sophisticated understanding of global warming. a greenhouse gas. .

humans have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than a third since the industrial revolution. • As a result. • Changes this large have historically taken thousands of years.Aren't temperature changes natural? • The average global temperature and concentrations of carbon dioxide (one of the major greenhouse gases) have fluctuated on a cycle of hundreds of thousands of years as the Earth's position relative to the sun has varied. but are now happening over the course of decades. . • Now. ice ages have come and gone.

.Why is this a concern? • The rapid rise in greenhouse gases is a problem because it is changing the climate faster than some living things may be able to adapt. • Also. a new and more unpredictable climate poses challenges to all life….

some of these Scientists have termed greenhouse gases (these are mostly water vapour and carbon dioxide).What is Global Warming? • Simply put global warming is the warming of the Earth's temperature. • Without greenhouse gases then the earth would lose a lot of heat from itself • This would mean the earth would be a lot cooler then it is now. • This applies both to the Earth's surface temperature and to the Earth's air temperature. an extreme example would be Pluto. . • The purpose of greenhouse gases is to help the earth maintain a constant temperature. • The Earth's atmosphere contains many different kinds of gases.

• This causes a slow gradual temperature increase in the lower atmosphere which causes the Earth to be warmer then it should. • While greenhouse gases are needed to create a solar balance. emitting excess greenhouse gases in the form of carbon dioxide and methane only cause the Earth to retain heat rather then having solar balance.• Excess greenhouse gases means that the Earth cannot release excess heat generated both from itself and again from solar radiation. .


• The atmosphere is essentially transparent to incoming solar radiation. • After striking the Earth's surface, the wavelength of this radiation increases as it loses energy. • The gases that are involved are opaque to this lower energy radiation, and thus trap it as heat, thereby increasing the atmospheric temperature. • As these gases increase, due to natural causes and human activity, they enhance the Greenhouse Effect, and may raise temperatures even more. • If the climate warms, the vegetation belts will tend to move northward, changing global ecological and biome patterns. Other effects may be discerned in precipitation patterns, sea level changes, and more.

Global Warming: Causes
• The only way to explain the pattern of Global Warming is to include the effect of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by humans. • To bring all this information together, the United Nations formed a group of scientists called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, [IPCC]. • The IPCC meets every few years to review the latest scientific findings and write a report summarizing all that is known about global warming. • Each report represents a consensus, or agreement, among hundreds of leading scientists.

• One of the first things scientists learned is that there are several greenhouse gases responsible for warming. also called CO2. and humans emit them in a variety of ways. • Most come from the combustion of fossil fuels in cars. • The gas responsible for the most warming is carbon dioxide. • Other contributors include : – methane released from landfills and agriculture (especially from the digestive systems of grazing animals) – nitrous oxide from fertilizers – gases used for refrigeration and industrial processes – loss of forests that would otherwise store CO2. . factories and electricity production.

• A molecule of methane produces more than 20 times the warming of a molecule of CO2. • Other gases. such as chlorofluorocarbons (which have been banned in much of the world because they also degrade the ozone layer). have heat-trapping potential thousands of times greater than CO2.• Different greenhouse gases have very different heattrapping abilities. . • Some of them can even trap more heat than CO2. • Nitrous oxide is 300 times more powerful than CO2.

scientists tend to talk about all greenhouse gases in terms of the equivalent amount of CO2. yearly emissions have gone up by about 6 billion metric tons of "carbon dioxide equivalent" worldwide. none of these gases adds as much warmth to the atmosphere as CO2 does.• But because their concentrations are much lower than CO2. • Since 1990. • In order to understand the effects of all the gases together. more than a 20 percent increase .

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it’s also shifting precipitation patterns and setting animals on the move.Global Warming: Effects • The effects of rising temperatures are happening right now…. • Signs are appearing all over. and some of them are surprising. . • The heat is not only melting glaciers and sea ice.

CAN WE? . wild animals are changing what they eat and how they live – Desperate change in diet – Changes habitat – Affects reproduction of some species – Some species signal genetic revolution [changes in chromosomes]… not all species can adapt..How Animals Fight Global Warming? • Struggling to adapt to global warming.


Effects of Global Warming: a bigger perspective • • • • • • Rising Sea Levels Climate Change Refugees Mass Extinctions and Migrations Loss of Coral Reefs Stronger Hurricanes Economic Consequences ?? .


Philippines. .. India. Bangladesh. Thailand. Indonesia. • People affected by rising sea levels will move inland in large numbers. Nigeria and Egypt expected to be hit especially hard by rising waters. • Mass migrations never come easy.Climate Change refugees. with Vietnam. especially when they involve some of the world’s poorest. China.

• As climate change refugees migrate in increasingly high numbers.• It is estimated that around 200 million people could be affected by sea level rise by the year 2050. • In all likelihood. political systems will be tested. some won’t pass…  .

Geological Survey has predicted that if the Arctic ice cape continues melting at its current rate.” Of course. and the U.S. • • . it is not just the polar bear that is affected—one study predicts that a quarter of land animals and plants could become extinct because of global warming over the next 45 years. “two-thirds of the world's polar bear subpopulations will be extinct by midcentury.Mass Extinction & Migration • The polar bear being a species that has become the poster child for the effects of global warming. Polar bears have started drowning as they have had to swim longer distances between ice flows.

with a recent study “of nearly 2.• Animals are migrating northwards or to higher altitudes. . • For example.” • Such migrations can disrupt delicate ecosystems that have taken millennia to develop.000 species of plants and animals” showing movement “towards the poles at an average rate of 3. processes like egg-laying and flowering could shift with the weather. • Changing temperature and daylight cues can also alter animal behavior.8 miles per decade.

• This algae is extremely sensitive to temperature changes. .Loss of Coral Reef • Corals get their food from an algae called zooxanthellae.” • Over a prolonged period of time.8 degrees Fahrenheit… can cause corals to expel their algae. and “an increase of just 1. or ‘bleach’. bleaching leads to death. which lives in the coral.


. as atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) increase. • For more extensive discussion of the loss of coral and ocean acidification you can read the following: .Coral Bleaching .” making it more difficult for the polyps that build coral reefs to extract the calcium carbonate they need to survive.• A second contributing factor to the current sea-wide decline in coral reefs is that.Ocean Acidification. • This “reduces the availability of free carbonate ions in the water. oceans are becoming more acidic.

the number of tropical storms worldwide reaching categories 4 and 5 was 11 per year. . the world has had about 18 category 4 or 5 storms per year. • The ocean’s warm water vapor fuels hurricanes. • Since 1990. and as that water gets warmer the amount of evaporation increases. thus fueling more powerful storms.Stronger Hurricanes • There is little evidence linking global warming to an increase in the number of hurricanes. • In the 1970s. but there is evidence linking global warming with more powerful hurricanes.

Economic Consequences • If after reading about a drastic decline in biodiversity. climate change” • Source:http://www. no one can perfectly predict what the economic or other consequences of global warming will look like. global warming is an economic matter as well. and stronger hurricanes doesn’t convince you of the seriousness of global warming. . • Maybe this will: “coral reefs provide about $375 billion each year in food and tourism income.cfm?tagID=258 • Yes. • As of now. but those not ignoring the facts will have a clearer picture and a head start.


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