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Figures in the Textbook... mostly the advantage and disadvantage boxes.

Major Human impacts on the World's deserts.

Large desert cities, soil destruction by vehicles, soil salinization, storage of toxic waste

Major human impacts on the world's grasslands

conversion of savanna to cropland, release of CO2 to atm from burning of grasslands, overgrazing, oil production in fragile tundra

Major human impacts on the world's forests.

clearing and degradation for agriculture, livestock grazing, timber harvesting, urban development, less biodiverse tree plantations.

Major human impacts on the world's mountains.

landless poor migrating uphill to survive, timber extraction, mineral extraction.

Major threats to Coral reefs.

ocean warming, soil erosion, algae growth from fertilizer runoff, coral reef bleaching, damage from anchors, ships, divers

causes of desertification.

overgrazing, deforestation, surface mining, erosion, salinization, soil compaction.

consequences of desertification.

worsening drought, famine, economic losses

advantages of conservation tillage

reduces erosion, saves fuel, cuts costs, reduces CO2 release from soil.

disadvantages of conservation tillage

con increase pesticide use, requires expensive equipment.

effects of food production

loss of biodiversity (habitat disruption, pesticide runoff), soil (erosion, salinization, waterlogging, desertification) air pollution (greenhouse gas emissions, pesticides) water(aquifer depletion, runoff, sediment pollution, eutrophication), and human health (nitrates and pesticides in water, contamination of drinking water

advantages of aquaculture

highly efficient, high yields, can reduce over-harvesting, little use of fuel.

disadvantages of aquaculture

large inputs of feed, land and water, lots of waste, destroys mangrove forests, can be killed easily

advantages of conventional oil

ample supply for 42-93 years, low cost, high net energy yield

disadvantages of conventional oil

need to find a substitute soon, air pollution when burned, releases CO2, water pollution

advantages of oil shale and tar sand

moderate existing supplies, easily transported

disadvantages of oil shale and tar sand

high costs, low net energy yield, need lots of water, land disruption, water and air pollution

refining crude oil

separated by boiling points in distillation column.

advantages of natural gas

ample supplies, high net energy, low cost, less air pollution, easily transported

disadvantages of natural gas

nonrenewable, release CO2, methane can leak from pipelines, difficult to transport to another country

advantages of coal

ample supplies, high net energy yield, low cost, air pollution can be reduces

disadvantages of coal

land disruption, air pollution and water pollution, high land use, high CO2 and SO2 emissions, releases radioactive particulates and mercury

advantages of synthetic natural gas and liquid synfuels from coal

large potential supply, vehicle fuel, moderate cost,

disadvantages of synthetic natural gas and liquid synfuels from coal

low to moderate net energy yield, increases mining of coal, high water use, higher CO2 emissions than coal

advantages of nuclear power

large fuel supply, low environmental impact (w/o accidents) little CO2, moderate land and water disruption,

disadvantages of nuclear power

high cost, low net energy yield, high environmental impact (w/ accidents) produces radioactive waste

advantages of solar energy systems

save money, reduces air pollution and CO2 emissions, reduced dependence on imported oil

disadvantages of solar energy systems

making cells produces toxic chemicals, can damage fragile deserts, need back up systems

advantages of passive and active solar heating

energy is free, net energy is moderate to high, quick installation, no CO2

disadvantages of passive and active solar heating

need access to sun, need storage system,

advantages of large dams and reservoirs for electricity

moderate to high net energy, efficient, low cost electricity,

disadvantages of large dams and reservoirs for electricity

high construction costs, high environmental impact, floods natural areas

advantages of wind

moderate to high net energy, efficient, low environmental impact, land can be used

disadvantages of wind

steady winds needed, backup systems needed, can kill birds

advantages of burning solid biomass

large potential supply, moderate cost, no net CO2 (if done sustainably)

disadvantages of burning solid biomass

nonrenewable if done unsustainably, moderate to high environmental impact, soil erosion, water pollution, loss of habitat

advantages of hydrogen as fuel

can be produced form water, low environmental impact, no CO2, high efficient

disadvantages of hydrogen as fuel

not found in nature, energy is needed to produce, negative net energy, high costs

advantages of geothermal energy

highly efficient, moderate net energy, lower CO2 emissions, low land use

disadvantages of geothermal energy

scarcity of suitable sites, depleted if used too rapidly, CO2 emissions

CO description

colorless odorless gas, poisonous to animals, forms in incomplete combustion of carbon containing fuels

CO human sources

cigarette smoke, incomplete burning of all fossil fuels

CO health effects

reacts w/ hemoglobin, reduces ability to bring oxygen to brain, headaches, dizziness, heart attacks, death

NO2 description

reddish-brown irritating gas

NO2 human sources

fossil fuels in motor vehicles

NO2 health effects

lung irritation, aggravates asthma and chronic bronchitis

NO2 environmental effects

reduces visibility, acid deposition, can damage trees, soil, aquatic life

SO2 description

colorless, irritating gas

SO2 human sources

coal burning

SO2 health effects

breathing problems, restriction of airways, bronchitis,

SO2 environmental effects

reduces visibility, acid deposition, can damage trees, soils, aquatic life,

Suspended particulate matter (SPM) description

variety of particles and droplets, small and light enough to remain suspended in atm. causes smoke, dust, haze

SPM human sources

burning coal, diesel, agriculture, unpaved roads, construction

SPM health effects

nose and throat irritation, lung damage, bronchitis, can cause mutations, cancer, reproductive problems

SPM environmental effects

reduces visibility, acid depostion can cause damage trees, soils, aquatic life

O3 description

highly reactive, irritating gas w/ unpleasant odor

O3 human sources

chemical reaction with VOCs and nitrogen oxides to form photochemical smog

O3 health effects

breathing problems, lung tissue irritant,

O3 environmental effects

can damage plants and trees, reduces visibility

Lead description

solid toxic metal

Lead human sources

paint, smelters, lead manufacture, storage of batteries, leaded gasoline,

Lead health effects

accumulates in body, brain and other nervous system damage, mental retardation, can cause cancer

Radon 222

source: naturally occurring radioactive gas, found in soil, cracks in foundation.
effects: lung cancer

CO (as indoor air pollutant)

source: faulty furnace, unvented gas stoves, kerosene heaters,
effects: headaches, drowsiness, death


naturally occurring silicate material woven into cloth.
source: pipe insulation, vinyl ceiling, floor tiles
effects: mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, lung disease

Infectious agents

ex: bacteria, viruses, protozoa, parasitic worms
human sources: human and animal waste
effects: disease

oxygen-demanding waste

ex: organic waste such as animal manure and plant debris, can be decomposed by aerobic bacteria
human sources: sewage, animal feedlots,
effects: bacteria can degrade water quality, less DO, fish die

inorganic chemicals

ex: water-soluble acids, toxic metals, salts
human sources: surface runoff, household cleaners
effects: freshwater unusable for drinking and irrigation, skin cancers,

organic chemicals

ex: oil, gasoline, plastic, pesticides
human sources: industrial effluents, runoff.
effects: nervous system damage, reproductive disorders, cancers

plant nutrients

ex: water-soluble compounds containing nitrates, phosphates, ammonium ions
human sources: sewage, manure, runoff
effects: eutrophication, drinking water lowers oxygen carrying levels of blood, can kill unborn babies


ex: soil, silt
human sources: land erosion
effects: cloud water, disrupt food webs, carry pesticides, clog lakes

radioactive material

ex: radioactive isotopes
human source: nuclear power plants, mining uranium, natural sources
effects: genetic mutations, miscarriages, cancers


ex: excessive heat
human sources: water cooling of electric plants
effects: lowers dissolved oxygen levels, fish killed(range of tolerance)

advantages of incineration

reduces trash, less need for landfills, low water pollution

disadvantages of incineration

high cost, air pollution, produces toxic ash, encourages waste production

advantages of landfills

no open burning, low groundwater pollution, low cost, can handle large amounts of waste

disadvantages of landfills

noise, air pollution (CO2 and methane) slow decomposition of waste, encourages waste production

advantages of deep well injection

simple, cheap,

disadvantages of deep well injection

leaks or spills at surface, leaks in pipe, earthquakes encourages waste production

advantages of bicycles

cheap, no air pollution, quiet, energy efficient, exercise

disadvantages of bicycles

little protection, no practical for long trips

advantages of mass transit rail systems

more energy efficient than cars, less air pollution than cars,

disadvantages of mass transit rail systems

expensive to build, commits riders to schedule,

advantages of rapid rail systems

can reduce travel by car and plane, much more energy efficient than cars

disadvantages of rapid rail systems

expensive to run, noise and vibration

advantages of bus systems

more flexible, rerouted easily, little cost, reduce car pollution

disadvantages of bus systems

can lose money if few riders, caught in traffic, commits riders to schedule, noisy

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