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Environmental Exam 2 Study Guide
Terms in this set (30)
In what ways is human population ecology similar to and different from that of other organisms? Why is it difficult to determine a carrying capacity for humans?
We resemble an exponential, J shaped curve but we also have high levels of parental care and late (and slow) reproductive rates (like history of a slower growing equilibrial species with the growth of r strategist).
It is difficult to determine a carrying capacity for humans because we can deliberately regulate our fertility, human populations are not limited to natural resources, human nutritional requirements are different from that of organisms, and human populations aren't limited by disease
How has the global human population changed from pre‐historic times to 1800? From 1800 to the present? What is projected over the next 50 years?
Paleolithic (50,000-10,000 years ago) humans lived in small tribes as hunter‐gatherers that moved constantly. Predators, disease, and famine were common mortality factors
Neolithic Revolution (12,000 years ago): animal husbandry and agriculture produced abundant food. (Reduced mortality + food = population growth)
The 17th and 18th century led to the birth of modern science and technology.
Industrial Revolution during the 19th century, the development of manufacturing processes using fossil fuels and based on applications of scientific knowledge. (Technology + Fossil Fuels = pollution and resource exploitation)
Medical Revolution resulted in medical advances and public sanitation led to spectacular reductions in mortality, beginning in the late 1800s and extending to the present.
Green Revolution involved the development and introduction of new varieties of (mainly) wheat and rice that have increased yields per acre dramatically in many countries since the 1960s. However, increased erosion, soil and water pollution, loss of native plant varieties, pesticide resistance
Environmental Revolution is the adaptation of humans to the rising deterioration of the environment. The Environmental Revolution should bring about sustainable interactions with the environment.
What three factors are multiplied to give total environmental impact? Are developed nations exempt from environmental impact? Why or why not?
I = PAT
Environmental Impact = (Population)(Affluence and Consumption Patterns)(Level of Technology of the Society)
A refinement of the IPAT formula that separates the effects of Technology (T in the equation) into two components that incorporate the different effects of consumption of resources.
Developed nations are not exempt from environmental impact. Wealthier countries can easily afford technology to live a greener lifestyle, give poor quick ways to improve their economies, eventually also take care of environment. However, although wealth allows people to care for their area, it often pushes environmental problems to other, poorer areas.
Describe negative and positive impacts of affluence (high individual consumption) on the environment.
US have high environmental impact (from each of us), high population increase
Affluent countries provide amenities such as, safe drinking water, sanitary sewage systems and treatment, collection and disposal of refuse. In the US for example we can afford gas and electricity, not destroying our parks and woodlands - we can afford conservation management, better agricultural practices, pollution control
- Consume may resources - lead in production of pollutants
- Effect of affluence - it enables the wealthy to clean up their immediate environment by transferring their wastes to more distant locations and allows them to obtain resources from more distant location. Also provides people with opportunities to exercise lifestyles choices consistent with concerns fro stewardship/sustainability.
- World's wealthiest 20% are responsible for 76% of natural good consumption
How do the population profiles and fertility rates of developed countries differ from those of
A graying population has a high proportion of elderly
Many European governments have policies to encourage
women to have more children
Child allowances, tax credits, large‐family discounts
Many people do not want increased immigration
What is meant by population momentum and what is its cause?
Population momentum is a property whereby a rapidly growing human population may be expected to grow for 50-60 years after replacement fertility (2.1 live births per female) is reached. Momentum is sustained because of increasing numbers entering reproductive age.
- In a young population (like Burkina Faso), momentum is positive (small portion in upper age groups and many young people entering their reproductive years)
- In a population (like Europe) momentum is negative (low fertility, shrink population
Define crude birthrate (CBR) and crude death rate (CDR). Describe how these rates are used to calculate the percent rate of growth of a population.
Crude birth rate (CBR): the number of births per thousand people per year
Crude death rate (CDR): number of deaths per thousand people per year
CBR - CDR = natural increase (decrease) per 1,000 per year
% increase (decrease) = natural increase (decrease)/10
What is meant by the demographic transition? Relate the epidemiologic transition and fertility transition (two elements of demographic transition) to its four phases.
A demographic transition is a shift in birth and death rates from the primitive to the modern societies. So modernization results in lower death rates, better health care, declining fertility rates.
The epidemiologic transition can be seen in Phase II of the demographic transition. It is the pattern of change in mortality factors, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other degenerative diseases. (Declining CDR and high CBR results in rapid population growth)
The fertility transition can be seen in Phase III of the demographic transition. It is the decline of birthrates from high levels to low levels in a population. (Population growth is still significant)
No one is in Phase 1,
but developing countries can be in phase II or III, while developed nations are on Phase IV.
What have been the two basic schools of thought regarding the demographic transition? How were these reflected in the three most recent global population conferences?
1. Economic Approach: speed up economic development in high-growth countries... this will cause population growth to slow down 'automatically' as it did in developed countries.
2. Family Planning Approach: Concentration on population policies and family-planning technologies to bring down birthrates.
Heavily debated in most recent global population confrences
- 1974 Population conference in Bucharest, Romania (US strong supporter of family planning and population control. Developing nations support economic development - developed countries jsut looking at economic imperialism and even genocide).
- 1984 Population Conference in Mexico City (Developing countries - ask for more assistance with family planning. US, under pressure of right to life advocates, took position that development was answer and withdrew family planning aid)
- 1994 Population Conference in Cairo (realize poverty, pop. gorwth, development clearly linked. Agreed that population growth must be dealth with.
MADE 4 Main Goals:
1. Womens rights to healthcare, education, employment vital to slowing population growth.
2. development linked to reduction of poverty.
3. existing poverty should not be tolerated.
4. Poverty and development were threat to health of environment.
What are the MDGs? Where did they come from?
Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) are sets of goals to reduce extreme proverty and its impacts on human well-being. In 1997, representatives worldwide met to formulate set of goals which led to 8 MDG's and their 17 targets. Goals reinforce eachother and should be worked on together.
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
3. Promote gender equality and empower womem.
4. Reduce child mortality.
5. Improve maternal health.
6. Combat HIv/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
8. global partnership for development.
What is meant by the debt crisis of the developing world? What is being done to help resolve this crisis?
Debt Crisis is developing countries have become increasingly indebted (total reached 4.08 trillion in 2010). Interest builds, "The Credit-Debt Trap."
To resolve this crisis the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC) - microlending and the MDRI
What are the five interdependent components that must be addressed to bring about social modernization?
1. improving education
2. improving health and healthcare
3. making family planning accessible
4. enhancing income through employment
5. improving resource management
Define family planning, and explain why it is critically important to all other aspects of development.
Agencies that enable people to plan their own family size; to have chldren only if and when they want them.
Cycle in the poverty cycle that hurts them
What is microlending? How does it work?
The process of providing very small loans (usually 50-500) to poor people to facilitate their starting a small enterprise and becoming economically self sufficient
How have the fuels to power homes, industry, and transportation changed from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the present?
The breakthrough that launched the Industrial Revolution was the development of the steam engine in the late 1700's. By the end of the 1800's, coal had become the dominant fuel, and it remained so into the 1940's. By 1951, crude oil became the dominant energy source for the nation and continues to do so.
What are the three primary fossil fuels, and what percentage does each contribute to the U.S. energy supply?
Electricity is a secondary energy source. How is it generated and how efficient is its generation?
The electricity itself is an energy carrier - it transfers energy from a primary energy source (coal or waterpower) to its point of use. Approximately 33% of fossil fuel production is now used to generate electricity in the United States; in 1950, the figure was only 10%.
What did the United States do in the early 1970s to resolve the disparity between oil production and consumption? What events caused the sudden oil shortages of the mid 1970s and then the return to abundant, but more expensive, supplies?
They increased domestic production by stepping up oil exploration, building the Alaska pipeline, and reopening old oil fields.
Congress took steps to decrease consumption by setting new standards for automobile fuel efficiency at 27.5 miles per gallon or mpg, lowered speed limits to 55 mph, promoted higher efficiencies for building insulation and appliances, and began to develop alternative energy sources.
To protect against another OPEC boycott, we created a strategic oil reserve in underground caverns in Louisiana.
The current stockpile is 696 million barrels of oils, equivalent to about 37 days of consumption at 19 million barrels per day.
We encouraged oil exploration and production in a number of non-OPEC countries, especially those in the Western hemisphere.
What is meant by Hubbert's Peak, and how does it apply to the United States and the world?
Oil geologists Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrrere provided an analysis that put the world's proved reserves at about 850 BB's cubed. On the basis of their estimates and the known amount already used, the 2 geologists calculated a Hubbert curve indicating the peak oil production had already occurred.
Describe surface mining as it is practiced in the southern Appalachians.
Mountaintop Removal Mining began in the southern Appalachians in the late 1970's as a more economical way to get at the valuable low-sulfur coal found in seams up to 1,000 feet down.
To what degree can energy conservation serve to mitigate energy dependency?What are some prime examples of energy conservation?
Conserving energy is extremely important, but keep in mind the reducing our use of fossil fuels is not eliminating the use. There are 2 major pathways for developing a low- carbon energy future: pursuing nuclear power and promoting renewable-energy applications.
Why is it important for renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels? What are the prospects for getting it done?
The main reason is global climate change. Clearly the manufacture of wind turbines, PV panels, transmission lines, concentrated solar power plants, electric vehicles, recharging stations, and so on would have to take place in a relatively short period of time and this would require massive government support. Another barrier to accomplishing this transition is the way in which government subsidies.
How much solar energy is available, and what happens when it is used? What are some problems with harnessing solar energy?
Full sunlight can deliver about 700 watts per square meters to Earth's surface when the Sun is directly overhead. At that rate, the Sun can deliver 700 MW of to an area of 390 square miles. The Sun delivers 10,000 times the energy used by humans. If humans were to capture and obtain useful work from solar energy, it would still be converted into heat and lost in accordance with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The overall energy balance would not change. The main problem with using solar energy is one of taking a diffuse and intermittent source and concentrating it into an amount and form, such as fuel and energy, that can used to provide heat and run vehicles, appliances, and other machinery. Also overcoming such obstacles must be cost effective.
How do solar hot-water heaters work?
In an active system, the heated water is moved by means of a pump. In a passive solar water-heating system, the system must be mounted so that the collector is lower than the tank. Thus, heated water from the collector rises by natural convection into the tank, while cooler water from the tank descends into the collector.
How does a PV system work, and what are some present applications of such
Each cell consists of two very thin layers of semiconductor material separated by a junction layer. The lower layer has atoms with single electrons in their outer orbital that are easily lost. The upper layer has atoms lacking electrons in their outer orbital; these atoms readily gain electrons. The kinetic energy of light photons striking the two layer "sandwich" dislodges electrons form the lower layer, creating a current that can flow through a motor or some other electrical device and back to the upper side. Thus, with no moving parts, solar cells convert light energy directly to electrical power, with an efficiency of 15-20%. PV cells a already in common use in pocket calculators, watches, and numerous toys. Panels of PV cells provide power for rural homes, irrigation pumps, traffic signals, radio transmitters, lighthouses, offshore oil-drilling platforms, Earth-orbiting satellites, and other installations that are distant from power lines.
Describe a concentrated solar power system.
Wind power is the age-old concept that has proved most practical with wind-driven propeller blades. The propeller shaft is geared directly to a generator. Wind farms are now producing pollution-free, sustainable power for around 5 cents per kilowatt-hour that is competitive with the rates of traditional sources. Moreover, the amount of wind that can be tapped is immense.
Burning firewood for heat is the oldest form of energy that humans have used throughout history. In addition to burning wood in a stove, major means of producing biomass energy include burning municipal waste, paper, and other organic waste, generating methane from the anaerobic digestion of manure and sewage sludge, running power plants on wastes from timber operations, and producing alcohol from fermenting grains and other starchy materials. Fuelwood is the primary source of energy for heating and cooking from some 2.6 billion people, amounting to about 9% of total energy use from all sources.
What is the potential for developing more hydroelectric power in North America versus developing countries, and what would be the environmental impacts of such development?
Ecological disruption (i.e. downstream: sediments at dam, fish migration halted; in reservoirs: flooding, sediment retention, pollution)
Disruption of people, loss of cultural resources, risk of failure, high rates of evaporative losses.
Where is wind power being harvested, and what is the future potential for wind farms?
At wind farms. Wind power is an affordable, efficient and abundant source of domestic electricity. It's pollution-free and cost-competitive with energy from new coal- and gas-fired power plants in many regions.
What is geothermal energy, and what are two ways is it being harnessed?
There are springs that yield hot, almost boiling, water. Natural steam vents and other thermal features are also found in the area. They occur where the hot, molten rock of Earth's interior is close enough to the surface to heat ground water, particularly in volcanic regions. Using such naturally heated water or steam to heat buildings or drive turbogenerators is the basis of geothermal energy. Enhanced geothermal systems and Geothermal heat pump.
Describe current policy for renewable energy and energy efficiency as an outcome of recent government programs.
Energy Policy Act of 2005, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
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