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EXAM 2 GEOG150 Environment and Society
Terms in this set (79)
the average number of children per woman (for a group of women completing their child bearing years if they had children throughout their productive years at the same rate as women currently do).
Thomas Malthus argued in 1798 that population grows geometrically and resources only grown arithmetically - a dismal theorem that results in poverty and degradation unless people control reproduction (moral restraint) or there are famines and epidemics.
used to illustrate key factors causing environmental degradation. the equation is environmental impact = population x affluence (consumption usually GDP per person) x technology (usually energy use per unit of GDP).
Environmental Risk Assessment
evaluates harmful effects to human health and ecological systems from exposure to pollution or accidents. Risk = consequences (what is the harm e.g. cancer) x probability (how likely is the harm e.g. 1 in 100,000).
Life Cycle Assessment
The Life cycle assessment measures the environmental impacts of all stages of a product/technology from raw material extraction to manufacture, use, and disposal.
technology that reduces or reverses....
weather is the day to day state of the atmosphere and climate is the state of the atmosphere averaged.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-created by the United Nations convenes scientists to provide regular assessments of climate change science, impacts and responses.
United nations framework convention on climate change - is an international environmental treaty (1992) ehose objective is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system".
an agreement in 2015 to limit warming to 2C, where all countries voluntarily reduce emissions, support adaption, provide finance.
the degree to which people (countries, ecosystems) are susceptible or unable to cope with the negative impacts of climate change. Vulnerability depends on exposure (where you live such as near to the coast), sensitivity (how much you are harmed) and adaptive capacity (ability to cope).
actions to adjust to a warmer climate or efforts to address the impacts of warming, often by reducing vulnerability of human and natural systems.
consists of actions to limit the magnitude or rat of long-term climate change. Ie efforts to reduce or prevent the emission of greenhouse gases.
the many and varied benefits that humans freely gain from the natural environment and from properly-functioning ecosystems (provisioning, regulating, supporting).
a side effect or consequence of an industrial that affects other parties without this being reflected in the cost of the goods or services involved.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea--defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's oceans.
the farming of aquatic life.
large systems of circulating ocean currents, such as the north pacific gyre.
what is caught in fishing nets that wasn't intended to be.
Leader of Kenya Green Belt movement 1970s to plant trees, won nobel peace prize in 2004.
Led brazilian rubber-tapper movement to protect amazon forest in the 1980s, assassinated by rancher in 1988.
promotes sustainable management by certification and labeling of forest products as produced sustainably.
higher yields on the same area of land (requires irrigation, fertilizer, etc.).
agricultural modernization through a technological package of irrigation, high yielding seeds, chemicals, and mechanization. Mexico and India.
the degradation of previously fertile land to desert like conditions through drought, soil erosion (wind), overgrazing, and salinization (build up of salts in soil through poor irrigation.
agriculture that promotes a healthy environment, social wellbeing and economic profitability without compromising the future.
exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
disaster risk reduction
assess and reduce damages (life, property) from extreme events and hazards. Prepare, warn, and recover.
ring of fire
zone of active earthquakes and volcanos around the Pacific Ocean where the geological plates that constitute the earth's crust are moving and colliding.
ocean wave caused by the displacement of water by earthquakes, undersea volcanos or costal landslides.
why is population growth considered a problem for the environment?
Each new person uses extra land, water, energy, and other resources and produces more waste.
what is the world population and which are the three largest countries by population?
The current population is 7.7 billion. China and India have about 1.4 billion each, USA is 3rd with 1/3 of a billion.
what is the current world fertility rate and replacement fertility rate?
World 2.4 children per woman. Replacement fertility is 2.1 children per woman.
what are the main reasons for fertility decline?
Status of women improves, family planning availability, economic conditions, urbanization, infant mortality declines, changes in cultural and religious factors, and government policies.
what is malthusianism?
Malthusiansism is the belief that population growth is out of control. Malthusians believe population growth needs control through a reduction in fertility and this will reduce environmental problems.
Criticisms of malthusian thinking
1. Population is not a problem because technology always allows us to increase resources and food supplies. People are a resource of human ingenuity and work.
2. Population pressure on food system promotes innovation and higher productivity in use of land (irrigation, workers, weeding, crop density, better seeds).
3. Population itself is not a problem because if resources were equally distributed everyone could be fed and supported, The problem is that some (the rich) use much more resources than others (the poor) creating scarcity.
4. Per capita consumption is the main problem because population growth is slowing.
what are the three main elements of the IPAT equation that estimates environmental impact?
Environmental Impact = Population x Affluence
what is the circular economy?
economic system which reduces waste, reuses products, and recycles materials moving from linear (take, make, dispose) to circular (closed loop) approach.
How and why does capitalism cause environmental degradation?
Drive for profit leads to unsustainable resources extraction.
Privatizing and selling nature gives free services value.
Creates 'externalities'--consequences/side effects of an economic activity affect others or ecosystems and are not reflected in price of products (air pollution damage from industry).
How can capitalism save the environment?
Government steps in to regulate or clean up.
Nature and externalities are given value (market for ecosystem services; cost of pollution cleanup included in price of products).
Capitalism protects the environment to ensure the survival of its operations, consumers and workers.
Capitalism replaced by other systems (socialism; charing and gift economy; green economy).
What are two ways to control the negative impacts of capitalism on the environment?
-government steps in to regulate or clean up.
-nature and externalities are given value.
Why do we do environmental risk assessment? What are the two main ways of measuring risks?
It is done because it evaluates harmful effects to human health and ecological systems from exposure to pollution or accidents.
Two ways to measure risk are (1)statistical analysis of past occurrences and (2) lab experiments.
What do we compare environmental risks to in order to evaluate if they are acceptable?
-natural background (natural radiation)
-other everyday risks (driving)
-cost/benefit (costs of risk and benefits of technology)
What are two reasons the public often overestimates the risks of nuclear power or pesticides?
Media perception, and more concern was shown for risks that are involuntary.
What is life cycle assessment and an example of how it is used?
The Life cycle assessment measures the environmental impacts of all stages of a product/technology from raw material extraction to manufacture, use, and disposal. An example of how it is used the life cycle of Levi Jeans.
How much has the earth warmed since 1850 and what are the indicators/signs and observed impacts of warming?
glaciers melting, snow cover decreasing, tree-lines shifting poleward and upward, animal species migrating poleward and upward, spring coming earlier, increasing humidity, temperature over land increasing, surface air temperature increasing, temperature over oceans increasing, sea level rising, sea ice cover decreasing, ocean ice sheets receding, ocean heat content increasing, ocean surface temperature increasing.
What are the three major greenhouse gases and the human activities that produce them?
(1) carbon dioxide--use of fossil fuels
(2) methane--livestock, rice, fossil fuels, waste landfills
(3)nitrous oxide--fertilizer, fossil fuels
Which countries have the highest overall emissions at the moment?
China, US, EU, India, Russia
What are the alternative ways of assessing responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions and which way makes the US or China look more or less responsible?
1. current total (production based) or not (including sequestration by land use). 2. total historical accumulation (1850? 1990?). 3. per capita (per person). 4. consumption based (includes emissions embodied in imports). Production, consumption, and population make China look bad. Cumulative, production, and consumption make US look bad. Cumulative makes China look good. Population makes US look good.
What is the difference between climate mitigation and climate adaptation?
climate mitigation is efforts to reduce or prevent the emission of greenhouse gases. climate adaption are efforts to address the impacts of warming, often by reducing vulnerability of human and natural systems.
What are the main conclusions from the IPCC 1.5C report?
Latest IPCC report examines how to limit global warming.
"urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is feasible and afforable although it lies at the most ambitious end of the Paris agreement."
What is climate vulnerability and which groups are most vulnerable?
the degree to which people (countries, ecosystems) are susceptible or unable to cope with the negative impacts of climate change. Vulnerability depends on exposure (where you live such as near to the coast), sensitivity (how much you are harmed) and adaptive capacity (ability to cope). The most vulnerable are children and the elderly.
What are some of the most effective options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
Increases in energy efficiency, reduced energy demand
nuclear and bioenergy/biofuels
protection and expansion of forests and other sinks
plant based diets
What is carbon sequestration and how do we increase it?
carbon sequestration is the process involved in carbon capture and the long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide or other forms of carbon to mitigate or defer global warming. Increase--> step increase and shifts in investments in energy system
What policies have the US Federal and State governments put in place to respond to global warming?
Clean Power Plan (2015)-required states to reduce emissions
Regulate carbon dioxide from large emitters as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act
CAFÉ (corporate average fuel economy) standards-miles per gallon of fuel
Energy Standards (department of energy, energy star)
What are examples of climate adaptation?
homes--AC< insulation, shade. Agriculture--irrigation, improved seeds, new crops. Ecosystems--conservation, relocation. Coasts--land use plans, sea walls, mangroves. Disaster risk reduction--warning, insurance, migration.
What are the top solutions to reducing global warming according to Project Drawdown?
1. control refrigerants
2. wind on land
3. less food waster
4. plant rich diet
5. protect tropical forests
What ecosystem services do forests provide to humans and the earth system? Why do forests matter?
Carbon sequestration, balance of ecosystem, supplies oxygen, helps regulate water cycle, acts as a home for many species, sustains many human livelihoods, and provides raw materials like wood.
What are the major drivers/causes of deforestation?
direct causes - agriculture expansion (palm oil, pastures for cattle ranching), lumber industry/wood extraction, urban expansion (cities).
underlying causes - demographic factors, economic factors, technological factors, policy and industrial factors, cultural factors.
Which are most important in Latin America and Africa? Where have forests increased in last few decades?
The most important in Latin America is commodity driven deforestation and in Africa it is shifting agriculture.
What were the major causes of deforestation in the Amazon? How did Brazil reduce the rate of deforestation? Which commodities/agricultural activities are driving deforestation in the Amazon?
1. brazilian national security and desire to settle the frontier
2. road building - trans amazonia and other highways - and dams and mining
3. incentives for ranching
4. resettlement and outmigration from crowded cities (SE) and drought areas (NE)
5. demand for timber, meat, soybeans for export
What are three big shifts in the history of agriculture?
First Revolution: domestication and irrigation--> transition from hunting and gathering to domestication of plants and animals (10000 years before present bp) and irrigation (6000 bp).
Second Revolution: industrialization of agriculture in developed countries with machines (1800s).
Third Revolution: Green Revolution (1950s) spread high yield crops and technology/fertilizer to developing countries.
What is the difference between extensification and intensification of agriculture?
extensification is the use of more land while intensification is higher yields of product on the same land.
What is desertification, its causes, and solutions to it?
The degradation of previously fertile land to desert-like conditions.
Causes: drought, soil erosion (wind), overgrazing, salinization (build up of salts in soil through poor irrigation).
Solutions: efficient irrigation (precise timing, flush salts), reforestation and windbreaks, managed grazing.
What are examples of environmental impacts of agricultural intensification in the US?
irrigation-competing with ecosystem and urban uses
fertilizers such as nitrogen and phosphorous-contribute to dead zones and health issues, Mississippi basin and Gulf of Mexico
pesticide use-impacts on ecosystems and human health, farmworker exposure in california
plant breeding for high yielding seeds-loss of diversity and higher costs.
What is the Green Revolution, which countries and crops were involved, and its benefits and problems?
Agricultural modernization of developing world through a technological package of irrigation, high yielding seeds, chemicals and mechanization. The focus was in mexico and india. The crops involved were the basic grains (aka wheat, maize, and rice).
-salinization of irrigation districts, pesticide poisoning, soil erosion, loss of crop diversity
-dependence on imports of agricultural technologies
-only those with irrigation and money could benefit
-machines create unemployment
-women excluded when men trained
What is sustainable agriculture?
agriculture that promotes a healthy environment, social wellbeing and economic profitability without compromising the future.
What in addition to agricultural production is needed for food security?
Producing food, supplying food, accessing food, and consuming food.
Why could natural hazards be considered not natural?
hazards are not natural because
1. only a disaster if people are present/affected
2. impacts depend on vulnerabilities that are socially created
Identify and define types of geological and meteorological hazards and specific events/examples of each.
Which regions of the US are most at risk from hurricanes, tornados, volcanoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes?
west coast-earthquakes, floods
east coast-hurricanes, earthquakes
south west-earthquakes, floods
What are the major warning signs of disaster onset?
What are some of the ways social scientists study disasters?
1. survey public perceptions. 2. observe public response (evacuation, preparedness). 3. study and map vulnerability and impacts. 4. model human response (decisions, impacts). 5. evaluate government and NGO response. 6. analyze media coverage.
What are the values and ecosystem services provided by oceans?
-earth system functions (water cycle, carbon cycle, weather and climate)
What international agreement manages the oceans and how?
United Nations Conventions Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
What are major types of ocean pollution and what are their effects?
-fertilizer--> uses up oxygen and creates a dead zone
-sewage--> disease and beach closure
-plastics--> last 200-1000 years in environment and kill animals/wildlife
What is the state of global fisheries and the share of aquaculture in fish consumption?
Why is there a garbage patch in the north Pacific?
The garbage patch is stuck in a gyre, which is a system of rotating currents in the north pacific.
What can be done to reduce plastic pollution?
-switch to reusable products
-refuse the plastic straw you are offered with a drink
-ask restaurants for compostable packaging
-support bans on problematic consumer products
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