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FUNDAMENTALS OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (APES)

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Valerie Head

on 4 August 2014

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Transcript of FUNDAMENTALS OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (APES)

FUNDAMENTALS OF
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
(APES)
SUSTAINABILITY
USING A RESOURCE AT A RATE LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO RATE IT IS NATURALLY REPLENISHED
EX: COWS AND OVERGRAZING
RENEWABLE RESOURCES- REPLENISHED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION IN LESS THAN 100 YEARS
EX: SOLAR ENERGY, WIND ENERGY,
TREES, WATER, FISHERIES
NONRENEWABLE RESOURCES- NOT RENEWED IN A VIABLE PERIOD OF TIME
EX: COAL, CRUDE OIL, GOLD
TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS
"COMMONS"-
RESOURCE THAT IS FREE AND
AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE IN A
POPULATION
ex: publicly owned forests,
rangelands, open ocean, air,
rivers, and aquifers
What is NOT a commons?
WHY ARE COMMONS VULNERABLE TO DEPLETION OR DEGREDATION?
Individuals reason that if he or
she doesn't use the resource,
then someone else will.

They also think that small
exploitation is insignificant.

No accountability if it is publicly owned.

Individuals are acting rationally in their own best interest.
"TRAGEDY"
OF THE COMMONS
STRATEGIES TO AVOID TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS:

1. Regulations or restrictions placed on the use of
resources.
2. A quota system through fishing licenses or
pollution credits.
3. Privatize commons
Poverty vs. Affluence
-without means to provide for their daily needs, people living in poverty cannot choose environmetnal protection over survival
refers to wealth and the lifestyle associated with developed countries, ability to provide basic means of survival plus extra
Which is more of a significant obstacle to sustainability and environmental protection?
Affluence is an even bigger obstacle to sustainability because there is rapid unsustainable consumption of resources.
Also, more people are entering middle classes of developing countries like China and India.
Developed Countries vs. Developing Countries
Affluent countries that have high
per capita GDP
Less affluent countries with lower
per capita GDP
EX: US, Canada, Japan, Australia
EX: China, India, Africa
ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT
amount of biologically productive land and water required to provide all of the resources to support a certain lifestyle.
also accounts for all of the pollution produced by the processing, manufacturing, use, and disposal of those resources.
also a measure of affluence
Ecosystem Services- nature provides humans with economically valuable services
What would the agricultural
industry be like without pollinators?
EX:
Other Ecosystem Services:
Water Purification and Storage
Climate Regulation
Flood Control
Protection from UV rays
Pest Control
Nitrogen Fixation
Recreational Opportunities
POLLUTION
is a general term
that we will use for now.
Point Source
- source of
pollution that enters
environment from a single
point or source.
Easy to identify, regulate, and control
EX: smokestacks, drainpipes,
sewage discharge pipes
NonPoint Source
- introduces
pollutant into the environment
over a large area, rather than a
single point.
More challenging to regulate and control.
EX: Pesticide and fertilizer runoff from
farms and golf courses, oil runoff from
roads and parking lots, wind-blown
top soil
Chemistry Review
Natural vs. Manmade (ANTHROPOGENIC) Chemicals
5 MOST IMPORTANT CHEMICALS IN APES:
1. CARBON
Backbone of all organic compounds
Fossil fuel use shifts equilibrium of global C cycle
CO2 is an important greenhouse gas
2. NITROGEN
Most abundant element in atmosphere (78%)
Amino acids, Nucleic Acids
Building block of protein
N runoff from agriculture leads to nutrient pollution in waterways
Nitrous Oxide is a greenhouse gas
Contributes to acid rain
3. OXYGEN
Second most abundant element in atmosphere (21%)
Most abundant element in earth's crust
Added to atmosphere through photosynthesis by green plants and cyanobacteria
Necessary for cellular respiration
4. PHOSPHORUS
Component of nucleic acids and phospho lipids
A limiting factor in primary production (plant growth)
Runoff from agricultural land also leads to nutrient pollution in waterways
Not in earth's atmosphere (not gaseous)
5. SULFUR
Component of amino acids and proteins
Major constituent of volcanic eruptions
Contaminant of coal that contributes to acid rain
pH Scale
Acid= H+ ions
Bases= OH- ions
Radioactive
elements decay at characteristic
rate that is measured by the half-life


Half Life
- time it takes for 1/2 of a sample to
decay. Vary from a fraction of a second to
billions of years.
Physics Review

Energy and Power

Energy= the ability to do work
measured in joules (J)
it can take many forms:
mechanical
electrical
chemical
nuclear
solar
thermal
heat

Heat- not always recognized as a form of energy
measured in calories and BTUs

Calorie
- heat needed to raise 1g of water by 1 degree Celcius
BTU
- heat needed to raise 1lb of water by 1 degree Farenheit

1 BTU is released when
burning one match.

Power= rate that energy is used
measured in watts
1 watt= energy flow of 1J/s

THIS IS SOOO IMPORTANT!!
1st Law of Thermodynamics:
energy can
not be created or destroyed, only converted
from one form to another
Second Law of Thermodynamics
- the quality of energy decreases as it converts and
heat
is produced
Each
system
in the environment is a collection of components that all work together.

Most systems work together requiring input and output .
1. Open Systems
- systems that exchange both energy and matter across boundaries (most systems are like this)
2. Closed Systems
- systems that exchange energy, but not matter across boundaries (water cycle)
Feedback Loops
- when one component of a system is changed it can trigger a series of changes in the system.

1. Positive Feedback Loop
- when the initial change is amplified by the series of changes. AKA- a "vicious" cycle

2. Negative Feedback Loop
- when the initial change to a component of the system is undone by the series of changes. This type of loop stabilizes a system.

HINT:
If a system changes in the same direction=
POSITIVE feedback loop.

If a system changes in the opposite direction=
NEGATIVE feedback loop.

Welcome to ES!
Everything we do, from drinking a cup of coffee to driving our cars, has an environmental impact.

This course will take an in depth look at how you as a citizen of planet Earth have rights and responsibilities to the world resources.

It is my hope that you leave this class a changed person!
This is an AP course and will require you to be a dedicated learner and reader.

The AP exam is comprehensive and rigorous.

The course will rely heavily on activities and labs to illustrate the general topics of the course.

You must take the textbook and other readings seriously, so that we as a group can discuss the topics in greater depth in class.
Math practice problem!!

If one barrel of crude oil provides 6 million BTUs of energy and releases 150lbs of CO2 per 1 million BTUs of energy, how much CO2 is produced by each barrel of crude oil?


Math Practice Problem!!

A city that uses ten billion BTUs of energy each month is using how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy?
1kWh= 340 BTUs
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