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Land and Water Use - AP Environmental Science Review
Transcript of Land and Water Use - AP Environmental Science Review
Land and Water Use
Other Land Use
AP Environmental Science Review
Topics We're Reviewing
Other Land Use
Garrett Hardin wrote “Tragedy of the Commons” in 1968 that’s a very influential economics theory
It parallels what is happening worldwide in regard to resource depletion and pollution
The commons are natural resources like air, water, animals and minerals
Commons are for human use, and those that exploit them become rich
The tragedy comes from this selfish use of the commons, as resources will eventually be depleted
Tragedy of the Commons
People in the wealthiest countries are 15% of the global population, on average have incomes 20x greater than 85% of the world, thus consume 20x as much
If the income of the poorest 85% were only 1/3 of the richest countries, the world’s total production and consumption would double
As living standards in in poor countries increase, so will the pressure on the carrying capacity of the planet
We need a more sustainable way to live
45%-70% of crude oil reserve has already been depleted
U.S. owns 3% of worlds oil reserves but uses 30% of oil extracted each year
World’s largest source of fuel used to produce electricity
Global reserves estimated to last 300 years at current trends
Most reserves located in the Middle East
U.S. posses 3% of reserves, at current production levels that will last about 75 more years
– the soil and rock overlaying the mineral deposit is removed and stored
– large shafts are dug into the Earth, produces less waste and is less destructive than surface mining but unsafe
In Situ Leaching
– small holes are drilled and water based chemical solvents are used to extract resources. Less destructive and less expensive but fluids used are toxic
Types of Mining
System created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 as response to wildlife crisis
Early refuges were established primarily to protect wildlife and in later years also protected water ways
National Wildlife Refuge System, consisting today of 547 refuges encompassing more than 93 million acres and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The federal government manages public lands. It sets aside areas as national parks,Wildlife refuges, and wetlands.
Public and Federal Lands
are places Where no roads have been built and where, as a result, no logging or other development can occur.
The areas are havens for fish and wildlife whose habitats in many other forest areas has been fragmented or entirely destroyed.
Roadless Areas & Ecosystem Impacts
Reduce greenhouse gases
Improve fuel economy and reduce foreign oil dependence
Improve quality of life
Federal Highway System
Energy needs of buildings account for ½ of sulfur dioxide emissions, ¼ of nitrous oxide emissions and ⅓ of carbon dioxide emissions
and city characteristics focus on whole system approaches.
Energy conservation through government and private industry rebates and tax incentives for solar and other less-polluting forms of energy
Resource-efficient building techniques and materials
Indoor air quality
Water conservation through the use of xeriscaping
Designs that minimize Waste While utilizing recycled materials
Placing buildings Whenever possible near public transportation hubs that use a multitude of venues such as light rail, subways, and park and rides
Creating environments that are pedestrian friendly by incorporating parks, green-belts, and shopping areas in accessible areas
Preserving historical and cultural aspects of the community while at the same time blending into the natural feeling and aesthetics of a community
Urban Land Development
Taylor Grazing Act
(1934) – Requires grazing permits on federal lands
Renewable Resources Planning Act
(RPA) (1974) – Mandates periodic assessments of forests and rangelands in U.S. Conducted by U.S. Forest Service, Assessment includes analyses of wildlife and fish, biodiversity, water, outdoor recreation, wilderness, urban forests, and the effects of climate change on these resources.
Public Rangelands Improvement Act
(1978) – Established and reaffirmed a commitment to manage, maintain and improve the condition of public rangelands so that they become as productive as feasible
Controlling the number and distribution of livestock so that the carrying capacity is not exceeded
Restoring degraded rangeland
Moving livestock from one area to another to allow plants to recover
Fencing off stream area to reduce damage to water ways
Suppressing the growth of invasive plant species
Replanting barren rangelands with native grass to reduce soil erosion
Providing supplemental feed at selected sites
Locating water holes, water tanks, and salt blocks at points that do not degrade the environment
Federal Rangeland Management
Methods currently used to manage and harvest trees:
Seed Tree Cutting
Longer, warmer summers correlates with an increase in the number of forest fires
Compared to 1970, today in the US there is 4 times the amount of forest fires and the total area burned is about 7 times the previous levels
There are three types of forest fires:
are intrinsically linked as the environment contains all the resources that can be used in the economy
Known as fish farming (
) – involves stocking, feeding, protection from predators, and harvesting
Oceans have been looked on as unlimited resources, as a result people are fishing so much that the fish cannot sustain their population
Oceans provide 1% of the world’s food and 10% of the world’s protein
Need to manage fisheries more sustainably
Different fishing techniques used:
– funnel shaped net dragged across the ocean bottom
– long nets hand down that traps many species, including turtles and dolphins (1992 voluntary ban on drift nets longer than 1.5 miles has had some success)
– contains thousands of baited hooks on long lines
– surrounds large schools of fish spotted by aircraft or sonar, then net is drawn tight
– areas that are covered by water and support plants that can grow in water saturated soil, High plant productivity supports a rich diversity of animal life.
Wetlands serve as natural water purification systems removing sediments, nutrients, and toxins from water
U.S. has lost half of it’s wetlands
90% of Wetland habitat loss is due to conversion of the land to agriculture, the rest of the loss due urbanization
The system contains approximately 160,000 miles of roadway important to the nation’s economy, defense, and mobility.
The system serves all major U.S. cities so Unlike most industrialized countries, interstates go through downtown areas and facilitate urban sprawl.
Federal Highway System
Transportation can be via roadways or water channels.
Areas without transportation infrastructure suffer an ecosystem impact.
Overgrazing resulting from animals eating all available plant life
Rain washes away trampled soil because it can’t hold water anymore.
Wells, springs & other water sources dry up
Vegetation that is left dies from drought or taken for firewood.
Weeds unsuitable for grazing take over
Wind & dry heat blow away topsoil
is the conversion of useable land to more desert like, typically losing vegetation and wildlife
Often caused by overgrazing, soil erosion, prolonged drought, climate change or over use of available resources
Consequences to Overgrazing:
Pastures less productive
Biodiversity decreases by reducing natural vegetation
Negatively impacts watershed
Increases the incidence of disease in native plants
Affects land to point where sustainability is threatened
Results in a degraded environment with reduced biodiversity and ecological services
Causes changes in local climate patterns and increases amount of carbon dioxide released into air
Threatens extinction of species
Allows runoff into aquatic ecosystems
Alters hydrologic cycle by changing the amount of water in soil and atmosphere
Effects of Deforestation
Forest are an important global resource as they provide these
Providing wildlife habitats
Affecting local climate patterns
Purifying air and water
Providing energy and nutrient cycling
Reducing soil erosion as they serve as a watershed
The article is only 5 pages and can help with essay portion
Tragedy of the Commons
Over 1,100 national parks in the world today, however, many of them do not receive proper protection from poachers, loggers, miners, or farmers
U.S. National Parks are threatened by high demand by large numbers of visitors, which leads to congestion, eroded trails, noise that disrupts wildlife, and pollution from autos and visitors.
– a relatively narrow body of water that connects two larger bodies of water. Channels can occur naturally or be constructed.
The two largest canals in the World of major economic value are the Panama Canal, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, and the Suez Canal, connecting the Red Sea and Mediterranean.
Canals and Channels
– movement of people from rural areas to cities & the changes that accompany it
- the outward spreading of a city and its suburbs, to low-density rural lands. Causes more car dependnce, destruction of habats, and other health, environmental and cultural issues.
Today more people live in urban communities than rural communities
Reasons for this shift are, access to jobs, higher standards of living, easier access to health care, mechanization of agriculture, and access to education.
Suburban Sprawl & Urbanization
are vast natural landscapes in the form of grasslands, shrublands, wetlands, and deserts
They provide valuable grazing lands, source of high-quality water, clean air, and open space, and are a habitat for a diverse wide array of animals and plants
Rangelands are being compromised by overgrazing and desertification
Forest cover about 1/3 of all land surfaces worldwide, in the U.S. alone forest cover 1/3 of land surfaces
The U.S. Forest Service
is an United States agency (est. 1905) that manages public lands in national forest and grasslands, Its responsibilities are:
Protects and manages natural resources on National forest lands
Sponsors research on all aspects of forestry, rangeland management and forest resource utilization
Provides community assistance and cooperation with the government, forest industries and private land owners to help protect and manage forests and water sheds
Provides international assistance in formulating policy for the protection of the world’s forest resources
Deforestation happens when forest are cleared by humans for things like livestock grazing, mining, farming, commercial logging and urban sprawl
It can happen naturally from tsunamis, forest fires, volcanic eruptions and desertification
Forest that have not been seriously impacted by human activates for hundreds of years
They are rich in biodiversity
Depletion of old-growth forest increase the risk of climate change
Feeding a Growing Population
By eating the grain directly instead of eating the animals that feed on it, the would be 20x the amount of calories and 8x the amount of protein available
Each year about 11 million children die of starvation
850 million people are considered malnourished
Undernourishment result in stunted growth, weakness, and increased susceptibility to illnesses
Human Nutritional Requirements
Only about 100 species of plants are grown for humans needs, of that wheat and rice supply over half of our calorie intake
8 species of animal protein supply 90% of the world’s needs
20% of the world’s riches countries consume 80% of the meat produced
It takes 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat
90% of grain grown in US is grown to feed animals
On average 2500 calories for males and 2000 calories for females
Types of Agriculture
More Types of Agriculture
is generally thought of as the time after the Industrial Revolution when farming became mechanized and crop yields in industrialized nations boomed
(1950-1970): involved monoculture, inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, and artificial irrigation systems
(1970s-present): involves growing genetically engineered crops that produce the most yield per acre
Criticisms of the
Increasing food production does not increase food security, famines are caused my socioeconomic dynamics and a failure of public action, not food shortages
Monocultures instead of polycultures
Drop in productivity of land
Increases use of pesticides
Increased irrigation caused salinization, water logging and lowering water levels in some areas
Reduced agricultural biodiversity and loss of many valuable genetic traits in a variety of crops
Genetic Engineering and Crop Production
involves moving genes from one species to another or designing gene sequences for desirable characteristics.
This comes with many pros and cons:
¾ of all fresh water used is used for agriculture
It caused changes in water level, salinization and silting, making hundreds of sea life endangered
Up to 70% of irrigation water can be lost due to inefficiencies like seepage, leakage and evaporation
A drip irrigation system solves many of these problems, but is expensive to install
Sustainable irrigation is limited due to increasing cost, depletion of water sources, water logging, and restoration of wetlands and fisheries
integrates environmental health, economic profitability and social an economic equity. It seeks to combats the negative aspects of modern agriculture
General principles that are applied:
Effective use of inputs
Selection of site, species, and variety
Types of Pesticides
– living organisms used to control pests, like ladybugs
affects nervous system of pests, great risk of them dissolving in surface water and groundwater
– affects nervous system of pests, linked to thinning of eggshells in certain birds
– sterilizes soil and used on stored grain
Inorganic – highly toxic and accumulate in the environment
Organic or Natural
– natural poisons derived from plants
- extremely toxic but remain in environment for only short time
Pros and Cons of Pesticides
occurs when plants are exposed to grazing for too long without recovery periods
Methods of rangeland management include:
An efficient and well-maintained federal highway system can have the following impacts on the environment:
Roadless Area Conservation Rule
(2001) establishes prohibitions on road construction, road reconstruction, and timber harvesting on 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas on National Forest System lands. The intent is to provide lasting protection for inventoried roadless areas within the National Forest System in the context of multiple-use management.
The Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) is responsible for managing 262 million acres of land, about 1/8 of the land in the U.S.
The BLM manages a wide variety of resources and uses: and minerals, timber, forage, wild horse and burro populations, fish and wildlife habitats, wilderness areas, and archaeological, paleontological, and historical sites.
On small local scale – provides sustainable protein-rich food and economic development to local communities and cheaper than raising live stock
On a large industrial scale – creates dense monocultures, reduces biodiversity, wide scale destruction of natural habitats, escape of non-native spices into waters
The World Bank is a source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries
In 2001 the World Bank endorsed an environment strategy to guide their environmental actions
The strategy emphasizes:
Improving quality of life
Improving quality of growth
Protecting quality of regional and global commons through “greening”
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Land and Water Use Unit
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