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Transcript of Environmental Geography
Having a fundamental understanding of the locations of some of the most common events in history, with regards to the environment. This can include historical issues, disasters, and modern areas of concern.
These problems could be in the United States
Or on the other side of the planet
But no matter where they are on the map
These events WILL impact you
So let's get started. . .
Our first topic: Population
The amount of variation of species
Areas with exceptionally high diversity are called "hot spots". These areas include:
Amazon Rain Forest
The islands are famous for the large number of endemic (native to the area, and only found there) species, including the Galapagos Tortoise
This is where Darwin developed his theory of natural selection
World's largest river system
World's largest rainforest (1.4 billion acres)
10% of all the world's species live here
20% of all bird species
2.5 M insect species
40,000 plant species (and counting)
3000 fish species in the river alone
Loss of Biodiversity
We know that biodiversity is really important, but there are many areas where diversity is being lost
Deforestation in Haiti has been a huge problem in this small, incredibly poor Caribbean country. A lack of trees increases erosion, making the land less suitable for growing trees or crops. Eventually, this leads to desertification, where little, if anything can grow
Deforestation on the border of Haiti and Dominican Republic
Amazon Rain Forest
The amazon is facing many of the same problems as Haiti, with forests being cleared to make way for agriculture.
Dark Green = pure forest
light green = agriculture
Over 600 new species have been discovered here in the last 10 years.
But, the vast majority of people in Madagascar still use wood for heating, cooking and building, leading to enormous pressures on forest habitats (and the population is booming)
Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
An area in the Gulf of Mexico, located near the mouth of the Mississippi River, where there is not enough oxygen in the water to support life. This is caused by nutrients from the Mississippi River and is devastating to the local environment as well as the regional fishing industry
Sometimes Environmental issues, are simply natural occurrences due to the construction of the earth.
So, let's examine some of these areas
A hotspot on the earth's surface, volcanoes have been made here for millions of years. Officially there are 137 islands forming the island chain
In 2010, a massive explosion on board an off shore oil rig killed 11 people and caused a massive oil spill that spread across the Gulf of Mexico
An area with a great deal of seismic activity, Japan is famous for it's tall mountains, deep off-shore trench, and tsunami-inducing earthquakes . . . including the 9.0 quake of 2011 that killed an estimated 16,000 people
Indonesia has also suffered significant earthquakes and tsunamis, including the 2004 Boxing Day quake, which created a tsunami that killed over 227,000 people
Great Chilean Quake
A 9.5 earthquake in 1960 near Valdavia, Chile, remains the largest earthquake ever recorded. It created a tsunami that was estimated to be 33 feet tall, killed 60 people in Hawaii, and did extensive damage in Japan. The quake also triggered numerous landslides, and even caused a nearby volcano to erupt
Cuyahoga River, Ohio
A river so polluted that it actually caught fire. . . 13 times. Pictures appeared in Time magazine, creating an uproar and demand to clean up the river.
Lush, tropical island that was completely deforested, leading to the collapse of the entire human population of the island
A lack of a stable government and lax rules regarding off-shore oil production lead to oil balls washing up on the beaches as a regular occurrence
One of the worst industrial accidents and pollution cases in the world. It is estimated that over 700,000 people were exposed to chemicals released from a plant explosion in 1984, causing an estimated 5000 humans deaths and the loss of over 2000 livestock animals. The owners of the plant denied any liability
This river system impacts more people than any other river system on earth - 420 Million people, but is one of the most polluted:
1 billion liters of raw sewage is dumped into the river every day
Unwanted or 'illegitimate' babies, cattle and other animal carcases are also dumped in the Ganges again with religious significance
Dead bodies are often placed in the river in the hopes of "cleansing" their spirit
Energy comes from a wide variety of sources: Coal, Hydroelectric, Nuclear, Wind, solar and others. But no matter how we get it, there are always potential problems
France leads the way in terms of nuclear power use: 76% of their power comes from nuclear facilities
The site of the world's greatest nuclear disaster. One of the reactors at the power facility caught fire and exploded releasing a massive amount of radiation into the air. It is estimated that anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 people have or will die due to the effects of the radiation. A 30 km radius around the facility is considered inhospitable for human residence
Following the earthquake and tsunami of 2011, a nuclear power plant was damaged, causing a release of a large amount of radioactivity into the air. Residents were evacuated, but it is unknown how many people were impacted by the radiation release
Fukushima Daiichi Disaster
Three Gorges Dam
3 Gorges Dam
One of the world's largest dams, it is designed to produce up to 22,000 MW of electricity. It's construction forced the relocation of up to 1.2 million people, destroyed villages and many important archaeological sites.
Prezi created by: Benjamin Dotson
Pollution remains one of the significant problems facing us as a society. Pollution is the introduction of any contaminate into the environment. Pollution can be physical, chemical, biological or social (light or sound), and remains one of our most challenging problems to solve.
The world is a really big place . . . . and every culture handles environmental issues differently. We have to learn and understand the physical location of where the most significant issues are. This way we can try to understand the environmental and social reasons of how they started, and eventually, how to correct them.