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Feedback Loop Assignment
Transcript of Feedback Loop Assignment
Climate Change Unit Lesson 3 and 4
Environmental Science 20
Example of a Negative Feedback Loop
What is a System?
A system can be described as a network of relationships among parts or components that interact with one another and influence each other through energy, matter or information. Systems receive inputs and produce outputs. For example the input of a lake ecosystem could be the water that flows into the lake, an output would be the fish that are caught in the lake. Those fish now become inputs for other human systems
When a condition or an event is both an input and output it forms a circular process that is called a feedback loop. There are two kinds of feedback loops negative and positive.
Negative Feedback Loop
A negative feedback loop will constantly balance itself out. The reason is because an output of the system moving in one direction becomes an input that cause the system to move in the opposite direction. This can be related to a predator-prey relationship. Since the inputs and outputs neutralize each others effects the system is stabilized.
A large number of prey that can support...
A large number of predators which can...
Deplete the prey population, a small number of prey can only support...
A small number of predators which allows the prey population to grow which leads to...
A negative feedback loop is a continuous self-renewing loop. As long as there are no major changes to unbalance the equilibrium or the steady state of the ecosystem. If there is a major change caused by something such as human interference (ex. urbanization) then the negative feedback loop may become a positive feedback loop.
Positive Feedback Loop
A positive feedback loop is the exact opposite of a negative feedback loop. Instead of balancing itself out it pushes to one extreme. This kind of feedback loop is not common in nature and is often created by human impact. It is positive feedback loops that influence climate change.
Example of Positive Feedback Loop
The sea ice at the poles covers the dark water and land and reflects sunlight
As the earth warms the ice begins to break up exposing the dark water of the arctic ocean. It also exposes dark land both of which begin to warm melting more and more ice
As climate change continues sea ice continues to melt and glaciers recede exposing even more dark water and land that absorbs the heat from the sun and contributes to climate change. Organisms that rely on the ice and snow for their habitat and to attain food become endangered or extinct due to the difficulties in finding food and safe habitat.
It is important that an ecosystem maintains an equilibrium. As long as a ecosystem can maintain its equilibrium it will be able to resistant to changes that threaten its steady state and it will also maintain its resilience and bounce back from changes sooner. In order for an ecosystem to avoid an unbalanced equilibrium it is important that there are little to no positive feedback loops because these slowly unbalance the equilibrium. Negative feedback loops are always balancing themselves out which allows an ecosystem to maintain a balanced equilibrium. When you have a balanced ecosystem you have a healthy ecosystem.