Human Impact on the Environment Our actions today do impact the future!
How does human pop’n growth affect the environment? • Our population is rising b/c we can alter our environment • Improved health care, hygiene, and large food supply • Humans have a carrying capacity just like other organisms • We are using more resources, producing more waste, taking up more space • WE NEED TO FIND A WAY TO CONTROL POPULATION GROWTH!
What are the natural processes that occur on our planet? • Process #1: MAINTAINING AIR QUALITY • Biotic: Recycling of O2 and CO2by plants and animals • Abiotic: Rain cleans air • Process #2: SOIL FORMATION • Soil forms from erosion and decaying organisms • Roots of plants help keep down soil so it doesn’t blow away
What are the natural processes that occur on our planet? • Process #3: THE WATER CYCLE • Evaporation Clouds Rain • Fresh water supply is maintained
Process #3: THE WATER CYCLE • Evaporation Clouds Rain • Fresh water supply is maintained Click on the water cycle below to see it animated
What are the natural processes that occur on our planet? • Process #4: WASTE REMOVAL AND RECYCLING OF NUTRIENTS • Decomposers put nutrients back in soil • So minerals are RECYCLED through food chains
What are the natural processes that occur on our planet? • Process #5: FLOW OF ENERGY • Energy is passed through environment but NOT RECYCLED • Always need a constant source of energy (THE SUN!!)
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON NATURAL PROCESSES 1. Industrializationis the development of an economy in which machines produce many of the products people use.
Industrialization: • Pollution of air and water • Increased demand for energy, water, and fossil fuels • EX: Nuclear Power Plants • Cause thermal pollution of waterways • Disposal of radioactive wastes big problem • Solution: Practice the 3 R’s • Use alternative sources of energy • Reuse and recycle materials already made
What is the impact of technology on natural processes? • WATER POLLUTION: Brain pop video (3:16 min) • Depletion of O2 in water: • Cause: by dumping of sewage and animal parts • Result: Can act as fertilizer for some bacteria and algae and they will consume all available O2
What is the impact of technology on natural processes? • Toxic wastes: • Cause: Fertilizers and pesticides used get into water supply • Result: Organisms are poisoned • Organisms higher on the food chain absorb more toxins (ex. mercury and DDT) since they eat more • Bioaccumulation
What is the impact of technology on natural processes? • Thermal pollution: • Cause:Warmed water from power plants dumped back into lakes and rivers • Result: Less dissolved O2 in warmer water causing organisms to suffocate • Solutions for Water Pollution: • Use alternative pest control instead of pesticides • Sterility treatments, hormone controls • Add a natural predator • Stop dumping things into water that shouldn’t be there!
3. AIR POLLUTION • Cause #1: Burning wastes • Result: waste materials end up in water cycle anyway and make acid rain • Cause #2: Burning Fossil Fuels – Brain Pop Video (3:33) • Result: adds too much CO2, sulfur and other harmful gases into air and make acid rain • Acid Rain causes much damage to organisms that cannot survive in low pH • Solutions for Air pollution: • Set limits for how much a factory can burn
How do pollutants affect the atmosphere? • GLOBAL WARMING • CAUSE: • “Greenhouse Gases” trap sun’s heat to keep our planet warm • EX:CARBON DIOXIDE ( CO2) • Greenhouse Gases have increased since early 1900’s b/c of industrialization • BURING FOSSIL FUELS PUTS EXCESS CO2 INTO THE ATMOSPHERE • As a result avg. Earth temp is increasing
A. POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING: • Change in climate patterns • Melting of ice caps could cause flooding • Flooding of coastal regions • Increase in the rate of species loss B. SOLUTIONS TO STOP GLOBALWARMNG: • PLANT TREES b/c they use CO2 (act as carbon tanks) • STOP cutting down trees • Find alternative fuel sources that do not release CO2 into air
How do pollutants affect the atmosphere? Ozone Depletion • OZONE LAYER DEPLETION Brain Pop Video (2:58) • OZONE LAYER PROTECTS US FROM HARMFUL RADIATION FROM SUN • CAUSES OF DEPLETION: • Release of CFC’s into atmosphere • Come from refrigerators, air conditioners, and aerosol cans • EFFECTS OF OZONE DEPLETION: • Excess radiation can causes: • Genetic mutations • More skin cancer • Destroy producers in oceans • CFC’S no longer used in those things protects from UV rays
Effects of loss of Ozone Wrinkles & SKIN CANCER
Actions being taken by humans to reduce or repair damage to the environment include: • Recycling wastes • Conserving available resources nonrenewable; any resource, such as fossil fuels and minerals, that cannot be replaced and renewable; resources, such as our food supply and solar energy, which, given time, can be replaced • Using cleaner resources (ex: solar over fossil fuels) • Protection of habitats and endangered species • Use of biological controls instead of pesticides and herbicides • Farming native plants (ex: cocoa in the rainforest) • Planting trees to replace those cut down. • Rotating crops or planting cover crops to reduce soil loss.
Reliance upon modern varieties of rice has caused more than 1,500 local rice varieties in Indonesia to become extinct Humans now rely upon just 14 species of mammals and birds to supply 90% of all animal-derived foods What Can You Do? • Keep pets indoors • Choose tap over bottled water • Adjust two degrees -To help out locally and globally you can also volunteer or donate to the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation • Choose green energy