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  1. Environmental threats The Sustainability Problem, Environmental Impact of Economic Activities, The Nature of Environmental Threats, Climate Change

  2. The Sustainability Problem, Environmental Impact of Economic Activities, The Nature of Environmental Threats, Climate Change Environment and Climate 1.1 Environment and Climate

  3. 1.1 Environment and Climate Contents • The Sustainability Problem • The Nature of Environmental Threats • Current Global Environmental Threats • The Challenge of Climate Change

  4. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Sustainability Problem (1) Development involves a progressive transformation of economy and society. A development path that is sustainable in a physical sense could theoretically be pursued even in a rigid social and political setting. But physical sustainability cannot be secured unless development policies pay attention to such considerations as changes in access to resources and in the distribution of costs and benefits. Even the narrow notion of physical sustainability implies a concern for social equity between generations, a concern that must logically be extended to equity within each generation. Economic sustainability Environmental sustainability Social sustainability WCED Our Common Future

  5. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Sustainability Problem (2) People Sustainability: sectoral aspects interdependence interdependence Decisions Planet Profit interdependence

  6. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Sustainability Problem (2) Sustainability: temporal aspects …Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs … WCED Our Common Future 2008 2009 2025 …??

  7. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Sustainability Problem (3) • We want to sustain ‘people, planet, profit’ & • We want economic growth • But… • There are: • Environmental limits to growth • Social limits to growth Question for Discussion… Limits to economic growth??

  8. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Sustainability Problem (4) • Whatever the outcomes of our discussion might be, finding an optimal balance between ‘people, planet, profit’ is a complex task. • In this lecture, we pay attention to the planet-profit interdependence, with special concern for the ‘planet’: • Environmental impact of economic activity • Characterisation of environmental threats

  9. 1.1 Environment and Climate Environmental Impact of Economic Activity (1) • Manyenvironmental impacts are causedbysocio-economicactivities • The environmental impact of these activitiescanbeexpressedby the IPAT identity: • I = P · A · T • I : Environmental Impact (CausedbyEnvironmentalInterventions in massor volume) • P : PopulationSize • A : Affluence • T : Technology

  10. 1.1 Environment and Climate Environmental Impact of Economic Activity (2) • P : Increasing population • A : Affluence  economic growth in developed and developing countries (units: $, GDP/capita, € etc.) • T : Technology  material use, resource consumption and waste generation per unit production (units: mass) Population of the world, 1950-2050 focus

  11. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Nature of Environmental Threats (1) • …’Technology’ imposes threats on the environment by inserting and extracting materials: • Pollution to… • Fresh Air • Fresh Water • Soil • Exhaustion of Natural Capital from… • Air • Water • Soil Pollution interdependence Natural Capital

  12. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Nature of Environmental Threats (2) • Pollution problems depend on: • Environmental impact potential of materials • Spatial scale of impact • Damage potential (severity of hazards) • Degree of exposure • Remediation and reversibility time • Quantity of materials used (throughput) • Exhaustion problems depend on: • Current use of natural capital & • Future availability hazard High level of concern throughput Pollution from materials perspective

  13. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Nature of Environmental Threats (3) • Environmental threats occur at different scales: • Global threats • Regional threats • Local threats

  14. 1.1 Environment and Climate Current Environmental Threats • Climate Change • Ozone Depletion • Exhaustion of Natural Resources • Sea level rise • Desertification • Erosion • Loss of biodiversity • Destruction natural habitats • Etc. Global, regional and local threats are connected

  15. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Challenge of Climate Change (1) • The severe characteristics of Climate Change: • Global environmental threat • Attributable to economic activities • Caused by enhanced Greenhouse Gas Emissions that accumulate in the atmosphere • And…the large variety and scale of impact categories: • Human health • Ecosystems • Sea level rise • Socio-economic equity A B

  16. 1.1 Environment and Climate The Challenge of Climate Change (2) • And…the future time scale of Climate Change impacts (emissions of today are the problems of tomorrow) • Climate Change is a serious threat to sustainability • Climate Change is a big challenge to our society • We need to act TODAY C A B C + + +

  17. Global Environmental Threats Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, Exhaustion of Natural Resources 1.2 Global Environmental Threats

  18. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Contents • Current Global Environmental Threats • Causes of Global Threats • Impacts of Global Threats • Economic Impacts of Global Warming on Developing Countries • Global Threats and Environmental Policy

  19. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Current Global Environmental Threats • Climate Change • Ozone Depletion • Exhaustion of Natural Resources: • Fossil Fuels (non renewable energy resources) • Fresh Water • Minerals: Global Copper (example)

  20. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Climate Change, a Very Global Issue! “We…are confronting a planetary emergency - a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential…But there is hopeful news as well: we have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst - though not all - of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.”

  21. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Signals of Global Warming • Temperature changes worldwide, since 1970: Changes in near surface temperature 1970-2004

  22. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Global Warming and the Future • “Additional warming is already in the pipeline due to past and present emissions” (Stern 2006) Prospective surface warming for different scenarios in the absence of climate change policies and relative to 1980-1999

  23. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Causes of Climate Change (4) • Greenhouse Gases: • Carbon Dioxide • Methane • Nitrous Oxide • ChloroFluorCarbons • Hydrochloro-fluorocarbons • Hydrofluorocarbons • Halons • Carbon tetrachloride The greenhouse effect. A “thicker” blanket of greenhouse gases traps more infrared radition and raisestemperatures

  24. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Impacts of Climate Change

  25. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Economic Impacts of Global Warming on Developing Countries (1) The vulnerability to global warming depends upon three factors: Factors determining the vulnerability to climate change.

  26. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Economic Impacts of Global Warming on Developing Countries (2) • There is a correlation between global warming and economic development • Countries differ in their vulnerabiliy to economic impacts of global warming and climate change • The economic impacts of global warming are not evenly distributed over rich and poor countries (Mendelsohn et al. 2006) • Economic impacts of global warming in developing countries relate to their current climate, geographic exposure and dependency on climate sensitive economic sectors (e.g. agriculture) •  “impacts are proportionally greater and the ability to adapt smaller” (Stern, 2006)

  27. Warmer/tropical Regions Cooler Areas Economic Welfare Temperature 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Economic Impacts of Global Warming on Developing Countries (3) • In cooler regions: less severe winters, increased food production • In warmer regions: increased flooding, heat waves and droughts, increased pests, crop diseases and weeds (Miller 2003) Adapted from Mendelsohn et al. 2006)

  28. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Ozone Depletion (1) Thinning of ozone layer that keeps most of sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the earth’s surface 1979 1988 2000 2002 The changes in size of the Ozonehole above Antartica during 1979 until 2002

  29. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Ozone Depletion (2) • Characteristics of Ozone depletion problem: • Ozone thinning varies with altitude, location and season • Seasonal variation of ‘ozone thinning’, due to polar processes • In 2000, largest seasonal ozone thinning ozone hole above Antartica, which covered an area of 3 times the USA (Miller, 2004) • Recovering of Ozone layer will take 50-100 years (Miller, 2004) • Ozone depletion is expected to be worst during 2010 and 2019 (NASA’Goddard Institute for Space Studies in Miller, 2004)

  30. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Causes of Ozone Depletion • The mechanism of ozone (O3) depletion by ChloroFluoroCarbons (CFCs) • Example: Reactions of CCl3F (CFC species) Chlorine (Cl) is catalyst of depletion process • CCl3F + UV  Cl + CCl2F • Cl + O3  ClO + O2 • ClO + O  CL + O2

  31. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Impacts of Ozone Depletion • Human Health: Sunburn, Eye cataracts, skin cancer • Food: Reduced yields, seafood supplies • Forests: Decreased forest productivity • Wildlife: Eye cataracts, reduced population of phytoplankton • Air pollution: photochemical smog • Materials: degradation of buildings (acid deposition), outdoor paints and plastics • Global warming: accelerated warming because of lower CO2 uptake by phytoplankton and CFCs as GHGs • (Miller, 2003)

  32. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Exhaustion of Natural Resources (1) • Exhaustion depends on how current use affects future availability (Perman et al. 2003) • Natural Resource Depletion: Exhaustion of Non-Renewable Resources • Fossil Fuels • Fresh Water • Minerals: Global Copper (example) Flow Resources: No link between current use and future availability Examples: Wind, Solar, Wave power Natural Resources Renewable Resources: potential of natural reproduction (crops etc.) Stock Resources: Level of current use does affect future availability Non-Renewable Resources: fossil fuels, minerals, fresh water

  33. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Exhaustion of Natural Resources (2) • Fossil fuels: Consumption of natural gas and coal for electricity generation will increase in the near future World Electricity Generation by Fuel for 2004 and 2030 Minerals: significant extractions of Copper (example). However, recycling is possible, which may delay the exhaustion process Global Copper cycle . The units are Gg Cu/year; Lith=Lithosphere

  34. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Exhaustion of Natural Resources (3) • Fresh Water • Fresh water is not evenly distributed: • geographically • in time • in quality • politically

  35. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Causes of Exhaustion of Natural Resources (1) • Fossil fuels: increasing energy demand, in particular from developing countries Energy Use in Developing Countries (not participating in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) from 2004- 2030 Average Annual Growth in Energy Consumption by region and end-use sector, 2004- 2030

  36. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Causes of Exhaustion of Natural Resources (2) • Minerals: high demand from developed and developing countries, in particular Asia Copper entering use in 9 world regions in 1994. The units are Gg Cu/year; Lith=Lithosphere

  37. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Causes of Exhaustion of Natural Resources (3) • Fresh Water: pollution and inefficient use • Pollution of fresh water resources • Agricultural use of water: • 17% of cropland irrigated, producing 1/3 of world food supply, using ± 70% of water for human use • < 50% of water reaches the crops - rest (leaking from pipes/canals, evaporating) re-enters hydrological cycle, degraded by pesticides, fertilizers, .. causing surface-/groundwater pollution while wasting chemicals • Potable water is used for activities not requiring potable water quality • 5 – 70% distribution losses – loss of water, loss of chemicals, loss of energy • Inefficient industrial use of water: Processes often obsolete, high water to product ratio, large amounts of wastewater disposal

  38. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Impacts of Exhaustion of Natural Resources • Fossil fuels: energy crises, increased CO2 emissions because of increased coal consumption; scarcity may increase the cost effectiveness of renewable energy options (solar, wind, wave power) • Minerals: increasing scarcity, rising prices for commodities. Use of secondary copper from recycling becomes more attractive. • Water: • 1.2 billion lack potable water • because of pollution of nearby sources, raw water from ever larger distances • 2.3 billion suffer from diseases linked to water, causing some 12 million deaths – mostly children - a year • > 50% of world’s major rivers endanger human health and poison surrounding ecosystems

  39. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Global Threats and Environmental Policy (1) Our atmosphere can’t tell the difference between emissions from an Asian factory, the exhaust from a North American SUV, or deforestation in South America or Africa.”UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon “the moral challenge of our generation,”UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon “the time to act is now” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Business is ready to move into the low-emissions era, butneeds the appropriate policy framework from governments to do so,”UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer • There is a water crisis, but it is a crisis of management resulting from bad institutions, bad governance, bad incentives, and bad allocation of resources (World Water Vision, 2000) UN Breakthrough on climate change reached in Bali; Indonesian Environment Minister and President of the conference, Rachmat Witoelar said: “We now have a Bali roadmap, we have an agenda and we have a deadline.” “But we also have a huge task ahead of us and time to reach agreement is extremely short, so we need to move quickly,”

  40. 1.2 Global Environmental Threats Global Threats and Environmental Policy (2) • Global threats • require • global solutions !!

  41. Regional Environmental Threats Acidification, Water Pollution, Soil Degradation and Desertification 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats

  42. 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats Contents • Characteristics of Regional Environmental Threats • Regional Threats • Nature of Water Resource Pollution and Exhaustion • Soil Degradation and Desertification • Policy Options

  43. 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats Characteristics of Regional Environmental Threats • Examples of Regional threats: • Acidification • Desertification • Erosion • Destruction of natural habitats

  44. 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats Spatial Characteristics of Environmental Threats • Spatial scale of impact: the distance between ‘cause’ (emission) and ‘effect’ (damage); • Same substance can be local, regional or even global pollutant • Examples: • Air: particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (local); sulfur and nitrogen oxides, ozone (local and regional) • Water and soil: toxic substances (leaching of heavy metals from landfills to soil (local impact) and ground- and surface water (regional impact) • Regional (or global!) pollutants can have local effects • Some local emissions can have regional or even global effects N.B.!

  45. 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats Regional Threats from Air Pollutants (1) • Acidification from acid deposition • Slower growth, injury and death of forests • Health effects • Lower fish rates in lakes • Deterioration of buildings • Leaching of toxic metals from water pipes

  46. 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats Regional Threats from Air Pollutants (2) • Air pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2): transported far away from emission points to place of deposition The mechanism of acid depostion (Source: http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/8h.html

  47. 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats Nature of Water Resource Pollution and Exhaustion (1) • Destruction of water ecosystems and fish habitats

  48. 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats Nature of Water Resource Pollution and Exhaustion (2) Water Pollution Receiving waters Groundwater Surface water Lakes, rivers, oceans Sources Leaching from soils Point sources Non-point sources E.g. Industrial discharges in rivers E.g.Agriculture, urban stormwater runoff E.g. Landfills

  49. 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats Nature of Water Resource Pollution and Exhaustion (3) • Often, environmental interventions are connected • Example: deforestation, soil depletion and water contamination Downstream sequence of events following the clearcutting of a slope

  50. 1.3 Regional Environmental Threats Nature of Water Resource Pollution and Exhaustion (4): Consequences • Example Africa: Fresh water shortage and socio-economic impacts