Human Interactions with the Environment By: Shannon Moore ESA 485 Spring 2009 http://www.wordsmooth.com/EarthHands_op_621x413.jpg A Preview… • Analyze the interrelationship between humans and the environment • - Climate Change 1.) Human activities - Greenhouse gas emissions - Ozone Depletion 1.) Effects of ozone depletion 2.) Protecting the ozone layer Understand air pollution and methods of controlling it - Types - Sources - Effects - Preventing, Reducing and Controlling - Clean Air Act - Other EPA and Michigan Acts Preview Continued… • Principles of Conservation -Definition - Resource Management - Stewardship - Environmental Wisdom - Living more sustainably Analyze the interrelationship between humans and their environment----Climate Change • What is climate change? - any long-term significant change in the weather patterns of an area • What causes climate change? -Climate change can be natural or caused by changes people have made to the land or atmosphere. • Types of human activities: -burning fossil fuels -clearing and burning forests and grasslands -raising large numbers of livestock -using inorganic fertilizers *The United States emits more greenhouse gases as a nation and on a per person basis than any other country!...ouch! Analyze the interrelationship between humans and their environment--- Greenhouse gas emissions • What is a green house gas? -any of the gases that absorb heat and warm the lower atmosphere • What are examples? -Carbon Dioxide: 9-26% -Water Vapor: 36-70% -Methane: 4-9% -Nitrous oxide: -Ozone: 3-7% • How does it affect climate change? - the release of these greenhouse gases at a faster rate increases the overall temperature of the earth -the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, plant burning, landfills, fertilizers and livestock wastes are all examples of greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change. Analyze the interrelationship between humans and their environment---Ozone depletion • How is the ozone being depleted? - - - Freons (CFC’s) lower the concentration of ozone in the stratosphere. They remain in the troposphere because they are in soluble in water and chemically un-reactive. Once they reach the stratosphere the CFC molecules break down and accelerate the breakdown of ozone (O3) into O2 and O. This causes ozone in parts of the stratosphere to be destroyed faster than it is formed. CFC molecules can last in the atmosphere for over 300 years and each chlorine molecule can continue to convert O3 to O2. • Effects of ozone depletion - - Less ozone in the stratosphere will allow more harmful UV radiation to reach the earths surface. This causes a greater increase in skin cancer Greater sunburn Eye cataracts Accelerated warming due to the decrease of ocean uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere by phytoplankton and CFC’s acting as greenhouse gases. • How can we protect the ozone? -stop the production of ozone-depleting chemicals -research shows that even after the stop of production of these chemicals it will still take 50 years for the ozone to return to levels of 1980 and over 100 years to return to 1950 levels. Understand air pollution and methods of controlling it • What is air pollution? -The presence of chemicals in the atmosphere in concentrations high enough to affect climate and harm organisms and materials. • What are types of air pollution? - Indoor - Outdoor • Sources? - Natural: dust particles, volatile organic chemicals released from some plants, decay of plants, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, sea spray (spray from oceans and seas). These rarely reach harmful levels. - Anthropogenic: burning oil, gasoline and natural gases. Burning coal. These can reach harmful levels. -Stationary Sources: factories and power plants - Mobile Sources: motor vehicles http://www.epa.gov/air/airtrends/2007/graphics/Air_pollution_pathways_textbox.gif How to classify air pollutants • Primary pollutants: emitted directly into the troposphere. Ex: carbon monoxide • Secondary pollutants: formed when primary pollutants are in troposphere and they react with themselves or other components of air to form new pollutants. • Cities usually have higher outdoor air pollution due to the concentration of factories and cars in comparison to rural areas. • Winds can spread both types from urban and industrial areas to rural areas or other urban areas. http://www.ec.gc.ca/doc/media/m_124/brochure/images/BR_fig3_s_e.gif Indoor pollution • Where do they come from? -infiltration of polluted outside air • Both indoor and outdoor pollution are high risk to human health • How are we protected? - Nose hairs filter out large particles -Sticky mucus in the lining of the upper respiratory tracts, captures smaller particles - Sneezing and coughing can help to get rid of contaminated air and mucus when pollutants irritate your respiratory system - Cilia: tiny hairs that line the upper respiratory tract, continually wave to catch smaller particles that can be trapped in your throat and are expelled. Outdoor pollution • • • • Cigarette smoking Fossil fuel burning in motor vehicles Power and industrial plants Photochemical reaction: any chemical reaction activated by light. Smog • Photochemical smog: a mixture of air pollutants formed by the reaction of nitrogen oxides and volatile (readily evaporated) organic hydrocarbons due to the influence of sunlight. • Industrial smog: a mixture of sulfur dioxide, droplets of sulfuric acid and suspended particles emitted by burning coal and oil. • Directly influenced by pollution and affects climate change Air pollution cont’d • Effects? • -respiratory health issues How can we prevent, reduce and control air pollution? - ban smoking inside or permit only in well ventilated areas - circulate building air - use exhaust hoods for stoves and appliances burning natural gas -improve energy efficiency to reduce fossil fuel use - rely on renewable energy like solar and wind (reduces fossil fuel use) Understand air pollution and methods of controlling it The Clean Air Acts • United States Congress passed acts in 1970, 1977 and 1990 • Established air pollution regulations for key pollutants • Enforced by each state and major cities Understand air pollution and methods of controlling it Other EPA and Michigan Laws • EPA established National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six outdoor pollutants: Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulfur Dioxide, Ozone, Lead and Suspended particulate matter (SPM) • Regulates by setting a maximum level in outdoor air Understand air pollution and methods of controlling it Other EPA and Michigan Laws • Hazardous air pollutants (HAP’s)- EPA set national emission standards for over 180 hazardous air pollutants that cause health and ecological effects • Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)- requires refineries, power plants, hard rock mines, chemical manufacturers and factories to reports their releases of toxic chemicals Principles of Conservation • Official supervision of rivers, forests, and other natural resources in order to preserve and protect them through management • Careful utilization of a natural resource in order to prevent depletion http://www.opuc.on.ca/media/images/GenerationConservation.jpg Resource Management • Organizations like the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are created to help maintain and manage our natural resources on a state level • Mission statement of Michigan’s DNR "The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the State's natural resources for current and future generations." http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/ Stewardship… This one goes to you Shari! • Means that we have a responsibility for the well being of the world. • As teachers we need to teach our children to care about our world • • • • • as much as we do! We have a responsibility to care for nature and teach our youth to care too Encourage alternative ways of living sustainably Help the management and preservation of natural resources Actively engage in conservation, preservation, prevention and sustainability on a local, national and world wide level Foster a desire to make the world a better place and act on this desire A new perspective Environmental Wisdom • Understanding of our world on a deeper level • As humans we should not be selfish about the resources we have available to us and realize they are not for humans use only • Our success depends on learning how nature sustains itself and how to integrate what we learned into ways that we think, act and teach. • Inspires and empowers us to become good earth citizens who practice good “earth keeping” Living more sustainably “The earth provides enough to satisfy every person’s needs but not every person’s greed. When we take more than we need, we are simply taking from each other, borrowing from the future or destroying the environment and other species.” -Mahatma Gandhi How can we live more sustainably? Questions? THE END!