To Frack, or Not to Frack - This case study explains why or why not fracking is good for the environment. While fracking is beneficial to the environment by reducing air pollution, coming from coal (which contains many air pollutants), scientific journalists have come to find it also contains some consequences. One being a large consumption of water. Millions of gallons of water are taken out of local streams and rivers to be pumped into each gas well.
1.1 - Environmental Science - The field of study that looks at interactions among human systems and those found in nature. This type of study is important because the land around us is what is keeping us alive. The oxygen we breath in comes from plants. If we are to pollute the earth it may harm/ruin our supply of resources that sustain life on earth.
1.1.1 - Environmental studies includes all aspects of the environment such as environmental policy, ethics, literature, and economics. Whereas environmentalism is the more broken down idea of the protection and improvement of ecosystems and environments. An environmentalist is a person who studies these aspects and participates in them. They are known as activists.
1.1.2 - An environmentalist and an environmental scientist differ greatly. A scientist tests, examines, and checks all aspects of nature. Whereas an environmentalist works to improve what an environmental scientist studies.
1.1.3 - Biotic: living things Abiotic: non-living things An example of something biotic would be plants wheres something abiotic would be water depth in a river.
1.2 & 1.2.1 - A.) Humans alter the environment when they pollute the ground or the air. Humans use fertilizers and pesticides that pollute the ground. When it rains, the pollutants runoff into streams and rivers killing aquatic animals. B.) The combustion of coal in factories emits pollutants into the atmosphere. This makes it harmful to humans breathing in the air. C.) The clear cutting of forests is detrimental to species in the area due to their habitat loss. D.) When food is transported, the longer it takes to transport it the more harm there is done to the environment. This is do to the car emitting fumes.
1.2.2 - A factor which plays into the reason for humans using coal to fuel factories and homes is due to the fact that it is the fastest and most effective way to produce energy for those types of needs. In the matter of transportation, the factor is the "need". This need is the reason for food being transported. Humans need food for survival and no matter how the food is transported, there is a need for that food. Almost every way of transporting that food will cause some kind of pollution. The farther the food goes, the more pollution.
1.3 - There are five key, global indicators that help humans evaluate, improve, and protect planet earth. 1.) Biological Diversity - There is a negative effect on the environment involving biological diversity due to large numbers of extinctions. In the future these extinctions will continue. 2.) Food Production - It is unclear what the food production rate will look like for the future. Due to the per capita production possibly leveling off, this may affect the number of people the earth can support. 3.) Average global surface temperature and CO2 concentration - Due to the CO2 concentrations and temperatures increasing, there is a high probability of it being detrimental. Even though this is unclear, the rising temperature and concentration levels are expected to continue in the future. 4.) Resource Depletion - This effect on the earth is negative, thus due to the rate of depletion being so rapid. The outlook for the future on resource depletion is unknown.
1.3.1 - Ecosystem Services: The process by which life-supporting resources such as water, timber, fisheries, and agricultural crops are produced. Ex) Provisioning - such as the production of food and water. Regulating - such as the control of climate and disease. Supporting - such as nutrient cycles and crop pollination. Cultural - such as spiritual and recreational benefits.
1.3.2 - Environmental Indicators describe the current state of an environment system. They're useful because they describe the health and quality of natural systems. They tell us when we may need to look deeper into a particular issue.
1.3.3 - Biodiversity can be used as an environmental indicator because it'll describe the current state of an environment's ecosystem, species, and genetic diversity. An ecosystem will indicate how a region as a hole is living, wheres species diversity will indicate how certain species are operating in an environment. In addition to ecosystem and species diversity, genetic diversity indicates certain species' genetic variation. This will give insight on the state of a species and whether they are in danger of extinction.
1.3.4 - Biodiversity is the diversity of life forms in an environment. Although all three types of biodiversity such as Ecosystem, Species, an genetic diversity are all the same because they're environmental indicators, they still contrast in different ways. Basically each one is more specific than the other. Ecosystem diversity is the most broad. This is because it describes the environmental diversity that species are living in. Then, species diversity becomes more specific because you're talking about the animals and plants living inside the ecosystem. Genetic diversity is the most specific because it indicates the different genes that a species has in their environment. So they all tie together yet one is more or less specific than the others.
Most energy on earth comes from power plants like this one above.
1.3.5 - Food production can be used as an environmental indicator because it shows the future of an ecosystem. If food production in an ecosystem is too low then the species inside that ecosystem will be forced to move somewhere else or die off. Low food production for humans may lead to higher food prices, and in 2008 even lead to some riots.
1.3.6 - The trend in total and per capita grain consumption has been increasing since 1950, but have began to level off. This may be due to poor climate conditions, poor irrigation, and less human energy to plant and harvest crops.
1.3.7 - C02 can be an environmental indicator because depending on the amount of it there is in earth's atmosphere, it will indicate the temperature. If there is a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere, then earth's temperature will be higher. This is due to the CO2 absorbing outgoing heat and radiating some of it back to earth. Temperature is a good environmental indicator because it will indicate what species may be going where or how they're living. Most birds will migrate to the south when the weather gets cold. Bears will also hibernate in the winter as well.
1.3.8 - Greenhouse gases trap heat near the earths surface. This is what keeps us humans warm. Without them the earth would be much cooler and maybe even closer to being too cold. What it means for greenhouse gases such as CO2 to be anthropocentric, is that the gases are increasing due to human activities. An example is the burning of fossil fuels at a factory.
1.3.9 - The increasing world population places additional demands on natural systems, since each new person requires food, water and other resources. If the population is to become too high, then there may be an insufficient amount of resources to sustain the population.
1.3.10 - The size of the human population is 7.5 billion. The human population to this day continues to grow and grow.
1.3.11 - When resources are depleted by mining, the combustion of fossil fuels, and waste from discarded manufactured products, earth is becoming polluted. Resource depletion indicates if our population will be able to sustain life. In years past and to this day, non-renewable resources are being depleted everyday. Resources such as coal, oil, and uranium are finite and can not be renewed or reused.
1.3.12 - Some natural resources such as coal, oil, wood, and water. All of these resources affect the environment greatly. Coal and oil are used everyday for global energy, and without it we will have to resort to natural gas. Wood is used everyday to make paper and warm home. Wood is very abundant on earth and is very renewable and reusable. Water is the most abundant natural resource on earth, and without it, no life would exist on earth.
Without water, we cannot live.
1.4 - Sustainability - Living on earth in a way that allows humans to use its resources without depriving future generations of those resources. An ecological footprint indicates the amount of resources consumed by a person. Depending on how much the person consumes will show if they're sustainable or not.
1.4.1 - Easter island consisted of a small civilization, The land was on a volcanic island. The civilization eventually died off because they overused and consumed too much of the resources without being able to sustain them. What this story shows you about sustainability is, is that if a civilization cannot provide for themselves and keep their resources from being depleted, then they will soon die off.
1.4.2 - The requirements to living sustainably: 1.) Environmental systems must not be damaged beyond their ability to recover. 2.) Renewable resources must not be depleted faster that they cane regenerate. 3.) Non-renewable resources must be used sparingly.
1.4.3 - Sustainable development - Development that balances current human well-being and economic advancement with resource management for the benefit of future generations. Sustainability is what an ecosystem thrives on. If it is not sustainable then the ecosystem will cease to exist. Sustainable development is the process of working towards sustainability.
1.4.4 - Biophilia: love of live
1.4.5 - Ecological footprint: A measure of how much an individual consumes, expressed in area of land. Factors - energy, settlements, timber and paper, food and fibers.
Timber is consumed by people for energy for their homes.
I apologize, i did not finish....