ESRM test 2


type of biome


Forest Area by region
Europe –

historically was almost entirely deforested, is actually increasing the amount of forested land
Africa & South America
primary reason for this loss is the clearing of land for agricultural land
Asia & America(s)
primary reason for this loss is urbanization.

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Deforestation in Costa Rica


Since 1940 
 the rate of deforestation & the change in the nature of the forests has been very dramatic

Forest Products

Most direct use – Wood



without involving destruction:


Latex extraction 


latex being extracted from rubber trees. 
Collecting nuts/fruits & raking foliage 
for animal bedding and fuel.


Wood Consumption

Outranks the use of most other natural resources


3.7 billion metric tons of wood that are consumed each year is more than steel and plastic consumption put together (more than 1/2 for Firewood) 
Developed countries produce less than half of all "industrial" wood, but account for 80% of wood consumption
Demand for wood: Estimated to double in 25yrs 
(twice the current availability) 
*particularly negative on impact poorer countries.

25% of world’s forests = managed for wood production ;



Monoculture Forestry


(aka Plantation Forestry);

type of reforestation; – only one species grown


example: Brazil

2% of forests (monoculture) produces approx. 50% of demanded product



*Criticized for extracting wood from native land (drastically less efficient);

Intensive Forestry



more efficient


Ideal: Sustainable Efficiency




protects natural land;

still producing demand but effieciently



Causes of Tropical Deforestation


Logging for valuable hardwoods (Mahogany)


Clearing land (Cattle ranch ; exported crops)

ie: bananas ; pineapples;

Slash and Burn Agriculture

burning of vegetation to release natural resources which assist growth of farm productivity;

(worked with low population)


Now the amount of people using land rises, so Slash and Burn could lead to deforestation


Forest Cutting

Major problem : changing area to non-forest for people


Destruction of habitat : leads to increased soil erosion from rain (namely tropical rainforest)


Waste of resources : could have been valuable exported somewhere instead of burned



Biggest Dietary Problem in the Richest Countries

Too much Poor-quality food

(issue in malnutrition)


Greatest Threats to ;Food Security;


(ability to obtain enough food daily)




Lack of Social Status;




Statistics of Malnutrition

55% of the 12 million child deaths(per year)



More than 800 million (200million = children) are chronically undernourished

– receive ; 90% minimum caloric intake


Most Hungry: East/South Asia

also in Africa:; Tanzania ; Ehiopia






Large-scale food shortages


Massive Starvation


Social Disruption


Economic Chaos;

Causes of Famines

;;; ;


;-price gouging






-natural disasters




-oppression using famine as weapon


Nutritional imbalance caused by:

– a lack of specific dietary components


– inability to utilize essential nutrients






Nutrition Deficiencies

Iron deficiency (India)

anemia. (little oxygen in blood)

affects physical and mental development;

– most common dietary deficiency in world

most extreme in India


;Iodine Deficiency

– hyperthyroidism / goiter


Protein Deficiency:


-inflated belly disease occuring from lack of protein



;wasting away; sunken eyes, shriveledness, extreme thinness




Most common dietary problem in Wealthy Countries



61% adults



54% adults


United Kingdom:

51% adults



50% adults;

Major Crops


rice, corn, wheat


these 3 produce ; 50% world’s food



Vitamin A deficiency



this deficiency in poor countries causes blindness and a million child deaths each year


Genetic engineering – Europe

found "cure" in daffodils 


Animal Protein


Milk, Meat, Seafood


provides smaller amount of world food supply


90% grain produced is used to feed animals for Milk and Meat, but 20% of world consume 80% of meat/milk




important source of protein


overharvesting / habitat destruction has resulted


Southeast Asia – destruction of wetlands for shrimp dependency



Environmental Issues Raising cattle



Loss of food from feeding cattle




produces methane


Scrap meat in food: Cannibalism

– spread of Prions (proteins which lead to neurological disease and spreading of TSE

leading to TSE or Mad Cow Disease 



Complete Mixture of:

*Weathered minerals *partially decomposed organic matter and a  *host of living organisms


Non-renewable resource


Complex living substance

20,000 types of soil


topsoil = most fertile part of the soil 

 rate lost > rate to replace

Land Resources


Average of 0.7 acres of cropland per person

 in 25 years estimated to be 0.42acres/person


land conversion = ecological trade off




Most serious threat to soil degradation

-topsoil removed & transported elsewhere

reduces crop production by 1% each year


Natural Process




Mechanics of Erosion

 Wind and Water


1) Sheet Erosion

Thin, uniform layer of soil removed

* 2) Rill Erosion *

                                    most common                                        small rivulets of water cut small channels into soil

3) Gully Erosion

Rills enlarge and forme small stream (torrent) and moves water deeper into the profile.  These channels are too large to remove through tillage

4) Streambank Erosion

Washing away the soil from an established stream bank


US and Canada have high erosion rates





Row Crops

leave soil exposed to wind (erosion)


intensive farming practice

**US and Canada 




important agricultural resource


Huge costs – irrigation

80% water drawn never reaches intended destination


Extremely important in Northwest (apples) 




important and Limited agricultural resource


Over-fertilization can harm or pollute


Three essential elements:







90% never reach target  area


Precision agriculture

exciting new area of research


Crops w/o pesticides have lower yield, but also lower costs and eco damage 

Genetic Engineering


Splicing of a gene

from one organism into the gene of another

produces a GMO aka transgenic


GMOs Currently:

1/3 soy beans & corn 

60% all processed foods


increase costs could hurt small farmers 


Sustainable agriculture


"Regenerative Farming"

*Soil is essential


Goal: Produce food and fiber  w/o destructive agricultural processes



Soil Conservation

Important elements in conservation: 

Land management

Ground Cover


Soil Type

Tillage Systems 


*Dependent on maintaining groundcover



Managing Topography


plowing/planting with contour across slope

slows water flow



planting different crops in alternating strips along the contours



Shaping land to create level shelves

also with contour to hold water


*Also planting perennials (live>2years) 

Examples of Terracing

1960 famine China – Great Leap Forward

-plowed terraces

*no longer held water


food productivity didn’t restablize until terraces were; rebuilt






Most important Factor of;

Long-term Sustainable Agriculture

Keeping area vegetative


(bare soil has higher erosion rates)


**Also need water availability




Reduced tillage methods


one of the greatest advances in

sustainable agriculture


dead vegetation is left on ground

acts as mulch



efforts of plowing

runoff (soil erosion)





Methods to reduce Bare Ground Erosion

Ground Cover

holds ; protects soil

ie: Alfalfa and clover fix nitrogen in soil

can be harvested for hay;

;ie: Mulching – can prevent erosion and insulate plants


Reduced Tillage:requires more pesticides

1) Minimum Tillage – reduces #times soil is turned;

chisel plow/ridge tilling

2) Conserv-tilling – sharp blade ;Coulter;

very little soil disruption;

3) No-tilling – drilled directly through mulch/ground cover;






Environmental Health Hazards


Involve Introduction of pollutants to:

Air, water, soil, ; food


**Air pollution has received much attention

-US Clean Air Act (decent job);


state of well-being

physical, mental, social;



World Health Organization

deleterious change in the bodies condition

therefore cannot deal with some

environmental factor(s)







presence of illness

(in a population);


presence of death

(in a population);

Leading causes of Mortality

#1 Worldwide:

Cardiovascular disease

-failure of heart to move blood through body;







(among infants);


outbreaks of lethal infectious diseases


Ebola (Africa)

Buruli Ulcer (W.Africa)

West Nile


Factor that contribute to the

Spread of Contagious Disease



High population densities

-easier to move from person to person


Isolated Groups

-haven’t developed basic immunities to othe diseases
 -native americans


Environmental Change

global warming


Speed of travel

stress decreases resistance

travel allows disease to pass geographical barriers


Contamination of Food & Water 






Antibiotic & Pesticide Resistance


not as effective anymore 


Disease-causing protozoa 


now resistant to most antibiotics


Pesticide Resistance:

Malaria-carrying mosquitos

resistance developed against pesticides



Immune System depressants


chemicals that affect immune system

 -reduce ability to fight disease



Hazardous chemical substance


cause mutations (affecting fetus)

ie: alcohol

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome



substances that cause/aggravate cancer


US Top 3 Toxic & Hazardous substances

1) Arsenic

2) Lead

weights in fishing lures 

3) Mercury 


Risk Assessment

Study of Toxins

how they may harm humans/organisms 


dilute toxins in the environment

-can reach dangerous levels inside cells & tissues




Effects of toxins

*seen through food web


small concentration of toxins increase as we move up through the food chain

ex – DDT and the American Bald Eagle 




LD 50 Factor (lethal dose)

measures toxicity of substance

lethal = 50% population dies


DDT’s LD 50 = 50mg/kg

*wont be immediate lethal impact, but we can see from historical evidence DDT effected humans;


Measuring Toxicity


Animal Testing

*can be quite inhumane

*can be unreasonable to compare

-animals ; humans have different immunities;

;*can be time consuming

– toxic effects can take years to appear;


Dose/Response Curve


#individuals first responding






Bell shaped;

Acute Effect


immediate health effect

caused by single exposure to toxin


Can be reversible


ie: You swallow Rat Poison but you’re okay 

Chronic Effect

long lasting or permanent effect

caused by:

1) single exposure to very toxic substance

2) continuous or repeated sub lethal exposure to a toxin 


Probability of

Harm x Exposure


*Biggest daily Risk = Driving


Risks change with perception

-therefore difficult to measure 

Main components of Earth

Earth’s Lower Atmosphere:;

Nitrogen – 78%

Oxygen – 21%

Argon – ;1%


*Carbon Dioxide extremely important, but low concentration



Earth’s Zones


Humans live


Ozone Layer





*divided by absorbtion of solar energy



Greenhouse Effect

50% Sun’s energy reaches Earth


Energy absorbed by Earth’s surface:

-changed into lower quality heat energy which is re-emitted as infrared energy

*because of Cloud Cover,

– this infrared energy is reflected back to surface to repeat same step

*cause of greenhouse effect / warming






Hadley Cells

Vertical Convection Currents



Coriolis Effect
Clockwise & Counterclockwise wind movements
Milankovitch Cycles

causes variation in temperature


occurs because of shift in Earth’s tilt, change in orbit, and wobble along axis.


Kyoto Protocol


Treaty setting limits on greenhouse gases for individual nations

*Based on output before 1990;

Photochemical Oxidants

Secondary pollutants


reduce local air quality

Sulfur Dioxide
Colorless gas that harms both plants and animals
Water Table
top layer of Zone of Saturation
All land drained by stream or river
Primary Treatment

physically separates large solids from waste stream

(sewage treatment);

Secondary Treatment

(sewage treatment)

aerobic bacteria breakdown dissolved

organic compounds;

Tertiary Treatment

(sewage treatment)

removal of plan nutrients

(such as nitrates and phosphates);

from the secondary effluent

(chemicals, or natural wetlands);