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Ch. 2: The Changing Global Environment. Globalization and Diversity Rowntree, Lewis, Price, Wyckoff As modified by Joe Naumann, UMSL. Learning Objectives. Learn about the basics of Earth’s environmental systems to prepare for later chapters Understand the following concepts, models, and terms.

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Ch 2 the changing global environment

Ch. 2: The Changing Global Environment

Globalization and Diversity Rowntree, Lewis, Price, Wyckoff As modified by Joe Naumann, UMSL


Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the basics of Earth’s environmental systems to prepare for later chapters

  • Understand the following concepts, models, and terms

- Greenhouse Effect

- Green Revolution

- Prairie

- Steppe

- Subduction Zone

- Anthropogenic

- Bioregion

- Climograph

- Desertification


Global climates an uncertain forecast
Global Climates: An Uncertain Forecast

  • Human settlement and food production are closely linked to local patterns of weather and climate

    • People in different parts of the world adapt to weather and climate in different ways

    • Climate links us together in our globalized economy

      • Opportunities for some

      • Hardship for others

      • Challenges in growing food


Four laws of ecology apply
Four Laws of Ecology Apply

  • Everything is connected

  • Everything goes somewhere

  • Nature knows best

  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch


World climate regions
World Climate Regions

  • Weather: short-term, day-to-day expression of atmospheric processes

  • Climate: long-term, average conditions

    • Usually at least 30 years of daily weather data (temperatures and precipitation)

  • Climate regions: boundaries drawn around areas with similar average climate conditions

    • Helps us to make inferences about human activities and settlement

      • Example: desert hampers agriculture; adequate rainfall, warm temperatures permit farming


World climate regions north south america fig 2 3
World Climate Regions - North & South America (Fig. 2.3)


World climates europe africa asia australia fig 2 3
World Climates Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia (Fig. 2.3)


Global climates cont
Global Climates, cont.

  • Climographs: provide average high and low temperatures and precipitation for every month in an entire year – a very useful illustration

    • Graph form

      • Average high temperature (upper line)

      • Average low temperature (lower line)

      • Sometimes just the daily average for the month is shown

      • Average precipitation (bars)

      • The extremes are not shown.

    • Provides “Average Annual Rainfall” figure


Climograph many only show the monthly average temperature
Climograph: many only show the monthly average temperature

Average Precipitation

Average High Temperature

Average Low

Temperature

Average Annual Precipitation: 40 inches


Global climates cont1
GlobalClimates, cont.

  • Global Warming

    • Human activities connected with economic development and industrialization affect the world’s climate

      • Anthropogenic (human-caused) pollution increases the natural greenhouse effect


Global warming
Global Warming

  • Causes of Global Warming

    • Natural greenhouse effects make the earth warm enough to support life

    • Beginning with Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America, greenhouse gases have increased dramatically, mostly from burning fossil fuels

    • Carbon dioxide (CO2); Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs); Methane (CH4); Nitrous oxide (N2O) are the major greenhouse gases


Global warming cont
Global Warming, cont.

  • The Four Major Greenhouse Gases

    • Carbon Dioxide (CO2): makes up more than 50% of anthropogenic greenhouse gases; comes mainly from burning fossil fuels

    • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): about 25% of human-generated greenhouse gases; come mainly from aerosol sprays, refrigeration, & air conditioning – also cause ozone depletion.

    • Methane (CH4): about 15%; caused by burning of vegetation, by-products of cattle & sheep digestion, leaking natural gas pipelines, and refineries

    • Nitrous oxide (N2O): 5%; caused by agricultural chemical fertilizers


Effects of global warming
Effects of Global Warming

  • Computer models and scientists are coming to agreement on effects

    • Average global temperatures will increase 2 °F to 4 °F by 2030 – more extreme & less predictable weather

      • The same amount of cooling caused the Ice Age

    • Major shift in agricultural areas

      • Wheat belt could become warmer and drier; lower grain yield

      • Canada and Russia could become warmer

      • Southern regions of the U.S. and Europe could become warmer and drier, requiring irrigation

    • Rising sea levels as polar ice-caps melt, endangering low-lying islands around the world, and coastal areas elsewhere


Globalization climate change
Globalization & Climate Change

  • International Debate on Limiting Greenhouse Gases

    • Rio de Janiero Earth Summit (1992)

      • First international agreement on global warming

      • 167 countries agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a specific target date

        • U.S., Japan, India, China failed to meet emissions reductions


Globalization climate change1
Globalization & Climate Change

  • Kyoto Protocol (December 1997)

    • 38 industrialized countries agreed to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases to below 1990 levels

    • To take effect, countries emitting 55% of the world’s greenhouse gases must ratify it


International debate limit greenhouse gases
International Debate - Limit Greenhouse Gases

  • Ratification of Kyoto Protocol will be difficult

    • Pres. Bush opposes; says complying will damage U.S. economy

      • Large developing countries (India, China) are not yet bound to reduce greenhouse gases, and would have an advantage

      • Pres. Bush believes more study is needed to support a link between human activities and global warming

    • Bush administration in 2004 only admitted that there “might be a connection.” World view: the USA has been “dragging its feet” on global warming.


Ratification of kyoto protocol will be difficult
Ratification of Kyoto Protocol will be difficult

  • Tensions between developed and less-developed countries

    • Unrestricted emissions in developed world created global warming problem; developed countries emit more than 50% of the world’s greenhouse gases

    • LDCs believe MDCs should curb their emissions, and help LDCs limit their emissions

    • LDCs fear that ratifying Kyoto Protocol will limit their development

    • LDCs’ emissions are currently relatively low


Human impacts on plants and animals
Human Impacts on Plants and Animals

  • Earth is unique because of the rich diversity of plants and animals – becoming less diverse!

  • Vegetation is the “green glue” that binds together Earth’s life and atmosphere

    • Vegetation is both a product of and an influence on climate, geology and hydrology

  • Humans play a big part in this interaction

    • Domestication of plants, animals

    • Endangerment of plants, animals

    • Changed natural pattern of vegetation on the land

  • Bioregion (Biome): an assemblage of local plants and animals covering a large area (e.g., tropical rainforest or grassland)


Bioregions north south america fig 2 5
Bioregions:North & SouthAmerica(Fig. 2.5)


Bioregions europe africa asia australia fig 2 5
Bioregions: Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia(Fig. 2.5)


Globalization of nature
Globalization of Nature

  • Tropical Forests and Savannas

    • Mostly found in equatorial climate zones

    • Covers around 7% of the world’s land area

    • Three-layered canopy

    • As one moves poleward, distinct dry season forms and tropical forest becomes more open

    • Farther poleward, grassland and savanna replace forest

  • Deforestation in the Tropics

    • Annually, an area of tropical forest the size of Wisconsin is denuded

      • Land cleared for wood sale, cattle grazing, and settlement purposes – forests may not be able to regenerate if too much is cut down

      • Native peoples who live there lose the most


Deserts and grasslands
Deserts and Grasslands

  • These are large areas of arid and semi-arid climate that lie poleward (north and south) of the tropics

  • Comprise one-third of the Earth’s land surface

    • Desert: areas receive less than 10 inches of rainfall a year

    • Prairie: North American grassland

    • Steppe: shorter, less dense grassland found in Russia and Southwest Asia

  • Desertification: the spread of desert-like conditions

    • Caused by poor agricultural practices on marginal land, overgrazing, build-up of salts in soil from irrigation & planting in the “fallow” year

    • UN estimates that 60% of the world’s rangelands are threatened by desertification


Temperate forests
Temperate Forests

  • Large tracts of forests found in middle and high latitudes (nearer the poles)

  • Two major tree types dominate

    • Conifers or evergreens (pine, spruce, fir)

    • Deciduous trees that lose leaves in winter (hardwoods include elm, maple, beech, and many others)

  • In many regions, these forests have been cleared for agricultural purposes

  • Commercial logging interests place global pressure on forests

    • Clear cutting versus selective cutting controversy


Food resources
Food Resources

  • Food production must double by 2025 to keep pace with expected human population growth rates

    • Every minute: 170 people are born, and 10 acres of existing cropland are lost

  • The Green Revolution: most work was with grains

    • Has increased global food production since the 1950s

    • Changes include the following:

      • Shift from mixed crops to monocrops – single crop fields – of high-yield, genetically altered seeds

      • Intensive application of water, fertilizer, pesticides

      • Intensification of farming through reduction in fallow periods, or field-resting time between planting seasonal crops


Green revolution
Green Revolution

  • Second stage of Green Revolution since 1970s

    • New types of fast-growing wheat and rice specifically bred for tropical & subtropical climates

    • With irrigation, fertilizers & pesticides, farmers can grow 2 or 3 crops each year instead of just one

    • India doubled its food production between 1970-1992

  • Problems associated with Green Revolution

    • Heavy use of fossil fuels makes Green Revolution agriculture more vulnerable to oil price fluctuations

    • Environmental damage

    • Social costs, especially associated with the higher cost of this approach


Food resources1
Food Resources

  • Problems and Projections

    • Local and regional problems are usually responsible for food unavailability

      • Poverty and civil unrest at local levels impede food distribution

    • Political problems are usually more responsible for food shortages as compared to natural events

      • Food distribution is highly politicized

    • Globalization is causing a worldwide change in food preferences

      • Implications of shifting from vegetarian to meat-based diet

    • Africa and South Asia are most threatened by food shortages

      • UN predicts that by 2010, almost 200 million in South Africa will suffer from chronic undernourishment


Conclusions
Conclusions

  • Some environmental change is natural, some is anthropogenic

  • Globalization both helps and hinders world environmental problems

    • World’s nation-states more willing to sign environmental treaties (whaling, ocean pollution, fisheries, wildlife protection)

    • But superheated global economic activity aggravates global environmental problems

    • This theme reappears throughout the text

      End of Chapter 2


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