Topic 3.0 – Monitoring the Environment - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Topic 3.0 – Monitoring the Environment

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  1. Topic 3.0 – Monitoring the Environment

  2. A. Using Biological Indicators • The use of live organisms (bacteria and invertebrates) to determine health of water • Invertebrates respond quickly to oxygen levels, water temp and pH. I. Monitoring Water Quality

  3. Stone fly (GOOD) Midge fly larvae (BAD)

  4. Poor water quality sample

  5. A. Using Biological Indicators • Poor quality water signs: • Bacteria present • Low variety of species • Midgefly larvae and worms present I. Monitoring Water Quality

  6. B. Concentration of Chemicals in Water • Concentrations of chemicals/minerals in water are measured using parts per million (ppm) ppm = mass (mg) volume (L) *If sodium is 25 ppm, then there are 25 sodium particles in a million water particles • The higher the concentration (ppm) the more toxic the water is. I. Monitoring Water Quality

  7. Ex. If 2.4 mg of potassium is found in 550mL bottle of water, how many ppm’s are present?

  8. The lead found ranged from 0.054 parts per million to 0.65 parts per million. • Four of 10 products had nickel, ranging from 2.1 to 5.9 parts per million; two of 10 had cobalt, with levels from 4.8 to 5.5 parts per million. • Five of 10 had chromium, ranging from 1.6 to 120 parts per million. • According to the report, levels of each should not exceed 1 part per million for consumer products. Halloween Face paint article

  9. C. Dissolved Oxygen • The higher the dissolved oxygen, the more species that are able to survive in the water • Low O2 levels are caused by: • Higher temperatures • Little wind • Lots of photosynthesis (lots of algae present) • Too many organisms in the water • Too much phosphorus and nitrogen I. Monitoring Water Quality

  10. C. Dissolved Oxygen • The presence of only midge larvae and worms indicates a low oxygen lake I. Monitoring Water Quality

  11. D. Phosphorus and Nitrogen Levels Lots of nutrients causes algae and plants to grow (use O2) More plants = more dead matter N and P from sewage outfalls and run-off from fertilized fields enter water Bacteria increase to decompose dead plants (use O2) Little O2 causes fish and insects to die I. Monitoring Water Quality

  12. Mississippi Delta Satellite Image from NASA

  13. D. Phosphorus and Nitrogen Levels • Summary: • Higher P and N levels are from fertilizers • Higher levels cause lower oxygen levels and decreased variety of organisms I. Monitoring Water Quality

  14. E. Acidity • Too low of a pH (caused by acid rain or spring acid shock) reduce the number of organisms in a lake Spring acid shock – when acid precipitation (snow) melts into lakes and streams it lowers the pH I. Monitoring Water Quality

  15. Summary of the effect of the pH level of the lake on its lifeforms.

  16. F. Toxins • Toxins – substances that produce death/health problems in an organism Ex. DDT – a pesticide used which is persistent (toxins that accumulate in the environment) >eggs shells of osprey and eagles were thinned causing a drop in their population numbers I. Monitoring Water Quality

  17. Clutch of mallard eggs damaged by DDT

  18. F. Toxicity We measure toxicity by LD50 (lethal dose of 50%). > This number is the mass of toxins needed to kill 50% of the population Ex. Which is more toxic? 50 mg/kg or 30 mg/kg I. Monitoring Water Quality

  19. F. Toxicity • Heavy metals – metal elements that have a high density • Ex. Mercury, cadmium, lead, copper, nickel • These metals are toxic for living organisms and their concentration must be monitored closely • Effects of heavy metals: nerve damage, brain damage, death • Acidic or basic water can help dissolve these metals so they enter water sources • These metals deposit in fat layers of humans and animals I. Monitoring Water Quality

  20. Nervous system damage (mercury poisoning)

  21. “Mad hatter disease is a disease of the nervous system caused by mercury poisoning. • The name refers to the effects of chronic mercury exposure on hatters who had to work with mercury-treated fur and felt. • It was an occurrence in the 1800s. Mercury was once used in the making of hats. • This is known to affect the nervous systems of the hatter, causing them to shake and seem insane. • Mercury exposure can cause aggressiveness, irrational behavior and mood swings. Mad Hatter’s Disease

  22. F. Toxins Biomagnification– where the concentration of toxins increase as you go up a food chain Why???? I. Monitoring Water Quality

  23. Good water conditions: • pH around 5.5-7.0 • Plenty of dissolved oxygen • Numerous species • Low concentration of toxins • Low-moderate levels of P and N • Low levels of bacteria

  24. Air is monitored for the concentration of particles and gases within the air Air Quality in Alberta II. Monitoring Air Quality

  25. Common Air Pollutants A. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) • Forms smog and acid precipitation • Source: combustion of coal, oil and natural gas • Reduction: Use of scrubbers (containing lime) in industrial plants II. Monitoring Air Quality

  26. B. Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) • Forms smog and acid precipitation • Source: Vehicle emissions • Reduction: Catalytic converters II. Monitoring Air Quality

  27. Smog over LA

  28. C. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) • Source: Combustion of coal, gas, trees • Effects: Greenhouse gas/ acid rain II. Monitoring Air Quality

  29. D. Ozone (O3) • High level ozone is required in the atmosphere to reduce harmful UV rays that come to earth • Ground level ozone is harmful – causes breathing difficulty • Source: Vehicle emissions II. Monitoring Air Quality

  30. Two main concerns regarding our atmosphere: • Effects of carbon dioxide • Maintenance of ozone layer III. Monitoring the Atmosphere

  31. A. Greenhouse Effect • When gases in atmosphere trap heat from the Sun (like a greenhouse) • GOOD: Keeps temperatures at levels we can live at (without we would die!) - would be extremely cold without the greenhouse effect • Greenhouse gases: CO2, H20, methane, NOx III. Monitoring the Atmosphere

  32. B. Enhanced Greenhouse Effect • When humans emit more greenhouse gases than necessary which traps too much heat (BAD) • Sources: Fossil fuel combustion releases greenhouse gases • Causes the OVERALL increase in temperature on Earth III. Monitoring the Atmosphere

  33. C. Global Warming • The increase in worldwidetemperatures caused by enhanced greenhouse effect • How do we stop or curb this? • Reduce CO2emissions • Maintain carbon sinks (trees, oceans) III. Monitoring the Atmosphere

  34. D. Climate Change • The trend of a change in climate over AT LEAST 30 years! • NOT a year to year thing – long term trend!!!!! • Potentially caused by global warming III. Monitoring the Atmosphere