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Human Environment Interaction • How humans: • depend on; • modify; • and adapt to • their environment.
Human Environment Interaction • Since the beginning of time, humans have had to constantly depend on, modify, and/or adapt to their environment. • Examples of depending on the environment: • Food • Energy • Examples of modifying the environment: • Dams on rivers (Three Gorges Dam) • Panama Canal • Overgrazing • Examples of adapting to the environment: • Air Conditioning • Desalinization Plants
How Humans Depend on the Environment: • The history of humans have shown that we have always depended on the environment to provide us with a source of food / energy: • Early humans were hunter/gathers • They were constantly moving to follow herds of animals or to be able to gather plants that they could eat • Farming • Wheat and Corn are the main sources of food for most cultures around the world • Energy • Since the discovery of oil in the late 1800s, it has been the driving force of energy throughout the world • All types of vehicles depend on oil in some fashion
How Humans Modify the Environment: • Dams: • Three Gorges Dam: (China) • Largest dam in the world • Built to control flooding on the Yangtze River and to generate hydroelectric power • Reducing the flooding also reduces the silt deposits downstream that farmers depend on to help grow crops • The dam is so heavy that scientists believe that it may increase earthquakes in the area
How Humans Modify the Environment: • Panama Canal • Built across the Isthmus of Panama by the U.S. in the early 1900s • Connects the Caribbean Sea (and Atlantic Ocean) to the Pacific Ocean • Increased the movement of people, goods, and ideas by making travel faster
How Humans Modify the Environment: • Overgrazing • Overgrazing by animals can greatly effect an area in a negative way • Examples of this include the Sahel • African ranchers have allowed their livestock to graze on the Sahel (a grassland south of the Sahara desert) for centuries • Combined with drought conditions, the overgrazing of the Sahel has allowed for desert conditions from the Sahara to spread to the Sahel (desertification)
How Humans Adapt to the Environment: • Air Conditioning: • Air Conditioning has allowed for humans to be able to tolerate areas in the world that have constantly high temperatures • A/C units didn’t become popular in houses until the 1950s • The southern states in the U.S. starting seeing a growth in population after the 1950s as a result of the A/C • Desalinization • This is the process of removing salt from water • Greatly increase the sources of water that can be used to provide a need to survive for humans and other animals