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Humans in the Biosphere . BIG IDEA – How have human activities shaped local and global ecology?. Silicon Valley before development. Silicon Valley today.

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Humans in the biosphere

Humans in the Biosphere

BIG IDEA – How have human activities shaped local and global ecology?

Silicon valley before development
Silicon Valley before development

Silicon valley today
Silicon Valley today,r:9,s:0&biw=1024&bih=566

Humans like all organisms have an effect on their environment
Humans, like all organisms, have an effect on their environment.

  • What events might have led to the changes that occurred in Silicon valley?

  • What positive effects have these changes brought to the area?

  • What negative effects have these changes brought to the area?

How do our daily activities affect the environment pros cons
How do our daily activities affect the environment? Pros Cons

  • Agriculture

  • Industrial Growth

  • Urban Development

Humans in the biosphere

Industrial Pros Cons




Hunting and





Extinctions of

large animals



High standard

of living



Food supply

Pesticide use



that have changed the biosphere include

may have once caused

often relies on the methods of the

have resulted in

which increased

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Where do natural resources come from
Where do natural resources come from? Pros Cons

  • Natural resources are materials that are supplied by nature.

  • A renewable resource is one that is replaceable.

  • A nonrenewable resource is one that cannot be replenished by natural processes. Once a nonrenewable resource is used up, it is gone forever.

Humans in the biosphere

1. Examine the list of natural resources shown below. Then, classify each natural resource as either renewable or nonrenewable.

a. Trees

b. Fossil fuels

c. Aluminum

d. Wool

e. Water

f. Soil

2. Describe the impact that the loss of nonrenewable resources would have on the environment.

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Renewable resources
Renewable resources classify each natural resource as either renewable or nonrenewable.

  • Can regenerate if they are alive (tree) or can be replenished by biogeochemical cycles if nonliving (water)

  • Renewable resources are not necessarily unlimited

  • Water can become limited by drought or overuse

  • Soil can take centuries to form, but can be lost very quickly

Nonrenewable resources
Nonrenewable resources classify each natural resource as either renewable or nonrenewable.

  • This is a resource that cannot be replenished by natural processes.

  • Once depleted, they are gone forever.

  • Example – fossil fuels, coal, metals, minerals

  • A single tree may be renewable, but a whole forest and its animal community may be nonrenewable.

Humans in the biosphere

Sustainable development
Sustainable Development

  • Human activities can affect the quality and supply of renewable resources such as land, forests, fisheries, air and fresh water.

  • Sustainable development is a way of using natural resources without depleting them and of providing for human needs without causing long-term environmental harm.

  • (read/project article – Environmentalists scold makers of plush toilet paper)


  • Biodiversity is one of Earth’s greatest natural resources.

  • Biodiversity is the sum total of the genetically based variety of organisms in the biosphere.

  • Species of many kinds have provided humans with food, industrial products and medicines.

Humans in the biosphere





Other Animals









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Conserving biodiversity
Conserving Biodiversity

  • Conservation efforts focus on protecting entire ecosystems as well as single species.

  • Protecting biodiversity must include a benefit to humans

    • Tax credits for solar panels or hybrid cars

    • Tourist dollars for communities near national parks

    • Pay farmers to plant trees

Threats to biodiversity
Threats to Biodiversity

  • Altered habitats

  • Hunting and demand for wildlife products

  • Introduced and invasive species

  • Climate Change

Humans in the biosphere

Section 6-3

1.List three ways in which other organisms have proved to be a benefit to humans.

2. Compare biodiversity with other natural resources, such as wood and fossil fuels. Do you think biodiversity is a renewable or a nonrenewable resource? Explain your answer.

3. What can be done to preserve the biodiversity of organisms?

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Global climate change
Global Climate Change

  • All life on earth depends on climate conditions such as temperature and rainfall.

  • Since the late 19th century, average atmospheric temperatures in Earth’s surface have risen about 0.6oC

  • Since about 1980, average temperatures have risen between 0.2 and 0.3 oC

  • The past 50 years of warming has been attributed to human activity.

Humans in the biosphere,r:0,s:0&tx=123&ty=83&biw=1024&bih=566,r:0,s:0&tx=123&ty=83&biw=1024&bih=566

Effect of global climate change
Effect of global climate change,r:0,s:0&tx=123&ty=83&biw=1024&bih=566

  • Sea levels may rise and flood coastal areas

  • North America may experience more droughts, increasingly hot summers and/or intense weather (thunderstorms)

  • Organisms will not be able to live in areas they once were able to live

What can we do
What can we do?,r:0,s:0&tx=123&ty=83&biw=1024&bih=566

  • Conserve

  • Recycle

  • Become educated and involved

  • Reduce your ecological footprint (according to one set of data, the average American has an ecological footprint over four times larger than the global average)

  • What else?