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Flashcards in Final Exam Deck (171):
1

Sustainable Development

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

2

Intergenerational Equity

Do future generations deserve equal treatment as well?

3

Carbon footprint

Amount of carbon emissions for a person or particular group in a specified time period.

4

Ecological footprint

-measures how much demand human consumption places on the biosphere.
-accounts for biological capacity to get a more complete prospective.

5

Paris Agreement

-Climate Pact: Approved in Paris in 2015
-Historic step towards reducing and eventually eliminating the use of fossil fuels and creating international agreement.
-Almost 200 countries agreed to ensure that global temperatures do not rise above more than 2°C

6

Issues with the Paris Agreement

-every country was supposed to come back every 5 years to report their new emissions targets
-to meet targets not just reducing emissions, but almost everything needs to become sustainable
-Important players didn't sign
-tragedy of the commons

7

Ways we consume: food

-amount of meat
-food packaging
-locally grown
-food waste

8

Ways we consume: home

-size of our home
-type of home
-materials used to build the home
-number of people in the home
-where our homes are located
-electricity/heat
-water
-waste

9

Ways we consume: transportation

-transit to work/school
-distance
-type of vehicle
-fuel economy
-carpool
-public transit
-flying

10

CERs

-certified emission reductions
-UN clean development mechanism (CDM) protocols
-LDCs

11

VERs

-voluntary GHG emission reduction projects
-UN CDM protocols
-MDCs

12

Problem with offsetting

We think that we can just pay and continue to do whatever we want.

13

Human population growth: solutions

Past: geographic advantages
Future: sustainable future?

14

History of Human Energy Use

-most of history relied on burning wood and animal waste
-1880s: coal, oil and natural gas

15

Fossil fuel

Fuel that comes from the remains of ancient plants, plankton, or algae that have been compressed and heated under layes of sediments accumulating over millions of years

16

Global energy use: phase one

-1800-1920
-coal replaces wood

17

Global energy use: phase two

-1920-1960
-liquid fuels become crucial for transportation systems

18

Global energy use: phase three

-1960+
-power plants and electric power grids

19

What is a joule?

-1 joule is approx the energy needed to lift an apple over your head.
-energy today is measured in exajoules

20

Energy Density

Amount of energy in a volume or mass of fuel

21

Energy quality

Ability of a fuel to do useful work

22

Energy Use: countries

USA one of the largest per capita rates of energy use.
China and India will also have a large impact due to high and increasing population

23

How many tonnes of oil does a person in a MDC use per year?

5 tonnes

24

Primary energy source

Raw materials

25

Secondary energy source

Electricity and refined fuels

26

How much global primary energy was from fossil fuels?

86%

27

Non-renewable

Energy from sources that cannot be renewed within our lifetime

28

Renewables

-can generate energy continuously and not be used up
-24% of energy globally; 2/3 of renewable sources located in MDCs

29

Average American uses 2x the energy of the average...

French, German, Japanese, UK

30

Average American Uses 3x the energy of...

Average Chinese citizen

31

Overall energy use

-China uses the most (more people)
-oil still most popular prinary source

32

Electricity Infrastructure

A concept that explains how a range of possible decisions in the present depends on choices made in the past.

33

Electricity

Flow of charged particles

34

Energy loss

-coal power plants have about 33% efficiency in USA
-up to 45% efficiency in Europe and China

35

Decentralized System

Where the electricity is used near the place it's generated.
ex) solar panels, small wind turbines

36

Impacts of fossil fuels

Pollution: GHG, C02

37

Solutions to fossil fuels

-scrubbing smokestacks
-removing pollutants from fuels before burning
-coal--> natural gas

38

Transportation Emissions

CO2, Hydrocarbons, CO, Nitrogen Oxides

39

2 options to meet future electric utility needs

1. Increase supply
2. Decrease demand

40

How much did energy intensity decrease by in 1975-2015?

60%

41

How much energy would be saved if everyone in USA switched to low energy lighting?

20-30 nuclear power plants

42

Why do fossil fuels matter?

-we need energy for almost everything
-carbon makes up a very large portion of most of our total ecological footprints
-Greenhouse gas CO2
-2°C vs 4°C

43

Coal

Ferns, trees, and other plants in ancient swamps fell and accumulated in deep layers of sediment, which is now mined as coal

44

Oil and Natural Gas

In ancient rivers and oceans, plankton and algae died and were buried in deep layers of sediments. After being heated and compressed under the sediments, these deposits were transformed into the oil or natural gas that we extract today.

45

Recoverable reserves

Deposits that are measured, legally extractable, and cost-effective

46

Marginal reserves

Known to exist, but a little too expensive

47

Sub-economic resources

Far too expensive, but known

48

Conventional oil and gas

Large, easily accessed deposits.
Ex) oil well

49

Unconventional oil and gas

Non-traditional extraction with new technology.
Ex) fracking

50

Who produces the most oil?

1. The Middle East
2. Central America, South America, and the Caribbean
3. North America

51

Who consumes the most oil?

1. Asia Pacific
2. North America
3. Europe and Eurasia

52

Impacts of Oil Production

-Air pollution
-Damage to Marine Ecosystems (oil spills)
-Damage to Terrestrial Ecosystems (including water)

53

Impacts of Oil Consumption

-Greenhouse Gas Emissions
-Air pollution
-Damage to Ecosystems (acid rain)

54

Lignite coal

-lots of impurities, especially sulfur
-low energy density
-not often used in energy production

55

Anthracite coal

High energy density

56

What % of coal reserves does the USA have?

26% of proven reserves

57

What % of coal reserves does Russia have?

17.6%

58

What % of coal reserves does China have?

12.8%

59

China consumes how many times more coal than the USA and India?

5x

60

China + India + USA = % coal globally?

70%

61

Impacts of coal production

-ecological disturbance
-acid rain
-dam failures

62

Impacts of coal consumption

-GHG emissions
-pollution
-acid rain

63

Hydraulic Fracturing: Fracking

-mixture of water, sand and chemicals is injected at high pressure to fracture the rocks deep underground.
-releases gas and oil from the rock/shale

64

Impacts of Natural Gas Production

-contamination of streams and groundwater
-ecological disturbance
-air pollution
-uses lots of water
-EARTHQUAKES

65

Impacts of Natural Gas Consumption

-GHG emissions
-Air pollution
Consumption of natural gas has a lesser environmental impact BUT the production has a far greater one.

66

Nuclear energy

Became more common in the mid-1990s

67

Nuclear reaction

Nuclei of atoms is split apart (fission) which releases a lot of energy

68

Pro of nuclear energy

Very little emissions in production of electricity.
Considered relatively safe.

69

Impacts of Nuclear Energy

-contamination and ecological damage from uranium mining
-potential of release of radiation from nuclear reactor
-radioactive nuclear waste

70

What must be in place for an oil boom to happen?

1. Price of oil
2. Labour and capital
3. Technology
4. Infrastructure
5. Rights/ownership
6. Demand/supply

71

Core problem identified in 'This Changes Everything'

Capitalism

72

Renewable energy

Energy that can be generated continuously, and cannot be used up.

73

Types of renewable energy

Water (hydro, tidal, wave), solar, wind, geothermal, biomass

74

What % of electricity in MB comes from renewables?

99%
-96% from 15 hydroelectric generating stations

75

How many windfarms in MB?

2

76

How many thermal generating stations in MB?

2

77

How many remote diesel generating stations in MB?

4

78

Are renewables always renewable?

No. Renewable based on our current conditions, (current climate). Climate change could change our hydrological cycles, and then our hydro electricity could be affected

79

Hydropower

-energy from flowing water
-largest source of renewable energy
-low GHG emissions
-expensive to build
-consistent source of electricity

80

Hydroelectric Energy Potential

-97% use in MB
-Canada is 3rd largest generator of hydroelectricity, after China and Brazil.

81

Hydro impacts

-change the flow of rivers
-flood large areas
-habitat disruption
-displace people

82

Solar energy

-energy from solar radiation
-free fuel
-no GHGs or pollution
-costly to produce large amounts of energy
-limited by cloud and hours of darkness (requires storage)

83

Amount of solar energy that reaches earth's surface in one month = ....?

Energy from all fossil fuels ever used!

84

Passive solar energy

-direct use of solar energy
-does not require mechanical power
-orient windows to face the sun (or away from the sun in hot climate)

85

Characteristics of passive solar energy

-airtight construction
-well-insulated
-heated from sunlight, occupants, lights and appliances

86

Active Solar Energy

-direct use of solar energy that requires mechanical power
-usually consists of pumps and other machinery to circulate air, water, or other fluids from solar collectors to a heat sink where the heat may be stored
-solar collectors often on roof tops

87

Solar Ponds

-shallow pond filled with water and used to generate relatively low-temperature water
-heated water is salty so remains near the bottom
-heat is then extracted

88

Barriers/limitations to solar energy

-sun not available 24 hours
-need to be able to store energy
-installation costs are the main barrier
-panels are made from metals that are expensive and rare
Main environmental impact is from mining

89

Wind energy

-intermittent and non-dispatchable
-1500 turbines is the same as one coal plant
-wind costs the same as fossil fuels

90

2015 wind energy use in USA is?

4.7%

91

2030 wind every use is predicted to be?

20%

92

Pros of wind energy

-abundant, clean and renewable
-almost no GHG
-well-developed

93

Cons of wind energy

-requires backup systems and storage for when wind does not blow
-noisy
-can impair some communications transmissions
-impact on wildlife
-considered visual eyesore

94

Future of wind energy

-estimated that wind could produce between 18-41% of global electricity by 2050
-ability to store wind energy would increase the supply between approx 30-40%
-one of the most cost-effective renewables

95

Biomass fuels

-some can be burned directly
-some can produce other materials
-land may be required for food production rather than particularly growing fuel
-may reduce landfill

96

What is used for biomass fuels?

-fermentation of corn or sugar cane
-experimenting with switchgrass
-cellulosic ethanol
-algae
-ethanol
-biodiesel

97

Geothermal energy

Energy from the heat of the earth's interior.

98

Pros of geothermal energy

-can be used to heat or cool buildings
-steam from these sources can power turbines
-dispatchable: available anytime

99

Future of Geothermal Energy

-40 countries could use geothermal exclusively for all electricity needs
-Norway requires building assessments for why you CAN'T build without geothermal energy

100

Sustainable

Meeting the needs of the present without jeopardizing the needs of future generations

101

Renewable

-renewable within a human lifetime
-not all renewable forms of energy are sustainable. ex) hydro

102

Best options of sustainable energy

Solar, wind, geothermal

103

Currently renewables account for less than.... % of global energy supply.

3%

104

Barriers to change

Technology, infrastructure, politics, policy

105

MB Hydro

-exporter of power. We make more than we need
-a lot of this energy is exported to tar sands
-promised the "eradication of mass poverty and unemployment" and instead created "engineered poverty"

106

Impacts of MB Hydro

-3 people on welfare in a community compared to 80% now, largely due to inability to fish
-MB has a flat landscape so water can flood large areas
-Japanese experts say that there is no safe level of mercury contamination, and no reason to believe it'll be fine in a few decades
- sacred sites are affected

107

VEC

-valued ecological component
-ex) fish (who decides what a VEC is and how much it is worth?)

108

Water as a basic human right

-july of 2010 UN declared access to clean water and sanitation as a human right
-50-100 L per day for basic needs

109

People and lack of water

1 in 4- no access to clean drinking water
2 in 5- no adequate sanitation

110

Causes of Cape Town's Water Shortage

Climate change, 3 years of record breaking droughts, tried to mitigate, not enough cause estimates were made on average rainfall, which hasn't happened.

111

Day zero

Day when taps will be shut off. Estimated to be mid-July.
-taps turn off at 13.5%

112

How much water do humans need to survive?

2-5 L

113

Recommendation of water entitlement for humans?

50 L per day

114

Water use agriculture %

69%

115

Water use industrial needs %

23%

116

Water use domestic %

7%

117

How many L water does the average Canadian use per day?

251 L

118

Water use reduction

-use less water
-use lower quality water for certain applications
-"low flow" fixtures

119

Solar watercones

Purify water even desalinization of seawater

120

Q-drum

Allows transportation of 50 L of water

121

Fog catching

Use of nets to capture water from fog

122

How many of the world's rivers are shared by 2 or more countries?

261

123

Water scarcity and pollution often...

-limit social and economic development
-linked to poverty, hunger and disease

124

Sharing water: 4 key questions

1. How will the water resource be managed to ensure compliance with any agreement?
2. What fraction or proportion of the water can be allocated for societies use without impairing the resource beyond unacceptable limits?
3. How will the water requirements of rural and urban populations in each country be met equitably and "timeously", within the constraints of economics and international treaties?
4. What constitutes a fair and equitable share of the water resource for each country?

125

Atmosphere

Envelope of gases that surround the planet and held in by the earth's gravitational field

126

% nitrogen in the atmosphere

78%

127

% oxygen in our atmosphere

21%

128

Inert gases

-limited ability to react with other chemicals under normal conditions
-limited role in air pollution or climate change

129

Chemically reactive gases

-chemical reactions with other materials
-oxidation reactions convert chemicals from forms in atmosphere to forms that can be "washed out" with precipitation

130

Radiatively Active Gases

-alters the amount of heat present in the atmosphere
-CO2
-can heat up planet/atmosphere

131

Troposphere

Lowest layer

132

Stratosphere

-as high as 50km
-warmer again as sunlight interacts with ozone

133

Atmospheric circulation cells

Pattern of large scale movement of air around the planet cause by unequal heating of the earth's surface

134

Hadley cells

-cells immediately above and below the equator
-often why we have tropical rainforests near the equator
-and arid regions immediately north and south of these areas where the cool dry air descends

135

Polar cells

Temp difference between poles and nearby land mass

136

Ferrel cells

-influenced by winds from Polar and Hadley cells
-intense wind and frequent storms (often in winter)

137

Circulation

-heating by the sun creates an area of low pressure at the equator
-creates weather patterns

138

Trade winds

-blow east to west
-air flows from high to low pressure

139

Coriolis effect

-clockwise deflection in Northern hemisphere
-counterclockwise deflection in Southern hemisphere

140

Weather

Phenomena occurring in the atmosphere at a certain point in time, which results in SHORT TERM variations in atmospheric conditions

141

Climate

Average weather conditions of a particular place over a long period of time

142

Main difference between weather and climate?

Time scale

143

Cause and impacts of nitrogen oxides

Cause: burning fossil fuels
Impacts: human health, ozone, acid rain

144

Cause and impacts of sulfur oxides

Cause: coal electricity generating stations
Impacts: human health and acid rain

145

Ozone

Molecule made up of 3 oxygen atoms found in both the troposphere and stratosphere

146

Primary pollutant

Chemical form of pollution released into atmosphere

147

Secondary pollutant

Chemical form of pollution formed when primary pollutants react in atmosphere. Ex) ozone

148

Ozone depletion

-most ozone formed at low latitudes and then transported to high latitudes
-during winter, Antartica isolated from surrounding atmosphere
-in spring when the sun returns chlorine destroys ozone

149

Stratospheric ozone

-the ozone "hole"
-1987 Montreal Agreement.

150

Montreal Agreement

-singed by most nations
-phased out CFCs
-most no longer in use
-ozone will take a few more decades to recover

151

Particulate pollution

Different types of particles from mineral dust, soil, very small organic particles from fossil fuels

152

Lead

Metal found in the atmosphere in form of particulate air pollution

153

Impacts of air pollution

Human health: damages airways or enters bloodstream
Other impacts: pollution of waterways and ecosystems, degrade buildings

154

Residence time

Time an element or compound spends in a particular reservoir

155

Short residence time

Means that it will stay near where it was emitted and not last as long

156

Long residence time

Can be emitted in South America or Africa and travel across Atlantic Ocean

157

Wet deposition

Pollutants that dissolve in water in the atmosphere

158

Dry deposition

Pollutants that can be deposited onto land without rain

159

Energy balance

Difference between the solar energy that reaches the planet and the energy that leaves the earth

160

Greenhouse gases

A gas that absorbs infrared radiation and traps heat in the atmosphere

161

Greenhouse gases include:

CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, CFCs, water vapour

162

Climate forcing

Alteration with energy balance of the climate.
"Forces" climate to change.

163

Solar energy

-solar output
-changes in earth's orbit around sun
-orientation of earth relative to the sun

164

Reflective energy

-albedo of earth's surface
-particles in atmosphere

165

Trapped energy

Concentration of GHG in atmosphere

166

Milankovitch Mechanism
3 Characteristics of Orbits

1. Obliquity
2. Eccentricity
3. Precession

167

Obliquity

Change in the earth's axis. 22-24.5°C. Greater seasonality

168

Eccentricity

Actual shape of the earth has changed

169

Precession

"Wobble" of the earth's atmosphere

170

Proxy data

Biological and chemical signatures

171

4 major long-lived GHGs

1. Carbon dioxide
2. Methane
3. Nitrous oxide
4. Halocarbons (CFCs)