Flashcards in Midterm 2 Deck (122):
How is the majority of land on earth used?
Cropland and rangeland.
20% of all surface land is needed for agriculture to feed. Equal to the size of Africa.
Grazing livestock, meat and dairy.
Land use extensification
When natural ecosystems are converted into areas for human use
Land use intensification
Increasing the intensity of human land use
Issues with land use intensification
More fertilizers- more pollution
More resistant plants
Increase in proportion of people living in urban areas.
-overall population increasing
-rural population decreasing
Issues with urbanization
Waste, pollution, urban sprawl, transportation
Complicated: rows of the same trees (monoculture), costly to recreate an entire ecosystem, selective harvesting
Wood products, fuel, cropland, rangeland.
Ex) Brazil and Australia
Planting trees where there were none previously
Impacts of deforestation
-carbon released by burning and decomposition of trees and other plants
-loss of ability to absorb carbon
-carbon from fossil fuels burned in process of deforestation
Issues with cropland
-loss to urban sprawl
-soil degradation: erosion, salinization, water logging
-quickly cause irreversible erosion, especially in semi-arid places. ex) Australia
Land degradation in arid location, eventually becomes desert
Future of land use
Cities: high density, mass transit, less energy use.
-eat lower on the food chain. Requires less resources.
4 challenges for increased agriculture production?
Irrigation, soil, tillage, fertilizer
Increasing complexity and demand for water.
-salination of soils (inadequate drainage and evaporation)
-leads to desertification (loss of vegetation)
-decline in freshwater bodies (ex. Aral Sea)
Techniques to prevent soil erosion
-fallowing and crop rotation
-terracing sloped fields
-maintaining vegetation cover
-importance of understanding soil types
Types of tillage
Strip/zone tillage, minimum tillage, zero tillage
3 functions of tillage
-provides a seed bed
-incorporates organic matter
-naturally from the atmosphere, but not enough.
-in farmed soils it reduces over time.
Ways to increase nitrogen is by using manures and planting legumes
Process to convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia.
Ex) Haber-Bosch process
-can lead to eutrophication
Excessive nutrients in a body of water.
Often from land run off.
Too much plant growth, depletes oxygen when these plants die
-rapid development of improved plants and animals.
-high yielding varieties of rice and wheat. (Followed by other crops).
Negative impacts of the Green Revolution
-neocolonialism (downgrading local knowledge)
5 major factors/advances in the Green Revolution
5. Plant breeding
20% earths land is currently used in cropland and cultivated
Food, fuel, fibres, pharmaceuticals, luxury goods
2 issues with food security
-crop failure in subsistence agriculture
-sudden change in markets (ex. Increase in price)
Food security - chronic
Food availability is always low
Food security - transitory
Disruption in food supply
Issues with food aid
1. Can depress prices in the receiving country.
2. May not be effectively distributed
Origins of agriculture
-transition from foraging to farming around 12 000 years ago
-plants and animals domesticated a number of times by different populations
-diffusion of crops between neighboring regions
-colonialism brought crops from Americas
-industrialization if agriculture related to the emergence of capitalism
Where all people at all times have access to safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.
Food shortage in a region so severe that it leads to starvation
Causes of famine
Drought, disaster, conflict, and corruption
Causes of hunger and famine
Environment, poverty, conflict
Environment (hunger and famine)
-lack of water
Poverty (hunger and famine)
-lack of resources
-hunger and poverty also reinforce the other
Conflict (hunger and famine)
-displacement of people
-control of resources and transportation
-hunger used as a means of control
Insufficient or excessive intake of nutrients.
Specific nutrients insufficiency.
How do we increase food production?
1. Increased irrigation
-already at maximum
2. Increasing amount of agricultural lands
-already using all good cropland
3. Eating lower on the food chain
-not popular, culturally difficult
4. Improve food distribution
-equity issues, difficult with natural disasters, instability of governments
The planting of large areas with a single species or even a single strain of subspecies in farming
4 most popular foods
Wheat, corn, rice, potatoes
-colour, flavour, size, resistance to temps, floods
-manipulate genes at genetic level
Takes advantage of genetic changes over multiple generations
-direct manipulation of genes, within an organism
-only way to transfer between species
-specific and deliberate alteration of genes
-create new combinations not possible in nature
Organisms that have been genetically engineered
Genes from another species
Concerns of GMOs
Improper testing, unintentionally pass on to other non-target organisms, can accumulate in the environment
-naturally occurring from fungi and molds
-in small amounts not an issue
-can kill animals and humans
-"natural" can also be toxic
Crops grown to be traded or sold, profitable
Crops used directly for food by a farmer or sold locally where the food is used directly, food that is needed
Limited by demand and not resources
Production is limited by the availability of resources
Produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. General features include practices that strive to cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity
Organic food yields
Higher costs and limited supply.
Typically less pesticides on organic food.
4 approaches for sustainable agriculture
1. Reduce water, fertilizers, and pesticides.
-precision agriculture (drip irrigation)
2. Reduce agriculture where water is scarce
3. Limit biofuels
4. Limit resource intensive food growth - like meat
Branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to each other and their environment
Studies the effects of chemicals and other toxic agents on everything from organisms to ecosystems (not people), with an emphasis on adverse effects, but even 'positive' effects need to be understood and characterized
Combination of toxicity and intensity of exposure.
-no toxicity or no exposure results in no hazard
The probability that a substance will be hazardous
Risk involves 3 things
Toxicity, intensity of exposure, probability of exposure
Degree to which a chemical substance can damage an organism
Increase in substances in an organism
Increasing build up of toxins in organisms in higher levels of the food chain
"The solution to pollution is dilution"
-replaced by the boomerang paradigm: what you throw away can come back and hurt you
Complex combination of economic, political, and cultural change.
-evident in accumulation of possessions
-has accelerated since the 1980s
-in 1990s specialization and product concentration
-highly mechanized/automated facilities owned by few companies
Control of markets by single often multinational corporations
Product concentrations- causes
1. Distance overcome more easily
-efficient transportation, international communications
2. Increased dominance of transnational corporations.
-corporations not confined to one state
-some more powerful than some governments
Product concentration- effects
1. Homogenization of cultures
-suppression of diversity
-uniformity of cultural landscape
-spread of English
2. Increased connectedness (both result and cause)
3. Blurs in the distinction between developed and emerging markets
Impact on trade
1. Goods and information traded
-greater volumes, faster speeds
2. Greater interdependence
-connectedness could lead to stability
-benefits need to be well distributed (they're not)
Criticisms of world trade
-inequity and negative impacts on developing nations
-potential for significant control on populations
-promotes export-oriented economies
Less developed countries owing money to international lending agencies and foreign banks
A measure of income/wealth inequality from a scale of 0 to 1.
-perfect equality of income = 0
-perfect inequality of income = 1
Ability of a nation to retain its distinct identity while taking advantage of globalization
Developing nations and waste trade
-higher costs to deal with waste, especially hazardous.
Export to LDCs
-contaminated ships broken up for scrap metal
-if done in MDC, costs exceed price of steel recovered
What are plastics?
Materials based on polymers
Large repeating molecules
Included with other materials
Layered on another material
Qualities of modern plastic
1. Successful- low cost, superior performance
2. Enduring- have become global litter problem
Plastic from fossil fuels
-produced from crude oil, natural gas, and coal
-300 billion tonnes per year of plastics is produced. Expected to triple by 2050
Benefits of plastic
-buildings (pipes, valves, flooring, siding, etc)
-medicine (IV tubes, pacemakers)
-food (packaging extends shelf life)
-3D printing (everything)
Issues with plastic
-waste (91% of total produced plastic is not recycled)
-hazardous to wildlife
-expensive to management
Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Centre of Pacific where gyres accumulate and concentrate garbage.
-80% marine debris comes from land
Solutions to plastic use
-can use innovative design so items need less material
-recycling produces other materials
-create plastics that are degradable
-new generation of bioplastics
Rare earth minerals
Relatively rare minerals used in high tech industries.
Ex) tantalum and lithium
-used in the electronics industry
-contain high field strength elements used in the electronics industry
-high melting point
-low electrical leakage and high capacity
-metal least rejected by the human body
-high specific heat capacity
-found in minerals such as PETALITE and SPODUMENE
-high power to weight ratio
Uses of lithium
-cell phones and laptops
-lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable, lighter and long lasting
-crystalline igneous rock
-associated with dikes
-form from magma containing a lot of water and under pressure
-sometimes very rare and valuable elements
-can be found in Africa
Crack in the earth's surface where magma flows in and cools. That's where we find pegamatites
Coltan and the Congo
1.increased demand from computers and other technologies
2. Illegal extraction
-funds guerilla warfare
-damages the environment
-dangerous mining conditions for people
-threatens populations of gorillas
3. Described as a blood mineral
Issues with blood minerals
-dozens of reported deaths
Uses of boron
-coatings on turbine blades and rocket nozzles
-bullet proof clothing
-detergents, soaps, cleaners, cosmetics
Main ways that we consume
Lifestyles, food, shelter, goods, mobility, experiences
Ways we consume: lifestyles
-permanent settlements = able to have more stuff.
-ability to consume is increased by our ability to move stuff around the world
-globalization results in cheaper products and cheaper transportation
Canada's food waste carbon footprint size?
Ways we consume: home
-natural gas (most common in MB)
Average amount of e-waste in USA
9.4 million tons
Average amount of phones disposed of every day
Amount of e-waste recycled
Clothing made cheaply and easily replaced
Meant to be thrown away when broken
Staying current; throw away just because
Solutions to over consumption
-shift from goods and services to experiences
-more transparency in media and social media
Solutions to food waste
1. Meal planning
2. Labelling/ fridge organizing
4. Shopping: picking the food that doesn't look perfect
-where we chose to live
-types of homes we buy
-energy efficient decisions
-buy fewer upgrades
-look for ethically sourced products
-more transparency in the supply chain
-environmental and social activism as a brand
-culture that supports these initiatives
10% of global GDP
Export earnings and tourism
Tourism is ranked 3rd