Case Study 4 pg. 221

  • Determined as the longest river in the USA, the Colorado River is automatically highly demanded in many ways. In my opinion, its main priority is supply humans with drinking water. As stated, the Colorado River supplies water to over 17 million humans in seven states including Mexico. This is a direct indication of its importance to humans. Another important use of this river is through agriculture. The Colorado River supplies 15% of the food production in the USA. This statistic is most important because most of the states provided are southern states that are widely affected by desert land and a lack of water systems. Another use of the river is supplying hydroelectric power. Due to the dams and the rise of the water, the river provides a great amount of electric power to the society. This is an important supply, because it correlates directly to industrial use, which makes it a large component in the county’s economy. Although these are the most important components supplied by the Colorado River, other customs such as irrigation and watering vast areas of land play a role in its usage in the environment.

 

  • The main controllers and winners of this water flow would most certainly be the engineering projects such as the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams. This is so due to their total control on the water levels, and their great amount of hydroelectric power gained from these projects. This is a great boost economically, because in providing cheaper electricity, these projects eliminate competition such as petroleum and even solar energy in that matter. These companies have also encouraged immigration, which automatically increased the demand in both water and power. On the other hand, the biggest losers in this system would have to be Mexico. This is due to the fact that even though they have good accessibility to the water, the reception of the water is very poor due to the increase in salinity. This is due to a process in America through irrigation, and after this process the water has a high content of salt, and then is directly sent to Mexico. This makes them losers because as they receive the water, its use on plants is dead due to the high salt content.

 

  • After all the money spent, and all of the effort in utilizing the water correctly, I strongly believe that the region of the Colorado River is greatly sustainable. As stated in the text, “discussions have been going on to address the salinity and pollution in the sea including cutting a sea-level canal to allow sea water to enter and so reduce salinity”. This alone shows you how many communities are working really hard on finding a cheap and efficient solution to the main and only conflict, which is the high content of salt in the Colorado River.
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Ecological Footprints of MEDCs and LEDCs pg 197

  1. The high per capita grain production in North America suggests that the diet is rich in meat and it is less healthy than the African diet. This also due to the high demand.
  2. The local grain productivity suggests that the method used in Africa is more effective than the one used in North America. This is due to the massively high number of grain productivity in Africa compared to the one in North America.
  3. North America is more dependent on fossil fuels than Africa. This is due to the high difference in Per capita CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in which North America surpasses Africa by 1300 kg C per year-1.
  4. The difference in Net carbon dioxide fixation is present between these two continents because North America contains many MEDC that are based on industry and use large amounts of carbon dioxide, while Africa contains more LEDC that are mainly agriculturally based economies and use a lot less carbon dioxide.
  5. Ecological footprint is based on population size and the consumption per capita. In LEDC the population starts out high due to the high birth rate, and then lowers exponentially due to the high death rate caused by famine and disease that are directly correlated to the low per capita consumption. In MEDC the population size is higher than in LEDC and in result the ecological footprint is higher. Although one might suppose that the LEDC have higher ecological footprints do to the agriculture based economy and the large amount of open land, it is wrong because the MEDC fill up the open land with industries which means that they automatically have a higher amount of resource use.
  6. This is completely normal because as stated above, ecological footprint is solely based on population size and consumption per capita. If this is to be true about Singapore, it means that they have a high population size, and as a developing country, must have a high amount of consumption per capita.
  7. This change will affect the ecological footprint by lowering it. This is true because there will be more vast areas of land, and fewer resources will be utilized.

 

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Exploiting the Poles Rdg Log

1. Discuss the reasons for the absence of an Arctic Treaty.

The Arctic Treaty is absent because unlike Antartica, the Arctic has minerals that are worth trillions of dollars. With the world that we live in today, that is solely based on money, countries would never agree to give up such a valuable piece of land. Also, Denmark and other countries have been sending scientists on scientific expeditions to see if the Arctic is actually part of Greenland, and if they find proof that it is, then it will automatically be considered as Danish territory.

2. Suggest who would own the oceans.

Due to the oceans being frozen for most of the year, humans are not able to make use of the Arctic minerals. In that case, it is more about who owns the Arctic land than who owns its oceans. With that said if the Arctic is found to be Danish territory then the owner of the land will probably own the oceans leading up to the Arctic, which in this case is Denmark.

3. Identify who should regulate human exploitation of the oceans.

Human exploitation of the oceans should be regulated by the United Nations. This is so, due to safety and to prevent any disagreement between nations. Concerning the subject of safety, the UN should regulate these exploitations because during most of the year the conditions of the oceans leading up to the Arctic are very harsh, and can be deadly for most of the people that are going to be exploiting them. Also, disagreement between nations is really probable due to what is in stake, but it is also very dangerous because it can lead to war between these nations and also an environmental disaster might occur especially concerning a valuable and somewhat unstable environment such as the Arctic.

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Malthusian vs Boserup’s Theory

A theory is a supposition or system of ideas intended to explain something. Malthus and Boserup both had their own theories about population growth relating to food supply. A general limitation of this evaluation is the fact that they lived through different eras that resulted in the theories being published based on how the world was in that particular time period. Thomas Malthus lived through the 18th– 19th century while Ester Boserup lived through the 20th century. This time frame is essential due to the fact that these theories were divided by the Industrial Revolution, which automatically means that the view on the world was different.

The Malthusian theory is based on the fact that “a population can never increase beyond the food supplies necessary to support it”. Malthus believed that human population increased geometrically while food supplies can only grow arithmetically, which means that food supply should be high enough before any geometric population growth takes place. This is an interesting case because since this all took place before the Industrial Revolution, Malthus used math and what he believed was logic to figure out how to balance food supply and population growth. He found it more important to deal with food supply first because of the fact that food supply can remain without human population while human population cannot remain without sufficient food supply. Though some might think the Malthusian theory is very limited and “closed”, it is certainly not. At his time, Malthus could not foresee globalization so he worked with what he had. During that time period the world was closed and the Malthusian theory was a great way to maintain the balance between food supply and human population growth.

Boserup’s theory is different than the Malthusian theory due to increased amount of technological advancement. Unlike Malthus, Boserup believed that “an increase in population would stimulate technologists to increase food production”. This is the opposite of what Malthus believed because during her time, the farming technology had dramatically risen and food supply was not the main concern for human population. The base of Boserup’s theory is “necessity is the mother of invention”. This is an important saying because it describes how after this rise of technology and industry, food supply would come after the growth of human population. In other words, the food supply depended on the population size unlike in Malthus’ time where human population depended on food supply. Like any theory, Boserup’s theory contains various limitations, one being the act of immigration and emigration. This is a limitation to her theory because emigration for example usually occurs in areas of over population and lack of globalization that means that some of Malthus’ theory should still be in action today. Also, the fact that overpopulation is occurring shows that food supply is not high enough, or that it is not distributed equally.

To conclude, these two theories are somewhat different to one another mainly due to the fact that Malthus and Boserup are from completely different eras. There were around 7 million people in Britain was alive, and there are more than 60 million today. I might lean towards the Malthusian theory due to the fact that I live in a LEDC and I witness lack of food supply almost every day.

 

 

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Adnane Reading Log p. 160-165 Blog

Density-dependant limiting factors and density-independent limiting factors are two different types factors. The key words in both these factors are dependant and independent. First, density-dependent limiting factors are biotic whereas density-independent limiting factors are abiotic. This means that density-dependent limiting factors are directly correlated to population related changes such as population size. On the other hand, density-independent limiting factors are not related to population. Another differentiating aspect is the feedback system. Density-dependent limiting factors act as negative feedback because of the fact that they lead back to stability and regulation of the population. In contrast, density-independent limiting factors have no part in a feedback system since they have no effect on population size or density.

The S-curve and the J-curve are both very different and both models of density limiting factors. The S-curve relates to density-dependent limiting factors and the J-curve relates to density-independent factors. The S-curve starts out with exponential growth and then gradually arrives to a constant rate. The J-curve also starts out with exponential growth but unlike the S-curve, it surpasses the carrying capacity and collapses. These collapses are called diebacks. Also, the S-curve is attributed to humans and other large mammals while the J-curve is typically of microbes, fish, and small mammals.

Species are divided into K and r strategists. K and r are variables. K is the carrying out of the environment and r is the rate of population growth. K strategist is the group in which humans are found. Small number of offspring but they take really good care of them, which results in most of them surviving. Also, K strategists tend to stay close to the carrying capacity. In contrast, r-strategists such as fish and other small organisms produce a high amount of offspring but do not take of them and usually leave them behind. These offspring’s usually have a short life span but since the r-strategists’ reproduction is so high and repetitive, they usually exceed the carrying capacity.

 

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Adnane case study #1:

Minamata is a factory town, which automatically means that various dangerous substances are released into the open. In this particular case, it is related to Mercury and how it is heavily released (27 tons in 1968) into Minamata Bay. This harsh release of mercury caused thousands of local residents to suffer from ruthless mercury poisoning.

The mercury poisoning is an example of both bioaccumulation and biomagnifications. Bioaccumulation is the accumulation of substances or other organic chemicals in an organism. It occurs when an organism absorbs a substance at a greater rate than it is lost. Mercury poison is an example of bioaccumulation because the methylmercury that is absorbed by shrimp, then fish then eventually humans is a substance that is enormous in terms of quantity, and it stays in the organism’s body for a lengthy period of time. On the other hand, biomagnifications are linked to the increase in concentration. In this particular case study, methylmercury enters organisms that are essential to other organisms in the food chain (shrimp-fish fish-humans), which increases methylmercury in the body, which therefore increases risk and severity of poisoning.

This case study is a perfect example of how bacteria can affect the environment. The bacteria that formed mercury into methylmercury, began at the bottom of the food chain, and concluded by affecting the food chain as a whole. The gravity of this kind of poisoning is huge since it can be found in ones main source of energy and nutrition.

 

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