Environmental Science Environment Science InterrelatednessReintroduce Wolf who eat the Elk increased Willow tree >increased beavers & songbirds change in water flow, change in ecosystems and biodiversity
Ecosystem Approach Ecosystem System, scale, boundaries, interactions Earth Forest Lake Area of pines (Pine Forest) Open water Area of oaks (Oak Forest) Shallow bottom areas A river running through it Deep bottom areas Under a rock in the river Salt marsh A Beaver pond in the middle Vegetated areas Desert Streams or canals Coral reefs Islands Shores Rivers In-land forest
Ecosystem Approach: Political vs.Environmental BordersMekong River Basin China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam Industry Power generation Transport Municipal water supply Agricultural irrigation Fishing 1995 Mekong River Commission Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam Downstream effects
Science vs. Policy Small artificial wetland system—1750 Keoladeo National Park, India, 1982 Endangered Siberian Cranehttp://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=340 http://www.pbase.com/dbehrens/image/874479
Global Nature of Environmental Problems 1992, Earth Summit United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Sustainable Development Biodiversity 1997, 125 nations Kyoto Conference on Climate Change,Kyoto protocol Greenhouse gases —reduce to 5% of 1990 levels between 2008-2012 2007, Intergovt’l Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—4th Assessment Report“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level”
Global Nature of Environmental Problems 2005, The Millenium Ecosystem Assessment Supporting Services Photosynthesis, soil formation, nutrient cycling, water cycling Provisioning services Resources such as food, fiber, genetic resources, natural medicines, freshwater Regulating services Activities that affect air quality, water flow, erosion control, water purification, climate control, disease regulation, pest regulation, pollination, natural hazards Cultural services Spiritual, religious, aesthetic values & recreational uses Negative comments overall
Environmental Programs (--no, don’t memorize) Global UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) International Environmental Education Programme (IEEP) World Health Organization (WHO) The Network on Environment and Development Co-operation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) North America US Environmental Protection Agency Environment Canada
Environmental Programs (--no, don’t memorize) UAE?? UAE Federal Environmental Agency Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Sharjah Bee’ah, Sharjah’s Environmental Company—s Dubai Municipality & Abu Dhabi Environmental Agencies Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) Emirates Wildlife Society/ World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF)
Wilderness North Much of Alaska and Northern Canada “Wilderness” - areas with minimal human influence Generally in areas with severe climate or undeveloped countries UAE—Remote areas w/o human influence??
Agricultural Issues UAE—Greening of the dessert Non-point source pollution Irrigation UAE Historically grazing was nomadic Over-grazing Exotic plants Irrigation Sustainable agriculture
Environmental Issues Resolving environmental conflicts takes compromise Both sides of every issue need to be considered Yes/no, good/bad, guaranteed, definite. . . Do not exist“Never say never or always, there are always exceptions, such as this one.”
Summary Environmental science Study of the environment, humanities place in it, and humanities impact on it Involves science, economics, ethics, politics and more, in arriving at solutions to environmental problems Ecosystem Approach Because ecosystems do not coincide with political boundaries, a regional approach to solving environmental problems is ideal. This should use natural borders rather than political ones
Each region of the world has certain environmental issues that are of primary concern because of the mix of population, resource use patterns, and culture. What was the most significant environmental issue of 2011? What are some specific issues to do with the GCC countries?