Ecological footprint
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Ecological footprint

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Ecological footprint Ecological footprint Presentation Transcript

  • Ecological Footprint
  •  Ecological Footprint measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes under prevailing technology  That is, it measures the extent to which humanity is using nature's resources faster than they can regenerate
  • So Where are We At?  The footprint is a resource accounting tool that can help us plan for a world in which we all live well, within the means of our one planet  But today, humanity's Ecological Footprint is over 23% larger than what the planet can regenerate  It now takes more than one year and two months for the Earth to regenerate what we use in a single year
  • Ecological Overshoot  When humanity's ecological resource demands exceed what nature can supply, we reach ecological overshoot  The effects: collapsing fisheries, carbon-induced climate change, species extinction, deforestation, and the loss of groundwater  The human footprint has more than tripled since 1960
  • Humanity's Footprint 1961-2003  How many Earths were needed to meet the resource requirements of humanity for each year?  Ratio between resource demand & Biocapacity  Demand = population times per capita consumption  Biocapacity = 1planet
  • World Ecological Footprint
  • Components of the World's Average per Person
  • Some Definitions  CO2 is carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas  CO2-e is the equivalent in CO2 of all greenhouse gasses including methane and fluorocarbons  Bts is the weight of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere as billion tonnes metric  ppm is the ratio of the number of greenhouse gas molecules to the total number of molecules of dry air as parts per million  IPCC is the UN International Panel on Climate Change
  • Predictions  Recent research shows that there is a ten percent risk that we will pass an irreversible tipping point in the next five years  Greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere now stand at around 430ppm CO2-e, compared with only 280ppm before the Industrial Revolution
  •  Our industrial life-style has added 2,300 Bts over 200 years each year at increasing rates  Output in 2050 will be around 87 Bts  The total CO2-e in the atmosphere will then have accumulated to 5,300± Bts, which is over twice today's amount
  •  A child born in a wealthy country is likely to consume, waste, and pollute more in her/his lifetime than 50 children born in poorer nations
  • Rising Sea Levels  Sea levels are predicted to rise more than 5 metres as temperatures get over 2 C, principally from melting ice from Greenland and the Antarctic—Greenland could be losing more than 80 cubic miles of ice per year  A 1 mm rise in sea level causes a shoreline retreat of about 1.5 meters  In the past 50 years, sea level has been rising 1.8mm a year - which is ten times the average for the past 3,000 years—in the last decade this has increased to 3.1mm
  • Temperature & Sea Level
  • The Impact  A one-meter rise in sea level would inundate half of Bangladesh's rice land, and would seriously flood Viet Nam, China, India and Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Egypt…  And inundate parts of hundreds of cities, including some of the world’s largest such as London, Alexandria, Bangkok, and Shanghai
  •  As CO2 is taken up by the oceans, the pH level is reduced, which causes the water to become more acid—in the past the amount being absorbed and the amount being emitted were in balance  Today changes in sea water affect the yield of fish, marine bird populations  Yet a billion people around the world depend on fish for their main source of protein
  • Regional Footprints
  • National Footprints  A nation's consumption is calculated by adding imports to and subtracting exports from national production  Today most countries are running ecological deficits  In 2003, humanity's Footprint exceeded the Earth's biological capacity by over 25 percent
  • United States
  • U.S. Footprint By Component Biocapacity varies each year with ecosystem management, agricultural practices (such as fertilizer use and irrigation), ecosystem degradation
  • Cuba  Cuba suffered from the disintegration of the USSR in 1989  Cuba adapted to live more in line with its own natural capacity
  • Cuban Footprint by Component
  • Mexico  Mexico has moved from using only 1/3 of its domestic biocapacity in 1961 to nearly 1 ½ times its own biocapacity in 2002
  • Mexican Footprint by Component
  • How Much Nature Does Your Lifestyle Demand?  http://ecofoot.org/ -- Take the Quiz! 1. How often do you eat animal based products? (once or twice a week) 2. How much of the food that you eat is processed, packaged and not locally grown? (3/4) 3. Compared to people in your neighborhood, how much waste do you generate? (about the same)
  • 4. How many people live in your household? (2) 5. What is the size of your home? (1500-1900 sq. ft.) 6. Which housing type best describes your home? (Free standing with running water) 7. Do you have electricity in your home? (yes) 8. On average, how far do you travel on public transportation each week? (0)
  • 9. On average, how far do you go by motorbike each week? (0) 10. On average, how far do you go by car each week? (10-100 miles) 11. Do you bicycle, walk, or use animal power to get around? (seldom) 12. Approximately how many hours do you spend flying each year? (10 hours) 13. How many miles per gallon does your car get? (25-35 mpg) 14. How often do you drive in a car with someone else, rather than alone? (almost never)
  • The Results CATEGORY ACRES Food 4.7 Mobility 1.0 Shelter 10.4 Goods/Services 10.4 Total Footprint 26.0
  • What Does it Mean?  IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON  IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 5.9 PLANETS
  •  If everyone in the world lived as we do in the United States, we would need over 7½ planets to live sustainably