It is a complex interacting system of living organisms and the physical environment.
The biosphere is composed of smaller units called Ecosystems.
We depend on it for everything we need and want
A dynamically balanced open environmental system.
Self- sustaining ( ~ self cleaning ability )
Stability ( Buffering ability )
Humans are an integral part of ecosystems
The quality of Human life is directly related to the quality of Environment. A healthy environment is essential to human survival. Water, air and soil pollution causes 40 per cent of deaths of the world.
Human –Environment Interactions
Planet Earth is the Home for human beings, animals and plants.
Man dominates the world and exploits all available resources.
He works as the agent of all environmental degradation.
He also become its prime victim.
Human dependence on the natural Environment
a resource for food supply
a major source of medicines
an energy source
a source for recreation
natural resources for industrial products
Human wants are never ending N E E D S W A N T S W A N T S Environment
" Overshoot is growth beyond carrying capacity. The earth is constantly changing.
. The WWF's Living Planet Report 2004 confirms that humanity is now consuming over 20 % more natural resources than the Earth can regenerate.
We are plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life.
Did you know ?
Our current global situation: Since the mid 1980s, humanity has been in ecological overshoot with annual demand on resources exceeding what Earth can regenerate each year .
We maintain this overshoot by liquidating the Earth’s resources. Overshoot is a vastly underestimated threat to human well-being and the health of the planet, and one that is not adequately addressed.
Ecological means related to the ecology , which is the totality or pattern of relations between organism s and their environment .
An ecological disturbance is an event or circumstance that interrupts the relationship between organism and environment .
The condition of an unimpaired ecosystem as measured by combined chemical, physical and biological attributes.
ECO = Home or Habitat LOGICAL = Ordered or in an orderly fashion INTEGRITY = Whole or Complete
"Ecological integrity" - is a term used to describe ecosystems that are self-sustaining and self-regulating.
For example, complete food webs, a full complement of native species and naturally functioning ecological processes (energy flow, nutrient and water cycles, etc).
Environmental stress is a challenge to ecological integrity
Human activity = Impacts
Human activity is a major cause of environmental change
Environment degradation has an impact not only on human beings but on all species and most natural systems
Human activity = Impacts Ozone depletion Loss of biodiversity Population increase Economic growth Global warming Air ,water & land pollution Resource depletion
WHAT IS GLOBAL CHANGE ?
Global change includes natural and human- induced changes in the Earth's environment .
Global change can be defined as changes in the global environment (including alterations in climate, land productivity, oceans or other water resources, atmospheric chemistry, and ecological systems) that may alter the capacity of the Earth to sustain life.
The Paul Ehrlich Equation
The Paul Ehrlich Equation is presented as:
I = P * A * T = Eye PAT
I mpact = P opulation x A ffluence x T echnology. where: I is the impact on the environment resulting from consumption P is the population number A is the consumption per capita (affluence) T is the technology factor
Impact of a country on the global environment
It can be described as
the product of the numbers of people ( Population ),
consumption of goods and services per capita (a measure of the scale of resource use, termed Affluence for brevity, and convenience), and
Technology (a measure of the degree to which inefficient and environmentally unsafe methods are used to produce and consume goods and service).
Obviously, a high number in any one of the terms--population, affluence, or technology--produce a large impact.
the effects humans have on our planet
How Big is Your Footprint?
Each and every living organism consumes the Earth's resources in order to survive.
However, this consumption and subsequent waste has an impact on our ecosystems.
When these consumption and waste activities extend beyond the earth's carrying capacity, an imbalance is struck and ecological degradation ensues.
the amount or the part of nature used by a person to satisfy his needs.
It is a measure of the demands and the consumption of natural resources by people.
The sizes of ecological footprint vary from country to country and from person to person.
The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems.
It compares human demand with planet Earth's ecological capacity ...
Per capita ecological footprint (EF) is a means of comparing consumption and lifestyles, and checking this against nature's ability to provide for this consumption.
The footprint can also be a useful tool to educate people about carrying capacity and over-consumption , with the aim of altering personal behavior.
Ecological footprint analysis
Ecological footprint (sometimes called Ecological footprint analysis or EF analysis for short) is measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems and natural resources.
Ecological footprint analysis compares human consumption of natural resources with planet Earth's ecological capacity to regenerate them.
Ecological footprint is, therefore, an estimate of the amount of biologically productive land and sea area needed to regenerate (if possible) the resources a human population consumes and to absorb and render harmless the corresponding waste, given prevailing technology and current understanding.
Our current global situation:
Since the mid 1980s, humanity has been in ecological overshoot with annual demand on resources exceeding what Earth can regenerate each year .
It now takes the Earth one year and four months to regenerate what we use in a year.
The term describes the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by one individual.
It is an impact on the atmosphere similar to the footprint we are leaving in the sand.
An average Carbon footprint of a British citizen is about 10 tonnes of CO2
An average Carbon footprint of an Indian citizen is round about 1.5 tonnes of CO2
A measure of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted through fossil fuel combustion.
Carbon footprint = the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activities and is measured in the amount of CO2 produced.
Main activities that will increase our carbon footprint: a) use of transportation (planes, cars, trains) b) burning of fossil fuels (petrol, coal) c) process of manufacturing products (clothing, food, personal products) d) use of household electricity (computers, lights) e) use of pesticides f) heating and cooling – hot water showers, central heating, air conditioning
A carbon footprint is made up of the sum of two parts: the primary footprint and the secondary footprint.
The primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels including domestic energy consumption and transportation. For example, car and plane.
The secondary footprint is a measure of the indirect carbon dioxide emissions from the whole lifecycle of the products we use. Products with more packaging will generally have a larger secondary footprint than products with a minimal amount of packaging.
Drivers of Environmental change Core values Amplifiers Consumptive behavior Drivers of Environmental change Anthropocentrism Human –centered values- Contempocentrism Generation – centered values- Technology Population growth Poverty Affluence
How do human impact the Environment? A multiplicity of effects
Human population growth
Population growth is the central cause of the environmental crisis.
Human impact on the biosphere is a function of the size of human population and environmental impact per person.
It also depends on the nature and degree of industrialization.
The world’s population presently grows by about 250,000 people per day .
Human population growth
Our population is rapidly rising beyond the earth's ability to regenerate and sustain us .
We are exceeding the carrying capacity of our planet.
Human population growth
Impact of Population Growth Deforestation Over exploitation of Bioresources Pollution Rapid mining of non-biological resources
Over-population leads to:
Loss of biodiversity
Impact of over population
Impact of Industrialization I N D U S T R Y Chemical inputs (raw materials Power inputs ( gas, oil, coal) Other inputs (water) Air Pollution Water Pollution Land Pollution The products Gaseous effluent Liquid effluent Solid Waste
Small Population and Little Technology - Society has low impact on Environment Society Deplete Pollute Environment Traditional Economics Resources/ Raw materials Environmental pollutants
Large Population and Increased Technology - Society has great impact on Environment Society Deplete Pollute Environment Environmental Economics Resources/ Raw materials Environmental pollutants
Industrial pollution Chemical industry Energy Emissions Chemical Products Chemical by-products Feed Chemicals
Life cycle assessment (LCA)
A Life Cycle Assessment (life cycle analysis, eco-balance, and cradle-to-grave analysis) is the investigation and valuation of the environmental impacts of a given product or service caused by its existence.
Life Cycle Assessment
The carbon footprint can be efficiently and effectively reduced by Life Cycle Assessment.
Life Cycle Assessment is to accurately determine the current carbon footprint.
Identification of hot-spots in terms of energy consumption and associated carbon dioxide emissions also can reduce carbon footprint.
Impact of Industrialization Waste gases Industrialization Waste waters Hazardous wastes Complexity of wastes Toxic, carcinogenic cumulative and synergistic chemicals
Impact of Industrialization
Dangerous chemicals entering underground water
Release of pollutant gases
Release of radioactive rays causing health problems
Impact of Urbanization Urbanization Over crowding of people Increased demand for resources Increased disposal of waste Air pollution slums
Environmental Impact of Agriculture
Agriculture is a major source of environmental pollution.
Currently, approximately 1/3 of the land area is directly converted to agricultural lands. More than 40% is under conversion and fragmented, and less than 25% remains intact.
The main gas fluxes (in volume terms) from agriculture are ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide .
Salinization & water logging of soil due to heavy irrigation practices
Too much of water used for irrigation.
Pollution from pesticide use, fertilizer run-off, buildup of nitrates and phosphates .
Clearing of grasslands & deforestation destroy wildlife and habitats and decrease biodiversity.
Impact of Agriculture on the Environment
Impact of Agriculture Agriculture Desertification Salinization & water logging Nitrate build-up Animal Wastes Fertilizer run-off (salts & phosphates) Pesticidal toxicity
Impact of Agricultural Pollution
Reduced soil fertility
Reduced nitrogen fixation
Larger loss of top soil and nutrients
Deposition of silt in tanks and reservoirs
Reduced crop yield
Imbalance in soil fauna and flora
The bioaccumulation of pesticides in food webs.
Human health impacts of pesticidal pollution
Affect and damage the nervous system.
Cause liver damage.
Damage DNA and a variety of cancers
Cause reproductive and endocrine damage.
Cause other acutely toxic and chronic effects.
Tropical forests cover only six percent of Earth’s land surface.
They contain between 70% and 90% of world’s species .
Deforestation is causing a loss of biological diversity on an unprecedented scale.
Loss of biological diversity between 50 and 100 animal and plant species each day
Tropical rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Rainforest are one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world .
More than 50 percent of the tree cover has disappeared due to human activity.
Trees act as a major storage depot for carbon. carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is used to produce carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that make up trees.
Forests naturally cool down the climate because they help retain moisture in the air.
Deforestation has been found to contribute to global warming.
Desertification is the persistent degradation
of dryland ecosystems .
Overgrazing results in removal of
vegetation and exposing of soil to
wind and water erosion.
Some 10 to 20% of drylands are already
The ongoing desertification
threatens the world’s poorest populations .
Climatic changes can trigger the desertification process.
But human activities frequently are the proximate cause.
Desertification is devouring more than 20,000 square miles of land worldwide every year.
loss of quality and productive capacity of soil.
the loss of organic matter and fertility
the reduction of vegetative cover and
decline in soil life .
Results in compaction and erosion
a reduction in water holding capacity and increased salinization.
Health Impacts of land pollution
Breathing of polluted dust or particles cause problems in the respiratory system
Eating fruits and vegetables that have been grown in polluted soil lead to birth defects
Cause problems on the skin
Cause various kinds of cancers
Pollution : A silent Killer People are exposed to harmful Pollutants in the air they breathe , the liquids they drink, the food they eat, the surface they touch, and the products they use. When the environment can not process the load of pollutants , pollution takes place . Every environmental system has a carrying capacity .
Pollution is a global problem
It has affected the lives of millions of people and caused several deaths and health problems .
According to “the World health report 2002” , indoor air pollution is responsible for more than 1.5 million deaths and 2.7 % of the global burden of diseases.
WHO (2006) has estimated that around a quarter of the global disease burden is associated with environmental risk factors.
Impact of Air pollution
Visibility reduction - airborne particles
Material damage - damage to rubber goods and textiles
Agricultural damage – damages all kinds of crops
Psychological effects – psychosomatic diseases
Physiological and health effects – respiratory / cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer
Impact of air pollution on plants
Interfere with photosynthesis , carbohydrates production
Damage to leaf tissue, needles and fruit
Reduction in growth rate or suppression of growth
Increased susceptibility to disease, pests and adverse weather
Reduced crop yields and makes fruit smaller, lighter and less nutritions
Rise in Carbon dioxide Level
Doubling of carbon dioxide
In 1850, atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was about 280 ppm.
Today, it is about 350 ppm.
This increase is due largely to burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests.
Global warming is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases.
72% of the emitted greenhouse gases is made up of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Carbon dioxide emissions therefore are the main cause of global warming.
CO2 is caused by burning fuels. Oil, natural gas, diesel, organic-diesel, petrol, organic-petrol, ethanol.
Emissions of CO2 have been increasing at a rate of approximately 3% yearly for the past 50 years. It is released to the atmosphere where it remains for 100 to 200 years.
A warming of 2ºC corresponds to an amount of 250 parts per million (ppm) carbon dioxide concentration in environment.
Impact of increasing CO2 levels in the Atmosphere
Increased photosynthesis and productivity by the earth’s vegetation .
Increased plant production also means increased respiration .
Elevated CO2 means an increase in global temperature - the greenhouse effect
Increased average surface temperature of the earth by about 0.6° ± 0.2°C.
This increase in earth’s average temperature is called Global warming .
A warmer Earth may lead to changes in rainfall patterns, a rise in sea level, and a wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans.
Co 2 - 50% - 60% of global warming, fossil burning
CFCs- 15% - 25% deplete ozone in atmosphere
Methane – 12%- 20% Anaerobic bacteria
Nitrous oxide – traps heat, depletes ozone
Impact of heat – trapping gases (Greenhouse gases)
The heat retention capacity of methane is 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.
Nitrous oxide is about 200 times more than carbon dioxide.
The global surface temperature has risen about 0.5 C since the Industrial Revolution.
It will rise from 1.5 degrees C to 4.5 degrees C by 2060.
Green house effect
Single – element molecules: e.g. oxygen, nitrogen –transparent to heat.
Polyatomic gases: e.g. water vapour , methane, carbon dioxide trap heat in the atmosphere much like glass in a greenhouse traps heat.
Global Warming increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere, oceans, and landmasses of Earth.
Global Temperature rise
Increase in Carbon dioxide
Increase in greenhouse effect
Increase in global temperature
Impact of Global warming
Rise in sea level, and change in precipitation
Storms, coastal flooding
Contamination of drinking water
Food shortages due to shift in agricultural food production
Air pollution ( made worse by warming)
Asthma, bronchitis, emphysema complications
Strain on public health systems
Increased need to population migrations
Unable to control spread of infectious diseases
Sea level rise
Ozone hole above Antarctica
In 1980s scientists discovered a "hole" in the ozone over Antarctica.
In 1990s atmospheric scientists reported an annual loss of 40-50% of the ozone above Antarctica.
One CFC molecule can destroy 100,000 ozone molecules.
Ozone hole size changes
Impact of Bad Ozone Bad Ozone Unpleasant appearance in urban cities e.g. photochemical smog Deterioration synthetic rubber, textiles, paints Leaf damage Reducing crop yields and forest growth Chlorophyll damage Discoloration
Health impacts of Ozone depletion
Each 1% drop in ozone is thought to increase human skin cancer rates by 4-6%.
The United Nations Environment Program predicts a 26 percent rise in cataracts and non-melanoma skin cancers for every 10% drop in ozone.
This translates to 1.75 million cases of cataracts and 300,000 more cases of skin cancer every year.
Impact of Acid rain on the Environment
Sterilization of lakes and forests.
Reducing the populations of small invertebrates and decomposers.
Reducing agricultural yields.
Causing extensive structural damage by corroding marble, metal, and stonework.
Degrading water supplies by leaching heavy metals from the soil.
Increasing lung cancer and colon cancer.
Over 1 billion people lack access to safe water supplies, while 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation.
Water-associated infectious diseases kills 3.2 million lives each year, approximately 6% of all deaths globally.
The burden of disease from inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene totals 1.8 million deaths.
Mining and Agricultural Wastes
Agricultural pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides
Sewage Disposal and Domestic Wastes
Impact of water pollution
Nutrient loading may lead to eutrophication .
Organic wastes cause oxygen depletion.
Industrial discharges contain heavy metals , resin pellets, organic toxins, oils, nutrients, and solids.
Discharges from power stations can also have thermal effects, and these too reduce the available oxygen.
Impact of water pollution
POPs and heavy metals cause immune suppression ,reproductive failure or acute poisoning.
Organic pollutants deplete DO and mass fish-kills.
Suspended particles reduce quality of drinking water, amount of light penetration and growth of photosynthetic plants and microorganisms.
Bacterial infections –
infectious jaundice ,
polio myelitis ,
Protozoal infections – amoebic dysentery
Health impacts of water pollution Water related Diseases Water – borne infections -typhoid, cholera, hepatitis Water – washed infections scabies , conjunctivitis, diarrhea Water – based infections Schistosomiasis,guinea worm Water – related insect vectors Yellow fever, sleeping sickness Defective sanitation -Hook worm
Man is subjected to a variety of environmental hazards
Sociological Hazards – Noise, Traffic congestions, Lack of privacy, Lack of space.
Health effects of pollution-Over view
Impact of Biodiversity loss
Biodiversity/biological resources Contribute 40 percent of the world’s economy and 80 percent of the needs of the poor.
Biodiversity loss has an impact on everything from food, water and energy production, to life saving drug sources to cultural and aesthetic benefits
Threats to Biodiversity Threats to Biodiversity Habitat loss and destruction Alterations in ecosystem composition Introduction of exotic species Over-exploitation pollution and contamination Global climate change
Links between climate change and biodiversity
Impact of Biodiversity loss -1
Climate change is one of the significant causes of biodiversity loss
Biodiversity is a fundamental determinant of health
Impact of Biodiversity loss - 2
Reduces ecosystem process rates and ecosystem functioning
Change the productivity of ecosystem
Affects food security , vulnerability to natural disasters, energy security and access to clean water and raw materials
Impact of Biodiversity loss -3
Affects human health , social relations and freedom of choice
Reduce resistancy of ecosystem - wildfires, pest out breaks
Impair the ocean’s capacity to provide food, maintain water quality and recover from perturbations
Impair sustainable livelihoods and sustainable economic growth
The most significant impact of climate change is likely to be warming of the oceans.
By the 2050s, surface seawater temperatures may be as much as 2.5°C higher in summer and 2.3°C higher in winter than in 2000 (Viles, 2001).
Impact on Marine Life
Coral reefs provide a unique habitat characterized by high diversity and density of life. They are referred to as ‘the Tropical Rainforests of the Oceans’.
Massive coral bleaching episodes have impacted the function of the reefs and increased rates of mortality. Currently 30% of reefs are recorded as in decline, and up to 60% may be in decline by 2030 (Wilkinson, 2002).
Coral reefs are crucial biodiversity hotspots and support both coastal fisheries and tourism in many regions.
Future predictions -1
Scarce Water - Currently, 434 million people face either water stress or scarcity. By 2025 it may increase between 2.6 billion and 3.1 billion people.
Scarce Cropland -The number of people living in countries where cultivated land is critically scarce is projected to increase between 600 million and 986 million in 2025.
Fisheries - The capacity of coastal and marine ecosystems to produce fish for human harvest is highly degraded by over-fishing, destructive trawling techniques, and loss of coastal nursery areas . Seventy-five percent of all fish stocks are in urgent need of better management.
Forests – Past Land cover of forests in India is 33%- Present Land cover of forests in India is 12%- Global rate of deforestation is 10 million hectares per year .
Global Warming –Average surface temperature of the earth is 15 degrees C. It has risen by 0.6 degrees C. Global temperature will rise by 1.4 to 5.8 degrees C.
Species Extinction –Present rate of extinction is 1000- 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction.
Earth may lose upto 50% of the species by the end of 21 century. In tropical forests the extinction is 2-5 species per hour.
Solving Environmental Problems
Suggestions for Improvement
Use water, energy and other resources efficiently.
Manage the use of natural resources prudently.
Maintain the diversity of life.
Protect and respect the world's natural, cultural, indigenous and historical heritage.
Support environmental education and training.
Support local action and community participation.
Promote practices, methods and technologies that reduce negative impacts on the environment.
What is Green Technology?
green technology is the technology which is environmentally friendly and is created and used in a way that conserves natural resources and the environment.
It's main goal is to find ways to produce technology in ways that do not damage or deplete the Earth's natural resources.
The use of green technology (clean technology) is supposed to reduce the amount of waste and pollution that is created during production and consumption.
It’s your Environment
“ There is enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” - Mahatma Gandhi
If you want to be healthy , take care of the environment.