Chapter: Our Impact on Land Table of Contents Section 3: Conserving Resources Section 1: Population Impact on the Environment Section 2: Using Land
Population and Carrying Capacity A population is all of the individuals of one species occupying a particular area. 1 Population Impact on the Environment
The area can be small or large. For example, a human population can be of one community, such as Los Angeles, or the entire planet.
Earth's Increasing Population The global population in 2000 was 6.1 billion. 1 Population Impact on the Environment Each day, the number of humans increases by approximately 200,000.
Earth is now experiencing a population explosion.
Population Growth Human population growth remained relatively steady until the beginning of the nineteenth century. 1 Population Impact on the Environment
The growth rate then began to increase rapidly.
Population Growth 1 Population Impact on the Environment The human population has increased because modern medicine, clean water, and better nutrition have decreased the death rate.
By 2050, the population is predicted to be about 9 billion—one and a half times what it is now.
Population Growth 1 Population Impact on the Environment Will the things that have helped the population grow, such as improved health care, agriculture, and clean water, be maintainable?
Will Earth have enough natural resources to support such a large population?
Population Limits 1 Population Impact on the Environment Population size depends on the amount of available resources and how members of the population use them.
If resources become scarce or if the environment is damaged, members of the population can suffer and population size could decrease.
Population Limits 1 Population Impact on the Environment Earth's resources are limited. Click image to view movie.
Carrying capacity is the largest number of individuals of a particular species that the environment can support.
People and the Environment 1 Population Impact on the Environment By the time you're 75 years old, you will have produced enough garbage to equal the mass of eleven African elephants (53,000 kg).
You will have consumed enough water to fill 68,000 bathtubs (18 million L).
People and the Environment 1 Population Impact on the Environment
If you live in the United States, you will have used several times as much energy as an average person living elsewhere in the world.
Daily Activities 1 Population Impact on the Environment Every day you affect the environment. The electricity you use might be generated by burning fossil fuels. The water that you use must be treated to make it as clean as possible before being returned to the environment. Click image to view movie.
You eat food, which needs soil to grow.
Daily Activities 1 Population Impact on the Environment Much of the food you eat is grown using chemical substances, such as pesticides and herbicides, to kill insects and weeds. health of living things if the chemicals become too concentrated.
These chemicals can get into water supplies and threaten the
Daily Activities 1 Population Impact on the Environment The process of refining oil can produce pollutants — substances that contaminate the environment.
In the process of changing trees to paper, several things happen that impact the environment.
Packaging Produces Waste 1 Population Impact on the Environment The land is changed when resources are removed from it. The environment is further impacted when those resources are shaped into usable products.
Unnecessary packaging is only one of the problems associated with waste disposal.
The Future 1 Population Impact on the Environment As the population continues to grow, more resources are used and more waste is created.
If these resources are not used wisely and if waste is not managed properly, environmental problems are possible.
1 Section Check Question 1 A. community B. ecosystem C. niche D. population All the individuals of one species occupying a particular area are a(n) __________. NC: 3.06
1 Section Check Answer The answer is D. A population can be of a large or small area. NC: 3.06
1 Section Check Question 2 What does the term “carrying capacity” mean? Answer Carrying capacity is the largest number of individuals of a particular species that the environment can support. NC: 3.08
1 Section Check Question 3 What is the approximate current human population of Earth? A. 600 million B. 1 billion C. 6 billion D. 9 billion NC: 3.08
1 Section Check Answer The answer is C. The current human population of is approximately 6 billion. NC: 3.08
Land Usage We use land for agriculture, logging, garbage disposal, and urban development. 2 Using Land
These activities often impact Earth's land resources.
Agriculture About 16 million km 2 of Earth's total land surface is used as farmland. 2 Using Land Some farmers use higher-yielding seeds and chemical fertilizers.
Herbicides and pesticides also are used to reduce weeds, insects, and other pests that can damage crops.
Agriculture Organic farming techniques use natural fertilizers, crop rotation, and biological pest controls. 2 Using Land
However, organic farming cannot currently produce enough food to feed all of Earth's people.
Agriculture Whenever vegetation is removed from an area, such as a construction site or tilled farmland, soil is exposed. 2 Using Land Nothing prevents the soil from being carried away by running water and wind.
In some places, it can take more than 1,000 years for new topsoil to develop.
Reducing Erosion 2 Using Land Some farmers practice no till farming. Instead, farmers plant seed between the stubble left from the previous year.
They don't plow the soil from harvest until planting.
Reducing Erosion Other methods also are used to reduce soil loss. 2 Using Land One method is contour plowing.
The rows are tilled across hills and valleys. When it rains, water and soil are captured by the plowed rows, reducing erosion.
Reducing Erosion Other techniques include planting trees in rows along fields. 2 Using Land
Cover crops, crops that are not harvested, also can be planted to reduce erosion.
Feeding Livestock Land also is used for feeding livestock. 2 Using Land Animals such as cattle eat vegetation and then are used as food for humans.
About sixty-five percent of the farmland in Texas is used for grazing cattle.
Forest Resources Approximately one-fourth of the land area on Earth is covered by forest. 2 Using Land
The distribution of Earth's forest according to region is shown.
Forest Resources 2 Using Land
Deforestation is the clearing of forested land for agriculture, grazing, development, or logging.
Forest Resources 2 Using Land It is estimated that the amount of forested land in the world decreased by 0.24% (94,000 km 2 ) each year between 1990 and 2000.
Most of this deforestation occurred in tropical regions.
Forest Resources Tropical rain forest contain diverse populations of plants and animals that don't live in other places. 2 Using Land
Some people also worry that removing too much of these forests could lead to the extinction of some organisms.
Forest Resources Cutting trees can have a regional effect on climate as well. 2 Using Land Water from tree leaves evaporates into the atmosphere where it can condense to form rain.
If many trees are cut down, less water enters the atmosphere and the region receives less rainfall.
Development Paving land prevents water from soaking into the soil. Instead, it runs off into sewers or streams. 2 Using Land A steam's discharge increases when more water enters its channel.
Stream discharge is the volume of water flowing past a point per unit of time.
Development Many communities use underground water supplies for drinking. 2 Using Land
Covering land with roads, sidewalks, and parking lots reduces the amount of rainwater that soaks into the ground to refill underground water supplies.
Development Some communities, businesses, and private groups preserve areas rather than pave them. 2 Using Land Land is set aside for environmental protection.
Preserving space beautifies the environment, increases the area into which water can soak, and provides space for recreation and other outdoor activities.
Sanitary Landfills About 60 percent of our garbage goes into sanitary landfills. 2 Using Land
A sanitary landfill is an area where each day's garbage is deposited and covered with soil.
Sanitary Landfills 2 Using Land
The soil prevents the deposit from blowing away, helps decompose some materials, and reduces the odor produced by the decaying waste.
Sanitary Landfills 2 Using Land
New sanitary landfills are lined with plastic, concrete, or clay-rich soils that trap the liquid waste.
Sanitary Landfills 2 Using Land
Because of these linings, sanitary landfills greatly reduce the chance that pollutants will leak into the surrounding soil and groundwater.
Sanitary Landfills 2 Using Land Locating an acceptable area to build a landfill can be difficult.
Type of soil, the depth to groundwater, and neighborhood concerns must be considered.
Hazardous Waste 2 Using Land Waste that are poisonous, that cause cancer, or that can catch fire are called hazardous wastes .
In the 1980s, many states passed environmental laws that prohibit industries from disposing of hazardous wastes in sanitary landfills.
Household Hazardous Waste 2 Using Land It may seem that when you throw something in the garbage, it's gone and you don't need to be concerned with it anymore. Some garbage can remain unchanged in a landfill for hundreds of years.
You can help by disposing of hazardous wastes at special hazardous waste-collection sites.
Phytoremediation 2 Using Land Hazardous substances can contaminate soil.
Some plants can help fix this problem in a method called phytoremediation (FI toh ruh mee dee AY shun). Phyto means "plant" and remediation means "to fix or remedy a problem."
Phytoremediation 2 Using Land
During phytoremediation, roots of certain plants such as alfalfa, grasses, and pine trees can absorb metals, including copper, lead, and zinc from contaminated soil just as they absorb other nutrients.
Phytoremediation 2 Using Land
Plants that become concentrated with metals from soil eventually must be harvested and either composted to recycle the metals or burned.
Phytoremediation 2 Using Land
If these plants are destroyed by burning, the ash residue contains the hazardous waste that was in the plant tissue and must be disposed of at a hazardous waste site.
Breaking Down Organic Pollutants 2 Using Land Substances that contain carbon and other elements like hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen are called organic compounds.
Organic pollutants can be broken down into simpler, harmless substances, some of which plants use for growth.
Breaking Down Organic Pollutants 2 Using Land Enzymes are substances that make chemical reactions go faster. Enzymes from plant roots increase the rate at which organic pollutants are broken down into simpler substances.
Plants use these substances for growth.
Natural Preserves 2 Using Land many problems that you've read about in this section.
National forestlands, grasslands, and national parks in the United States are protected from
Natural Preserves 2 Using Land In many other countries throughout the world, land also is set aside for natural preserves.
Preserving some land in its natural state will benefit future generations.
2 Section Check Question 1 What is deforestation? Answer Deforestation is the clearing of forested land for agriculture or industry. NC: 3.06
2 Section Check Question 2 What is a primary benefit of farming practices such as no-till farming and contour plowing? Answer These practices reduce soil loss. Other techniques used to reduce soil erosion are planting cover crops and rows of trees along fields. NC: 3.06, 3.07, 3.08
2 Section Check Question 3 __________ is the volume of water flowing past a point per unit of time. A. Pollution B. Rainfall C. Runoff D. Stream discharge NC: 3.01
2 Section Check Answer The answer is D. A stream’s discharge increases when more water enters its channel. NC: 3.01
Resource Use Resources such as petroleum and metals are important for making the products you use every day at home and in school. 3 Conserving Resources Conservation is the careful use of earth materials to reduce damage to the environment.
Conservation can prevent future shortages of some materials, such as certain metals.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Developed countries such as the United States use more natural resources than other regions. 3 Conserving Resources
Ways to conserve resources include reducing the use of materials, and reusing and recycling materials.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle You can reduce the consumption of materials in simple ways, such as using both sides of notebook paper or carrying lunch to school in a nondisposable container. 3 Conserving Resources
Reusing an item means finding another use for it instead of throwing it away.
Reusing Yard Waste If you cut grass or rake leaves, you can compost these items instead of putting them into the trash. 3 Conserving Resources Composting means piling yard wastes where they can decompose gradually.
Decomposed material provides needed nutrients for your garden or flower bed.
Recycling Materials Using materials again is called recycling . 3 Conserving Resources Paper makes up about 40 percent of the mass of trash.
Americans throw away a large amount of paper each year.
Recycling Materials 3 Conserving Resources to build a wall 3.6 m high stretching from New York City to Los Angeles.
People in the United States throw away enough office and writing paper each year
Recycling Materials 3 Conserving Resources
Recycling this paper would use 58 percent less water and generate 74 percent less air pollution than producing new paper from trees.
Recycling Materials 3 Conserving Resources Companies can recover part of the cost of many materials by recycling the waste. Some businesses use scrap materials such as steel to make new products.
These practices save money, benefit the environment, and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.
Recycling Methods 3 Conserving Resources Many states or cities have some form of recycling laws. In some places people who recycle pay lower trash collection fees.
In other places a refundable deposit is made on all beverage containers.
Recycling Methods 3 Conserving Resources There are several disadvantages to recycling. More people and trucks are needed to haul materials separately from your trash.
The materials then must be separated at special facilities.
Recycling Methods 3 Conserving Resources
In addition, demand for things made from recycled materials must exist, and items made from recycled materials often cost more.
The Population Outlook 3 Conserving Resources It's unlikely that the population will begin to decline in the near future. To make up for this, resources must be used wisely.
Conserving resources by reducing, reusing, and recycling is an important way that you can make a difference.
3 Section Check Question 1 Piling yard wastes where they can decompose gradually is __________. A. composting B. mulching C. recycling D. reusing NC: 3.06, 3.08
3 Section Check Answer The answer is A. Composting can greatly reduce the amount of trash put in landfills. NC: 3.06, 3.08
3 Section Check Question 2 What is conservation? Answer Conservation is the careful use of earth materials to reduce damage to the environment. NC: 3.06, 3.08
3 Section Check Question 3 Using materials again is called __________. A. composting B. conservation C. preservation D. recycling NC: 3.06, 3.08
3 Section Check Answer The answer is D. Recycling has helped to decrease the amount of trash put into landfills. NC: 3.06, 3.08
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