The Environment: Instructors Manual: Principles and Applications

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In response to reader feedback, material on unit planning, lesson planning, and assessment are moved forward to Chapters 2 and 3. A new chapter on literacy and social studies teaching features increased coverage of instructional strategies involving reading and writing.

See Chapter 8. A new chapter on teaching geography provides for greater coverage of geographic education. See Chapter See Chapter 1. See Chapter 2. Expanded coverage of service learning includes reviews of recent research and more teaching ideas. See Chapter 9. Coverage on planning successful field trips provides practical guidelines for teachers.

Throughout the text, 40 new teaching ideas with computer-based resources show how students can use web-based information and produce digital products. All references are up to date and feature the most current information. Lesson Plans and Instructional Activities. History in the Elementary School: Overview and Research. Pearson offers special pricing when you package your text with other student resources. If you're interested in creating a cost-saving package for your students, contact your Pearson rep. Zarrillo's area of scholarly interest is the elementary school curriculum; specifically, children's literature, reading instruction, and social studies.

He taught elementary school in Burbank, California, from We're sorry! We don't recognize your username or password. Please try again. The work is protected by local and international copyright laws and is provided solely for the use of instructors in teaching their courses and assessing student learning. You have successfully signed out and will be required to sign back in should you need to download more resources.

James J. Description Learn how to meet the needs of the diverse students in your first classroom through this unique elementary social studies methods textbook. Series This product is part of the following series. MyEducationLab Series. Preface Preface is available for download in PDF format. Over 30 sample lesson and unit plans-- provides prospective teachers with field-tested instructional activities. The most complete set of professional references in any elementary social studies textbook --the fourth edition includes new professional references and reflects current scholarship in the field.

A separate chapter on teaching with computer-based resources, plus additional suggestions for teaching with technology throughout the book --offers prospective teachers guidance of how to mix traditional resources with computer-based resources. Roberts, N. Blackwell: Oxford. A good undergraduate introductory text illustrating the link between environmental system processes and the consequences of interference. The series of essays is presented in a coherent and integrated fashion highlighting some of the key global issues of the present. Many contrasting environments are discussed and illustrated at a variety of scales.

Multiple-choice questions Simmons, I. A clear introduction providing an outline of the histor y of human-environment interaction. It presents concepts and approaches from many disciplines in an understandable manner. The synergistic nature of the multi-disciplinary approach is emphasized along with an appreciation of the different scales of change instigated by human intervention. Watts, S. A useful manual for students wishing to conduct primar y research into environmental systems.

Individual chapters focus on fieldwork techniques in surveying, sampling, soil and water systems. It usefully also includes social environmental research methods. Most appropriate in demonstrating the multidisciplinary range of techniques and information that can be used in the study of the environment. Choose the best answer for each of the following questions.

The correct answers are asterisked. Answer the following questions. Answer a Resources will initially fall steeply until midcentury then follow a less steep path approaching equilibrium by the end of the century. All other variables initially rise before they peak and eventually fall, with the exception of food per capita which begins to recover in the last two decades. Both industrial output per capita and food per capita have similiar upward growth trends and peak at about Both initially fall rapidly, until , with industrial output continuing to decline towards zero by the end of the century.

Population growth is similar to industrial output, peaking approximately 20 years later. The reduction in population during the rest of the century is even and less steep than either food per capita or industrial output per capita. Pollution shows both the steepest rise and also the longest lag to the peak, Pollution decline approximately mirrors the slope of growth and tends to just above zero by the end of the century. A human economic problem rather than an environmental one. Increased pollution will degrade natural systems with associated health effects likely to have continued effects even after the decline in output.

The reduction in food per capita will lead to malnutrition and decline in population after the trend lines intersect. Industrial output per capita decline will again reduce the material standard of living, affect the global economic system and further reduce employment. This would counteract the falling trends in the other variables.

Pollution would be problematic to the environment and may be the limiting factor. Explain how the feedback loops affect environmental quality. Figure Limits to growth predictions of global populations, resources and pollution. A number of different simulations were made by the MIT team, using the dynamic computer model Figure 1. The one summarised here, referred, to as the standard run, assumed that declining resources and increasing degradation of the environment would eventually result in declines in human aspects of the model.

After Figure l. Saigo Environmental science: a global concern. Brown Publishers, Dubuque Figure 1. The relationship between people and environment is symbiotic, involving both resources opportunities and hazards constraints. After Figure 2 in Park, C. Macmillan Education, London. Usually this is manifested in loss of land habitat and a degraded landscape.

The main threat to environmental quality via technology is from pollution. This is often less locationally specific than the abstraction of resources, though it relates to resource use via the manufacturing process. Technological pollution may be a by-product of the function, e. It may also be caused by accidents with technology, e. Chernobyl, or a change in status of material by technology, e. Short-answer questions Thus, there is a basic imbalance between the highconsuming North and low-consuming South.

Technological ability has increased the rate at which we use resources. Greater numbers of people are able to be supported, putting increased pressure on the environment in particular locations of concentrated population. The global free market economic system has put economic expansion before environmental costs. That the environment provides our life-support system on which we ultimately depend. An increasing trend in the number of environmental hazards occurring through time.

Visible evidence of degraded landscapes due to human actions. Increasing environmental lobbying suggesting we are approaching system breakdown. All these are underpinned by greater media coverage and more sophisticated, all-embracing global information networks. The degradation of natural common resources because individual interests override collective sustainable management. Efficient use of a common resource requires collective agreement regarding levels of use so that carrying capacity is not exceeded and the resource remains sustainable.

Related problems at this scale are likely to occur in the future. At present it is the distribution of population in relation to accessing resources that causes problems. Locally and regionally, population densities exceed the carrying capacity of the resource base available. What is the Tragedy of the Commons? Answer Limits to Growth predicted large-scale system breakdown within the next century. Shortages of natural resources would lead to falling industrial growth, restricted food supplies and a population decline resulting from pollution, famine, disease and stress. Answer They are up-to-date inventories of information on environmental quality and natural resource status.

They allow a baseline assessment of environmental attributes and allow comparison of these through time so that changes may be monitored and recorded. As a consumer a more environmentfriendly lifestyle may be adopted in relation to family size, transport and purchase of goods. Answer During the s there has been a concentration on global coverage with a harmonization of data collection between countries.

Continuous monitoring has replaced time sampling with the increased use of computerized data handling systems to cope with the increased amount of data generated. Answer The global perspective illustrates how widespread many environmental problems are. It illustrates the environmental pathways between places spatially disparate, via cause-effect relationships. Global problems impacting back on us at the local and regional scale clearly indicate our reliance on the global life-support system.

Additional references Fell, N. New Scientist , 24—7. An account of the enormous problem of refugees fleeing a variety of environmental hazards. The interference of people on natural systems and the human cost are clearly discussed. Pearce, F. New Scientist , 28— Unforeseen side effects of renewable energy systems can be more damaging than the polluting energy systems they replace.

This is considered in relation to carbon dioxide and methane emissions and global warming. Shcherbank, Y. Scientific American 4 , 32—7. An appraisal of the lasting environmental and health effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Both local and more widespread areas are examined. A final summary of the total economic cost and damage to the nuclear industry is included. Answer Sustainable development must take into account both time and space. Through time the environmental heritage must be preserved for future generations.

Ethically we should not expect them to deal with problems created by us. Contemporar y issues relate to changing the emphasis from short-term economic gain to ensuring long-term environmental stability. Spatially the uneven access to resources needs addressing by more equitable distribution. Common resources also require sensible allocation amongst claimants. Answer An individual may join a non-governmental environmental organization such as Greenpeace. More proactively they may become involved in Smith, K.

Geography Review 10 1 , 9— Clearly defines and quantifies the variety of hazards. These are illustrated at both the global and selected national scales. A variety of discussion points are raised. Web site www. An extremely comprehensive catalogue of a wide variety of environmental topics. Useful for contacting organizations and dynamic links to major search engines. The management of such a system is complex. This case study illustrates the general nature of systems and the interaction between natural and human systems including: 1 natural systems provide multiple resources and these are used in a variety of ways by the people, dependent on the system; 2 these resource uses often conflict with each other and are exacerbated by the layering of human system patterns over the natural system.

In this case the demarcation of parts of the River Nile drainage basin by national boundaries; 3 the network pattern of the River Nile channel sub-system illustrates the various flow contributions to the total system. This interconnectivity presents the holistic nature of natural systems; 4 through time, with increasing population growth, humankind increases its reliance on natural systems. In order to limit the threat to this reliance society attempts to control natural systems.

This exercise of control management may also be used proactively to attempt to maximize the resource; 5 as each part of a system has a link, either directly or indirectly, to other parts of the system; change in one part will impact on other parts of the system. In the management of the River Nile, via the Aswan High Dam Scheme, the benefits were increased control over river flow flood and drought control , improved irrigation and the production of power hydroelectricity.

Reduction in the pressure from human systems is more sustainable long term than short-term, hard engineering solutions technofix. This spatial mis-match causes conflict in the use and allocation of natural resources, their control and management. Each component is dynamically linked within the system to other components.

The complexity and detail at which the system may be analysed depends on the scale of study. A system has a purpose, e. This defines their relationship to other systems. An isolated system has no exchange of energy or material across its boundaries. A dosed system can exchange energy but not material. An open system exchanges both energy and material freely across its boundaries.

Not all the energy available to the system is used for work. Heat is dispersed waste energy. The waste energy is referred to as entropy. Naturally functioning systems maintain themselves with low entropy. Human activities involving energy usage often have higher entropy and therefore contribute to an increase in global entropy. The three main types of material that flow through environmental systems are water, nutrients and sediment.

Long-term balancing of inputs and outputs provides system stability. The integrity of stores, as well as flows, is a key aspect of maintaining this stability; 1 a system is the total environmental system in operation, e. Often discreet and exhibiting system workings such as the flow of energy and material, e. These open environmental systems have four key structural parts: inputs of material and energy, outputs of material and energy, flows by which material and energy move within the system and stores where material and energy remain for various time periods before being released back as flows.

Energy drives the system. Effectively, it is in infinite supply solar energy. The different types of energy are chemical, electrical, heat, kinetic and potential. The use of energy within an environmen- 3 in order to function environmental systems need a constant flow of energy into the system; 4 environmental systems use energy inefficiently. Thus, the flow of energy does not achieve near its maximum potential for work within the system. The system operates a feedback mechanism sequence of events which impacts back to the original system component that changed.

Negative feedback dampens down the change providing self-regulation of the system. Inputs and outputs to and from the system may be constant over the long term steady state or display a uniform change dynamic. Note that these are long-term trends, and short-term oscillations occur about these general trends.

As long as these short-term oscillations remain at a scale which does not fundamentally affect system behaviour, the system will remain stable. The speed of recovery from a sudden short-term change is known as the resilience. This will lead to a new equilibrium state. Different systems have different time-response rates to change. This time delay is known as a lag. The system is viewed in a synergistic fashion with the whole system being more than the sum of its component parts.

We should, therefore, think of protecting the entire global system rather than concentrating on specific areas. An appreciation of the synthesizing nature of the biosphere and that it is a dynamic entity is crucial to this appreciation. The role of humans is a fundamental part of this global system. Thus, future trends and responses to human actions are extremely difficult to predict.

However, at this scale the interactive complexity of system processes means that there is still scientific uncertainty regarding how the biosphere will respond to change and at what rate. The flow is cyclical between organisms and their environment biogeochemical cycles. Human activities may influence these natural cycles by altering inputs, extracting, and altering the speed and direction of processes within the chemical system. Whilst there are still uncertainties about the operation of part of these cycles there is evidence of human-induced changes.

The nitrogen cycle is affected by the addition of fertilizers and nitrogen-loaded air pollutants. Carbon and sulphur are added to the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels and natural stores of carbon reduced by vegetation removal. Therefore, disturbance in these cycles triggers changes in the other environmental systems.

Main learning burdles Integrated management Students tend to compartmentalize topics and in many ways simple systems thinking tends to foster this. It is important at an early stage to develop interrelationships between systems. The Nile watermanagement case study is a good example of the consideration of a number of systems, often considered from a multidisciplinary perspective. Thus, the instructor should highlight how a variety of Ear th science disciplines combines with engineering, politics and economics to provide an integrated management policy.

Types of system Many students have difficulty in unravelling complex system diagrams. It is useful to build up the complexity by using the black box no system knowledge other than inputs and outputs , through the grey box limited internal system knowledge to the white box system where all internal workings are known.

This also allows the instr uctor to demonstrate that we do not always have perfect knowledge of system operation and most environmental decisions are based on grey box examples. Definitions in relation to systems hierarchy also cause problems. A review of the section on system scale in this chapter is useful. System operation As systems are such an integrating theme throughout The Environment, time should be spent on system terminology and especially feedback mechanisms. A complex feedback loop often causes problems when viewed in entirety with a mixture of positive and negative connections.

It is useful to disaggregate the total feedback loop to produce sequential pairs of linked components viewed initially in isolation so that change in one will produce a predictable response in the other. When reassembled the initial trigger will have logically been worked through the system components to produce the final adjustment. As well as feedback, equilibrium, thresholds and time lags should be reviewed.

The main chemical formulae and reactions should be summarized in concert with the appropriate sections in this chapter. Key terms Biogeochemcial cycles; carbon cycle; complexity; conflicts; drought; energy budget; entropy; equilibrium; erosion; feedback; flooding; flows; gestalt; ground water; hydroelectricity; hydropolitics; inputs; irrigation; isolated, closed and open systems; lags; lake infilling; laws of thermodynamics; loss of nutrients; multinational; nested hierarchy; nitrogen cycle; osmosis; outputs; photosynthesis; resilience; salinization; seasonal storage; sub-system; sulphur cycle; synergy; system boundaries; system dynamics; system scale; technofix; thresholds; timescale; water management.

Issues for group discussion Discuss the benefits and problems of the Aswan Dam scheme As well as reviewing the case study in the chapter the students must read Pearce and Smith Quite diverse views should be expressed though the components of the Nile drainage basin must be explored in relation to both system feedback and the application of integrated management. Discuss the importance of a global view of the environment The students should be encouraged to explore spatial scale.

A useful way is to build up a picture of the components in major biogeochemical cycles from local to global scale. A number of the selected readings emphasize large-scale interactions between the main environmental systems. A human perspective may be brought in by considering if, and by what mechanisms, the world is shrinking in human terms, e. Discuss the likely impacts of climate change It would be useful for students to read Goudie and Park The students should focus their discussion on an evaluation of the scientific evidence and uncertainty in managing large-scale system change.

Selected reading Goudie, A. Geography 78 2 , — Biodiversity, atmospheric systems and climate change are considered in the light of current scientific knowledge. A discussion of the complexity of natural systems is thematic throughout the paper. Murray, J. Science , 58— Links system dynamics to biochemical cycling. The sequence and scale of the cycling mechanism is related to other atmospheric and oceanic system events, e. A wide source of data is presented graphically.

Nriagu, J. Nature , —9. A global-scale view of human activities on natural environmental systems. Illustrates system feedback with contaminated system stores affecting human health. Park, C. Geography 76 1 , 21— A variety of air pollution types are examined. The scientific evidence, public perception and management policy outcomes are all discussed. This clearly illustrates the complexity of effectively coping with human interference in large-scale environmental systems with different spatial responses.

Demonstrates the impact of natural systems back to human influence. Usefully discusses the spatial implication of a natural system that transcends political boundaries. Siegenthaler, U. Nature , — System knowledge is required if sustainable decisions are to be made in controlling carbon dioxide emissions. Smith, G. Geography Review 5 2 , 35— A positive appraisal of the Aswan Dam scheme in relation to Egypt.

Textbooks Abu-Zeid, M. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Details the River Nile case study and considers future management and conflict at the sub-continental scale including North Africa and the Middle East. Beard, J. Wuerz: Winnipeg, Canada. A readable introductory text that presents physics and chemistr y theor y in an understandable manner.

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There are particularly useful chapters on energy in the environment and biogeochemical cycles. The application of this theory is discussed in relation to a wide range of environmental pollutants. Hugget, R. The complexity and network of interdependencies at each of these scales are presented in a dynamic time framework. Jakeman, A. Wiley: Chichester. An advanced text that illustrates how systems knowledge can be applied to measure effects on systems. It contains many case study chapters considering a variety of topical issues at a wide range of scales.

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Newson, M. Examines the terrestrial environment at the drainage basin scale. Systems theory is used as a basis for an indepth analysis of human-environmental interactions. A wide range of case studies explores management of these systems in countries of different economic status. Briggs, D. Complex interactions are accessibly explained with extensive use of diagrams and boxed case studies.

Nisbet, E. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. A wide-ranging overview of the natural environment, how it functions and the effects of humanity. The first part of the book focuses on chemical and physical processes within a systems framework. Disruption of natural systems is then discussed using this terminology.

A wide range of topical chapters on pollutants and energy sources are included. Goudie, A. A very useful discussional text presenting a wide range of diverse case studies. These are thematically presented in relation to human impact on each of the major environmental systems. Smil, V. W H Freeman: Basingstoke. The main biogeochemcial cycles are examined withparticular emphasis on human interaction.

A logical progression from natural cycle operation, through human interference to natural system change is followed in a clear style. An advanced text that clearly demonstrates the use of systems methodology in representing and evaluating impacts on our environment. Key model studies relating to biogeochemical cycles, climate change and the hydrological cycle are investigated. Strahler, A. Wiley: London. A useful overview of the Earth.

Discrete chapters on each of the major environmental systems allow an easy introduction for the student. White, I. Allen and Unwin: London. All scales of system, and their components, are dealt with in a full and comprehensible manner. Blackie: Glasgow. System definitions and applications are clearly presented to the student in an easily absorbed fashion. Good pre-reading text.

Illustrate your answer with reference to physical systems. Multiple-choice questions Choose the best answer for each of the following questions. There is still variability between years but the post-dam mean is much lower, suppressing flood flows. This was accomplished by restricted flood flow downstream as illustrated in the upper figure from From to a consistently high annual storage was achieved as annual demand was balanced by input into the reservoir. After , to the low in , reduced input from the upper catchment due to drought conditions restricted water supply. The latter two years reflected high flood conditions.

Within this longer term trend there are seasonal fluctuations reflecting the flood season high storage and the demand for irrigation low storage. The upper figure shows variations in natural flow the volume before withdrawal of irrigation water between and , based on five-year running averages. The lower figure shows variations in the amount of water stored in Lake Nasser between and After Figures 3 and 5 in Smith, G.

Geography Review 5 2 ; 35— It is below the level of the turbines and does not contribute to power generation. Between the dead storage and flood relief storage is the normal storage which allows controlled flow to meet water demand and provide hydroelectric power. The flood relief storage is excess storage which can store abnormally high flood flow above the dam to be released gradually to reduce downstream system impact. Answers a Solar energy is inputted from the cosmic system after passing through and being filtered by the atmospheric system.

A forest, like other ecosystems, displays, similar system properties to the water cycle see Figure 2. Its input may be dependent on the topography of the local surface system or regionally in relation to the land-sea distribution related to the lithosphere. Carbon dioxide is inputted from the atmosphere being a product of the biosphere, both from natural and anthropogenic sources. Moisture and nutrients are inputted from adjacent soil systems as part of the hydrological cycle.

Nutrients may also be inputted in precipitation. It is also outputted as stored energy in forest products to the human economic system. Water is outputted from the forest system via surface evaporation and transpiration from the vegetational component. Vegetation also exchanges oxygen. Both materials transfer to the atmospheric system. Water and nutrients are outputted from within the soil component via hydrological pathways to adjacent land or rivers.

Forest products are removed from the system to the human economic system. Internally water flows from the soil to vegetation. Externally water may reach the soil store via vegetation. Compounding this is the higher salinity, due to concentration by evaporation, of the new source of irrigation water from Lake Nasser. The greater surface water area of the irrigation canal network increases this salinity level further, again due to evaporation.

The area is also susceptible to the updraw of groundwater, via capillary action as a product of the hot climate, with subsequent evaporation and concentration of mineral salts in the soil. Answer Isolated systems have no exchange of energy or material across their boundaries. Closed systems can exchange energy but not material across their boundaries, e. Open systems can exchange both energy and materials across their boundaries, e. Answer Short-answer questions 1 What has caused salinization of the Nile floodplain? Answer Initially the Aswan High Dam has eliminated the natural flushing of mineral salts from the floodplain The four main environmental systems are the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere.

The lithosphere is the upper part of the body of the Earth.

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It comprises the crust and upper mantle and is made up of rocks and minerals. The hydrosphere contains all the surface and near surface water of the Earth. The biosphere is the region of the Earth in which life exists. Answer Feedback occurs when a change in one system component produces a sequence of changes in other components forming a loop back to the original component. Feedback may be either negative, so that overall system state remains unchanged, or positive where a net change in the system state occurs.

Answer Fundamentally nitrogen is a constituent of biotic tissue. It is an essential gaseous part of the synergistic atmospheric mix air. It is used by plants for growth and controls photosynthesis rates in many ecosystems. Nitrogen compounds are used within the human system for food manufacture and as fertilizers for agricultural systems. Answer Answer The systems approach offers a holistic perspective of the environment.


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Its focus on interrelationships and synergistic processes fosters a broad understanding encouraging interdisciplinar y co-operation. Practically it provides a framework for studying, describing, analysing and modelling the environment with a view to managing environmental problems. Carbon occurs in four basic forms. In its pure state it occurs as a mineral, e. It occurs as calcium carbonate found mainly in carbonaceous rocks, e.

Within the atmosphere it is found as carbon dioxide. Carbon also occurs in the fossil fuel energy source as part of hydrocarbons. Answer Answer Biogeochemistry is the study of the cyclical exchange of elements between biotic and abiotic components of the biosphere. Biodegradability is the decomposition of waste materials, within biogeochemical cycles, by biological means. This provides for one flow of materials through natural systems. If waste material is not broken down it accumulates and therefore takes up useful space in the system.

Sometimes biodegradability may be equated to the production of non-toxic residues. Additional references Answer Burning fossil fuels releases carbon into the atmosphere from the geological sediment store. The human increase in the use of these energy resources has increased the rate of this transfer of carbon tremendously. This atmospheric carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, affects climate by enhancing the greenhouse effect. Overall the imbalance between carbon held in the surface system and that held in the atmospheric system will through time detrimentally affect, via global warming, the whole biosphere and its natural ecosystems via major environmental system change.

Lewin, R. A reappraisal of the Gaia hypothesis in the light of modern complexity theory. Much useful material on research at the land surface-atmosphere interface is discussed. Especially regarding energy flows. Rotation defines the length of day. Revolution around the Sun defines the seasons. In effect the Earth is a solar-powered system. These may be scientific or teleological. It also plays an important role in the other major environmental systems by control over biogeochemical and water cycles.

This produces a unique climate appropriate to supporting higher species. This global representation of the environment as a self-regulating organism integrates all environmental processes and places human society in this context. Most students will have an idea of science as analytical, reductionist and mechanical. They must be clear that Gaia portrays a world that is highly integrated, dynamic and adaptable. This last feature may cause some conflict with the idea of sustainability regarding the human species.

As the Earth is explained as a powerful self-regulating system then we need not worr y about sustainability. However, we are dependent on cycles water and carbon within the global system. Disruption of these could wipe out the human species without causing irreparable damage to the Earth. System change and adaption should be clearly explained in relation to the human timescale. Daisyworld, radiation and feedback System feedback may cause problems for some students.

The negative and positive links between individual system components need exploring separately before the whole feedback loop is explored. The regulating system concept of Daisyworld benefits from this approach. The change in radiation properties associated with this model need explanation from the instructor, i. Albedo as a regulatory mechanism requires emphasis.

Key terms Carbon dioxide; equinox; Gaia hypothesis; galactic rotation; geophysiology; greenhouse effect; latitude; longitude; Lovelock; methane; nested hierarchy systems; precession; revolution; rotation; solstice; Spaceship Earth; symbiotic; thermostat. Issues for group discussion Discuss the relative evidence for dating the Earth With illustration from Figure 3. A useful exercise that may require tactful handling is the reconciliation of cultural viewpoints in relation to presented scientific evidence. At the end of the discussion the students should have a grasp of the logic behind each type of evidence and its accuracy.

A subsidiary outcome is that the students are aware of the magnitudes of the time-scales discussed Box 3. Discuss the relative importance of physical, chemical and biological factors in the light of the Gaia hypothesis With reference to Myers and Caldeira and Kasting the basics of the Gaia hypothesis should be presented. Discussion of the elements as a basis of life may be developed from Nullet The key outcome should be that after exploring the various inputs from the biogeochemical cycles, and the systems they link, students should begin to get a notion of synergy.

Discussion should be developed along two broad themes. First, the spatial patterning and division of the Earth into interdependent ecosystems. Second, the opportunity for multidisciplinary input into environmental management. This may link to the discussion in issue one, where a range of team skills and knowledge is required to unravel the complexity of the world.

Selected reading Caldeira, K. Nature , —3. Overall biosphere control from the solar-energy source is modelled in relation to life-giving systems on Earth. The conclusion is that these systems can function naturally much longer than Lovelock predicts. Huggett, R. Geography 75 2 , — Explores the recent scientific knowledge accrued from space technology in relation to cosmic objects striking the Earth.

This input from larger systems into the global system illustrates effects on major environmental systems. The likely scale of effect on the lithosphere, atmosphere and biosphere is related to the size and energy of such strikes.

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Myers, N. Geography Review 3 3 , 3—5. A concise outline that clearly expresses the Gaia concept and how it may be applied to management. Uses some useful scientific evidence and explains the Daisyworld model succinctly. Nullet, D. Geography 79 1 , 77—8. These underpin our unique life-support system in comparison to other bodies in the solar system. Provides a focus for discussion of what environmental variables are required to instigate and then support life. Speier, R. Geographical Magazine 61 12 , 30—3. Emphasizes the importance of the Gaia hypothesis for future planetary management.

Written in mainly non-technical terms for the general reader this book critically looks at a wide variety of systems. Particularly relevant when exploring evolution and landscape formation. Complex systems are explained regarding their ability for self-organization. Cattermole, P. Evidence supports areas of commonality within the larger context of the solar system.

Key theories are introduced in student-friendly fashion and a non-jargon-ridden way. Kauffman, S. Penguin: Harmondsworth Clearly illustrates the biological complexity of ecosystems.


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The organization of the world and its species are explored at a variety of scales. Lovelock, J. Provides a holistic view of the Earth, integrating geological and biological systems with atmospheric composition. Its evolutionary approach clearly emphasizes the use of scientific evidence to build up environmental argument. Press, F. W H Freeman: Oxford. An introduction to the main fundamentals of geology. Useful illustrations explain functions and multidisciplinary thought is fostered in a discussion of applications.

Silk, J. A concise description of current knowledge about the history and construction of the Universe. Radiation fluctuations and their implications are explored along with an appraisal of various theories of cosmology. Essay questions 1 Why is the Earth unique in our solar system? Figure 3. The Earth revolves around the Sun over a yearly cycle, and this defines the passage of the seasons in both hemispheres.

See text for explanation. After Figure 2. Answers a The yearly orbit of the Earth around the Sun determines seasonal climate. The daily rotation of the Earth about its axis will provide diurnal change, in local climatic conditions, provided a place passes through the plane of day-night during this daily cycle. Thus in December the south polar area has a hour day. In this instance the duration of solar energy determines the amount received. Finally, the tilt of the Earth relative to the Sun determines the depth of atmosphere the solar energy has to pass through.

Both these have cycles of tens of thousands of years. Answer Pythagoras viewed the Earth as a sphere but he saw it as stationary within space. He had an Earth-centric view with the Earth positioned at the centre of the Universe. The Earth itself was seen as dynamic being subject to change but essentially this was only of decay through time. Answer Copernicus positioned the Sun at the centre of the Universe. He identified the Moon as an orbiting satellite of the Earth, with the Earth and other planets following a concentric circular path around the Sun.

Answer Whilst having a great deal of short-term variation, over the longer term sunspots exhibit a semi-regular year cycle.

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This cycle has been correlated to longterm rainfall records, with maximum rainfall occurring at times of greatest sunspot activity. There is evidence over much longer time-scales that they may influence long-term climate change. Quickening of the shorter-term cycle, effectively increasing sunspot activity per decade, has a positive association with increased global temperatures.

Some argue that sunspot activity may, therefore, have more influence on recent climate change than the enhanced greenhouse effect. Short-answer questions 5 Outline the Big Bang theory. Answer Answer The Earth operates as a closed system, except for some minimal exchanges of material between the upper atmosphere and space. The Earth has inputs and outputs of energy but not materials.

Energy is received from the Sun as mainly short-wave radiation and outputted back to space mainly as long-wave radiation. The Universe evolved from a super-dense concentration of matter that suffered a cataclysmic explosion. The observed expansion of the Universe is a result of this explosion. However, the measurement of the decay of radioactive substances in rocks allows for absolute dating.

Radiocarbon dating can date sediments back about 30, years, whilst potassium-argon dating can cover up to 30 million years. Answer The globe is divided into 24 one-hour time zones. The time zones are relative to the zero meridian at Greenwich Greenwich Mean Time. Zones to the east are thus sequentially one hour in advance and those to the west similarly one hour behind. This view demands respect for other species and the natural systems that support life. Answer It is a term used by James Lovelock to describe evolution of organisms and their material environment as a symbiotic single process.

Additional references Kargel, J. Scientific American 5 , 60—8. Well illustrated, indicating system interactions and outcomes. Answer Web site This is when the Sun appears directly overhead at midday on the equator. This occurs twice yearly on 21 March the vernal equinox and 23 September the autumnal equinox. Useful links to initiatives based on the Gaia hypothesis. This distribution is constantly dynamic due to longterm processes for change. The major processes for change relate to plate tectonics and associated activity such as earthquakes and volcanoes.

The global distribution of pollution is a good example of this interrelationship. Further scale analogies between people and these relief features reinforce the view of the human species as a small evolutionary component of the Earth. These layers affect the exterior surface of the Earth, via an interacting system. Though our picture of the interior delineation of the Earth is drawn from indirect evidence, there is a general consensus regarding the properties of the various zones. These are presented as: 1 the core, containing mainly iron and nickel, and outer zones.

The asthenosphere consisting of semi-fluid rocks. Convection currents within the asthenosphere are the driving force behind the redistribution of land and sea via the mechanism of plate tectonics. The second and outer zone is the lithosphere. This rigid material constitutes a layer of strength relative to the deformable asthenosphere below; 3 the crust which is the outer skin of the Earth. It merges with the lithosphere and the boundary between the two is of variable depth. Some literature amalgamates the two terms as the lithosphere.

Information for instructors & lecturers

They have different thicknesses, densities and weights. This affects their relationship to each other and is interdependent with plate tectonic processes. An important source affecting humans is radon gas. Its occurrence is spatially variable, dependent on source and system links to the surface via water and fissuring. Radon is a health risk when it accumulates in confined spaces usually related to human resource systems, e. In effect it is the opposite of the natural system flow.

Lack of knowledge and foresight has produced the present problem. The spatial distribution of nuclear waste is uneven due to discrete development of nuclear power, and this distribution does not necessarily correspond to the suitable sites for underground storage. It must, therefore, be transported flow through the biosphere for safer disposal. They display a frequency of eruption that indicates patterns of process in other environmental systems seismic, atmospheric and tidal.

This produces an irregular eruption pattern contradicting popular held beliefs folklore. Geothermal energy may be exploited at selective points on the surface corresponding to near-surface about 10 km depth molten rocks conducting heat upwards. As with other renewable energy sources environmental impacts relate to the unsympathetic development of the resource. Otherwise, the principles of Plate Tectonic Theory Chapter 5 may be difficult to grasp. Crustal type sima and sial differences and their characteristics must be emphasized, particularly in relation to isostatic balance.

The crust must be emphasized as being coupled to the upper mantle and that these two comprise the lithosphere. They are uncoupled from the asthenosphere by the non-uniform depth of partially molten mantle below. This allows for associated plate movement. The Moho is a boundary within the lithosphere between the crust and mantle. Both speed and wave movement need emphasis. Key terms Core; crust; earthquake prediction; geodesy; geothermal gradient and energy; geysers; lateral recharge; mean sea-level; mantle; mountain building; nuclear waste; plate tectonics; radioactivity; relief; viscous; seismic waves; Sellafield; sial; sima; sustainable energy; radon; Yucca Mountain.

Issues for group discussion Discuss the safety of underground nuclear storage The discussion should focus on the system variables involved, e. Spatial pattern factors should be drawn out in relation to geological stability earthquake zones and human settlement. These dissimilar distributions should allow the discussion to evaluate the safety of nuclear waste transportation. Discuss the views that geothermal energy is environmentally friendly Students should at least read Scudder The teaching emphasis should be on developing an holistic argument, relative to other sources of energy, based on scale of impact at local, regional and global levels.

Students should prepare principally an environmental argument but recognition of the economic costs need monitoring regarding possible implementation. Selected reading Jeanloz, R. Scientific American 5 , 26— An article emphasizing the importance of interfaces between layers within the Earth. A good synthesis of material from theories and scientific evidence is presented to illustrate the composition and inner workings of the Earth.

Scudder, B. Geographical Magazine 62 9 , 40—4. Clearly demonstrates the economic as well as the environmental argument. Silver, P. Science , —8. Spatially equates geothermal surface evidence with underground seismic activity. Applications relating to earthquake prediction are discussed in relation to other physical factors. Useful graphical illustration.

Textbooks Berkhout, F. Compares management of radioactive waste usingcase studies from Europe. A clear focus presents the technological issues in a policy framework. Clark, M. A series of topical essays on waste management from a spatial perspective. Nuclear waste is considered in a number of thematic areas with a significant chapter on the criteria needed for effective management of radioactive waste. This provides an assessment of the difficulties involved in providing an integrated costing of the effects on global environmental systems. Openshaw, S. A book that raises many issues.

The evidence is presented in an objective fashion allowing readers to formulate their own views. There is comprehensive coverage of the scientific aspects of the nuclear waste issue as well as the politico-economic dimension. This is presented in an integrating spatial analysis. This temporal study of the Chernobyl incident and its future implications are discussed from an interdisciplinary perspective. The issues are explored in a highly readable manner. Scientific data, public per-ceptions and political reactions are major themes drawn together to contextualize the contribution of this major environmental issue.

Summerfield, M. A comprehensive introduction to large-scale processes and landforms. There is a clear integration of global plate tectonics with major landform development. Essay questions Goudie, A. A clear, student-friendly introductor y text for undergraduates. Major environmental systems are set in a global framework comprising both a geological and climatic background. A wide variety of landscapes and ecosystems is evaluated in the context of major dynamic processes and natural physical cycles.

Well illustrated with key ideas clearly flagged.