Environmental Studies and Natural Resources
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Environmental Studies and Natural Resources

Explore the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies, covering various subjects from biology to public health, and understand the natural resources that sustain human life.

Created by
@RightfulUranus

Questions and Answers

What is the primary aim of improving communication in the described context?

To make ideas and results from any field available to practitioners from other backgrounds

Which of the following is NOT a resource provided by the atmosphere?

Clean water for human use

What is the thickness of the stratosphere?

50 kilometers

What is the role of the ozone layer in the stratosphere?

<p>To absorb ultra-violet light</p> Signup and view all the answers

Why does the atmosphere have variations in climate, temperature, and rainfall?

<p>Due to the uneven warming of the sun</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a consequence of disrupting the atmosphere's natural balance?

<p>It has both global and regional effects</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the approximate percentage of India's land area covered by forests based on satellite data?

<p>19.27%</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the estimated number of people living as shifting cultivators in India?

<p>300 million</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary reason for the increasing demand for fuel wood in India?

<p>Growing population</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the estimated amount of forests cleared annually for shifting cultivation?

<p>5 lakh ha</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the approximate value of environmental services provided by a typical tree?

<p>$196 to $250</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the main function of forests in regulating the hydrological cycle?

<p>Absorbing rainfall and slowing down runoff</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the per capita forest area in India?

<p>0.075 ha</p> Signup and view all the answers

What percentage of moisture in the air above tropical forests comes from their transpiration?

<p>50-80%</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the estimated demand for fuel wood in India in 2001?

<p>300-500 million tons</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the role of forests in preventing soil erosion?

<p>They act as windbreaks and bind soil particles</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the term used to describe the role of forests in absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide?

<p>Photosynthesis</p> Signup and view all the answers

How many species of wild animals and plants are found in tropical forests alone?

<p>7 million</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the characteristic of traditional water management in villages?

<p>Democratic and publicly approved plans</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a benefit of river valley projects with big dams?

<p>Improved standard of living and quality of life</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a potential drawback of big dams?

<p>Environmental impacts</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a role of 'gram sabhas' in traditional water management?

<p>Approving plans publicly</p> Signup and view all the answers

Why are big dams considered a symbol of national development?

<p>Due to their multiple uses</p> Signup and view all the answers

What can big dams provide to remote areas?

<p>Drinking water</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a common characteristic of density-independent factors that limit population growth?

<p>They occur regardless of the population size.</p> Signup and view all the answers

Which of the following human activities can disrupt ecosystems by altering abiotic factors?

<p>Urban sprawl</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary effect of clear cutting on ecosystems?

<p>It changes the abiotic factors of the ecosystem.</p> Signup and view all the answers

How can volcanic eruptions disrupt ecosystems?

<p>By altering the abiotic factors of the ecosystem.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary effect of habitat depletion on ecosystems?

<p>It disrupts the balance of both biotic and abiotic components.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the result of disruptions to biological components of an ecosystem?

<p>Changes in the biodiversity of the ecosystem.</p> Signup and view all the answers

Study Notes

Interdisciplinary Approach to Environmental Science

  • The aim is to improve communication and make ideas and results from various fields available to practitioners from other backgrounds.

Earth's Resources and Man

  • The resources on which mankind is dependent are provided by various sources or 'spheres'.
  • The atmosphere provides:
  • Oxygen for human respiration and metabolic requirements
  • Oxygen for wild fauna in natural ecosystems and domestic animals used by man as food
  • Oxygen as part of carbon dioxide, used for the growth of plants
  • The atmosphere forms a protective shell over the earth, with:
  • Troposphere: the lowest layer, only 12 kilometers thick, and warm enough for human survival
  • Stratosphere: 50 kilometers thick, containing a layer of sulphates essential for rain formation and a layer of ozone that absorbs ultra-violet light and prevents cancer

Deforestation

  • Major causes of deforestation:
  • Shifting cultivation: 300 million people practice slash and burn agriculture, clearing over 5 lakh ha of forests annually
  • Fuel requirements: increasing demand for fuel wood, leading to pressure on forests
  • Raw materials for industrial use: wood for various industries, such as furniture, pulp, and paper
  • Ecological uses: forests provide environmental services, including production of oxygen, reducing global warming, and regulating the hydrological cycle

Ecological Services of Forests

  • Production of oxygen: trees produce oxygen through photosynthesis, essential for life on earth
  • Reducing global warming: forests absorb carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Wildlife habitat: forests provide homes for millions of wild animals and plants
  • Regulation of hydrological cycle: forests act as giant sponges, absorbing rainfall, slowing down runoff, and recharging springs
  • Soil conservation: trees prevent soil erosion and act as windbreaks
  • Pollution moderators: forests absorb toxic gases and help keep the air pure and clean

Traditional Water Management

  • Innovative arrangements ensure equitable distribution of water, democratically implemented through 'gram sabhas'
  • Traditional water managers in villages prove to be effective in managing water resources

Big Dams: Benefits and Problems

  • Benefits:
  • River valley projects with big dams provide multiple uses, including employment opportunities, improved standard of living, and economic growth
  • Check floods and famines, generate electricity, and reduce water and power shortage
  • Environmental problems:
  • Impacts on upstream and downstream levels, including habitat destruction and disruption of ecosystems

Disruptions to Ecosystems

  • Density-independent factors: limiting factors that occur regardless of population size, including:
  • Weather changes
  • Temperature changes
  • Human activities (pollution, urban sprawl, etc.)
  • Natural disasters (volcanoes, fires, etc.)
  • Urban sprawl affects:
  • Water quality (surface and ground)
  • Habitats
  • Soil quality
  • Air quality
  • Noise pollution
  • Disruptions to physical (non-living) components:
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Pollution
  • Hurricanes
  • Clear cutting
  • Fires
  • Floods
  • Drought
  • Nuclear bomb
  • Habitat depletion (human and natural)
  • Disruptions to biological (living) components:
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Pollution (land and water)
  • Hurricanes
  • Urban sprawl
  • Fires
  • Clear cutting
  • Drought
  • Introduction of exotic species
  • Overharvesting (non-native) species
  • Habitat depletion (human and natural)

Biodiversity

  • Importance of preserving biodiversity in ecosystems

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