Environmental Science Day 2

Information about Environmental Science Day 2

Published on January 15, 2008

Author: Marianna

Source: authorstream.com

Content

Environmental Science Badge:  Environmental Science Badge Wildlife Prairie State Park March 3rd & 17th Slide2:  _____Nature___ Merit Badge Bonnie Cannon Name of Counselor 3826 N. Taylor Rd. Address of counselor Hanna City, Il. 61536 City Zip code (309)676-0998 Telephone number of counselor ____________________________ Signature of counselor Name___Your Name________ Has given me his completed application for the _____Environmental Science_______ Merit Badge Completed on 3/17/07 by ________________________ Signature of counselor _________________________________ Signature of unit leader Applicant_Your Name___ Troop Team Unit Number_#_ Crew __Nature________ Date Completed 3/17/07 Slide3:  Application For Merit Badge Name__Your Name___ Address__Your Address City___Your City_____ Is a registered Boy Scout V.Scout Venturer Of_________ No._#__ Council__Your Council Household Pollutants:  Household Pollutants When you clean the toilet or bathtub, what happens to the chemicals that go down the drain? If you live in a city, it goes to a water treatment plant where it is filtered and treated so it can be reused. If you live in a rural area, it goes to your septic tank, then filters down into the soil back into the groundwater. When this wastewater contains toxic chemicals, the chemicals also enter the groundwater. What happens to the chemicals and solvents you use to clean your house? Pollution by Sediment:  Pollution by Sediment Sediment clouds the water, making it difficult for light to reach organisms and plants that require photosynthesis for energy production. Sediment may also carry pesticides or other toxic chemicals. Sediment is tiny particles of soil and undissolved solids carried by water from runoff or soil erosion Slide7:  Excessive sedimentation causes bodies of water to become shallow and disrupt fish feeding and breeding areas. Air and Air Pollution:  Air and Air Pollution Air is made up of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%). The rest is carbon dioxide, argon, and trace amounts of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Water vapor also exists in the air. Most of the earth’s air is in the inner-most layer of the atmosphere, called the troposphere. Above that is the stratosphere. Slide9:  Mesosphere: very cold -173°F Stratosphere: contains the ozone layer; weather balloons reach this layer Troposphere: contains 80% of atmosphere’s mass; contains dust, water vapor, and most clouds Ozone Layer:  Ozone Layer Ozone is produced when lightning and ultraviolet radiation interact in the stratosphere. This is naturally produced and destroyed at a fairly constant rate. Ozone protects the earth from harmful UV sunrays, which can damage the skin, eyes, and immune system of animals and humans and plants and aquatic organisms. Greenhouse Effect:  Greenhouse Effect The earth’s temperature is regulated by carbon dioxide, water vapor, and small amounts of ozone, methane, and other gases in the atmosphere. These gases let heat from the sun into the atmosphere and trap some of it to heat the earth, while the rest is lost to space. Air Pollutants:  Air Pollutants Air pollutants occur either naturally or due to human factors. Natural pollutants may come from volcanoes, dust storms, or forest fires. Most of the air pollution created by humans comes from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gasoline, etc.) Slide14:  The black smoke that comes from a vehicle’s engine is the exhaust from fossil fuel combustion, which contains “particulates”. If these are inhaled, they can directly harm organisms like people and animals. They also interact with sulfur dioxide and other chemicals in the atmosphere to change environmental conditions. Slide15:  Smog (from “smoke” and “fog”) is a dangerous form of this type of pollution, common in big cities with lots of traffic. Smog can make people with respiratory problems sick. Slide17:  Burning fossil fuels also produces carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons. These chemicals can either affect the air condition directly or combine with other elements to form pollutants. Dissolved carbon dioxide in the air forms a weak acid called carbonic acid. This causes rain to be slightly acidic with a pH of about 5.6 Normal rain should be neutral (pH of 7) Slide18:  Sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides emitted from vehicles and power plants mixes with water vapor to form strong acids. These acids fall back to the earth as acid rain. Any rain with a pH below 5.6 is considered acid rain. Many plants are easily killed by acid rain, while others are weakened enough to be killed by other environmental factors such as cold temperature, insect damage, and drought. Slide19:  Acid Rain and Soil Leaching When it rains, rainwater filters down through the topsoil and fills in some of the air spaces. As water enters the soil, it dissolves soil nutrients and other materials and moves them to lower layers in a process called leaching. This is how acid rain removes nutrients from soil. Slide21:  If acid rain falls on an aquatic environment, many of the organisms will die, causing ecosystems to collapse. Buildings and statues are also damaged by acid rain as it dissolves stone. Slide22:  1908 1968 Slide23:  CFC’s are pollutants that destroy the ozone layer, allowing too much UV radiation through to the earth’s surface CFC’s were used as refrigerants up until 1966 and are still being gradually phased out However, it takes 10 to 20 years for CFC’s to reach the stratosphere, so we will see more ozone destruction for many years to come Global Warming:  Global Warming The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been released at a steadily increasing rate over the past 40 years CO2 is produced from burning fossil fuels and clearing and burning forests Methane is emitted by cattle, sheep, termites, and by the breakdown of organic material by bacteria Methane traps about 25 times as much heat as does CO2 Slide25:  Burning coal, forests, and the breakdown of nitrogen fertilizers in soil produces nitrous oxide, which traps about 230 times as much heat as CO2 The combination of all these gases in the atmosphere traps much more heat than would naturally occur In the last 100 years, the average earth temperature has risen 0.7° to 1.3°F Rising temperatures due to global warming could have disastrous effects on ecosystems if these trends persist Slide26:  Rapid increases in temperature would wipe out species not able to adapt quickly enough Polar ice caps could melt, raising the sea levels and flooding coastal cities Solutions to Air Pollution:  Solutions to Air Pollution In 1970, the Clean Air Act was created, which provided air pollution regulations to be enforced in each state The U.S. has significantly reduced its production of major air pollutants except nitrous oxides and ozone Factories can reduce the amount of sulfur dioxides and particulates released by burning coal with less sulfur in it, or to remove sulfur before burning Slide28:  Of course, another solution would be to find an alternative energy source, such as wind, water, or solar energy New technology has provided filters and scrubbers in smokestacks to remove more of the particulates Preventing Air Pollution:  Preventing Air Pollution Carmakers are working to produce vehicles that are more fuel-efficient and produce less nitrous oxide and other pollutants To reduce the amount of fossil fuels being consumed, ethanol from corn or solar energy has begun to be utilized Preventing deforestation and planting more trees will begin to consume more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere Petroleum Pollution:  Petroleum Pollution A major source of water pollution is oil, gasoline, kerosene Oil spills at sea can devastate ocean and coastal ecosystems Some organisms are killed directly while others die slowly Bird feathers and animal hair coated in oil can no longer insulate their bodies from the cold, and they suffer from shock and hypothermia Slide32:  Oil that sinks to the ocean floor smothers organisms there. Even after extensive cleanup operations, it will take 3 to 10 years for marine life to recover after an oil spill. Slide33:  Requirement 3C-Oil Spill Solutions to Water Pollution:  Solutions to Water Pollution Methods of Oil Spill Cleanup Bioremediation-fertilizers are used to increase the population of oil-eating microbes. This is very harmful to people and animals in the first 24 hours after application Boom-a floating barrier used to contain and absorb an oil spill; its high-maintenance requirements can sometimes outweigh its effectiveness Slide35:  Burning-reduces large amounts of oil to a tarry residue. It requires favorable weather conditions and must be done within 72 hours after the spill occurs. Chemical dispersants-help “scatter” oil into larger volumes of water and help prevent oil from reaching shorelines. Dispersants must be “mixed” with oil, which requires good wave action Hot-water washing-works best on heavily oiled beaches, but it “cooks” all plant and animal life in its path, leaving beaches sterile Skimmers-collect oil from the water’s surface. Under the right conditions, skimmers serve as one of the most environmentally sound forms of oil collection Protecting Water Resources:  Protecting Water Resources The most important way to protect our water is conservation It is estimated that 60% of the water used by humans is wasted by leaks, evaporation, and other preventable losses Water is relatively cheap, so wasting it is not a big deal to many home owners and industries Lots of water is wasted on irrigating crops in arid climates because most of it evaporates before plant roots can absorb it Slide37:  To save water, low-flow shower heads and toilets can replace those that use more water Drip irrigation systems have been put into use, which deliver water directly to plant roots from either above or underground tubes Reducing Water Pollution:  Reducing Water Pollution In addition to conserving water, we must also work to reduce the amount of pollutants that enter our water sources Farmers should utilize methods that reduce the amount of runoff and soil erosion, such as no-till farming Genetically engineered crops reduce the need for pesticide use, as they automatically cut back on pest destruction of crops Slide40:  It is now illegal for factories to dump and toxic pollutants into surface waters in the U.S. Indoor Pollution:  Indoor Pollution In addition to water, air, and land pollution, the very home that you live in may be polluted as well Due to more sophisticated insulating methods, modern buildings are more airtight than those of the past to save on heating and cooling costs However, this does not allow air inside to exchange with air outside, so gases produced in the building stay there Slide42:  The four most dangerous indoor air pollutants are: Cigarette smoke Formaldehyde Asbestos Radon Gas Slide43:  Cigarette smoke is dangerous both first and second-hand and can cause lung cancer, birth defects, and a multitude of other diseases and illnesses Formaldehyde is contained in furniture padding, paneling, particle board, fabrics, and foam insulation. Common illnesses caused by this chemical are breathing problems, dizziness, rashes, soar throats, eye irritation, headaches, and nausea Slide44:  Asbestos was once considered a great insulator and fire-proofer and was used extensively in schools, offices, and homes as pipe insulation, and for vinyl ceiling and floor tiles. Asbestos is made of fine fibers that can be easily inhaled and cause many lung diseases, including cancer Radon is a naturally occurring gas that has no color, odor, or taste. It is released around the foundation of some buildings and can build up within the structures. Radon gas decays to solid particles of radioactive elements that can cause cancer Slide45:  Chloroform, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and styrene are other common indoor pollutants The EPA estimates that the concentration of these pollutants inside offices and homes is 2 to 5 times higher than outside Pollutants inside cars can be 18 times higher than outside!!! It is believed that indoor pollutants are one of the top causes of cancer Slide46:  The term “sick building” comes from a case when 20% or more of the employees in a building suffer from burning eyes, sneezing, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms that go away when outside New buildings are more likely to be “sick” than old buildings because of the tight construction of newer structures and because of chemicals released from new furniture and carpets Solutions to Indoor Air Pollution:  Solutions to Indoor Air Pollution One solution is to reduce the amount of cleaning products used in the home Many restaurants and businesses to not allow smoking within the building Buildings without windows have installed air filters and ducts to bring in outside air Opening windows occasionally will allow fresh air to enter your home Endangered & Threatened Species:  Endangered & Threatened Species Can you name any species that were once native to Illinois or the U.S. that are now extinct? Woolly mammoth Giant ground sloth Saber tooth tiger Dire wolf Dinosaurs Passenger pigeon Slide51:  Although many species have gone extinct in the past from natural causes, we are now experiencing the highest rate of extinction that has ever occurred on earth. Some estimates say that within the next 100 years, 30% of the world’s plant and animal species could be on the path to extinction Mammal species are disappearing at a 45% higher rate than should occur naturally Slide52:  Endangered species are in danger of going extinct because very few individuals remain There are 735 plant species and 496 animal species on the endangered list in the U.S. alone Worldwide, over 1,000 species of animals are endangered Slide53:  Threatened species are undergoing high rates of loss and will become endangered if not protected In the U.S., there are 391 threatened animal species and 599 plant species Causes of extinction :  Causes of extinction Historic mass extinctions were most likely caused by relatively sudden, drastic changes in climate The mass extinction we are NOW witnessing is caused by human forces This is mostly due to the explosion of human population that has occurred over the past 50 years Larger human populations require more room and resources, leaving less and less for wildlife and plant species Slide55:  What habitats are under the greatest threat from human expansion and exploit? Rainforests (forests cleared for farmland) Coral reefs (have the highest species diversity of any ecosystem on earth) Forests and prairie/grassland around urban areas Solutions to Species Extinction:  Solutions to Species Extinction One way to protect endangered and threatened species and their habitat is by passing laws to prevent harvest and habitat destruction Recovery and reintroduction programs help return population numbers to their original level Wildlife management allows hunting of species, but at a monitored and controlled level so not too many individuals are removed from a population Slide57:  State and federal government sets aside parcels of land to be deemed wildlife refuges where no or limited hunting/trapping is allowed Over 500 ecosystems are protected by the National Wildlife Refuge system in the U.S. The U.S. National Park Service protects 83.6 million acres! Protected areas take up approximately 6% of the earth’s land surface Environmental Impact Statements:  Environmental Impact Statements When proposing a new law, action, or project, any federal agency must present an environmental assessment (EA) or an environmental impact statement (EIS) The plan must contain: The environmental impact of the proposed action Any harmful environmental effects that cannot be avoided Slide59:  Alternatives to the proposed action Short-term use of the environment vs. protecting the environment’s long-term health Any permanent commitments of resources The EIS may be 100’s or 1000’s of pages long and describes the project, the possible impacts on the environment and various ecosystems, and ways to reduce those impacts Assessing Environmental Impacts:  Assessing Environmental Impacts Now that you’ve seen how delicate the ecosystems of our earth are and how nutrients, plants, animals, and humans interact with one another, think about the affects of construction and development If one acre of forest is cleared to build one house, what will be affected? Requirement 5 Slide61:  Loss of habitat (nest or cavity) for many bird species Loss of habitat and food sources for squirrels, chipmunks, mice, deer, turkeys, quail, raccoons, skunks, opossums, etc. Less habitat for prey species means less prey for owls, hawks, coyotes, foxes, etc. Bare topsoil now exposed to forces of erosion Home will be new site of pollution for air, water, etc. Trees and other plants killed directly Slide62:  Now imagine multiplying those effects times 100 for any of the subdivisions found within a few miles of us The effects can be devastating, destroying entire ecosystems What about building a highway, bridge, or other structure Slide64:  Requirement 6. IDNR Careers CD-ROM

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