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The Effect of Humans

On Ecosystems
and Biological Cycles

HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD


Changes to the Atmosphere

The atmosphere is a greenhouse

Normal atmosphere composition maintains global


temperature

Too much Carbon Dioxide in atmosphere will increase


global temperature.

Carbon dioxide traps suns rays rather than reflecting


them back into space - global warming
HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD
CO2 Increase Due to
Human Activities
Carbon dioxide has increased by 30% since
the industrial revolution
How much CO2 is released by a person? Eg.
Canadians release 18 000 kg of
CO2/person/year
Why?
Burning fossil fuels (gas, coal, oil) for energy
(factories, homes, workplaces) and
transportation
Aerosols
Deforestation
HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD
Global Climate Change
Warmer atmosphere
influences:
1) Sea levels rise (melting ice caps and
glaciers)
-flooding of low lying areas and coastal
regions
-higher tides; coastline erosion
-salt water can enter wetland
ecosystems (some species may die out
while others flourish)
Biodiversity..?
Biogeography.?
HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD
Global Climate Change
2) Higher Ocean Temperatures

-shift in ocean population


-algae blooms
-decreased fish population, species may
die out

Biodiversity..?
Biogeography.?

HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD


Global Climate Change
3) More Energy in the ATM

-severe weather: storms, tornadoes, hurricanes


-floods
-droughts (increase in Forrest Fires)

This will impact AGRICULTURE, HUMAN HEALTH, and


PROPERTY.
Biodiversity..?
Biogeography.?
HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD
Hurricane Katrina Flash floods in Penang

Droughts in in China

BC Forest Fires

HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD


House on stilts in low lying areas
Global Climate Change
4) A Shift in Carbon Cycle

-increased photosynthesis
-some plants growing faster
-others may not grow due to higher
temperatures
-may change nature of agricultural
crops (weeds?)
Biodiversity..?
Biogeography.?
HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD
Global Climate Change
5) Human Health:
-increase in viruses and bacteria that
prefer warm climates
e.g. malaria
-respiratory illness due to increased
pollutants in air; swelling due to heat
Biodiversity..?
Biogeography.?
HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD
Nitrogen Increase Due to
Human Activity
Sewage plants and crop fertilizers release nitrous
oxides into the atmosphere
More nitrogen is being added to the environment
than ecosystems can use
Excess nitrogen in soil increases soil acidity and
damages tree and plant roots
Eutrophication of lakes when nitrogen compounds
build up due to sewage plant wastes;
increase algae growth
Biodiversity..?
Biogeography.?
HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD
Acid Rain
-caused by burning of fossil fuels
-nitric acid and sulfur dioxide
released
-acidify lakes
-species that cannot tolerate
acidic environment die out
(eg. Sensitive tree species)
-degrades limestones
Biodiversity..?
Biogeography.?
HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD
What Can You Do to Decrease
Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
Be power smart - unplug, turn off lights
Walk, bus, carpool
Fuel efficient vehicles (not SUVs)
Purchase energy efficient appliances
Recycle - reusable energy
Plant trees near your home
Biodiversity..?
Biogeography.?

HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD


Can you relate all of the above
to the following?

Energy efficiency
Energy cycle
Biogeochemical cycle
Biodiversity..?
Carbon Sequestration
Biogeography.?
Ocean Acidification
Storage and Sink..
Ecosystem equilibriums.

HGF227/3: Iklim, Cuaca & Biogeografi Anisah Lee Abdullah PhD