Environmental issues: Concept of environmental technology, Impact of technology and growing population on environment, disasters management, acid rain ozone depletion. Applications of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS).

02 Hrs

b.1 Concept of environmental technology,
the term “environmental technologies” can be and is being used in various ways. The concept may refer solely to end-of-pipe technologies and the remediation of already polluted/damaged areas. However, it can also cover integrated clean technologies and, in an even wider sense, issues like monitoring, measuring, product change or environmental management systems. In the ETAP (Environmental Technologies ActionPlan for the European Union) and in this report, the concept is used in its wide sense, as encompassing all technologies whose use is less environmentally harmful than relevant alternatives.

b.2 Impact of technology and growing population on environment,
Impact of Technology on Environment
We have been inventing & innovating different activities, products & services for the benefit & the development of our society. Unfortunately we have been using this technology in an uncontrolled & unplanned way and this has created number of environmental issues. Such facets of technology & their environmental issues are • Industrialization • Urbanization, • Transportation, • Modern Agriculture • Mining, etc. (write few impacts of each on the environment) To control or to minimize such impact on the environment, it is necessary to adopt environmental technology to every branch of technology. Through, such sustainability approach we can minimize or even can eliminate the impacts of technology on our environment.

Impact Population on Environment
In the last five decades a phenomenal rise in the world population has taken place with technology revolution & is expected to grow further. World population trend at different times based on UN demographic studies is
Years Population (billions) 1950 2.5 1998 5.9 2001 6.2 2050 8.9 (forecast) Total Land area of the world 130 million km2

This growing population coupled with economic (technology) revolution is having a great impact on our environment as well as on our social well being. They are listed as

1. Food: Sufficient food cannot be produced for the large masses, and this result in hunger & malnutrition. Under- nourished people, particularly children, cannot build a healthy nation. 2. Shelter: Housing is one of the biggest problems posed by the abnormal increase in population. It is not possible for all the people on earth to have a roof over their heads. 3. Water: demand for water increases. Coupled with this is the global shortage of fresh water due to global warming. Availability of water is decreasing at an alarming rate in some parts of the world. Water famine is setting in posing a serious threat to food production. Tensions are building up over the sharing of water. Shortage of water creates unsanitary conditions and health problems. The cost of drinking and domestic uses also increases. 4. Resources: At such a rate of population increase, natural resources such as minerals and fossil fuels will soon be depleted and non-renewable resources will not be available to future generations. Competition for resources will lead to tensions. 5. Health care: It is quite natural for disease to spread in populous areas. Health care facilities become inadequate. 6. Education: Education becomes difficult. Illiteracy can not be contained. 7. Energy: Energy is the key for all activities. Energy availability is very less in over-populous countries. 8. Jobs: Unemployment, particularly among youth, is an out fall of overpopulation. 9. Transportation problems: More vehicles will ply, resulting in huge consumption of huge consumption of fossil fuels & emission of air pollution along with congestion. 10. Shortage of land: Food production will be affected & land hunger has already set in. 11.Environmental problems: a. Problems related to waste disposal. b. Water pollution c. Land pollution d. Spread of diseases e. Deforestation. 12.Shortage of infrastructural facilities, 13.Comforts & creational facilities dwindle. 14.Rescue & rehabilitation during emergencies such as floods, cyclones, earthquake, and other calamities become difficult. 15.As the population is not evenly distributed all over the world, inequalities among the countries lead to competition for food, water, fuel, jobs, & other problems. Tensions build up & wars are breaking out over sharing of resources. This will be further aggravated by uncontrolled population growth. 16.Economy and purchasing power: for an over population country, it takes extremely hard to become economically strong. Its purchasing power will not be enough to provide good living conditions for its citizens. 17.Impact on HABITATS a. Habitat alteration: Habitat alteration are changes made to the environment that adversely affect ecosystem function, although not perhaps completely or permanently. One example is livestock grazing, Livestock, such as cattle can effectively trample aquatic vegetation and

cause accelerated bank erosion (especially in streams) and this can result in unsuitable habitat for dependent insects & other organisms b. Habitat destruction: Habitat destruction is defined as the complete elimination of a localized or regional ecosystem leading to the total loss of its former biological function (Dodd and Smith 2003). For example, mining, housing developments or agricultural developments etc. c. Habitat fragmentation: Habitat fragmentation is a process of emergence of discontinuities (fragmentation) in an organism's preferred environment (habitat). Habitat fragmentation is a secondary Habitat fragmentation is a secondary affect of habitat destruction. Habitat fragmentation is frequently caused by humans when native vegetation is cleared for human activities such as agriculture, rural development or urbanization. Habitats which were once continuous become divided into separate fragments. After intensive clearing, the separate fragments tend to be very small islands isolated from each other by crop land, pasture, pavement, or even barren land. This Habitat fragmentation results in i. reduction in the total area of the habitat ii. increase in the amount of edge iii. decrease in the amount of interior habitat iv. isolation of one habitat fragment from other areas of habitat v. breaking up of one patch of habitat into several smaller patches vi. decrease in the average size of each patch of habitat Reasons for Population Growth No single reason can be pinpointed for the increase in population. Some of the identifiable causes are  Ignorance about the importance of optimum population, small family size & comforts, and future availability of resources.  Illiteracy, particularly among women.  Belief that social security comes with more human beings at a place or in a region.  Lack of facilities like infrastructure to propagate the benefits of small families & family planning.  Socio-economic & religious issues.  Unethical national policies toward technological innovations. Control of Population growth  Education: Literacy plays a major role in checking population growth.  Technology: stress should be given to resource conservation & alternative environment friendly technology (sustainable development) through research & development.  Improving economic condition: the economy of a country & its population are closely related as in the case of western countries where the economically sound societies are found lesser populated with good facilities.  Publicity: the importance of birth control, the significance of family size & related information should be effectively published through various media, school books & other sources. People in the remotest of the villages should also be made aware of the comforts that can be derived from small family size.

 Incentives such as scholarships to children, subsidies, and exemption from tax to smaller families could be offered.  Participation of NGOs: NGOs can contribute in popularizing population control programs. Model Question:  What are the social initiatives that could be taken to control the impacts of population & technology?  What are the causes of population growth?  What is habitat fragmentation & habitat alteration? What are their impacts?  What are the impacts of population growth?  What is the role of communication & education in controlling the population growth? (ESSAY)

b.3 disasters management,
The term disaster owes its origin to the French word “Desastre” which is a combination of two words ‘des’ meaning bad and ‘aster’ meaning star. Thus the term refers to ‘Bad or Evil star’. A disaster can be defined as “A serious disruption in the functioning of the community or a society causing wide spread material, economic, social or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected society to cope using its own resources”. A disaster is a result from the combination of hazard, vulnerability and insufficient capacity or measures to reduce the potential chances of risk. A disaster happens when a hazard impacts on the vulnerable population and causes damage, casualties and disruption. Any hazard – flood, earthquake or cyclone which is a triggering event along with greater vulnerability (inadequate access to resources, sick and old people, lack of awareness etc) would lead to disaster causing greater loss to life and property. For example; an earthquake in an uninhabited desert cannot be considered a disaster, no matter how strong the intensities produced. An earthquake is disastrous only when it affects people, their properties and activities. Thus, disaster occurs only when hazards and vulnerability meet. But it is also to be noted that with greater capacity of the individual/community and environment to face these disasters, the impact of a hazard reduces. Therefore, we need to understand the three major components namely hazard, vulnerability and capacity with suitable examples to have a basic understanding of disaster management. What is a Hazard Hazard may be defined as “a dangerous condition or event, that threat or have the potential for causing injury to life or damage to property or the environment.” The word ‘hazard’ owes its origin to the word ‘hasard’ in old French and ‘az-zahr’ in Arabic meaning ‘chance’ or ‘luck’. Hazards can be grouped into two broad categories namely natural and manmade. 1. Natural hazards are hazards which are caused because of natural phenomena (hazards with meteorological, geological or even biological origin). Examples of natural hazards are cyclones, tsunamis, earthquake and volcanic eruption which are exclusively of natural origin. Landslides, floods, drought,

fires are socio-natural hazards since their causes are both natural and man made. For example flooding may be caused because of heavy rains, landslide or blocking of drains with human waste. 2. Manmade hazards are hazards which are due to human negligence. Manmade hazards are associated with industries or energy generation facilities and include explosions, leakage of toxic waste, pollution, dam failure, wars or civil strife etc. The list of hazards is very long. Many occur frequently while others take place occasionally. However, on the basis of their genesis, they can be categorized as follows: Table: Various types of hazards Types Hazards Geological Hazards 1. Earthquake 2. Tsunami 3. Volcanic eruption 4. Landslide 5. Dam burst Water & Climatic Hazards 1. Tropical Cyclone 2. Tornado and Hurricane 3. Floods 4. Drought 5. Hailstorm 6. Cloudburst 7. Landslide 8. Heat & Cold wave 9. Snow Avalanche 10.Sea erosion Environmental Hazards 1. Environmental pollutions 2. Deforestation 3. Desertification 4. Pest Infection Biological 1. Human / Animal Epidemics 2. Pest attacks 3. Food poisoning 4. Weapons of MassDestruction vulnerability Vulnerability may be defined as “The extent to which a community, structure, services or geographic area is likely to be damaged or disrupted by the impact of particular hazard, on account of their nature, construction and proximity to hazardous terrains or a disaster prone area.” Vulnerabilities can be categorized into physical and socio-economic vulnerability. Physical Vulnerability: It includes notions of who and what may be damaged or destroyed by natural hazard such as earthquakes or floods. It is based on the physical condition of people and elements at risk, such as buildings, infrastructure etc; and their proximity, location and nature of the hazard. It also relates to the technical capability of building and structures to resist the forces acting upon them during a hazard event. In case of an earthquake or landslide the ground may fail and the houses on the top may topple or slide and affect the settlements at the lower level even if they are designed well for earthquake forces.

Socio-economic Vulnerability: The degree to which a population is affected by a hazard will not merely lie in the physical components of vulnerability but also on the socioeconomic conditions. The socioeconomic condition of the people also determines the intensity of the impact. For example, people who are poor and living in the sea coast don’t have the money to construct strong concrete houses. They are generally at risk and loose their shelters when ever there is strong wind or cyclone. Because of their poverty they too are not able to rebuild their houses. capacity Capacity can be defined as “resources, means and strengths which exist in households and communities and which enable them to cope with, withstand, prepare for, prevent, mitigate or quickly recover from a disaster”. People’s capacity can also be taken into account. Capacities could be: Physical Capacity: People whose houses have been destroyed by the cyclone or crops have been destroyed by the flood can salvage things from their homes and from their farms. Some family members have skills, which enable them to find employment if they migrate, either temporarily or permanently. Socio-economic Capacity: In most of the disasters, people suffer their greatest losses in the physical and material realm. Rich people have the capacity to recover soon because of their wealth. In fact, they are seldom hit by disasters because they live in safe areas and their houses are built with stronger materials. However, even when everything is destroyed they have the capacity to cope up with it. Hazards are always prevalent, but the hazard becomes a disaster only when there is greater vulnerability and less of capacity to cope with it. In other words the frequency or likelihood of a hazard and the vulnerability of the community increases the risk of being severely affected. risk Risk is a “measure of the expected losses due to a hazard event occurring in a given area over a specific time period. Risk is a function of the probability of particular hazardous event and the losses each would cause.” The level of risk depends upon: • Nature of the hazard • Vulnerability of the elements which are affected • Economic value of those elements A community/locality is said to be at ‘risk’ when it is exposed to hazards and is likely to be adversely affected by its impact. Whenever we discuss ‘disaster management’ it is basically ‘disaster risk management’. Disaster risk management includes all measures which reduce disaster related losses of life, property or assets by either reducing the hazard or vulnerability of the elements at risk.

Disaster Management:
Local, regional, national and (where necessary) international organisations are all involved in mounting a humanitarian response to disasters. Each will have a prepared disaster management plan. These plans cover prevention, preparedness, relief and recovery (see below).

Disaster prevention These are activities designed to provide permanent protection from disasters. Not all disasters, particularly natural disasters, can be prevented, but the risk of loss of life and injury can be mitigated with good evacuation plans, environmental planning and design standards. In January 2005, 168 Governments adopted a 10-year global plan for natural disaster risk reduction called the Hyogo Framework. It offers guiding principles, priorities for action, and practical means for achieving disaster resilience for vulnerable communities. Disaster preparedness These activities are designed to minimise loss of life and damage – for example by removing people and property from a threatened location and by facilitating timely and effective rescue, relief and rehabilitation. Preparedness is the main way of reducing the impact of disasters.

Community-based preparedness and management should be a high priority in physical therapy practice management. Disaster relief This is a coordinated multi-agency response to reduce the impact of a disaster and its long-term results. Relief activities include rescue, relocation, providing food and water, preventing disease and disability, repairing vital services such as telecommunications and transport, providing temporary shelter and emergency health care. Disaster recovery Once emergency needs have been met and the initial crisis is over, the people affected and the communities that support them are still vulnerable. Recovery activities include rebuilding infrastructure, health care and rehabilitation. These should blend with development activities, such as building human resources for health and developing policies and practices to avoid similar situations in future. Disaster management is linked with sustainable development, particularly in relation to vulnerable people such as those with disabilities, elderly people, children and other marginalised groups.
Earthquake Earthquakes are destructive forms of natural hazards. Earthquakes are caused by movement of massive land areas, called plates on the earth’s crust. These plates are in a constant state of motion. As the plates move relative to one another, stresses from and accumulate until a fracture or abrupt slippage occurs. This sudden release of stress is called an earthquake. The magnitude of an earthquake, as expressed by Richter scale, is a measure of the amplitude of seismic waves. Effects of earthquake: The initial effect of an earthquake is the violent ground motion. Additionally the ground often fissures or cracks and there can be large permanent displacements horizontally sometimes as much as 10-15 meters. Often as destructive as the earthquake itself are the resulting secondary effects such as landslides, fires, tsunamis and floods. The risk of fire immediately after an earthquake is often high because of broken electrical lines and gas mains. As the vibrations and waves continue to move through the earth building on the earth’s surface are set in motion. Earthquake management: 1. Determine the optimum structures of existing buildings. 2. Building of earthquake proof structures. 3. Shutdown certain dangerous industries like nuclear reactors, electrical power stations, oil and gas pipelines. 4. Implement procedures for evacuating buildings and dangerous areas. 5. Training teams for search and rescue operations, disaster assessment. 6. Training adequate personal trauma care. 7. Preparing plans and necessary equipment for alternative water supply.

8. Reviewing the essential facilities like hospitals, fire stations and communication installations. Cyclones The violent storms bring widespread devastation to coastlines and islands lying in their erratic pathos. A windstorms’ destructive work is done by the high wind, flood producing rains and associated storm surges. Tropical cyclones are known around the workd by various names – hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean, typhoons in the West Pacific, baguios in the Philippines. Effects of cyclones: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Loss of human lives. Damage to houses and other physical structures. Destroy supply lines, crops and food stocks. Destruct agriculture and destroy crops. disrupt economy

Cyclone disaster mitigation (management) 1. Regulatory control and their relative effectiveness – in coastal areas zoning ordinance would regulate minimum building height, type of land use. 2. Building regulations establish minimum standards of design, construction and materials in order to avoid structural collapse. 3. Measures to reduce economic losses include agriculture losses, safeguard of power grids etc. 4. developing an effective forecasting system 5. Developing warning and evacuation procedures for people threatened by floods 6. Maintaining stocks of necessary medical stuff. 7. Establishing emergency communication system. Floods A flood occur when a stream or river overflows its banks, shortly after periods of excessinve rainfall or snowmelt. Flash floods are local floods of great volume and short duration. Riverine floods are caused by precipitation over large areas or by melting of the winter’s occumulation of snow or by both. Flood water is mostly a combination of numerous and widespread rainfall events, possibly with considerable snowmelt contribution. In coastal areas, it could be combination of astronomical tides, stors surges or tsunamis. Impacts of floods 1. damage of houses, floatation of houses, undercutting of house and by debris.

2. health related effects, in which it may promote secondary threat of waterborne and vector-borne diseases. 3. Impact on agriculture, in which huge losses to agricultural crops due to submersion of crops and crop storage facilities. Flood control measures (management) 1. Channelization – construction of open channels is a common method of reducing the size of floodway. 2. Detention facilities – detention facilities such as dams store flood water and release them at lower rates. 3. Flood proofing – retrofit flood proofing of existing buildings. 4. Flood detection and warning system – flood detection system can range from inexpensive networks of volunteer rainfall and stream stage observers like telemetered gauges and computer models. 5. Public awareness programs

Acid rain is rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually excessive acidic. Acid rain is infact a cocktail of mainly sulfuric acid (60 to 70 %) & nitric acid (30 to 40 %) with a little hydrochloric acid. This acidification of rain is a natural phenomenon, where the atmospheric carbon dioxide reacts with water to form carbonic acids to make this natural rain water slightly acidic (pH- 5.6). However, during recent years, due to increased anthropogenic activities, like industrialization, transportation, urbanization, use of fossil fuels, etc. the atmospheric concentration of sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, chlorides, etc. has increased enormously. These constituents react with water to form their respective acids. These acids reduces the pH of the rain water, some time to as low as that of lemon juice (pH- 2.2). Effects: 1. Acid rain causes acidification of lakes and streams and contributes 2. It damages the vegetation by wearing away the waxy protective coating of leaves, damaging them and preventing them from being able to photosynthesize properly 3. Dissolve and wash away the nutrients and minerals in the soil & making it unfertile

4. In addition, acid rain accelerates the decay of building materials and paints, including irreplaceable buildings, statues, and sculptures (corrosion) that are part of our nation's cultural heritage. 5. Prior to falling to the earth, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) gases and their particulate matter derivatives—sulfates and nitrates—contribute to visibility degradation and harm public health. Control: 1. Reduce emissions 2. Find alternative sources of energy 3. Restoring the Damage done by Acid Rain http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/effects/index.html Environmental chemistry: BK Sharma & H KAUR

b.5 ozone depletion.
Ozone is an unstable blue gas having pungent odour. Chemically, it is an allotrope of Oxygen which is an element in the gaseous form. It has three oxygen atoms in its single molecule and in the language of Chemistry; its molecular formula is 03. It is used as a powerful oxidant, bleach, and water purifier. It is also used to treat industrial wastes.

Where is ozone found?
If found in the troposphere; ozone acts as a powerful pollutant. But, when found in the stratosphere, it acts like a friend of the earth because it shields most of the ultra violet radiations and does not allow them to pass on towards the same. In stratosphere, it is found in the form of a dense layer called as the Ozone Layer or the Ozone Belt. Thus, the Ozone Belt in the stratosphere acts like a Protective Umbrella of the earth. Let us see, how this gas is formed in the atmosphere.

How is ozone formed?
Ozone is formed in the stratosphere when oxygen molecules Photo dissociate after absorbing an UV Photon of shorter wavelength(less than 240 nm) to produce two oxygen atoms. Ozone is mainly produced from oxygen containing molecules such as Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides, etc. also when these molecules are exposed to ultraviolet radiations. In Chemistry, a molecule is the particle of any substance that can remain in a free state. But, what is an atom? Well, an atom is the smallest particle of a substance that can not usually remain in a free condition. Two or more atoms combine to form a molecule. Through the foregoing lines, we came across another term, allotrope. One of the two or more different forms of molecules of an element is called as an allotrope. A large number of ozone molecules assemble around the earth to form the Ozone Layer which extends from 13 to 48 km above the earth surface. On an average, it is about 230 Dobson units (DU) in thickness. DU is the unit which measures thickness of the ozone layer. It equals to 0.01 mm.

Ozone depleting substances
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs or Freons), Methane, Nitrous Oxides (N2O), Carbon Tetrachloride (CCl4), Methyl Bromide (a soil fumigant and insecticide), aircraft emissions, n- propyl bromide and Halon- 1202 are major agents that cause depletion of ozone layer. Hence, these are called as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). How is the Ozone Layer Depleted?

Chlorofluorocarbons or Freons get accumulated in greater amounts at high altitudes and gradually reach to the stratosphere. Under the influence of intense short wave ultraviolet radiations they release chlorine atoms. A single chlorine atom can react with more than, 100,000 molecules of ozone and can convert them into oxygen. Other ozone depleting substances like methane, nitrous oxide, methyl bromide etc. too, pass through a series of reactions under the influence of UV-radiations of sunlight and catalysts found in the air and help in the depletion of ozone layer. • Ozone molecule absorbs UV light between 310 and 200 nm. The ozone molecule absorbs oxygen atom to form two molecules of Oxygen, and the Ozone cycle continues. • Ozone is destroyed by a number of free radicals catalysts –like Hydroxyl radical, Nitric oxide radical, and Bromine through natural and anthropogenic sources. Effects of the Depletion of Ozone Layer I. General Effects Ozone absorbs ultraviolet radiations so that much of it is never allowed to reach to the earth surface. The protective umbrella of ozone layer in the stratosphere protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiations. Ozone plays an important role in the biology and climatology on the earth’s environment. It filters out all the radiations that remain below 3000Å. Radiations below this wavelength are biologically harmful. Hence any depletion of ozone layer is sure to exert catastrophic impacts on life in the biosphere. The Ultraviolet radiation is one of the most harmful radiations contained in the sunlight. Ozone layer in the stratosphere absorbs these radiations and does not allow it to reach to the earth. The depletion of Ozone layer may lead to UV exposures that may cause a number of biological consequences like Skin Cancer, damages to vegetation, and even the reduction of the population of planktons (in the oceanic Photic zone). Some of the remarkable effects of the UV radiations or the effects of depletion of the Ozone Layer are mentioned below. (1) UV radiation causes sun- eye- diseases (cataract), skin diseases, skin cancer and damage to immune system in our body. (2) It damages plants and causes reduction in crop productivity. (3) It damages embryos of fish, shrimps, crabs and amphibians. The population of salamanders is reducing due to UV-radiations reaching to the earth. (4) UV- radiations damage fabrics, pipes, paints, and other non-living materials on this earth. (5) It contributes in the Global Warming. If the ozone depletion continues, the temperature around the world may rise even up to 5.5 Celsius degrees. II.Specific Effects The specific effects of depletion of Ozone Layer have been observed on Human Society, Agriculture, Plants and Animals etc. These effects have been summarized as belowA. Effects of Ozone Depletion on Human Society (i).The flux of ultra violet radiation in the biosphere is increased due to ozone depletion. It has seriously harmful effects on human societies like formation of patches on skin and weakening of the human immune system. (ii). It may cause three types of skin cancer like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. A 10 per cent decrease in stratospheric ozone has been reported to cause 20 to 30 per cent

increase in cancer in human society. Each year, about 7000 people die of such diseases each year in USA. About 10 percent increase in skin cancer has been reported in Australia and New Zealand. (iii).Exposure to UV radiations damages skin of the sun-bathing people by damaging melanocyte-cells or by causing sun-burns due to faster flow of blood in the capillaries of exposed areas. (iv).Exposure to UV radiations due to ozone depletion may cause leukemia and breast cancer. (iv).Exposure of UV radiation to human eye damages cornea and lens leading to Photo keratitis, cataract and even blindness. (v).The Ambient Ozone Exposure may cause Emphysema, bronchitis, asthma and even obstruction of lungs in human beings. (vi).Exposure to radiations due to ozone depletion has been reported to cause DNA breakage, inhibition and alteration of DNA replication and premature ageing in human beings. B. Effect of Ozone Depletion on Agriculture (i). Radiations reaching to the earth due to ozone depletion cause severe damage to plants including crops. As per reports, ultra violet radiations reaching to the earth cause losses up to 50 per cent in European countries. (ii).The radiation reaching to the earth due to the depletion of the ozone layer cause visible damages in plants. They adversely affect the rate of photosynthesis that finally results into decrease in the agricultural production. (iv).The UV radiation enhances the rate of evaporation through stomata and decreases the moisture content of the soil. This condition adversely affects the growth and development of crop plants and reduces the crop yield. (v). The ozone reduction adversely affects the weather pattern which in turn affects the crop production by encouraging plant injuries and disease development. (vi). The UV radiation reaching to the earth surface alters the global balance between radiation and energy. This condition of imbalance causes seasonal variations that further reduce the crop production. (vii). A number of economically important plant species such as rice, depend on cyanobacteria residing in their roots for the retention of nitrogen. These bacteria are sensitive to UV light and they are hence, are killed instantly. C. Effects of Ozone Depletion on other Plants and Animals (i).The ozone layer depletion causes climatic alterations that cause physiological changes in plants and animals. The change in the energy balance and radiation may affect the survival and stability of living organisms. (ii).The depletion of ozone layer may cause changes in thermal conditions of the biosphere. It may affect type, density and stability of vegetation which in turn may affect different bio-geo-chemical cycles operating in nature. Interruption in these cycles damages important process of ecosystem leading to dangerous conditions for plants and animals. (iii).The depletion of ozone layer causes death of plankton- populations in fresh as well as marine waters .This condition seriously affects the transfer of materials in ecosystems. The recent researches gave analyzed a widespread extinction of planktons 2 million years ago that coincided with the nearby supernova. Planktons are particularly susceptible to effects of UV light and are vitally important to the marine food webs. The Ozone Hole The hole in the context of ozone depletion relates to thinning of the ozone layer in a certain area. Here, the word hole is considered as a hole in the ground which in the context of ozone layer is thinning of ozone in a certain area up to certain depth as measured by scientists. In fact, ozone hole is an area where the ozone concentration drops to an average of about 100 Dobson Units. The word ‘Dobson’ has been taken from the name of the famous scientist and climatologist G. M. B. Dobson, who observed the ozone hole for the first time in 1956, over Halley Bay.

The satellite measurements done in September 2000 revealed that the thinning of ozone layer in Antarctic had reached a record 28.3 million sq km which was about one million sq km greater than the record of 1998. Thinning of ozone in such a big area is rightly termed as ozone hole. The ozone hole in the Northern Latitudes has also been recorded. The ozone hole over Antarctica may expose not only the Antarctica but also a large area of the pacific and Atlantic oceans and South America as well. The ozone hole over Antarctica was first discovered by Farman, Gardiner and Shanklin in 1985. They jointly declared their findings through a paper published in the May issue of Nature (an important International Journal) in 1985. The entire scientific community was shocked to know their findings. On the basis of observations made through a network of ground based Dobson Spectrophotometer, an International Panel of scientists confirmed that the Ozone Layer was being depleted at all latitudes out side the tropics. Out of a big group of scientists across the world, Crutzen, Molina, and Rowland were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on Stratospheric Ozone, in 1995.The scientific assessment of ozone depletion is going on across the world since 1981, under the sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the most recent measurement was done during the year 2006. Here are the comparative pictures showing the Ozone Holes over Antarctica during the spring seasons of two different years.

Why is the Ozone Hole over Antarctica, usually formed during spring months?
A circulation pattern of gases traps the ozone over the South Pole for several months but not during winter. This circulation pattern is called as Antarctic Polar Vortex. Within this vortex, the substantial ozone loss was detected for the first time during 1980. During extreme cold conditions, the polar winters are dark and continue up to three months without solar radiations. This leads to the decrease in temperature. The polar vortex traps air and contributes in further falling temperature which goes down up to -80 0c. The low temperature forms cloud particles that contain nitric acid and ice. These clouds provide surfaces for chemical reactions that lead to ozone depletion. During the Antarctic winters and springs, reactions that take place on the surface of the Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) convert pollutants into free radicals such as Cl and ClO. These clouds can also remove NO2 from the atmosphere by converting it to nitric acid. It prevents the newly formed ClO from being converted back into ClONO2. The role of sunlight is the fundamental reason why the Antarctic ozone depletion is greatest during spring. The Antarctic ozone depletion is caused during September to early December. Over 50 per cent of the lower stratospheric ozone is destroyed during the period of the Antarctic Spring.

Prevention and Control of Depletion of the Ozone Layer
Banning the production and use of ozone depleting substances is one important way of preventing further depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. On the other hand, alternatives to these chemical compounds should also be searched out so as to replace these chemicals. Scientists of the University of California, U.S.A. devised a possible way of plugging the ozone hole by injecting alkanes or propanes into the atmosphere of Antarctica. The alkanes have the affinity of reacting with ozone destroying chlorine atoms. According to the scientists, about 50,000 tones of alkane or propane would have to be blown to check the ozone loss. These chemicals could be released from an altitude of about 15 km by a group of hundreds of large aircrafts.

Global Efforts for Controlling the Depletion of the Ozone Layer

Since ozone depletion is a Global Environmental Problem, it requires strong global efforts and cooperations for its solution. The International Community is taking up strong efforts as a result of which global consumption of ozone depleting substances has decreased markedly. Following the UNEP’s Governing Council’s meeting to co- ordinate activities on protecting ozone layer in 1975, United States, Canada, Norway and Sweden banned the use of CFCs. The production capacity of the European Union (E U) was frozen allowing limited uses of aerosols. In March 1985, 28 countries of the world agreed on Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer. In September 1987, different countries of the world adopted Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete ozone layer. The General Assembly of the United Nations voted to designate September 16 as the World Ozone Day, to mark the signing of the Montreal Protocol, the 16th September, 1987.By December 2001, 182 countries ratified the Vienna Convention and 181 the Montreal Protocol. By 2000, 96 chemicals were subject to control under the Montreal Protocol.

b.6 Applications of Remote Sensing and

Geographic Information

System (GIS).
Remote sensing can be defined as the collection of data about an object from a distance. Humans and many other types of animals accomplish this task with aid of eyes or by the sense of smell or hearing. Geographers use the technique of remote sensing to monitor or measure phenomena found in the Earth's lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Remote sensing of the environment by geographers is usually done with the help of mechanical devices known as remote sensors. These gadgets have a greatly improved ability to receive and record information about an object without any physical contact. Often, these sensors are positioned away from the object of interest by using helicopters, planes, and satellites. Most sensing devices record information about an object by measuring an object's transmission of electromagnetic energy from reflecting and radiating surfaces. GIS is the development of innovative software applications for the storage, analysis, and display of geographic data. Thus, the activities normally carried out on a GIS include:
• • • •

The measurement of natural and human made phenomena and processes from a spatial perspective. These measurements emphasize three types of properties commonly associated with these types of systems: elements, attributes, and relationships. The storage of measurements in digital form in a computer database. These measurements are often linked to features on a digital map. The features can be of three types: points, lines, or areas (polygons). The analysis of collected measurements to produce more data and to discover new relationships by numerically manipulating and modeling different pieces of data. The depiction of the measured or analyzed data in some type of display - maps, graphs, lists, or summary statistics.

Remote sensing imagery has many applications in mapping land-use and cover, agriculture, soils mapping, forestry, city planning, archaeological investigations, military observation, and geomorphological surveying, among other uses. For example, foresters use aerial photographs for preparing forest cover maps, locating possible access roads, and measuring quantities of trees harvested. Specialized photography using color infrared film has also been used to detect disease and insect damage in forest trees.

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