Environmental Studies 320a Final
what are the five types of climate models?
one dimensional, two dimensional, three dimensional, General circulation model, and earth system model.
what is the difference between a 2d and a 3d model?
the 3D model divides the earth up into boxes, and uses altitude, latitude, and longitude, where the 2D only relies on geographic location and altitude
what are some pros and cons of climate modelling?
it can show the past , present, and what is a close representation of what the future might hold, but it takes a large amount of effort and time to create them and they are not always 100 percent accurate.
what is subgrid parameterization?
estimating the value of climate processes that affect a climate model at scales smaller than the climate model’s resolution.
what does the stephan-boltzmann law tell us about validating climate models?
there are certain principles within the stephan boltzmann that can be used in order to help create such climate models.
what is the stephan-boltzmann principle?
the total amount of energy released from a surface is equal to the fourth power of the absolute temperature of that surface
what are some consequences of global warming?
extreme temperature events,
sea level rise,
change in species range,
ocean circulation,
ocean acidification
by how much can the western antarctic ice sheet raise by?
up to 3 meters
what percentage of total species are expected to be extinct by 2050?
15-37% of all species
how far north must a species move every decade in order to not go extinct?
name three ways in which the carbon cycle interacts with the atmosphere in terms of input.(3)
respiration of living things, fossil fuel emissions, diffusion from the ocean
name three ways by which carbon is released from the atmosphere.
photosynthesis by green plants, algae, photosynthetic bacteria
what are the six forms of carbon?
1.CO2 (g)- atmosphere, soils, ocean
2.C6H12O6 (s)- carbohydrate sugar, plants, organisms(glucose)
3.CH4 (g)- atmosphere, soils, ocean
4.CaCO3 (s)- rocks, oceans, marine organisms skeletons
5.Hydrocarbons (s,l,g)- stored carbon
6.Bio-molecules (s,l)- complex carbon-compounds produced by organisms
where are the top three largest places that carbon is stored in the carbon cycle?
1. Shallow ocean waters, 38000 blln tons
2.soil 1580 blln. tons
3. storage in land plants, 560 bn. tonns
be familiar with carbon cycling on the scale of one tree.
how much carbon can one sequoia tree store?
4 million lbs of carbon
what can plants make from carbon dioxide?
proteins, fats, carbohydrates, oil.
what i the difference between c3 and c4?
C3 plants are 95% of the earth’s biomass,
stomata open during the day,
lose 97% of water to transpiration,
cool, moist, normal light conditions.
live in hot, much brighter environment than C3, far less water loss,
they spatially separate the initial carbon fixation from the calvin cycle,
c4 can synthesize with stomata shut,
corn is C4.
what is the slow carbon cycle?
it is the movement of rocks between soils, ocean and atmosphere, takes 100-200 million years.
what is the average time scale of the slow carbon cycle?
100,000+ years.
true or false: humans emit more carbon than volcanoes.
true. they emit 100-300X more than volcanoes with, 30 billion tons, compared to 380 million tons.
what are some the various parts of the slow carbon cycle?
CO2 & rain form carbonic acid, weather rocks- release Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+ which flow to oceans
Ca2+ + CO32- ? CaCO3 (mostly made as organisms’ shells)
Deposits over time become limestone (80% C in rocks)
20% C in rocks from organic material deposited in mud
CO2 “returned” to atmosphere via volcanic outgassing.
what is sequestered carbon?
it is carbon which has been put into long-term storage.
what percentage of U.S. energy comes from sequestered carbon?
87%, fossil fuerl.
how is oil and natural gas formed?
microscopic organisms containing carbon die and settle on the ocean floor between 300 and 400 million years ago. heat and pressure 50-100mya converts this decaying carbon into oil and gas.

Oil and gas were formed by the anaerobic decay of organic material in conditions of increased temperature and pressure.

what is the carbon sink?
it is a large amount of carbon that is going unaccounted for between net uptake and release.
How does carbon move through the four spheres of the Earth system and in what forms?
carbon moves through the air via carbon dioxide gas. this combines with water in the air and oceans to create carbonic acid(l). this acid weathers rocks, bringing calcium ions, magnesium ions, sodium ions, potassium ions into the ocean. CA+CO3 becomes CaCO3, which is used for shells for organisms.
the shells of dead organisms eventually accumulate to create limestone on the ocean floor(80%).
the other 20% of carbon in rocks comes organic material deposited in mud.
C02 is returned to the atmosphere via volcanic outgassing.
Where does carbon go, where does it get stored (sequestered) and for how long
oceans, soils, and land plants.
What is carbon’s connection to sustaining life?
it is fundamental for all marine hard shelled organisms which use calcium carbonate for their shells; it brings the formation of proteins, fats, oils, DNA, carbohydrates to plants.
what percentage of bays and estuaries are polluted? how many beaches are routinely closed?
65%, 1000 beaches routinely closed.
what percentage of the world’s large predatory fish are gone?
90%, including swordfish, marlin, cod, sharks.
what percentage of the world’s fisheries are under extreme pressure?
76% of the entire world’s fisheries
name three additional issues with over fishing in addition to the over fishing itself.
benthic habitat destruction,
fossil fuel for use of fleets.
As nation, 95% foreign trade passes through CA
ports, which includes >50% of oil and fuel
what are some environmental impacts of coastal degradation?(4)
oil and gas from boats, fisheries pollution, wastewater discharge, recreational activities.
California ocean protection act
enacted in 2004, established the ocean protection council,
Science-based decision making
-Climate change
-Sustainable fisheries and ecosystems
-Coastal/ocean impacts from land-based sources
-Existing & emerging ocean uses
what states work together to enforce the california ocean protection act?
california, oregon, washington.
what is integrated coastal zone management?
approach that combines solving of problems at a community and national level,
primary goal is to overcome intergovernmental fragmentation
coastal zone management act
split up into two national programs:
the national coastal zone management program, and the national estuarine research reserve system.
overall goal is to preserve and protect coastal zones.
what is the marine life protection act?
1994, increase coherence and effictiveness at protecting the state’s marine life, habitat, and ecosystems.

requires use of best readily available science, involvement of all parties, and master plan for the science team.

who are the key players in the marine life protection act?
Blue Ribbon Task Force

• Science Advisory Team

• Regional stakeholders group

• Statewide interest groups

• CA Dept. Fish & Game

what are the MPA policy and management guidelines?
state protocol for placement and design
requires input from stakeholders
guided by “best available science”
players ensure protocol is followed
public input and review
what are science guidelines for Marine protection act placement and type?(4)

1.MPAs extend from intertidal to offshore areas

2.Preferred alongshore span is 6-12 miles

spaced along 30-60 mile increments

3. replicate marine habitats in multiple MPAs 

what MPA decision happened in 2009?
a blue ribbon council approved no fishing in certain designated areas off the coast of California to help fish populations.
why are MPAs needed?(4)
many fisheries declining or on verge of collapse,
coastal development has effected marine ecosystems(chemical pollution, for example)
conflicting uses between people, such at divers and fishermen.
its more effective to protect a specific area and everything within
tragedy of the commons
what is adaptive resource management?
1.Plan 2.Do 3.Evaluate and Respond see steps in diag[image]ram.
what are some challenges with adaptive resource management?
Bay delta conseration plan
Habitat Conservation Plan for species listed under federal and State ESAs

CA ‘Natural Communities Conservation Plan’ must have adaptive mg’t component

Delta Act requires formal adaptive mg’t and best science

world summit on food security
rome, november 2009
convened by UN food and ag. organization.
Ag. provides food for 70% of world’s poor,
over 1 billion ppl go hungry globally,
world leaders have agreed to erdicate hunger sustainably and promptly.
what are some key challenges that we face with supplying food?(4)
continued population growth,
Increasing affluence in countries,
global inequalities(social, economic, geographic)
climate change
how does global warming hurt poor populations?
increasing temperatures could reduce the yields of corn, wheat, and rice, thus driving the prices up.
what are 5 potential solutions to food shortage?
1.reduce agricultural footprint
2.close global yeild gap
3.increase resource efficiency
4.shift to plant based diet
5.reduce food waste.
what percentage of greenhouse gasses associated with human activity can be attributed to agriculture?
10-12 percent.
what other source of greenhouse emissions is responsible for roughly the same amount as humans?
when wetlands drain, they emit comparably large amounts of greenhouse gasses.
what are some ways by which we can reduce our agricultural footprint?(3)
stop deforestation, create better biofuel policy, use integrated waste management.
what are three parts of integrated waste management?
rotational grazing,
riparian buffers,
pasture renovation
what percentage of earth’s ice free land is being farmed?
what are the 4 major pest types?
bacterial and viral diseases,
weeds competing with crops,
birs, rodents, etc
what percentage of crops are lost to pests?
30 percent potential,
10 percent actual.
what is integrated pest management
it is the control of agricultural pests using integrated methods, involves biological and chemical agents.
what are the goals of integrated pest management?
the goals are to minimize the use of chemicals, and prevent the slow buildup of resistance to pesticides.
what are some examples of pest management failures?

1.african snail(introduced in the cribbean islands and in the us), the eat ver 300 types of plants and eat the stucco off of walls, as it builds their shells.

2. mongoose was introduced to puerto rico and hawaii to control the rat population in the sugar cane. the mongoose has led to the extinction of 12 reptile and amphibian species.

how do we increase resource efficiency?(3)
1. reduce the overuse of nutrients and water
2. promote stewardship
3. technology and knowledge transfer; precision agriculture, etc.
what is the gm genocide?
thousands of indian farmers are commiting suicide after using genetically modified crops.
what are some pros associated with shifting towards a plant based diet?(4)
reduced water consumption,
better efficiency,
reduced land areas,
greenhouse gasses reduced.
how many tonnes of food are wasted every year?
2 billion tonnes wasted due to misconceptions, sell by dates.
what are some reasons that we waste food?(6)
poor engineering, storage, agricultural practices, unneccesarily strict sell by dates, excessive culture, demand for cosmetically perfect food.
what are three components of the nitrogen cycle that must be known in order to determine how it works?
Input-output, reservoir size, transfer rate.
_____ is responsible for moving nitrogen compounds through biosphere and other earth systems
the nitrogen cycle
what is nitrogen fixation?
a process through which atmospheric nitrogen is converted into compounds such as ammonia which are usable by plants, generally by microoragisms. N2->NH3
what is nitrification?
Nitrification involves the conversion of ammonia into nitrite by the Nitrosomonas bacteria. Nitrite is then converted to nitrate by Nitrobacter. (e.g., NH4 + 2O2-> NO3- +H2O + 2H+)
the process of converting organic ammonia in soil to ammonium, then to nitrate(NH3->NH4).
the process of releasing fixed nitrogen back to ammonia, then molecular nitrogen. NO3->NO2->NH2->atmospheric nitrogen.
what are the three ways to fix nitrogen?
Atmospheric, biological, industrial.
how does lighting fix nitrogen?
1.enormous amount of energy splits N2, causes nitrogen atoms to combine with oxygen, forming N20
2.Nitrogen oxides dissolve in rain, forming nitrates(NO3) which are then carried to the ground
3. NO3 used by plants etc.
how does industrial fixation occur?
1. N2 and hydrogen highly pressurized and heated create ammonia
2. the ammonia is then used as fertilizer.
haber bosch process
3. Ammonia is also used in nylon, plastics, fish feeds, explosives, etc.
what is the largest form of nitrogen fixation?
Biological fixation
how does biological fixation occur?
both free living and symbiotic bacteria combine N2 and H to make ammonia(NH3) and ammonium (NH4)
this is readily consumed by organisms.
what are some alternative ways that nitrogen is returned to the atmosphere?(4)
1.volcanoe eruption
2. industrial release
3.gasoline emissions creating Nitrous oxides
4. livestock.
besides the formation of greenhouse gases, what are three ways by which the nitrogen atom can harm the earth?
1.can form toxic nitric acid in lakes
2. The same nitrogen atom in oceans forms red tides and dead zones.
3.N atom might return to atmosphere, thus causing even more greenhouse gas damage.
what is the primary source of nitrogen?
air is composed of 78% nitrogen, but most organisms cannot use the atmospheric form.
what type of rocks are nitrogen a large component of?
what percentage of nitrogen is actually used in a vegetarian diet?
14% of what is applied.
what are each of the amounts of various sources of nitrogen? which is the largest?
N-fixing bacteria/plants, 100 Tg/yr
Marine ecosystems 15 Tg/yr
Lightning 15 Tg/yr
total 130 Tg
what are the largest human created sources of nitrogen?
Fertilizer industry 80 Tg yr
Burning fossil fuels 35 Tg yr
N-fixing crops 30 Tg yr
what is the haber bosch process?
it is the fixing of nitrogen from the air with hydrogen from natural gas to create ammonia. It is how most modern fertilizers are created.
what is the chemical equation for the haber-bosch process?
N2+3H2->2NH3. atmospheric nitrogen fixation.
how does orbital forcing tie into the success of reproducing past and present climate models?
orbital forcing causes shift the tilt of the globe,which affects the amount of solar radiation the planet gets. the ice age was caused in large by orbital forcing. this info can be entered into climate models to help them become more accurate.
how do we close gap yeild(4)
sustainable intensification, maximize knowledge pest control, maximize productivity in the earths bread baskets, social and economic equity.
how do we reduce food waste(4)?

improve transportation + storage methods,


increase access to global markets


change culture of demand and need to aesthetically perfect food.


change portion sizes.

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