Patterns in Environmental Quality and Sustainability : CASE STUDIES

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Potential Impact of Global Temperature Rise

  • 1°C
  • Arctic sea ice would disappear completely in summer months
  • Heatwaves and forest fires more common in subtropics
  • Most of worlds coral reef will die inc. Great Barrier
  • Climate related diseases will increase
  • 2°C
  • Southern England would see summer temps of 40°C
  • Amazon would become grassland and desert
  • ALL coral reefs gone
  • 1/3 of world species will be extinct if it happens to fast for them to adapt
  • World agricultural yield would fall - Starvation
  • West antarctic ice sheet + greenland ice sheet would melt - reducing fresh water supplies

 

  • 4°C
  • Arctic ice completely disappear - extinction of polar bear
  • Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey = desert
  • South England climate same as Morocco's today 


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Water Diversion in China

South-North water diversion project : Channels water from the south of Hebei province to Beijing in the north 
307km long waterway

Built because:

  • Beijing draws 2/3 of water from underground - Water table is falling 1m a year
  • Trying to reduce demand by increasing water tariffs + Industries recycling water

CONTROVERSY!

Scheme has exacerbated poverty in Hubei province - forcing water-hungry industries to close + causing farmers to change from rice to maize - maize is less profitable!

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Effects of Climate Change in the UK

Sea levels in the UK are 10cm higher than in 1900
Predicted to rise by 2-9mm a year
By 2080 sea levels are predicted to rise by 86cm

Possible Impacts:

  • Low-lying land at risk - more frequent and more serious flooding
  • 17 million live within 10km of the sea! Homes at risk!
  • Most of manufacturing industries are near coast
  • Increased sedimentation = need for more dredging in harbours
  • Beach + Marshlands will be lost
  • Loss of species that can't adapt - especially marhsland species 
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Soil degradation: Peak District UK

What is causing soil erosion?

  • Removal of exposed material esp. Peat by wind and water
  • Climate = high rainfall and low temperatures --> short growing season - few plants to stablize soil
  • Freeze-thaw effect of low temperatures disrupts soil
  • Early 19th century surrounding factories giving off sulphur dioxide -->  caused acid rain which killed off many mosses and lichens which protected the peat
  • Footpath erosion - Increased popularity of walking, cycling

Possible solutions:

  • Sacrificial zones
  • Spacial temporal restrictions on public access? 
  • Restore hedgerows and shrubbery to help reform soil
  • Education 

 

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Physical Water Scarcity: Murray-Darling Basin

Murray -Darling Basin in SE Australia : holds 42% of Australias farms --> Where Murray and Darling river meet!

What is causing water stress?

  • Rainfall totals low: in the rainshadow of mountain range
  • Farming has severly damaged and removed vegetation - lack of ability to hold water in soil
  • Rainfall very variable: differes significatny between years
  • Demands exceed supply
  • Six droughts since 1950
  • 95% of water extracted used for irrigation - excessive irrigation is leading to salinity

What has been done?
Placed a cap on water that can be taken from rivers
Created a dam with reservoir
Encouraging water recycling and saving: Use of mulch over gardens to reduce water loss, efficient shower heads 

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Social Forestry in the Congo

Lamoko = on the edge of virgin Rainforest in the centre of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In 2005: major timber firm arrived arrived to negotiate with locals - encouraged by World Bank

  • Promised to build 3 schools and pharmacies in the area 
  • Forest had been sold cheaply - locals furious
  • TImber firm cutting down forest - still no schools or pharmacies 
  • 20 foreign owned timber indusrties working in the Congo inc. Danzer
  • Companies export lowgs and timber and supply Europe - furniture etc.
  • African teak wood is protected by global government - But still no restrictions on its export in Congo

Effects:

80% logging in Congo = illegal
20 million hectares have been given to logging firms
If all cut, 35 billion tonnes of carbon would be released
Congo rainforest stores 8% earths carbon
NEED TO REJECT INDUSTRIAL LOGGING 

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Environmental Sustainable: Korup National Park

Korup National Park in Cameroon: established 1986
Contains 400 species of trees
100 mammal species
120  fish species

 60 species ONLY in Korup
170 species = endangered

Human activity limited to tourism, research and recreation
Have specific area for elephant sanctuary
Management of natural resources

COMMUNITY FORESTS PROJECT: SUCESSFUL!
Villagers obtain large areas of forest to manage for long periods of time: Government and WWF visit regularly to make sure it's being used sustainably
 

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Batang Ai National Park, Borneo : Conservation

Protected area for Tropical Rainforest Conservation
24 km square
Transnational: adjoins with Parks in Malaysia and Indonesia
Has highest density of Orangutans in Borneo
Remarkable biodiverstiy - 1000 tree species
Home to many primates enc Slow Loris :D
Unique mix of terrain

Iban Population: settled in park for over 400 years 

Agreed to limit activities to previously farmed areas + sustainable gathering of produce
Play part in coserving orangutans - sacred 

In return : they get employment in park , tourism and selling handicrafts

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