SOLUTION: ENSS 141P University of Central Florida Principles of Environmental Science Essay

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Introduction to Environmental Science and Studies, ENSS141P
As noted in class, Exam 2 is a take home essay examination. Please answer each of the following
questions completely with well-formed sentences and paragraphs. Demonstration of your
knowledge and synthesis of course content will comprise approximately 85% of your grade.
Writing organization and mechanics will account for the remaining 15% of your grade.
You are free to use your notes, your book, lecture slides, and other materials when developing
your answers. However, all writing must be ORIGINAL and IN YOUR OWN WORDS. It is not
acceptable to copy words directly from the book, lecture slides, or any outside sources.
1) Describe what is meant by the “green revolution” in agricultural systems. How has this
revolution allowed modern human civilization to avert a Malthusian outcome over the
twentieth and early twenty-first centuries? But why is agriculture also recognized as a
primary driving force for global environmental problems like habitat destruction, cultural
eutrophication, water scarcity, and soil contamination? Discuss at least two ways in which
specific kinds of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could credibly reduce the
environmental impacts of modern agricultural systems. Use supporting evidence to back up
your argument. Then discuss at least two credible lines of argument, with supporting
evidence, that raise environmental concerns about specific GMO-based agricultural practices.
(25 points)
2) What does Dr. Evans mean by the term anthro-hydrologic cycle? Describe what is meant by
“consumptive use” of a water resource and discuss how a consumptive use differs from a
“non-consumptive use” in terms of impacts upon a water supply source. What is the primary
consumptive use associated with long-term declines in Volusia Blue Spring? (12.5 points)
3) Describe the process of cultural eutrophication, including detailed descriptions about the
roles of phosphate/phosphorus, nitrogen (NOx and NH3/NH4+), oxygen (O2), and organic
carbon in the cultural eutrophication process. What is the difference between point source
and non-point source pollutants? Why are non-point pollutant sources currently more
important that point source pollutants in terms of driving continued cultural eutrophication in
the United States? (25 points)
4) Describe the three major fossil fuel energy sources, including how they are extracted and
used within modern society. What are four key attributes of fossil fuels that have historically
made them such an attractive and dominant source of energy? Discuss two specific
environmental concerns that accompany “tight oil” production, and also discuss why “tight
oil” is not nearly as economically (or, hint, energetically) efficient as traditional oil
production (12.5 points).
5) Wind, solar, and biomass/biofuels are three of the most prominent renewable energy sources
and use of these resources is expected to continue growing over the next several decades.
What are key advantages associated with each of these energy sources in terms of a transition
away from our current fossil fuels-based economy. (Provide at least two “advantages” for
each of these alternative energy sources.) Next, discuss key challenges that historically have
made fossil fuels more economically and technologically competitive than these alternative
energy sources. Finally, describe a plausible scenario for an electric power grid in DeLand,
FL, that is entirely run by some mixture of wind, solar, and biomass energy in the year 2050.
Use plausible evidence/arguments from your text, lectures, and other supplementary
materials to construct this scenario. (25 points)
6) As discussed in class and in your textbook, mosquito control remains one of the most world’s
most important – and contentious – environmental health issues. Briefly describe how the
insecticide DDT was used in the United States and other developed nations during the 1940s
and 1950s. Then discuss how the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of DDT, as
famously highlighted in Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, impacted birds of prey and
other species at the top of food chains.
As noted in class lecture and discussion, these environmental impacts resulted in DDT use
being mostly discontinued everywhere in the world by the mid-1990s. But why did some
international health organizations started recommending renewed use of DDT for “indoor
residual spraying” in the early to mid-2000s. Based on the lectures, text, and supplementary
readings you have had for this class, do you think that the benefits of “indoor residual
spraying” of DDT are likely to outweigh the potential harms to human health and the natural
environment? Why or why not? (Use good evidence to support your argument.)
LECTURE 12
WATER RESOURCES
http://cdn.cultureunplugged.com/thumbnails/lg/1192.jpgpg
ANTHRO-HYDROLOGIC CYCLE
1. Concentrate and remove water from the
natural world
• Surface water sources
• Groundwater sources
2. Use water for a human purpose
• Drinking water
• Agriculture
• Landscaping
• Industrial production
• Power generation
3. Treat (i.e., clean up) water that has gone
through a human process
• Wastewater treatment
• Stormwater treatment
4. Dispose of water into the natural world
• Sometimes disposal happens without
treatment stage
https://www.ec.gc.ca/eau-water/F25C70EC-4093-4176-AC1B-015A69EFCB10/Municipal-water-supply.gif
FIRST RULE OF HYDROLOGY?
Water flows downhill

Why does water flow downhill?
GRAVITY!
WATERSHEDS
WATERSHEDS
WATERSHEDS
FRESHWATER HYDROLOGIC CYCLE
Source: Atlanta Regional Commission
What affects the rate of runoff?
“Human” factors
“Natural” factors
Impervious cover
Soil compaction
Deforestation
Drainage features
Global warming
Slope
Soil type
Vegetation
Amount of precipitation (event)
Antecedent precipitation
FRESHWATER SUPPLY
TWO KEY TERMS FOR WATER SUPPLY
Consumptive use
Freshwater is removed from a particular source and not returned to
that source
Where does it go?
Evaporation and plant transpiration (atmosphere)
6CO2 + 12H2O +Sunlight
C6H12O6 + 6H2O + 6O2
Discharged elsewhere (inter-basin transfer)
Non-consumptive use
Freshwater is withdrawn from a particular source and then returned
directly to that source
May be changed thermally and/or chemically before return
Remember – the primary loss pathway for
a consumptive water use is evaporation or
transpiration (by plants) into the
atmosphere.
Transpiration is the gaseous H2O
term from the photosynthesis
equation
Consumptive use of a particular water
supply source can also occur in other
ways:
Surface runoff of water from a
groundwater source, often
resulting in ultimate transfer to
the ocean
Discharge of effluent into a
different watershed
Groundwater recharge of a
surface water source
(uncommon)
http://watrnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/evapotranspiration.jpg
http://www.wrsc.org/sites/default/files/images/2012/slide3globalfreshwateravailabilitypercapitain2007.
png
U.S. WATER WITHDRAWALS (INCLUDES CONSUMPTIVE
AND NON-CONSUMPTIVE USES)
https://water.usgs.gov/edu/graphics/wateruse/wutotal-pies.jpg
Over 300 billion gallons of water per day!!!
BIG QUESTION
Where does the water we use
at Stetson come from?
Drinking water:
Floridan aquifer (groundwater)
Landscaping water:
Mostly reclaimed water that
comes from DeLand’s
wastewater treatment plant
https://www.ec.gc.ca/eau-water/F25C70EC-4093-4176-AC1B-015A69EFCB10/Municipal-water-supply.gif
http://floridaspringsinstitute.org/Resources/Pictures/Freshwater%20WD%20by%20source.jpg
FLORIDA’S
WATER
Source: United States
Geological Survey,
Scientific Investigations
Report 2014-5088
Largest single use of water?
Approximately 40-50% of
Florida’s public supply
drinking water is used for
“recreational irrigation”,
i.e., lawns!
In other words, ~25% of
total water use is for lawns
OUR LOCAL WATERSHED
http://bluespringalliance.org/wpcontent/uploads/2014/02/volusia_blue_spring_basin_map_final.jpg?w=231
Lecture 11:
Agricultural
Systems,
Part 2
https://image.slidesharecdn.com/gmo-blasting-130131053855-phpapp01/95/genetically-modifiedorganisms-3-638.jpg?cb=1359610853
Don’t believe everything you read on the
internet – or hear in class!
https://fruitmould.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/square-shaped-watermelon-mold.jpg
Any shape you
want!
Many types of GMO crops…
Disease resistance
Blight Resistant Potatoes
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26189722
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co
mmons/thumb/2/29/Ireland_population_c
hange_1841_1851.png/220pxIreland_population_change_1841_1851.pn
g
Many types of GMO crops…
Water efficiency
/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/corn-genetically-modified-to-tolerate-drought
http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/files/2013/09/8-DroughtGard.jpg
Many types of GMO crops…
Nutrient efficiency

Nitrogen-efficient crops: The holy grail of agricultural biotech?


Many types of GMO crops…
Nutrition
 Often fortified with
Vitamin A
GMO Golden Rice versus Conventional White Rice
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/03/07/173611461/in-a-grain-of-golden-rice-a-world-of-controversy-over-gmo-foods
Many types of GMO crops…
Herbicide resistance
https://www.aganytime.com/dekalb/protection/PublishingImages/Sprayer_Distant.jpg
Many types of GMO crops…
Pest resistant
 Bt corn – bacterial pesticide gene
http://www.scq.ubc.ca/wp-content/GMcrop.gif
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CA6C63fWEAAwDFj.jpg
https://image.slidesharecdn.com/gmo-blasting-130131053855-phpapp01/95/genetically-modifiedorganisms-3-638.jpg?cb=1359610853
Group 1: Summarize three ethical/moral arguments against the use of GMOs
in agriculture
Group 2: Summarize three ethical/moral arguments supporting the use of
GMOs in agriculture
Group 3: Summarize three technical/scientific arguments that raise concerns
about the environmental impacts about use of GMOs in agriculture
Group 4: Summarize three technical/scientific arguments for the position that
use of GMOs in agriculture will have positive environmental impacts
Group 5: Summarize three economics/business arguments that raise concerns
about the use of GMOs in agriculture
Group 6: Summarize three economics/business arguments in support of using
GMOs in agriculture
”Quiz”
Email me three bullet points
summarizing your group’s discussion
before our next class period…
Tuesday, September 29 @8:30am
But not before the end of our class
today!
Why or why not?
Disease resistance
Blight Resistant Potatoes
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26189722
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co
mmons/thumb/2/29/Ireland_population_c
hange_1841_1851.png/220pxIreland_population_change_1841_1851.pn
g

McDonald’s Refuses To Buy GM Potatoes For Its Fries


Why or why not?
Water efficiency
/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/corn-genetically-modified-to-tolerate-drought
http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/files/2013/09/8-DroughtGard.jpg
http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/monsantos-droughtgard-corn-0391.html#.WJqZxPJBksQ
Why or why not?
Nutrient efficiency

Nitrogen-efficient crops: The holy grail of agricultural biotech?


http://www.nature.com/news/therace-to-create-super-crops1.19943#/correction1
Why or why not?
Nutrition
 Often fortified with
Vitamin A
http://acsh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/greenpeacerice.jpg
GMO Golden Rice versus Conventional White Rice
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/03/07/173611461/in-a-grain-of-golden-rice-a-world-of-controversy-over-gmo-foods
Why or why not?
Herbicide resistance
https://www.aganytime.com/dekalb/protection/PublishingImages/Sprayer_Distant.jpg
Pesticide treadmill
http://thestateweekly.com/the-organic-review-attack-of-the-super-weeds-monsantos-roundupresistance-is-growing-at-a-frightening-rate/
https://www.pioneer.com/CMRoot/pioneer/us/images/agronomy/crop_insight/weeds/weed_mgmt_gly
phosate_resistance_3.jpg
https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2007/5122/pdf/SIR2007-5122.pdf
Why or why not?
Pest resistant
 Bt corn – bacterial pesticide gene
http://www.scq.ubc.ca/wp-content/GMcrop.gif
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CA6C63fWEAAwDFj.jpg
Why or why not?
http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/assets/4251031/bt-corn__1_.png
http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/krwg/files/201501/Monarch_Populations_in_Millions_Tierra_Curry_FPWC.JPG
Benefits of modern agriculture
1. Increasing food production allows us to feed a growing
population
2. Increasing productivity has freed large amount of labor for
other uses, providing for a much more diverse economy
3. High productivity requires less land, which provides more
opportunity for enhanced wildlife and soil conservation
practices
4. Precision technologies are reducing the need for costly and
environmentally problematic inputs like fertilizers, pesticides,
and water
Problems with modern agriculture
1. Even with precision technologies, agriculture is one of the most
chronic sources of pollution worldwide – especially for nutrients
associated with eutrophication of waterbodies
2. Much of the world’s grain production is used to produce animal
meat, which is highly energy inefficient and a major source of
pollution
3. Long supply chains arguably are a source of food insecurity –
very few people in the developed world eat locally produced
food
4. There are concerns about the nutrition from processed food, as
well as the possible health impacts from exposure to largely
unknown mixtures of pesticide
LECTURE 14
WATER RESOURCES
http://cdn.cultureunplugged.com/thumbnails/lg/1192.jpgpg
OUR LOCAL WATERSHED
http://bluespringalliance.org/wpcontent/uploads/2014/02/volusia_blue_spring_basin_map_final.jpg?w=231
https://floridadep.gov/sites/default/files/VolusiaBlueSpgTMDL_0.pdf
NITRATE = NO 3
FLORIDA SPRINGS
Vallisneria americana (wild celery)
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l0me42VqvU1qaywwn.jpg
Lyngbya wollei (disgusting slime)
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l0me2oyNlY1qaywwn.jpg
TYPICAL NITRATE SOURCES
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wekiva/images/phase1.gif
QUESTION 1
Should government agencies
regulate the behavior of people
and businesses to reduce nitrates
in Blue Springs?
QUESTION 1A
How should government agencies
regulate the behavior of people and
businesses to reduce nitrates in Blue
Springs?
Almost all of the nitrogen pollution
going into Blue Springs is from nonpoint sources
https://floridadep.gov/sites/default
/files/Volusia%20Blue%20Spring%2
0Final%202018.pdf
QUESTION 2
What outcomes would you expect to see at Blue
Spring if the Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP)
and fertilizer ordinance are successful at reducing
nitrate levels to the target concentration?
(This happens to be 0.35 mg/L of nitrate, as N)
Frame this in terms of a hypothesis:
If the nitrate level at Blue Spring is reduced to the
target concentration, then the ecosystem will….
Send to me by email: jevans1@Stetson.edu
FLORIDA SPRINGS
Vallisneria americana (wild celery)
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l0me42VqvU1qaywwn.jpg
Lyngbya wollei (disgusting slime)
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l0me2oyNlY1qaywwn.jpg
Dr. James Heffernan,
Nicholas School, Duke University
ALTERNATIVE STABLE STATES
Algae
dominate
Nutrients
http://pondsofchestercountypa.net/chestermap.php?content=eco_stablestates&classname=introeco&titlename=Alternative%20Stable%20States
WHAT POLICY-MAKERS AND THE
PUBLIC EXPECT
Desired
Desired
ecosystem
ecosystem
change
state
Vallisneria americana (wild celery)
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l0me42VqvU1qaywwn.jpg
Lyngbya wollei (disgusting slime)
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l0me2oyNlY1qaywwn.jpg
A SKEPTICAL SCIENTIST
SAYS WE MAY LIKELY GET THIS
Non-cooperative
ecosystem response
Lyngbya wollei (disgusting slime)
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l0me2oyNlY1qaywwn.jpg
QUESTION 1 REDUX
Should government agencies regulate the
behavior of people and businesses to
reduce nitrates in Blue Springs?
Vote, Yes/No
NITRATE DOES CAUSE PROBLEMS
DOWNSTREAM
http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2016/07/01/st-johns-river-showing-its-own-toxic-algae-blooms.html#i1
Where does the Blue
Springs nitrogen go?
COASTAL WATERS AND NITROGEN
This graph shows that algal growth
(Chlorophyll a) is directly related to
the concentration of nitrogen (N)
In most cases, cultural eutrophication
of freshwater ecosystems is controlled
by additions of phosphorus (P)
By contrast, cultural eutrophication of
most marine ecosystems is controlled
by additions of nitrogen (N)
https://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309069483/xhtml/images/p2000a42cg71001.jpg
QUESTION 1 REDUX REDUX
Should government agencies regulate the behavior of
people and businesses to reduce nitrates in Blue Springs?
If not, why not?
If so, what is the scientific rationale for doing so?
Send to me by email: jevans1@Stetson.edu
LECTURE 14A: ENERGY
https://www.alloyengineering.com/industries-served/energy-production-and-power-generationindustries/
WHAT IS OIL (PETROLEUM)?
Liquid fossil fuel formed over millions
of years, primarily from deposits of
ancient algae and other plants
Used for production of gasoline,
airplane fuel, and diesel, as well as
many industrial products, such as
plastics
http://images.tutorvista.com/content/fission-and-fusion/petroleum-occurrence.jpeg
OIL PRODUCTION HISTORY
U.S. was dominant world
producer through the 1960s
OPEC countries (mostly in
the Middle East) became
dominant in 1960s through
1970s.
Russia is the dominant nonOPEC country for world oil
production.
https://philebersole.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/wsj-oilproduction.jpg
US oil imports climbed
sharply in the 1970s, declined
sharply from the late 1970s to
mid 1980s, and then rose
sharply until the mid-2000s
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/lists/usenergyhistory/petroleum.html
http://www.hubbertpeak.com/hubbert/centerNL971/mkh-new2.html
EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL, MARCH
1989
In March 1989, an oil tanker
ran aground in Prince William
Sound, Alaska, spilling
approximately 11 million
gallons of crude oil
http://pdxretro.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Exxon-Valdez-oil-spill.jpg
http://www.realclearpolitic
s.com/lists/usenergyhistory
/petroleum.html
EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL, MARCH 1989
Approximately 1,300
miles of coastline was
affected by the oil spill
http://img.bhs4.com/a3/3/a333f952a2d139de52554b1dac69e96
2cc35028b_large.jpg
http://www.realclearpolitic
s.com/lists/usenergyhistory
/petroleum.html
http://w.bird-rescue.org/images/map_exxon_oil_movement.gif
PERSIAN GULF WAR (1990-1991)
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/l
ists/usenergyhistory/petroleum.ht
ml
http://sofrep.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/map1.png
REMEMBER?
MALTHUSIANS VERSUS
CORNUCOPIANS
Cornucopians argue that human
technological innovation will
overcome resource constraints.
Julian Simon (1932 – 1998)
famously argued that more people
means more brainpower to solve
the world’s problem.
Belief in free market signals (i.e.,
prices) to serve as impetus for
innovation.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/archive/7/74/20070927012943!Graph_boserup.JPG
https://staticseekingalpha.a.ssl.fastly.net/uploads/2017/1/45882266_14847969139706_rId4.pn
g
https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Hubbert%27s_peak
OIL WITH VERY HIGH EROI
http://www.history.com/s3static/video-thumbnails/AETN-History_VMS/21/202/tdih-jan10-HD.jpg
Gusher in Oil City, Pennsylvania, circa
1899
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Lucas_gusher.jpg
“ TIGHT” OIL
TIGHT OIL “REVOLUTION”
• Tight oil found in very
restricted (i.e., tight)
rocks that, until recently,
was not deemed
economically viable for
extraction
• Hydraulic fracturing is
the primary technology
used to brea …
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