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Note for Environment Studies - ENV By mandraju anandkumar

  • Environment Studies - ENV
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UNIT-1 ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES A MULTIDISCIPLINARY SUBJECT ENVIRONMENT ‘ENVIRONMENT’ ‘Environment’ is derived from the French word Environner which means to encircle or surround. All the biological and non-biological things surrounding an organism are thus included in environment. Thus environment is sum total of water, air and land, inter-relationships among themselves and also with the human beings, other living organ-isms and property. The above definition given in Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 clearly indicates that environment includes all the physi-cal and biological surroundings and their interactions ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES —A MULTIDISCIPLINARY SUBJECT Thus, in order to study environment one needs knowledge inputs from various disci-plines. ➢ Life Sciences including Botany, Zoology, Microbiology, Genet-ics, Biochemistry and Biotechnology help in understanding the biotic component and their interactions. ➢ The physical and chemical struc-ture of the abiotic components and energy transfer and flow are under-stood with the help of basic concepts of Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Atmospheric Science, Oceanography and Geography. ➢ Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science serve as effective tools in environmental modeling and management. ➢ Subjects like Education, Economics, So-ciology and Mass communication provide the inputs for dealing with the socio-economic aspects associated with various developmental ac-tivities. ➢ A synthesis with Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineer-ing, Hydraulics and Chemical Engineering form the basis for various technologies dealing with the control of environmental pollution, waste-treatment and development of cleaner technologies that are important for protection of the environment. ➢ Environmental laws provide the tools for effective management and protection of the environment. Environ-mental Studies, therefore, is a multi-disciplinary subject where differ-ent aspects are dealt with a holistic approach. 1

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SCOPE&IMOPRTANCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES Environment belongs to all and is thus important for all. Whatever be the occupation or age of a person, he or she will be affected by environment and will also affect the environment by his or her deeds. Thus, environment is one subject that is actually global in nature. For example, atmosphere has no boundaries and the pollutants produced at one place can be dispersed and transported to another place. The river water polluted by industrial or municipal discharge at one point would seriously affect the downstream aquatic life. Damage to the forests in a hilly region will have far reaching effect not only on the hills but also on the plains. This is because environment is a closely and intricately woven network of components and functions. There are some environmental problems which may be of localized importance but there are some major issues like ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ Natural Resources—their conservation and management Ecology and biodiversity Environmental pollution and control Social issues in relation to development and environment Human population and environment Global warming, Depletion of ozone layer, Dwindling forests and energy resources, Loss of global biodiversity etc. These are the basic aspects of Environmental Studies which have a direct relevance to every section of the society. Environmental studies can be highly specialized also which may concentrate on more technical aspects like Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Management, Environmental Biotechnology etc. ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATOR Environmental indicators are simple measures that tell us what is happening in the environment. Since the environment is very complex, indicators provide a more practical and economical way to track the state of the environment than if we attempted to record every possible variable in the environment. For example, concentrations of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in the atmosphere, tracked over time, is a good indicator with respect to the environmental issue of stratospheric ozone depletion.. The following parameters help us to assess the quality of the environment and how to solve the problems arises in the environment for this it is necessary monitoring the following parameters time to time. Soil pollution indicator Water pollution indicator Air pollution indicator Global warming as indicator Ozone depletion as indicator Bio-diversity as indicator Climate condition as indicator Population as indicator 2

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NEED FOR PUBLIC AWARENESS The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and popularly known as ‘Earth Sum-mit’ followed by the World Summit on Sustainable Development at Johannesburg in 2002, just 10 years after the first summit, have high-lighted the key issues of global environmental concern and have at-tracted the attention of the general public towards the deteriorating environment. Any government at its own level cannot achieve the goals of sustainable development until the public has a participatory role in it. Public participation is possible only when the public is aware about the ecological and environmental issues. A drive by the government to ban the littering of polythene cannot be successful until the public un-derstands the environmental implications of the same. The public has to be educated about the fact that if we are degrading our environment we are actually harming our ownselves. This is because we are a part of the complex network of environment where every component is linked to another. It is all the more important to educate the people that sometimes the adverse impact of environment are not experienced or no-ticed until a threshold is crossed. So we may be caught unawares by a disaster. Today everybody talks of environment, but only a few have clear ideas about what needs to be done and still fewer have the actual experience or expertise in the field. Unfortunately, environmental awareness campaigns have very often been exploited for political propaganda rather than being an integral part of our educational programmes in theory and practice. “Environment” is very wrongly taken as a “fashion” by all walks of life, hardly realizing that it is our “reallife-situation” and our sustenance and security are at stake. 3

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UNIT-II ECOSYSTEMS Ecosystems The term Ecology was coined by Earnst Haeckel in 1869. It is derived from the Greek words Oikos- home + logos- study. So ecology deals with the study of organisms in their natural home interacting with their surroundings. The surroundings or environment consists of other living organisms (biotic) and physical (abiotic) components.. An ecosystem is a group of biotic communities of species interacting with one another and with their nonliving environment exchanging energy and matter. Now ecology is often defined as “the study of ecosystems”. ABIOTIC COMPONENTS Sunlight Temperature Precipitation Water or moisture BIOTIC COMPONENTS Primary producers Herbivores Carnivores Omnivores Soil or water chemistry (e.g., P, NO3, NH4) Detritivores etc. etc. TYPES OF ECOSYSTEM 1.Types According to the Degree of Human Intervention a.Natural Ecosystems : Man has not intervened in their formation, such as forests, lakes, deserts. b.Artificial Ecosystems : Man actively participates in its formation, such as dams, parks, gardens. 2.Types of Ecosystems According to the Environment As we have seen there are many types of ecosystems and it would be impossible to classify them all but there are some general classifications that can be used for their study. Let’s look at several main ways of classifying ecosystems a).forest eco system b).aquatic ecosystem c).desert ecosystem 3.Types According to Size Micro-Ecosystems : As tiny as a drop of water, a vase with water, a pot, etc. Macro-Ecosystem : As big as the lake of Maracaibo, the Caribbean Sea, the mountain range of the Andes, etc. 1

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