Human Activity and Conservation

- Interdependency - every organism depends on other organisms to survive

- Human actions, such as polluting, can affect the survival of plants and animals

- Natural events, such as fires, floods, diseases, and erosion, can affect the survival of plant and animal species

- Conservation is the careful use and preservation of our natural resources (so they can last as long as possible)

- Resource renewal is a conservation practice in which species are protected

→ An example would be protecting endangered plants by saving their seeds, growing the seeds indoors, and later putting the new plants back in their natural habitats

Humans impact the physical environment in many ways, especially in many negative ways: overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels, and deforestation.

→ overpopulation (too many people!) -- urbanization, or human life around cities, causes a lot of population and destroys habitat

→ agriculture

→ deforestation

→ pollution (harmful substances, like toxic chemicals, have been released in the air, as well as in waterways)

→ air pollution can cause public health problems and also harm plant and animal life

→ can affect soil or waterways

→ come from human waste, industrial chemicals and other sources

→ Lead to environmental degradation and problems like acid rain + algal blooms

→ global warming and climate change

→ we use too many fossil fuels, which are nonrenewable

→ release a compound called carbon dioxide, or CO2, into the air

→ greenhouse gases, like CO2, trap heat in our atmosphere

Effects of climate change:

  • Rising sea levels

  • Shrinking mountain glaciers

  • Ice melting at a faster rate than usual in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic

  • Changes in flower and plant blooming times, as well as animal life patterns

Changes have triggered climate change, soil erosion, poor air quality, and undrinkable water.

These negative impacts can affect human, animal, and plant health.

Earth has limited resources that we must preserve, especially natural resources.

Many plants and animals lose their habitats due to pollution.

Limited Resource: Resources that could run out in the future

Renewable Energy - Renewable energy is generated from natural sources – sun, wind, water and earth – and can be regenerated.

-Solar - energy from the sun (like solar panels).

-Wind - energy from moving air.

-Hydropower - energy from moving water.

-Geothermal - energy from heat stored in the earth.

-Biomass - energy from burning organic material that comes from plants and animals.

Types of energy: Renewable and Non-renewable energy

Non-Renewable Energy - Non-renewable energy sources come out of the ground as liquids, gases, and solids. They cannot be re-generated in a short period of time.

  • Coal - energy from burning a combustible brownish-black rock (mostly carbon)

  • Natural Gas - energy from burning gas (mostly methane, deep beneath the earth’s surface)

  • Nuclear Power - the use of nuclear reactions that release nuclear energy to generate heat (Uranium)

  • Oil

  • Coal, oil, and natural gas are all considered fossil fuels because they were formed from the remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago

  • Fossil fuels are limited resources because they are being used up faster than they are being formed. Many times, fossil fuels also release air pollution when they are being burned

How can you help?

→ don’t waste resources like water and food (shorter showers)

→ turn off the lights when you don’t need them on

→ don’t pollute!

→ recycle more!

→ turn off the TV/electronics if you’re not using them

→ what else can you think of?

→ walk/bike instead of driving

Take this quiz!

Check your answers once you are done!

Quiz Answers:

  1. B, D, F

  2. A

  3. E

  4. C

  5. C,D

  6. C

  7. A

  8. Everything except D