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Environmental Science and Engineering-GE 2021

Unit-1

Environment, Ecosystem and Biodiversity.

Dr. V.Nagarajan

UNIT-I UNIT-I

Definition, Definition, scope scope and and importance importance of of Risk Risk and and hazards; hazards; Chemical Chemical hazards, hazards,

Physical Physical hazards, hazards, Biological Biological hazards hazards in in the the environment environment – – concept concept of of an an

ecosystem ecosystem

– –

structure structure

and and

function function

of of

an an

ecosystem ecosystem

– –

producers, producers,

consumers consumers and and decomposers- decomposers- Oxygen Oxygen cycle cycle and and Nitrogen Nitrogen cycle cycle – – energy energy

flow flow in in the the ecosystem ecosystem – – ecological ecological succession succession processes processes – – Introduction, Introduction,

types, types, characteristic characteristic features, features, structure structure and and function function of of the the (a) (a) forest forest

ecosystem ecosystem (b) (b) grassland grassland ecosystem ecosystem (c) (c) desert desert ecosystem ecosystem (d) (d) aquatic aquatic

ecosystems ecosystems

(ponds, (ponds,

streams, streams,

lakes, lakes,

rivers, rivers,

oceans, oceans,

estuaries) estuaries)

– –

Introduction Introduction to to biodiversity biodiversity definition: definition: genetic, genetic, species species and and ecosystem ecosystem

diversity diversity – – biogeographical biogeographical classification classification of of India India – – value value of of biodiversity: biodiversity:

consumptive consumptive use, use, productive productive use, use, social, social, ethical, ethical, aesthetic aesthetic and and option option

values values – – Biodiversity Biodiversity at at global, global,

national national

and and local local

levels levels – –

India India

as as

a a

mega-diversity mega-diversity nation nation – – hot-spots hot-spots of of biodiversity biodiversity – – threats threats to to biodiversity: biodiversity:

habitat habitat loss, loss, poaching poaching of of wildlife, wildlife, man-wildlife man-wildlife conflicts conflicts – – endangered endangered and and

endemic endemic species species of of India India – – conservation conservation of of biodiversity: biodiversity: In-situ In-situ and and ex-situ ex-situ

USA former President Herbert Hoover, who was an engineer before he

became a politician, said:

o The great liability of the engineer …compared to men of other

professions……is that his works are out in the open where all can

 

see them. His acts …

step

by step …are in hard substances.

 

o

He cannot bury

his mistakes

in the grave like the DOCTORS.

(Tuticorin incident)

o

He cannot argue them into thin air…

..

or

blame the judge…

..

like

the LAWYERS.

o He cannot, like the ARCHITECT, cover his figures with trees and

vines. (TN- Assembly Building)

o

He

cannot, like

the politicians,

screen his shortcomings by

blaming his opponents….and hope the people will forget.

o The ENGINEER simply cannot deny he did it.

If his works do not work……he is damned.

Civil Engineering is a Renaissance field that requires the

knowledge of many disciplines.

Quotes

A

good

scientist

is

a

person with original

ideas. A good engineer

is

a

person

who

makes a

design

that works with

as

few

original ideas as possible . Freeman Dyson

The joy of engineering is to find a straight

line

on

a

double

logarithmic

diagram.

Thomas Koenig

 

One has to watch out for engineers – they begin with the sewing machine and end up with the atomic bomb. Marcel Pagnol

Nothing can be of great worth or holy which is the work of builders and mechanics.

Zeno, Stoic Philosopher.

History of Engineering

History of Engineering catapults, war and building etc.,) Engineering (included all engineering). Military Engineering ( making

catapults, war and building

etc.,)

Engineering

History of Engineering catapults, war and building etc.,) Engineering (included all engineering). Military Engineering ( making

(included all engineering).

Military Engineering (making

towers, and other instruments used for

fortifications for defense, making bridges, canals

Non-Military Engineering

engineers that did not practice military

Civil Engineering - 18th century- the term came into use to

describe engineering work that was performed by civilians for

nonmilitary purposes.

First “Civil Engineer” was an Englishman, John Smeaton in 1761.

Civil Engineers have saved more lives than all the doctors in

history - development of clean water and sanitation systems.

First college

in

the

U.S that included

Civil Engineering as a

separate discipline was Norwich University established in the year

1819.

ASCE is the first national engineering society in U.S and was

Environment

Definition, Scope and Importance of Environment- Need for

Public awareness.

Environment - Environner to encircle or surround. Literary environment means the surrounding external conditions influencing development or growth of people, animal or plants; living or working conditions etc.

Douglas and Holland: ‘The term environment is used to describe, in the aggregate, all the external forces, influences and conditions, which affect the life, nature, behaviour and the growth, development and maturity of living organisms.

Environment (Protection) Act,1986 - Environment is the sum total of water, air and land, inter-relationships among themselves and also with human beings, other living organisms and property.

Environment

Definition, Scope and Importance of Environment- Need for

Public awareness.

Environment- A Multidisciplinary subject where different aspects are dealt with holistic approach. The study involves

Life Science- to under stand biotic components and its interactions

Basic concepts of P,C, Geology,Atmospheric science,Geography and

Oceanography- to understand the structure of abiotic components and

energy transfer and flow

Maths, Statistics, CSE- tools in mathematical modeling and management.

Education, Economics,Sociology and Mass communication- provides input

to socio-economic aspects for various developmental activities.

Synthesis of EE,CE, Hyd, ChE- provides technological solutions for

treatment and disposal of wastes.

Laws- tool for regulation, enforcement and thereby protection of

Environment.

Objectives of Environmental Studies

As per UNESCO(1971), Objectives of ES are

Creating the awareness Imparting basic knowledge Developing an attitude

Motivating for public participation for protection Acquiring skills

Striving to attain harmony with nature.

Scope of Environment.

Environmental science can be specifically applied in the following spheres:

Ecosystem Structure and Function- study of biotic and abiotic

system. Natural Resource Conservation (forests,water etc,.)

Environmental Pollution Control

Environmental management

Scope of environmental studies in industry.

Research and development

Social Development (NGO's -public awareness)

Scope of The Environmental Studies:

The

scope

of

the

environmental

studies

are

summarised

as:

-To study the interrelationship between biotic and abiotic components. -To carry out the impact analysis and environmental audit in order to minimise the environmental problems. -Reduce the pollution. -Managing the unpredictable disaster. -To create awareness to the public.

Risk and Hazard

Risk - in terms of a hazard, chance, bad consequences, loss, etc., exposure to mischance.

Risk - in terms of to expose to chance of injury or loss, venture on, accept the chance of.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology and in Environmental Engineering, Hazard is the potential to cause harm;

Risk on the other hand is the likelihood of harm

Physical Hazards

Physical Hazards

Need for Public awareness.

o Due to many discoveries and inventions from 16th century onwards, man has over exploited the natural resource which leads to many environmental problems such as o acid rain, o ozone layer depletion, o green house effect, o land slides, o cancer and other health problems.

o Lack of awareness and less number of people participation leads to poor pollution management which are the major reasons for climate instability and unhealthy ecosystem.

o Hence, it is necessary to create awareness to the public about environmental problems and to protect the environment through implementing proper regulations.

o In order to protect the environment from the pollution, Supreme court has initiated the environmental awareness to the public through government and non governmental agencies. o And it is important duty of us to cooperate with government from our side and work for the protection of environment. o The Active co-operation of every one, at every level of social organizations, scientist- educationalists, social workers, politicians, administrators and public is needed for issues concerning environment. Individuals collectively make a society or a state. o Movements, which begin at gram root levels, effects the ideologies and policies of a country or the nation as a whole more effectively than the policies introduced from top to downwards.

Forest

Resources.

o Forest is a highly complex natural resource. o It is a constantly changing environment made up of a living and non living things.

Living

matters-

all

kinds

microscopic soil organisms

of

plants

majorly

trees,

wildlife

and

Non living – water, nutrients, rocks, sunlight and air.

o Key benefits of Forests are:

o Provides clean water.

o Provides clean air.

o Provides home to unique plants and animals.

o Source of economic growth

o Provides recreational facilities.

o Ecological benefits.

o Deforestation ( loss of forest cover- land that is permanently converted into farm land, lakes, houses etc,.) o FAO defines deforestation as change of forest with depletion of tree crown cover more than 90%. o Less than 90% depletion of tree crown cover is considered as forest degradation. (Logging). o Forest degradation rate is comparatively higher than deforestation.

Causes of Deforestation

o Agriculture. (grazing cattle, planting crops etc,.) • Central America – 40% of rainforests cleared for cattle pasture

o Commercial Logging.( Timber and wood pulp)

o The

cash

crop

economy

(

Malaysia-

rubber

and

oil

palm

plantations)

o Mining and Dams • Brazil- The Grand Carajas Project- Mining-9,00,000 sq.km and affected 23 tribal groups. • Narmadha Valley Project- India. Dam and Hydro power project.

Adverse effects of Deforestation.

o Social and Economic effects

• Insecure future to the forest workers. • Re-plantation may lead to loss of quality. • Loss of future market for ecotourism. • Disappearance of aesthetic, recreational and cultural rewards occur. • Social and economic life threat for tribal groups.

Environmental effects

Destruction of Biodiversity ( World Wildlife Fund(WWF) definition:

The wealth of life on earth, the millions of plants, animals and microorganisms, the genes they contain and the intricate ecosystem they build into the living environment.)- Deforestation effects extinction of plants and animals and thus destructs the biodiversity. • Desiccation of previously moist soil.- moist soil becomes dry and crack. • Moist humid region changes to desert. No recycling of water. Less Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen exchange. More desertification – UNEP report - Sahara Desert expanded 100sq.km southward between 1958 and 1975. • Soil Erosion Case Study-( Brazil- Gold prospectors)

Solutions to the problems of Deforestation.

o Reduce the consumption of forest and related products.

o Consciously boycott products of companies involved in

deforestation.

o Seek changes in Forest Policies.

o Environmental conservation may be given importance in school

education.

Reduce

Reuse

Recycle – 3 R’s

Though sound and appear similar, they are distinct elements in the language of

resource conservation.

Reduce:

o Lowering consumption is the key to the concept of reducing.

o Lowering or eradicating from the start.

o Life style- use of public transport, carpooling, walking etc,.

o Textile- MLR

Reuse:

o Reuse of materials and items that have reusable qualities. (paper plates –

cutlery)

An old shirt may become a car rag.

o Though reuse is different from reducing use, when an item is reused,

consumption is reduced as a by-product.

o Tannery- Leather meal, glue etc,.

Recycle:

o refers to the process in which an item or its components are used to create

something new.

o It is technically a form of reusing, but it refers more specifically to items

that are discarded and broken down into their raw materials.

o Plastic bottles are recycled and made into carpet, pathways and benches.

Glass and aluminum are other commonly recycled materials.

o e-waste.

Timber Extraction

Impacts:

o Fragmentation in remaining forest, damage to the valuable species and also decrease in biodiversity. o Composition of bird and mammal communities is significantly modified. o Number of wildlife species is eliminated. o Heavy machinery can compact the soil and destroy vegetation. o High volume harvesting contribute to erosion and reduce species diversity and regenerative capacity. o In the event of fire, excess organic debris can make forest more vulnerable to destruction in the event of fire.

UNFAO guidelines – addresses methods to reduce env.impacts in forestry operations. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – provides framework for organizations certifying sustainable logging operations.

Classifications of Timber Extraction

o Clear felling - complete destruction of the native forest. o Selective logging – Large individuals of a few commercially marketable species are selectively harvested. o Mechanized logging – use of heavy machinery in clear felling and also in selective logging. o Hand- logging – adopted in seasonally flooded and permanently water logged areas for clear felling and selective logging. o Reduce- Impact logging – UNFAO guidelines provides basis for reduced-impact logging practices. Environmental damage can be minimized through selection of site-sensitive harvesting techniques.

Case study- Chipko Movement

Sunderlal Baghuguna- leader - active in Bhageerathi valley

People movement in North India to prevent commercial timber

harvesting.

Unique strategy is “ recognizing trees as valuable” and this

movement followers are literally known as “tree huggers.”

Man is the butcher of earth.

Stop construction of dam at Tehri- due to uproot of trees and heavy

flood threat.

Mining

It is act of extracting ore, coal etc., from the Earth. Exploratory Phase- Less impact: Operational phase- More impact.

Impacts of Mining on Forests and Environment:

• Quantum of waste generated is more compared to other natural extraction processes (Open-pit Mining:) – Contact of water with this waste leads to generation of contaminated fluids of acidic/alkaline/heavy metal conc. etc,. (pollution of river, soil and groundwater. – Aid mine drainage (sulphide content more in the waste). This gets aggravated when the rainfall and temperature are high.

Erosion and sedimentation present. Damage to forest cover by mining is less compared with logging. Dust generation- air pollution, surface water pollution, health problems etc,. Noise pollution Disruption to aquatic habitats.

Social Damages of Mining

Appropriation of the land belonging to the local communities.

Alteration of social relationships

Destruction of forms of community subsistence and life.

Social disintegration.

Radical and abrupt changes in regional cultures.

Displacement of other present and/or future local economic activities.

Case Study: Bougainville Copper Mine.

  • - It is an Island of extent 10000 sq.km. (nearby to Soloman Island)- Colonial Rule-

British/Germany/Australia.

  • - As a UN trusteeship, it unitedgerman and British territiories of Papua and New Guinea.

  • - Then become Pap New Guinea (PNG) and obtained independence.

  • - Copper mine export accounted for 40% and 17-20% of government revenue.

-Till 1972 production of copper ore from mine was carried out.

-Environmental damage-copper tailings dumped into the Jaba river.

-Compensation was meagre and lead to public agitation like civil war.

-Bougainville conflict affects PNG relation with its neighbors.

-On May,17,1990, Bo.Interim Governemnt declared independence from PNG.

Dams

Impounding of water in small dams. • Development of turbines leads to hydropower and large dams( More than 15m, as per International Commission on Large Dams.)

Purposes of Dam:

Irrigation( 48%)

for domestic and industrial supply(15%).

Generation of Electricity.( 20 % -worldwide and in Europe-40%)

Flood control( 8%)

Recreation (4%)

Inland Navigation and fish Farming (lesser degree)

Benefits of Dam Problems with Dams.( economic returns, ecology, loss of aquatic biodiversity, waterlogging and salinity factor)