study tips for text#3

Obviously you should review material from student presentations since it is likely to be important. The
PowerPoints are in the WordPress site. Do also especially focus on the parts of the text highlighted
VIDEOS We watched the climate video “What’s up with the Weather?” and “Cadillac Desert” Part 3,
which are both on YouTube. Do review your notes from these videos.
CH15 Climate Change I had also added a couple pages on Forests and their importance p250255 (This is the first part of CH12-is it the same in the previous edition?? I thought these pages might
remind you of the role of deforestation in carbon emissions. Review this section for general points.)
Wedge analysis-why do we turn to this approach? Why can it be useful?
I wouldn’t test you on the parts of the atmosphere or details of Fig 15.4.
Note that mostly what is in our air is nitrogen gas! (Table 15.1) and look how little CO2 is up there.
Do understand positive and negative feedback loops-be familiar with several of them.
Do you understand what the greenhouse effect is? (Remember in video what happened when they
filled the tube with CO2 and looked at his face with heat imaging camera.)
I would not test you on details of Fig 15.5 or Coriolis effect.
I think we all have a much better idea of the polar vortex after last winter here in the Midwest (Fig
We talked before about how ocean currents affect weather.
They talk about Lake Agassiz-you could google this-it was in NW MN! What did all that freshwater do
when it was released into oceans?
Monsoons (Fig 15.9)
I would not test you on details of 15.10.
Do know what Milankovitch cyles are in general, no need to know each one precisely.
Ice cores are one way we know about previous CO2 levels and temperature (what other records did
the video include?)
Evidence for rapid change in temperatures during some periods of past.
What is El Nino? There is some discussion of feebacks in here too.
This might be useful…
We had also wondered in class why all those phytoplankton in the ocean don’t contribute to the rise
and fall of CO2-at least part of that is because many sink to bottom of ocean and don’t decompose so
that carbon is stored rather than being released seasonally like it is on land.
Our temperature records begin in 1880. When did Keeling start measuring CO2? Why did he go out
to Mauna Loa?
What is IPCCs best estimate for warming by 2100?
What are the greenhouse gases and where do they come from? (look at Fig 15.19)
More about feedbacks here!
Do look at Fig 15.2.
Be familiar with the bulleted effects listed in the next section.
Fig 15.25-note these are for the year 2100. Fig 15.26 is for wheat by 2050.
Be familiar with the Myths under “Why we still debate climate evidence?”
What was the Kyoto Protocol?
Stabilization wedges (Table 15.3 puts things in perspective)
Regional initiatives! (Under “What do you think” section as well-Go California!)
Did you hear the Pope’s new news!
Be sure to check out the other websites from WordPress Site –especially the one about last year’s
records! How many of the years since you were born have been in the top 10?
Do think about the psychology of climate change-what motivates us and what de-motivates us? Why
is climate change the “worst kind of problem”
Hey I found the transcript-this piece was actually cut from the version of “What’s up with the Weather?” that is on Youtube
to make it shorter but I like it. JAMES TREFIL, George Mason University: If you sat down and said, "I'm going to design a
public issue that is the absolute worst nightmare of every scientist, of every communicator in the world," you couldn't do
better than the greenhouse effect.
You're dealing with something that's very complicated. You're dealing with something where there's legitimate uncertainty
in the science. It's not that people are trying to pull the wool over anybody's eyes. There's legitimate uncertainty. You're
dealing with something that has enormous consequences for people. And you're dealing with something whose effects
will happen 30 years down the road, you know, when they happen.
And then you say- you give people this and say, "Okay, do something about it."
CH16 Air Pollution
Great London Smog-a classic historical moment. This is when we first came to understand that air
pollution affects health. Before this we just considered it an annoyance. Fig 16.5 has deaths listed.
Clean Air act 1960 but major additions/changes in 1970 (compare to Clean Water Act date)
What are the priority pollutants and what are their sources? (Table 16.2, Fig 16.4)
Primary vs secondary
I would not test you on Fig 16.7
What are VOCs? What is the difference between PM10 and PM2.5 particulates? What is in each?
Note that they talk about mercury but it is not one of the Criteria pollutants-connects to water (fishmercury-water)!
Note the discussion on CO2 and how we have had trouble coming up with a regulating agency. The
EPA is now charged with regulating greenhouse gasses although there are still lawsuits going
through the courts about this.
Do know about CFCs and Ozone-this material is continued later in chapter.
HAPS are kind of like everything else that is released that is bad for you. You can see the TRI
program mentioned here-this connects to waste chapter.
Fig 16.14-materials travel! Grasshopper effect.
Here is more ozone hole info-they talk about the strong winds swirling around the Antarctic-remember
this from the first video you all watched?
I would not ask you about the chemistry.
What was the Montreal Protocol and remember how in class we talked about why was this successful
while Kyoto was not.
Air pollution effects on health. Do note that greatest effects globally are through cardiovascular
disease (heart attacks etc). Also lung cancer.
What is acid deposition and why do we prefer that term as opposed to “acid rain”? (Effects on land vs
CH17 Water Use and Management
The case study of the Colorado River is a classic environmental story and good to be familiar with but
I would not test you on details.
Water or hydrologic cycle-we went through this before so good review.
What is a rain shadow? General effects of topography on precip?
Table 17.2 is kind of interesting. What are the longer residence times and why are some of them so
long? Where is this long residing water?
Fig 17.4 is good review from the video we watched at the beginning of Jan. Fig 17.5 shows the Gulf
Fig 17.6 is important conceptually but I would not test you on exact %.
Fig 17.8 is good graphic. It kind of makes me laugh because the spikey plants they show are an
introduced species around here…common on roadsides..called mullein. It invades prairies.
Fig 17.9. What are recharge zones?
What do we mean by a river’s discharge rate? (Table 17.3-Amazon-wow!)
I am not sure the exact definitions of the terms water scarcity and water stress are important.
This section talks about the western US and some of its issues-and it mentions the dust bowl again.
What do we know about the history of water shortages in this area of the SW?
John Wesley Powell-what were his recommendations?
What countries are mining water and what does that mean?
Know the term withdrawl.
Previous chapter on sustainable farming said 2/3 withdrawls are used for agriculture, here it is 70%!
There are some interesting statistics on how many liters of water it takes to raise the beef in a
hamburger. Plus chocolate uses lots of water Fig 17.12-oh no! Tough to make some of these
calculations, but certainly interesting.
Review irrigation-different types (we covered before)
Fig 17.14-basically toilets, laundry, showers are big users of water. How long are your showers?
Contaminated water is a big issue but it has really improved in the last 40 years or so. Globally-there
are still countries way far behind- the text mentions Mali and Ethiopia.
2/3rds of world’s households have to fetch water-remember the nice video we saw about Nepal.
Australia has major issues but I would not test you on the “What do you think?” section on that
Groundwater-note that about half of us rely on groundwater for our drinking water (where does
Northfield’s water come from?).
Ogallala Aquifer (Fig 17.17) Is this groundwater a renewable or nonrenewable resource? What do we
mean by fossil water? What is saltwater intrusion?
Dams and diversion projects-desert SW again. They also mention China and water issues (Olivia
visited the western part of China and shared how big an issue water was there.)
Lets make sure there is never a pipeline from the Great Lakes to the SW!
Fig 17.2 Aral Sea
Ramifications of dams (good review from earlier material) Concerns about dams causing earthquakes
or increasing their frequency, concerns about dam failures.
This section more thoroughly describes effects on fish and sedimentation.
Climate change and water-Fig 17.22. How does MN look? One thing to consider is that climate
change may also change what time of year gets what precip. So although the average may stay the
same, the timing of precip will change.
Water conflict and politics (Section entitled “Would you fight for water?”) Fig 17.23 is kind of coolchallenging situations!
Under water conservation section they talk about strategies in Klamath River Basin where farmers
were paid to finance conservation measures.
Desalination is used in some areas but is expensive but economical in some areas (I would not ask
you exactly how it works-highlighted in the “Exploring Science” section.
Domestic conservation…low flow toilets etc. We had a wonderful video clip of a composting toilet
system in class!
CH18 Water Pollution
The Cuyahoga is another very famous event! Really did lead in some ways to Clean Water Act of
Point vs nonpoint (ultimate nonpoint is atmospheric deposition-what is that?)
Atrazine and PCBs move in atmosphere-what is this called? PCBs were used in electrical equipment
like in the boxes you see on ground and hanging off power lines. They have been phased out, but are
still out there in older equipment.
Remember coliform bacteria are really indicators that fecal matter is in the area (which is not
considered a good thing)…they don’t all directly make you sick. All warm blooded animals have E.
coli including us! There are strains that make you sick and these are the ones that tend to be on
uncooked meat.
No need to know all the different ways of measuring the dissolved oxygen content, just do understand
why it is depleted (really same basic story as dead zone). Why are “oxygen demanding wastes”
demanding oxygen? What is an oxygen sag? What is eutrophic?
What are red tides? (they are basically different phytoplankton or algal species) When these
organisms “bloom” (grow in population size) as a result of added nutrients they often release a toxin
(a neurotoxin) that makes all animals really sick. Pfisteria is the nastiest of the bunch! “Shellfish
poisoning” is actually these phytoplankton getting concentrated in the bodies of filter feeding oysters
etc. In many areas shellfish beds are closed in the summer due to blooms.
After infectious agents they go over metals (mercury-affects your IQ-much of it is from coal burning
powerplants, it bioaccumulates and biomagnified up the food chain, but not as badly as DDT-mercury
is a big issue in MN too!)
In next section they mention selenium and Kesterson Marsh-it was mentioned in the video Cadillac
Salinization of fields due to overirrigation and we do put salts on our roads here and that is not good
for streams.
They mention arsenic in India-common in wells there and not good for you.
Next section talks about acids and bases and repeats material on sulfur and nitrous oxides being
released through coal combustion=acid rain.
Under “Organic Pollutants”….What else is in water? Once again DDT is mentioned as is Atrazine
(and frogs) No need to know about dioxins. Triclosan is in all your antibacterial soaps and things.
Many companies no longer use triclosan-it was super popular for a while.
Look at Fig 18.9-where are the steroids coming from? Where are the hormones coming from?
Up in northern MN they have these amazing spikes in insect repellents in water systems each
A big section on Dead Zone in “Exploring Science” section-but we have covered that before. Although
they do describe how the oil from the BP spill was probably broken down by all those decomposing
microbes! Why would they want to “eat” this stuff? What is in it that they like? What did they use up in
the process?
Ramifications of sediment?
What is a thermal plume? (there are tons of these on the Mississippi and as I said in class extensive
parts of the river that would have historically frozen over now stay open attracting lots of bald eagles.
Actually as we shift some power plants away from old reliable coal to natural gas these ice free areas
on the Mississippi are disappearing and bird watchers have been concerned that fewer birds will
overwinter here)
Clean Water act-what were goals? (boatable, fishable, swimmable?)
If waters do not meet goals have to develop standards called TMDLs for each pollutant
Issue of wetlands not being covered since they are not navigable
Fig 18.13 (list on y axis is good review of what is in waters but I wouldn’t pay too much attention to
what is highest vs lowest)
Major contamination exists in other countries (many are where we were 40 years ago)
Difference between improved and unimproved water supplies.
Don’t buy/use bottled water too often.
Groundwater gets contaminated too. What contaminates it in rural vs urban areas? Fig 18.18 is nice.
Ocean plastics (and Great Lakes plastics) are a huge issue.
Bulleted list under “Controlling nonpoint sources…” is good review.
Basics of septic systems and water treatment plants! I wouldn’t test you on terms.
Constructed wetlands! We have these behind Regents to handle water from this side of campus but
they don’t handle waste. To construct waste handling wetlands it is really a legal challenge.
There is lots of potential for low costs ways to clean water like Fig 18.27 and 18.28
I would not test you on legislation section at end of chapter.
CH21 Solid, Toxic and Hazardous Waste
Plastics in oceans-Case study. You might think about why we have these “gyres” (ocean currents!)
What do we mean by waste stream and why do we call it a stream?
Fig 21.3 is a good holistic summary but I would not test you on $ or anything
Open dumps is what we used to have in this country but now are rare here but obviously exist in
other places.
E-waste is a huge deal
What do we mean by sanitary landfill vs open dump? Why is the word sanitary in there? What are
their characteristics?
If they are recovering the methane from landfills where is it coming from? What in the dump is making
the methane??
Advantages and disadvantages of incineration? (often incineration is better if materials are sorted
even just a little-burning plastics is awful. Burning of trash in MN even in rural areas is illegal.
What do we do a good job of recycling and what could we do a better job of recycling?
Yes we should compost even in cities. We are pretty good with yard waste these days but how about
food waste. There are programs starting up in the cities where they will collect your kitchen scraps
Demanufacturing of E-waste and other products like appliances. What do we mean cradle to grave
Hazardous waste can mean a lot of different things (don’t memorize). We definitely cannot simply put
in landfill. Remember the TRI is concerned with the USE, TRANSFER and RELEASE of materials.
Some of you had questions about the companies listed in your “hometown” report to me.
What is the NPL and SUPERFUND program?
Issue of how cleaned up they have to be?
I would not ask you about the material under “Substances can be converted to safer forms”
But do know about bioremediation. The oil spill in the gulf was naturally bioremediated!
Do look through the section on phytoremediation.
What is a secure landfill and how is it different from a sanitary landfill?