Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience. A Self-Teaching Book for PhD Students

Academic Paper, 2020

422 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Contents



List of Abbreviations

List of Figures

List of Tables

Table of Contents



1. Concepts of Environmental sustainability and climate change Resilience
1.1 What is Environment?
1.2 Multidisciplinary nature of Environmental Studies
1.3 Classification of Environment
1.4 Structure of the environment, Biodiversity and Ecosystem
1.5 Functions of the environment/ environmental system
1.6 A brief history of conservation and environmentalism
1.7 Human population growth
1.8 Environment and Development(Managing Human Environment interaction)
1.9 Urbanization, Urban Development and the Environment
1.10 Urban Development and Environmental change
1.11 Historical Paradigms of Environmental Management and the Evolution toward Sustainability (Environment and Sustainable Development)
1.12 Climate
1.13 Climate change
1.14 Resilience
1.15 Confronting to Climate Change
2. Environmental Challenges of Urban Development/Urban Environmental Issues ...
2.1 Characteristic of Urbanization, urban development and the Environment
2.2 Major Environmental challenges


3. Areas of intervention in achieving environmental sustainability
3.1 Urban Environmental Problems
3.2 Management of natural resources
3.3 Integrated Environmental Management Systems
3.4 Concepts, objectives and principles of Environmental Planning and Management
3.5 The Urban Environmental Planning Process
3.6 Sustainable Urban Environmental Planning and Management
3.7 Environmental planning and management framework
3.8 Issues for Sustainable Urban Environmental Planning Interventions
3.9 Aesthetic quality


4. Climate and climate change Resilience
4.1 Climate
4.2 Climate change
4.3 Climate change Impacts and Policy responses
4.4 Urban system and Climate change Impacts and Responses
4.5 Climate Modeling


5. Mechanisms and tools in achieving environmental sustainability
5.1 Environmental Management Tools
5.2 Types of Environmental management tools
5.3 Choosing Environmental Management Tools



This book is meant to be an introductory text on the fundamentals of environment, climate change and resilience management and uses as teaching material for Ph.D. students. Today, knowledge of environment is essential for students as well as practicing scientists of all disciplines. Here an attempt has been made to provide precise and up to date information on the fundamental aspects of environment without going much in-depth in to specific areas, so as to be useful for a cross section of fields of study. This book covers all domains of this field (including the policy aspects and management practices) is the need of the hour.

The book adopts a simple narrative style keeping in mind both the knowledge requirements and the examination needs of university students. This self-teaching text book provides a comprehensive coverage of the key scientific, technical, social and political aspects of environment and climate change in an easily referenced and reader-friendly style. This text book can be used as self-teaching material for the Ph.D. students but in addition to this the author would recommend this text book to students new to the field that wish to expand their knowledge.

The author wish to profusely thank to Professor Hailu Worku (professor of environmental and landscape planning and currently works at the Environmental planning and landscape design chair, Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) who have supported and provide massive efforts in a class lecture during my Ph.D courses work. Feedback and corrective action is the only way to progress.


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

List of Figures

Figure 1 Components of Environmental science

Figure 2 Classification of Environment

Figure 3 Layers of the atmosphere.

Figure 4 Prediction of world largest countries by population size

Figure 5 Human population growth and the Shrinking Earth

Figure 6 Impact of Natural hazards (Tsunami)

Figure 7 Environment and Sustainable Development

Figure 8 Components of sustainable development

Figure 9 Comparison of Climate and Weather

Figure 10 Comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements.

Figure 11 Climate Resilience Facts

Figure 12 Major transformations in the nitrogen cycle

Figure 13 Types of Industrial Pollution

Figure 14 How do forests store and release carbon?

Figure 15 Informal settlement

Figure 16 Transportation, congestion, air pollution and emissions

Figure 17 In-door air pollution

Figure 18 The Vicious Circle of Congestion

Figure 19 Public Transport system (RBT)

Figure 20 Bogota's BRT system

Figure 21 Public Space

Figure 22 Curitiba Integrated Sustainability Strategy

Figure 23 Anthropogenic GHG emissions by gas and sector

Figure 24 Urban Heat Island

Figure 25 Hazard, Exposure, Vulnerability, and Risk

Figure 26 Human vulnerability to environmental change

Figure 27 Classification of UEP on the basis of spatial Scale

Figure 28 The Concept of Externalities

Figure 29 The hydrologic cycle

Figure 30 Environmental Planning Process

Figure 31 Landscape Design Plans

Figure 32 Land degradation in Ethiopia

Figure 33 soil degradation and reforestation

Figure 34 Riprap

Figure 35 Gabions

Figure 36 Earth's Layer structure

Figure 37 Tectonic processes

Figure 38 Rehabilitating abandoned quarry as a public park- Israel

Figure 39 Integrated water resource management planning cycle

Figure 40 Storm water runoff

Figure 41 Milankovitch Cycles

Figure 42 Renewable Sources of Energy

Figure 43 risk of disaster

Figure 44 hazard-mitigation-planning-process

Figure 45 Municipal solid waste composition

Figure 46 5 R pollution prevention hierarchy

Figure 47 Pollution prevention hierarchy a circular economy approach

Figure 48 The planning cycle of solid waste

Figure 49 Waste route

Figure 50 Composting Organic Waste

Figure 51 Benefits of Composting

Figure 52 Land fill Site Layout

Figure 53 Transportation, Urban Form and Spatial Structure

Figure 54 Urban form and spatial structure

Figure 55 Rings of Mobility

Figure 56 Transport Planning Process

Figure 57 Green Building design

Figure 58 Seasonal configuration of earth and sun

Figure 59 Global GHG emission by economic sectors, 2010

Figure 60 Climate change mitigation and adaptation

Figure 61 Climate Model development

Figure 62 Environmental impact assessment process

List of Tables

Table 1 Interdisciplinary nature of the Environment

Table 2 Proportion of world water bodies

Table 3 Environmental Changes and problems common in urban areas

Table4 Environmental Sustainability indicators

Table 5 Proportion of Global warming caused by green house gases

Table 6 Integral energy Planning

Table 7 World extremes and lowest temperature recorded


The objective of this book is to promote an understating about the concept and principles of environment, climate change and resilience management. Earth is a member of the solar system orbiting the Sun. The Sun is one of the millions of stars in the Milky Way. When the Earth was formed there was no life in it. Mixtures of methane, ammonia, water vapour and hydrogen were converted into life generating compounds by electrical discharge. Thus, life came in to the Earth. With the passage of time the evolution of life and Ecosystems took place. The planet as we see today is the result of millions of years of evolution. The modem man with his high level of intellect became the most dominant animal in the entire planet (Saravanan, 2005). The earth is the third planet from the Sun at a distance of about 150 million kilometers, which is called an "astronomic unit", The earth is 12760 kilometers in diameter. It is not an ideal globe. At the equator there are little bumps and at the poles it is flatter than it is at the rest of the world. The southern part has more bumps than the northern part. The Earth's circumference is 40070 kilometers.

The surface temperatures on OUT planet fluctuate between - 88 degrees Celsius (in Siberia) and + 58 degrees Celsius (in Death Va1ley. California, USA). The temperature in the Earth's core is about 10000-12000 degrees Celsius at a pressure of about 3 millions times our air pressure at sea level. About 70% of the Earth's surface consists of the ocean's water and hence Earth is called "the blue planet". The oceans contain about 97% of all the water on our planet. The oceans have high salt content. The Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has an atmosphere consisting of 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen. The Earth rotates at a speed of 30 kilometers per second around the Sun. This rotation is made in an elliptical form.

Man's quest for improvement and progress is eternal. In order to meet his natural and acquired needs he started utilizing the planet's resources indiscriminately. The stress of these efforts increased phenomenally due to the increase in population and industrial revolution. The environmental damage that we have done in the last 200 years is much more than the total damage done in the entire period of human existence in this planet. The stress on the resources became so acute that nature started reacting in an adverse fashion. The world population woke up to this scenario and started systematizing and controlling the indiscriminate use of natural resources.

During the last quarter of the twentieth century we began to see evidence of a general disturbance and weakening of the world's life-supporting systems and this unprecedented disruption of many of Earth's natural systems by humankind, at the global level, reflects the combined pressure of rapidly increasing population size and a high consumption, energy­intensive and waste-generating economy. Global economic activity increased 20-fold during the twentieth century. Meanwhile, in absolute terms, the human population has been growing faster than ever in this past quarter-century, capping a remarkable fourfold increase from 1.6 to six billion during the twentieth century. The last three billion have been added in 14, 13 and, most recently, 12 years, respectively. While we remain uncertain of Earth's human “carrying capacity”, we expect that the world population will approximate to nine billion by around 2050, and will probably stabilize at around 10-11 billion by the end of the twenty- first century(P. Martens, and J. McMichael ,2002).

Climate change is a wide-ranging and complex subject which is a global challenge involving governments, companies, professionals and public action. It is hence the study, research and application in Environment, climate change and resilience management has become overwhelmingly relevant especially for environmental professionals to reduce environmental deteriorations. The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20 th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia. Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate. The heat-trapping nature of Co2 and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century. There is no question that increased levels of GHG must cause the Earth to warm in response.

The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions and an increase in the number, duration and intensity of tropical storms. Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner. Therefore, this self-teaching book is aimed to exhaustively present about the environmental sustainability, climate change and resilience management issues in easily and understandable manner.


1. Concepts about Environmental sustainability and climate change Resilience

1.1 What is Environment?

The term environment is widely used and has a broad range of definitions, meanings and interpretations. In popular usage, for some people, the term environment means, simply, nature: in other words, the natural landscape together with all of its non-human features, characteristics and processes. To those people, the environment is often closely related to notions of wilderness and of pristine landscapes that have not been influenced or, at least, that have been imperceptibly influenced by human activities. However, for other people, the term environment includes human elements to some extent. Many people would regard agricultural and pastoral landscapes as being part of the environment, whilst others are yet more inclusive and regard all elements of the earth's surface - including urban areas as constituting the environment. Thus, in popular usage, the notion of the 'environment' is associated with diverse images and is bound up with various assumptions and beliefs that are often unspoken - yet may be strongly held. All of these usages, however, have a central underlying assumption: that the environment exists in some kind of relation to humans. Hence the environment is, variously, the 'backdrop' to the unfolding narrative of human history, the habitats and resources that humans exploit, the hinterland that surrounds human settlements, or the 'wilderness' that humans have not yet domesticated or dominated.

In its most literal sense, environment simply means surroundings (environs); hence the environment of an individual, object, element or system includes all of the other entities with which it is surrounded. However, in reality, individuals, objects, elements and systems rarely exist in isolation; instead, they tend to interact to varying extents with their surrounding entities. Therefore, it is not particularly helpful to conceptualize the 'environment' without including in that conceptualization some notion of relationship. Individuals, objects, elements and systems influence - and are in turn influenced by their surroundings. Indeed, the networks of relationships that exist between different entities may, in some cases, be extensive and highly complex. Thus the 'environment' may be regarded as a 'space' or a 'field' in which networks of relationships, interconnections and interactions between entities occur. To those who have studied the science of ecology, such a conceptualization will be familiar, since ecologists are concerned with both the biotic and abiotic components of environmental systems - and especially with the interactions of those components. In fact, the term environment is often used interchangeably with an ecological term ecosystem, which may be defined as a community of interacting organisms together with their physical surroundings. The notion of interrelationship is a central one in environmental science and management, since many environmental issues have occurred because one environmental system has been disturbed or degraded - either accidentally or deliberately - as a result of changes in another.

The meaning of the word “environment” is elastic. Conventionally it refers to the various external factors that impinge on human health through exposures common to members of groups, communities or whole populations, and that are typically not under the control of individuals (i.e. the exposures are predominantly involuntary). Thus, “environmental exposures” are usually thought of as physical, chemical and microbiological agents that impinge on us from the immediately surrounding (ambient) environment (P. Martens and J. McMichael, 2002).The word Environment is derived (from the French environner: to encircle or surround) can be defined as the circumstances and conditions that surround an organism or a group of organisms or the social and cultural conditions that affect an individual or a community. Since humans inhabit the natural world as well as the "built" or technological, social, and cultural world, all constitute important parts of our environment (William P. and Mary A., 2006).

There are three reasons for studying the state of the environment. The first, is the need for information that clarifies modern environmental concepts like equitable use of natural resources, more sustainable life styles etc. Second, there is a need to change the way in which we view our own environment, using practical approach based on observation and self­learning. Third, there is a need to create a concern for our environment that will trigger pro­environmental action, including simple activities we can do in our daily life to protect it (Anjaneyalu, Y.2004).

1.1.1 Environmental science

Environmental science is essentially the application of scientific methods and principles to the study of environmental issues, so it has probably been around in some forms as long as science itself. Environmental science is often confused with other fields of related interest, especially ecology, environmental studies, environmental education and environmental engineering. Environmental science is not constrained with any one discipline and it is a comprehensive field. Environmental science is the systematic study of the intersection of these worlds. An interdisciplinary field, environmental science draws from many areas of inquiry to help us understand the worlds in which we live and how we might improve both of them. Environmental science is the systematic study of our environment and our place in it. A relatively new field, environmental science is highly interdisciplinary. It integrates information from biology, chemistry, geology, geography, agriculture, and many other fields. To apply this information to improve the ways we treat our world, environmental scientists also incorporate knowledge of social organization, politics, and the humanities. In other words, environmental science is inclusive and holistic. Environmental science is also mission-oriented: it implies that we all have a responsibility to get involved and try to do something about the problems we have created (William P. and Mary A., 2006).Because of political, economic and ethical reasons, solving environmental problems is a complex task.

Environmental science is the academic field that takes physical, biological and chemical sciences to study the environment and discover solutions to environmental problems. Sciences used in environmental science include geography, zoology, physics, ecology, oceanology, and geology. Environmental science also branches out into environmental studies and environmental engineering. Environmental science involves different fields of study. Most often, the study of environmental science includes the study of climate change, natural resources, energy, pollution, and environmental issues. In environmental sciences, ecologists study how plants and animals interact with each other, chemists study the living and non-living components of the environment, geologists study the formation, structure and history of earth, biologists study the biodiversity, Physicists are involved in thermodynamics, computer scientists are involved in technical innovations and computer modelling and biomedical experts study the impact of environmental issues on our health and social lives.

Importance of Environmental Science

According to conserve energy future (2018), the importance of environmental science are:

1. To realize that environmental problems are global

Environmental science lets you recognize that environmental problems such as climate change, global warming, ozone layer depletion, acid rains, and impacts on biodiversity and marine life are not just national problems, but global problems as well. So, concerted effort from across the world is needed to tackle these problems.

2. To understand the impacts of development on environment

It's well documented and quantified that development results in industrial growth, urbanization, expansion of telecommunication and transport systems, hi-tech agriculture and expansion of housing. Environmental science seeks to teach the general population about the need for decentralization of industries to reduce congestion in urban areas. Decentralization means many people will move out of urban centers to reduce pollution resulting from overpopulation. The goal is to achieve all this sustainably without compromising the future generation's ability to satisfy their own needs.

3. To discover sustainable ways of living

Environmental science is more concerned with discovering ways to live more sustainably. This means utilizing present resources in a manner that conserves their supplies for the future. Environmental sustainability doesn't have to outlaw living luxuriously, but it advocates for creating awareness about consumption of resources and minimizing unnecessary waste. This includes minimizing household energy consumption, using disposals to dispose of waste, eating locally, recycling more, growing your own food, drinking from the tap, conserving household water, and driving your car less.

4. To utilize natural resources efficiently

Natural resources bring a whole lot of benefits to a country. A country's natural resources may not be utilized efficiently because of low-level training and lack of management skills. Environmental science teaches us to use natural resources efficiently by: Appropriately putting into practice environmental conservation methods, using the right tools to explore resources, adding value to our resources, making sure machines are maintained appropriately, Thorough training of human resources, Provision of effective and efficient supervision, using the right techniques to minimize exploitation, to understand behavior of organisms under natural conditions. Behavior is what organisms manifest to respond to, interact with, and control their environment. An animal exhibits behavior as the first line of defense in response to any change of environment. So, critical look at organism's behavior can offer insightful information about animal's needs, dislikes, preferences and internal condition providing that your evaluation of those observations firmly hinge on knowledge of species'-natural behavior.

5. To shed light on contemporary concepts such as how to conserve biodiversity

Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth. The present rate of biodiversity loss is at an all­time high. Environmental science aims to teach people how to reverse this trend by: Using sustainable wood products, using organic foods, Embracing the 3R's, reduce, reuse, and recycle, Purchasing sustainable seafood, Supporting conservation campaigns at local levels, Conserving power, Minimizing consumption of meat, Utilizing eco-friendly cleaning products and to understand the interrelationship between organisms in population and communities. Organisms and humans depend on each other to get by. Environmental science is important because it enables you to understand how these relationships work. For example, humans breathe out carbon dioxide, which plants need for photosynthesis. Plants, on the other hand, produce and release oxygen to the atmosphere, which humans need for respiration. Animal droppings are sources of nutrients for plants and other microorganisms. Plants are sources of food for humans and animals. In short, organisms and humans depend on each other for survival.

6. To learn and create awareness about environmental problems at local, national and international levels

Environmental problems at local, national and international levels mostly occur due to lack of awareness. Environmental science aims to educate and equip learners with necessary environmental skills to pass to the community in order to create awareness. Environmental awareness can be created through social media, creating a blog dedicated to creating awareness, community centered green clubs, women forums, and religious podiums.

1.1.2 Environmental System

The environmental system may be understood in an ecological sense as the set of interactions between the elements of the biosphere, which includes the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the lithosphere and the ecosphere. The environment is a classic complex system, composed of multiple interacting “agents,” or variables, that cause emergent behavior. Applying a complex-systems approach to environmental problems such as climate change, landscape evolution, or societal-ecological sustainability can yield valuable insight into risk, potential drivers of change, likely outcomes of perturbation, and whether it is even possible to forecast or manage the system.

Vineyards can be viewed as complex systems, where the interactions between agricultural managements, soil fertility, wildlife habitats, watershed hydrology, and climatic conditions have dynamic interactions. These interactions can be represented in models in order to predict future changes based in the actual information, for example, climate change models allows predict new areas for sustainability of vineyards and the potential conflict with biome conservation area. In this way, the maximum entropy models (MaxEnt), which is based in thermodynamic theory, allows predicts patterns of distribution based in from presence-only species records ( Elith at al., 2011). MaxEnt minimizes the relative entropy between two probability densities (one estimated from the presence data and one, from the landscape) defined in covariate space”, where covariate could be climatic variables (e.g.: temperature, precipitation, etc.), that influence in the distribution of a plant. In sum, the use of theorical framework of complexity science to develop predictive models, as MaxEnt, provides a powerful tool for biodiversity conservation.

1.1.3 Environmental management

Environmental management is the means of controlling or guiding human environment interactions to protect and enhance human health and welfare and environmental quality. Environmental management is a complex field. It is complicated by the wide range of people and institutions involved and the different perspectives and values they hold on how to manage the environment. Society's perspectives on the environment ultimately determine the planning and policy framework for management, and because these perspectives change over time, so do approach to environ mental management. Some evidence indicates that more widespread environmental values and new methods of environmental analysis and evaluation are spurring new paradigms of management. According Randolph (2004),these interactions can affect human welfare and the environment in the following four ways:

1. The environment poses certain natural hazards to human society.
2. Society-generated pollution impacts human health through the environment.
3. Society exploits economically important natural resources at unsustainable rates.
4. Pollution and overuse undermine productive natural systems and ecosystems.

Natural hazards include flooding and other weather-related damages, geologic hazards such as earthquakes and landslides, forest and grass fires, and natural pests and disease­transmitting organisms. These hazards may be caused by natural elements, but human actions can exacerbate both the hazard and the risk by altering the natural system or locating developments in harm's way. Human-generated pollution affects human health . Here the environment is a transfer medium. Contamination of air, drinking water, and food by toxic pollution can result in debilitating ailments, cancer, and genetic damage. Inadequate sanitation can foster the transmission of disease, and improper handling of dangerous materials can cause severe accidents.

Natural resources and managed natural systems are critical for human subsistence, livelihood, and quality of life. Nonrenewable resources such as fossil energy, minerals, and land are subject to depletion. Sustainable management of water resources and productive "working landscapes," like agriculture and forestry, is necessary for continued development of renewable resources, water, food, and fiber. Human society's resource exploitation and pollution impact essential natural systems and ecosystems . These systems include those important to human economic productivity, like groundwater recharge, fisheries, climate regulation, and hydrologic and biogeochemical cycles. They include the many productive benefits of wetlands (e.g., flood control, water quality enhancement), vegetation (e.g., erosion and slope stability), and natural areas (e.g., aesthetic and property value).

Resource use and pollution also affect natural ecosystems that do not have readily measurable economic value, such as species habitats and biodiversity. However, the environmental movement has heightened public value given to these "noneconomic" natural resources. This value stems from both an anthropocentric view based on human enjoyment of these resources, now and in the future, and a perspective that natural ecosystems and the life they support have value for their own sake. Management aims to control the interactions of people and the environment, and management itself involves the interaction of people and institutions. Although we shall see that environmental planning and management is a scientific, technical field, it is also a political one driven by the process of social and institutional interplay. Planning and management involves people interacting in a competition of ideas and values, shaping the technical, institutional, legal, and policy means of managing the environment.

1.1.4 Environmental Planning

Planning is "figuring out what needs to be done and how to do it." It is the process of "applying knowledge to action" or basic problem solving. It requires determining ends and means relationships. Simply, planning involves setting objectives, gathering and analyzing information, and formulating and evaluating alternative policies, projects, or designs to meet the objectives (Randolph, 2004).Furthermore, environmental Planning is a decision-making process that considers the environmental, social, political, economic, and governance factors that can affect development. Its goal is to manage the relationship between natural systems and human systems in the present and the future. In other words, environmental planning is the process of evaluating how social, political, economic and governing factors affect the natural environment when considering development. The goal of environmental planning is to come up with a win-win situation for society and the environment. With successful environmental planning, society wins by being able to use the area in productive ways, and the environment wins by being able to sustain itself for future generations. Environmental planning must be considered the current status of the natural environment. This component will take into consideration the existing state of the area to be developed. This may include evaluating the existing uses, features and natural resources of the land, as well as existing infrastructure and buildings. Planning is also important when it comes to protecting the environment, so it is sustainable for generations to come.

Environmental planning applies the process of planning to environmental protection and problem solving. This may entail any of the human-environment interactions: natural hazards, human environmental health, natural resource use, productive natural systems, and ecosystems. Environmental planning and management can be "reactive," "proactive," or"integrative." Reactive measures try to correct prior environmental damages, for example, remediation of old waste dumps, reclamation of abandoned mined lands, or cleanup of polluted waterways. Proactive measures are taken explicitly to enhance environmental quality, for example, land use controls to preserve wildlife habitats and wetlands, protect aquifer recharge areas, or restrict future floodplain development. Integrative environmental planning involves early and substantive consideration of environmental and social factors in the formulation of development plans and projects, like a highway or subdivision. Not only is it less costly and more effective to consider environmental factors early in the development process, but this integration is essential to achieve the tri-objectives of sustainable development. Usually, environmental planners have specialized expertise in one or more subareas, such as land use and development, air quality, water quality, water resources, waste management, wildlife, forestry, or others. But as planners, environmental planners are also generalists, applying planning and problem-solving skills and a wide range of disciplinary perspectives.

1.1.5 Landscape planning and Design

Landscape design is the art of arranging or modifying the features of a yard, an urban area, etc., for aesthetic or practical reasons. For organizational purposes, it is often divided into two major parts: hardscape and soft scape. Landscape planning is as an activity concerned with reconciling competing land uses while protecting natural processes and significant cultural and natural resources. Landscape has six main compositional elements: Landform, Vertical Structures, Horizontal Structures, Vegetation, Water, and Climate. Landscape Design is the art of arranging these elements to make good outdoor space. Garden Design is a specialized branch of Landscape Design, concerned with private space and private goods. The difference between the two arts is that one is concerned with private space and one with public space. The public park is an area of overlap - and the origin of the landscape architecture profession. Landscape Designers influence Natural Processes, Social Processes and Aesthetic Processes. Their aims and objectives can also be placed in these three groups. Outdoor space which is 'good' from one point of view (eg social) may be bad from another point of view (eg aesthetic or natural process). A space can also be good for humans but bad for other species (eg a swimming pool with treated water).

The objectives of Landscape Planning are similar to those of Landscape Design but planning projects tend to be more concerned with public goods than private goods, larger in scale, longer in duration, implemented by many contracts, rather than one contract. Environmental Impact Design (EID), may be defined as 'the adaptation of a project design with regard to the supply of public goods (social, natural and aesthetic) and the development of multi-objective landscapes. Landscape architects design the built environment of neighborhoods, towns and cities while also protecting and managing the natural environment, from its forests and fields to rivers and coasts. In fact, the work of landscape architects surrounds us. Members of the profession are involved in the planning of such sites as office plazas, public squares and thoroughfares. The attractiveness of parks, highways, housing developments, urban plazas, zoos and campuses reflects the skill of landscape architects in planning and designing the construction of useful and pleasing projects.

1.2 Multidisciplinary nature of Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies is a multidisciplinary approach and its components include Biology, Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Sociology, Health Sciences, Anthropology, Economics, Statistics and Philosophy It is essentially a multidisciplinary approach. An understanding of the working of the environment requires the knowledge from wide ranging fields. The table below shows a list of topics dealt commonly in air pollution and the related traditional fields of knowledge illustrating the interdisciplinary nature of the Environment.

Table 1 Interdisciplinary nature of the Environment

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Anjaneyalu, Y.2004

Indeed, many environmental scientists now tend to think in terms of the whole 'earth system' and its components, subsystems and processes. In some ways, the term 'earth system' is a more useful one than 'the environment', not least because it highlights the fact that the natural world is a dynamic, complex entity with its own laws and processes, rather than being simply a passive space that is inhabited, exploited and given significance by humans. Moreover, increasingly, scientists have acknowledged that the study of environmental science and management should ideally be interdisciplinary in nature, so that insights from many academic disciplines and scientific specialism are available to inform the study of environmental issues. This is particularly important when it comes to understanding complex global environmental issues, such as climate change, which affect all parts of the earth system and which require expertise beyond the scope of any single academic discipline.

A further consideration is that the study of environmental science and management is, ultimately, focused on the planetary scale - since the earth system forms an integrated whole with many processes that operate globally. This is not to say that the study of environmental issues at other scales is unimportant; indeed, the management of localized environmental issues - such as the pollution of rivers - is critically important for human communities, livelihoods and well-being, as well as for the health and integrity of ecosystems. Nevertheless, the study and management of local and regional environmental issues belongs - rightly - within a holistic, integrated, global context. And whilst the study of the earth system may be subdivided, for convenience, into categories such as 'geosphere', 'atmosphere', 'hydrosphere' and 'biosphere' - as well as into smaller categories - it is important to emphasize that such categories interact and overlap at all spatial and temporal scales.

Components of Environmental Science


Ecology is the study of organisms and the environment interacting with one another. Ecologists, who make up a part of environmental scientists, try to find relations between the status of the environment and the population of a particular species within that environment, and if there is any correlations to be drawn between the two. For example, ecologists might take the populations of a particular type of bird with the status of the part of the Amazon Rainforest that population is living in. The ecologists will study and may or may not come to the conclusion that the bird population is increasing or decreasing as a result of air pollution in the rainforest. They may also take multiple species of birds and see if they can find any relation to one another, allowing the scientists to come to a conclusion if the habitat is suitable or not for that species to live in.


Geosciences concern the study of geology, soil science, volcanoes, and the Earth's crust as they relate to the environment. As an example, scientists may study the erosion of the Earth's surface in a particular area. Soil scientists, physicists, biologists, and geomorphologists would all take part in the study. Geomorphologists would study the movement of solid particles (sediments), biologists would study the impacts of the study to the plants and animals of the immediate environment, physicists would study the light transmission changes in the water causing the erosion, and the soil scientists would make the final calculations on the flow of the water when it infiltrates the soil to full capacity causing the erosion in the first place.

Atmospheric Science

Atmospheric science is the study of the Earth's atmosphere. It analyzes the relation of the Earth's atmosphere to the atmospheres of other systems. This encompasses a wide variety of scientific studies relating to space, astrology and the Earth's atmosphere: meteorology, pollution, gas emissions, and airborne contaminants. An example of atmospheric science is where physicists study atmospheric circulation of a part of the atmosphere, chemists would study the chemicals existent in this part and their relationships with the environment, meteorologists study the dynamics of the atmosphere, and biologists study how the plants and animals are affected and their relationship with the environment.

Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Chemistry is the study of the changes chemicals make in the environment, such as contamination of the soil, pollution of the water, degradation of chemicals, and the transport of chemicals upon the plants and animals of the immediate environment. An example of environmental chemistry would be introduction of a chemical object into an environment, in which chemists would then study the chemical bonding to the soil or sand of the environment. Biologists would then study the now chemically induced soil to see its relationship with the plants and animals of the environment. Environmental science is an active and growing part of the scientific world accelerated by the need to address problems with the Earth's environment. It encompasses multiple scientific fields and sciences to see how all interchange and relate with one another in any of the above four components

Figure 1 Components of Environmental science

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: William P. and Mary A. (2006)

1.3 Classification of Environment

According to Bernard (1925), environment is constituted by the interacting systems of physical, biological and cultural elements inter-related in various ways, individually as well as collectively. This classification may be presented in brief outline as follows:

I. The physical environments

1. Cosmic, including such factors as the sun's heat, possible electric or other disturbances due to the relationship of the sun and other heavenly bodies upon the earth, the falling of meteors, the effect of moonlight and of the moon's attraction upon the tides, possible cosmic causes of radical changes in climate, such as the glacial epochs, due to cosmic changes.
2. Physico-geographic, especially such factors as contour and surface configuration (mountains, coast lines, valleys, rivers, mountain passes, etc.), altitude.
3. Soil, especially in relation to the supply and distribution of plant foods, particularly nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous; the physics of the soils.
4. Climate, including especially temperature relations, humidity, and the succession of the seasons.
5. The inorganic resources, especially the minerals and metals, such as the natural fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas), the structural materials (iron, copper, tin, zinc, lead, etc.), and the rarer industrial metals. Under this heading might be included the chemical properties of the soil.
6. Natural agencies, especially falling water, the winds, the tides and the sun's rays, which may be used to some extent as power sources.
7. Natural mechanical processes (combustion, radiation, gravity, etc.)

II. The biological or organic environments (plants and animals)

1. Micro-organisms. The various forms of germ life, including pathogenic and saphrophytic bacteria, bacilli, and amoebae, and possibly even more minute forms of life.
2. The various parasites and insect pests which establish relations with organic life or with man directly, and which not infrequently are germ carriers. Such organisms have a marked influence upon the development of crops and livestock and forests upon which man is so largely dependent.
3. The larger plants which constitute the forests provide materials for shelter and clothing, for medicines and foods, and for some other needs of man, such as weapons, cords, tools, etc., and determine in large measure man's occupations and larger social adjustments.
4. The larger or ponderable animals which form the natural herds, flocks and packs and schools, including materials for food, shelter, clothing, and other auxiliaries, as above, and determine man's occupations.
5. Certain harmful aspects of 3 and 4, especially those plants and animals which carry menacing poisons which are injurious, directly or indirectly to man, in their natural habitat, destructive and harmful plants, such as those which make agriculture difficult, impede man in his movements, injure his body or property-ferocious and destructive animals in the state of nature.
6. Ecological and symbiotic relationships of plants and animals in nature, which may exercise an indirect or direct influence upon human relationships, especially with respect to their economic aspects.
7. The prenatal environment of animals, in which the maternal organism influences in large measure the character of the growth and development of the nascent organism.
8. Natural biological processes (reproduction, growth, decomposition, assimilation, excretion, circulation, etc.).

(3) The social environments

1. The physico-social environments

a) In general, all inventions that are the product of the human reaction upon the physical environments, and by means of which the physical materials (especially as in I, 3, 5, and 6 above) are so transformed as better to meet the needs of man.
b) More specifically such inventions and transformations a transportation lines and equipment, the paraphernalia of communication, modern housing, including homes, office and industrial buildings, public service buildings and equipment, modern cities themselves and all their accessories, tools, household equipment, many phases of clothing and personal adornment, such as jewelry, buttons, headdress, artificial heating or cooling apparatus and conditions, ice, fire, war equipment, chemical compounds, industrial machinery, the instruments employed in scientific research, in religious observance, etc., in so far as these are constructed from physical or inorganic materials and are adapted especially to the needs of members of human society.

2. The bio-social or organico-social environments

a) Plants domesticated and adapted to agriculture, horticulture, and floriculture, including all plants cultivated for the purpose of providing human food, shelter, clothing, ornament or tools and weapons, as distinguished from uncultivated plants occurring under natural conditions.
b) Plants cultivated for the purpose of providing food or shelter or other protection for domestic animals or for other belongings or purposes of man.
c) Cultivated medicinal plants and plants grown for the manufacture of perfumes.
d) Animals bred and cared for by man as sources of food, shelter, clothing, ornaments, tools, weapons, or medicines. e) Animals domesticated and employed as sources of power, in industrial pursuits or as burden bearers for man. f) Animals used for purposes of play and recreation and as objects of display and as means of social distinction, as pets, aids in the hunt, for shows, etc.

3. The psycho-social environments

a) Objectified and standardized behavior processes, which are not visible or discernible directly by the senses, but which are matters of logical or conceptual inference and are treated as behavior entities. Among the more important of these may be mentioned institutions (in their psvchic or non-material aspects), customs, traditions, conventions, beliefs, mores, folkways, fads, fashions, crazes, attitudinal evaluations, propaganda, public opinion, science (in some aspects).
b) Objectified but incompletely or wholly unstandardized behavior processes, such as rumors, conversational contacts (what Bagehot called "talk"), radio, and certain aspects of public opinion, propaganda, attitudinal evaluations and other categories mentioned above in III, 3, a).
c) Objectified and standardized stored5 psychic symbols and symbolic meaning complexes. The most important of these environmental storage factors are books and periodicals, but here also should be included pictures, statuary, musical compositions, archeological and ethnological collections and curios, inscriptions, codes, moving pictures, phonograph records, and all similar apparatus which carry a symbolic meaning content which may be apprehended by those who recognize the symbolic keys. These are the carriers of vast bodies of scientific, aesthetic, and literary data which act as stimuli to social and individual behavior.
d) Here also belong pantomime, gesture, language, etc.

The physical and biological environments clearly represent nature in her unmodified form as she may operate upon man and his social life. Therefore, we may properly speak of these environments as primary. The physico-social and the bio-social environments represent transformations of the original physical and biological environments which have occurred in the process by which man has adapted himself to nature or, if one prefers, has fashioned nature to his needs. Here is the realm of the physical inventions proper, among which we may for present purposes include organic inventions. These forms of the environment are obviously derivative and because they are derived directly from the primary environments we may speak of them as secondary in character. Earth's environment can be further subdivided i n t o multidimensional system that consists of five interacting spheres or segments namely Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Ecosphere/ Biosphere and Antroposphere (K. Saravanan, 2005).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2 Classification of Environment

(Editor's note: This image was removed due to copyright reasons)

The environment studies enlighten us, about the importance of protection and conservation of our indiscriminate release of pollution into the environment. At present a great number of environment issues, have grown in size and complexity day by day, threatening the survival of mankind on earth. We study about these issues besides and effective suggestions in the Environment Studies.

1.4 Structure of the environment, Biodiversity and Ecosystem

The environmental system may be understood as the set of interactions between the elements of the biosphere- ecosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, lithosphere and antroposphere. The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and traces (remaining 1%) of carbon dioxide, argon, water vapor and other components. The atmosphere is a prime mean for the spatial diffusion of pollutants and a temporary mean of their accumulation.

The Atmosphere

According to Canadian Space agency the Atmosphere is the blanket of gases which surrounds Earth. It is held near the surface of the planet by Earth's gravitational attraction. Without the atmosphere there could be no life on Earth. The atmosphere: contains the air we breathe; protects life from harmful radiation from the Sun; helps keep the planet's heat from the Sun from escaping back into space; is a major element of the water cycle and keeps the climate on Earth moderate compared to that of other planets. The atmosphere is made up of a mixture of gases, mostly nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide. It reaches over 500km above the surface of the planet. There is no exact boundary between the atmosphere and outer space. Atmospheric gases become thinner the higher up you go. The atmosphere just keeps getting less and less dense, until it "blends" into outer space. The atmosphere is divided into four layers based on temperature: the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere.

The Troposphere

This is the lowest layer of the atmosphere, closest to the surface of the earth. The troposphere varies in height in different parts of the world, from about 8km above sea level at the poles, to 16km at the equator. Within the troposphere, the temperature drops rapidly the higher you go. This is the layer where we see clouds and most of the "weather" occurs. The top layer of the troposphere is called the tropopause. Within the troposphere the temperature drops to a low of -56°C. This marks the beginning of the tropopause. Through the tropopause, the temperature reverses and begins to increase. The height of the tropopause varies from the poles to the equator, but also from the summer to winter.

The Stratosphere

For a distance of about 18km above the tropopause, there is a layer called the stratosphere. In this layer, the pressure continues to decrease, but the temperature increases gradually to 0°C.Like the troposphere, the stratosphere also varies in thickness. It is quite deep over the poles and thinner over the equator. The stratosphere contains a layer of ozone which absorbs the Sun's ultraviolet rays, protecting life on the earth's surface. The top layer of the stratosphere is called the stratopause. In this layer the temperature, once again, begins to fall.

The Mesosphere

The mesosphere reaches up to about 80km above the surface of the earth. This is the coldest layer of the atmosphere, where the temperature drops rapidly with altitude. In the top layer of the mesosphere, called the mesopause, the temperature bottoms out at a low of about -100°C at 80km above the earth. After that the temperature begins to rise again with greater altitude. This is the layer where meteorites usually burn up as they enter the atmosphere.

The Thermosphere

The thermosphere extends upwards from a point 80-100 kilometers above the earth's surface. There is very little air in this layer. The temperature continues to rise in the thermosphere and beyond, increasing for an indefinite distance into space.

The Exosphere

The exosphere is the very outer limit of the atmosphere. The bottom of this layer is found at 500 kilometers above the Earth's surface. The pressure drops to little more than a vacuum. Auroras form in the exosphere. Characteristics of these zones are pictorially represented below.

Figure 3 Layers of the atmosphere

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: K. Saravanan, 2005

The hydrosphere is the accumulation of water in all its states (solid, liquid and gas) and the elements dissolved it in (sodium, magnesium, calcium, chloride and sulphate). 97% of the water forms the oceans, 2% is ice (north and south poles) and 1% forms rivers, lakes, ground water and atmospheric vapor. It covers around 71% of the earth's surface and is an important accumulator of pollutants and a significant vector of diffusion.

Table 2 Proportion of world water bodies

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source:K. Saravanan, 2005

If you look at Earth from outer space, one thing is obvious: Earth is blue. Water is everywhere. Approximately 71% of Earth is covered in water. Water is found in rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans. Water is stored underground as groundwater. Some water is trapped in ice. Water can even be found in our atmosphere in the form of water vapor. All of the water found on Earth is called a hydrosphere .

The lithosphere is the thin crust between the mantle and the atmosphere. Although the lithosphere is around 100 km thick, only 1 km of it can be considered in interaction with the biosphere. Main constituents are oxygen (47%), silicon (28%), aluminum (8%), iron (5%), calcium (4%), sodium (3%), potassium (3%) and magnesium (2%) in a crystalline state. The lithosphere is the main source of pollutants and a permanent accumulator. Some are naturally released through sources like volcanic eruptions, while others like fossil fuels are the result of artificial extraction and combustion.

The Biosphere - ecosphere refers to the biologically inhabited/ biologically active/ biotic part of the earth that occurs at the interface of the Atmosphere, Lithosphere and Hydrosphere.

Antroposphere is man-made environments like built-up and working landscapes.


The Canadian Biodiversity Strategy defines biodiversity as “the variety of species and ecosystems on Earth and the ecological processes of which they are a part - including ecosystem, species, and genetic diversity components.” The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity provides a similar definition for biodiversity: “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia [among other things], terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.” In short, the term is used to refer to life in all its forms and the natural processes that support and connect all life forms. Biodiversity is not easily defined because it is more than just the sum of its parts, as all of its elements, regardless of whether we understand their roles or know their status, are integral to maintaining functioning, evolving, resilient ecosystems. Complex concepts such as biodiversity are often easier to grasp if reduced to their component pieces. While this approach does not give a complete picture of how these pieces interact and combine to create biodiversity, it helps us understand different aspects of biodiversity. The levels of organization of biodiversity include ecosystems, species and genes. An ecosystem is a dynamic complex of plant, animal and microorganism communities and non-living (abiotic) elements, all interacting as a functional unit. An ecosystem's character changes as community

Members and physical contexts change, sometimes crossing a threshold of tolerance within the system that results in its inability to return to its previous form. Species are a

complete, self-generating, unique ensemble of genetic variation, capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. They (and their subspecies and populations) are generally considered to be the only self-replicating units of genetic diversity that can function independently. • Genes are the working units of heredity; each gene is a segment of the DNA molecule that encodes a single enzyme or structural protein unit. Genetic diversity is the foundation of all biodiversity. Genetic variation permits populations to adapt to changing environments and continue to participate in life's processes. Three primary attributes of biodiversity are composition, structure and function. Composition is the identity and variety of an ecological system. Descriptors of composition are typically lists of the species resident in an area or an ecosystem and measures of composition include species richness and diversity of species. Structure is the physical organization or pattern of a system, from habitat complexity as measured within communities to the pattern of habitats (or patches) and other elements at a landscape scale. • Functions are the result of one or more ecological and evolutionary processes, including predation, gene flow, natural disturbances and mycorrhizal associations as well as abiotic processes such as soil development and hydrological cycles. Examples of functions include predator-prey systems, water purifications and nutrient cycling.

The Value of Biodiversity to humans biodiversity is the foundation of a vast array of ecosystem services essential for human well-being. Ecosystems support all forms of life, moderate climates, filter water and air, conserve soil and nutrients and control pests. Species (animal and plant) provide us with food, building materials, energy and medicines. They also provide vital services such as pollination, waste assimilation, water filtration and distribution of seeds and nutrients. Genetic diversity enables us to breed higher-yield and disease-resistant plants and animals and allows the development or natural evolution of breeds and races that thrive under a variety of environmental conditions. For instance, genetic variability in a species allows adaptation over time to changing climatic conditions. The cultural services that ecosystems provide include recreational, aesthetic and spiritual values that are vital to individual and societal well-being. Key public concerns about human impacts on biodiversity include effects on rates of extinction, future options, productivity of ecosystems, and loss of economic opportunities. Retaining a variety and abundance of individuals and species permits the adaptability that sustains ecosystem productivity in changing environments and promotes further diversity (future adaptability and options), thereby potentially sustaining desirable economic and environmental opportunities and maintaining future options for the benefit of human communities. In addition, many people believe that all life forms have an intrinsic value and that humans have a moral obligation to protect them and ensure that they survive for their own sake apart from their potential value to future human generations.


The earth is perhaps the only planet in the solar system that supports life. The portion of the earth which sustains life is called biosphere. Biosphere is very huge and cannot be studied as a single entity. In nature several communities of organisms live together and interact with each other as well as with their physical environment as an ecological unit. We call it an ecosystem. The term ‘ecosystem' was coined by A.G. Tansley in 1935. An ecosystem is a functional unit of nature encompassing complex interaction between its biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components. An ecosystem can be visualised as a functional unit of nature, where living organisms interact among themselves and also with the surrounding physical environment. Ecosystem varies greatly in size from a small pond to a large forest or a sea. Many ecologists regard the entire biosphere as a global ecosystem, as a composite of all local ecosystems on Earth. Since this system is too much big and complex to be studied at one time, it is convenient to divide it into two basic categories, namely the terrestrial and the aquatic. Forest, grassland and desert are some examples of terrestrial ecosystems; pond, lake, wetland, river and estuary are some examples of aquatic ecosystems. Crop fields and an aquarium may also be considered as man-made ecosystems. We will first look at the structure of the ecosystem, in order to appreciate the input (productivity), transfer of energy (food chain/web, nutrient cycling) and the output (degradation and energy loss). We will also look at the relationships - cycles, chains, webs - that are created as a result of these energy flows within the system and their inter- relationship.

1.5 Functions of the environment/ environmental system

The environmental structural components are interlinked and unified into a holistic concept of the Earth system. In the atmosphere, stress is placed on the structure, physics, and chemistry of this medium and on its circulation patterns. While the hydrosphere is included here to provide a complete overview of the physical environment as a whole, the subject is considered in far greater detail in other themes. Besides covering the hydrological cycle, the hydrosphere includes oceans, freshwater (surface water and groundwater), and the linkages between surface water and groundwater. The cryosphere deals with all forms of ice on Earth. This has an important effect on the global climate, which is also considered in other themes. The lithosphere, deal with the genesis of the zone, the geologic processes occurring there, and the mineral resources it contains. Although the pedosphere is the outer layer of the lithosphere, as a separate entity because of the special circumstances of its genesis and its important role in the functioning of many life-supporting systems (Nikita G.,n.d).

The atmosphere

An atmosphere around Earth is necessary to support life by providing oxygen for breathing and carbon dioxide to plants. Another function is to keep oceans in liquid state. Liquid water can not exist without pressure, so if we take off atmosphere, the water would boil (without getting hot) until all the oceans are frozen (boiling takes away heat) or lost in space. Atmosphere helps to reduce the effects of UV radiation. In space, you get very serious sunburn once you stick your hand out of spacesuit. Mass of all that air above us also helps to keep Earth warm at nights. If Earth had no air, the temperature differences between day and night would be as dramatic as on the Moon. Day +100 centigrade and night -100 centigrade. Our planet wouldn't be very nice place to live. The atmosphere provides, shelter, air, rain, temperature regulation, energy and supports many natural and socio-economic processes.

The Hydrosphere

The major importance of hydrosphere is that water sustains various life forms and plays an important role in ecosystems and regulating atmosphere. Hydrosphere covers all water present on the Earth surface. It involves saltwater, freshwater and frozen water along with groundwater and water in the lower levels of atmosphere.

Water is the most important part of living cells

Every cell in living organism is built up of about 75% of water, hence allows the cell to function appropriately. Cells would not able to carry out normal functions and life cannot exist without water.

Human needs

Humans use water in many ways. Drinking water is the most obvious use, but it is also used for domestic purpose like washing and cleaning, and in industries. Water is also utilized in generating electricity through hydropower.

Water provides habitat

Hydrosphere provides place for many plants and animals to live. Many gasses like CO2, O2, nutrients like ammonium and nitrite (NO2) as well as other ions are dissolved in water. The presence of these substances is essential for life to exist in water.

Regulate Climate

The water's specific heat is its unique characteristics. This indicates that water takes a lot of time to heat up and a lot of time cool down. It helps in regulating temperatures on earth as they stay in a range which is acceptable for life on earth to exist. These are only a few of the functions that water plays on the planet. Many functions relate it to chemistry and methods in which it dissolves substances.

The Lithosphere

Though the destructive activities like earthquakes and volcanoes take place in the Lithosphere, but it also performs many useful functions. Some of the important functions of Lithosphere are Lithosphere supports all the life which exists on earth, whether on land or in oceans. Lithosphere is a large reservoir of useful resources. For example, Lithosphere gives us minerals from which metals are extracted. These metals are then used to make various types of tools, instruments and other such items of daily use. The Lithosphere is also a store­house of fossil fuels. Thus, Lithosphere gives us fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and petroleum. Lithosphere is used to grow crops which produce food for our survival. Lithosphere contains large reservoirs of water like lakes, rivers and oceans which are essential for the existence and survival of life.

The Biosphere - ecosphere is the set of all living organisms, including animals and plants. They are temporary accumulators (like lead) and sources for pollutants (natural forest burning) in a very complex set of relationships with the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. All four spheres can be and often are present in a single location. For example, a piece of soil will contain minerals from the lithosphere. Additionally, there will be elements of the hydrosphere present as moisture within the soil, the biosphere as insects and plants, and even the atmosphere as pockets of air between soil pieces. Therefore, the major functions of biosphere are:

1. Conservation

They contribute to the conservation of landscapes, natural ecosystems, species and genetic variation.

2. Development:

They facilitate and contribute to an economic and human sustainable socio-culturally and ecologically friendly development of our planet.

3. Logistic Support:

They support the research, monitoring, promoting education and information exchange related to local, national and global conservation and development issues.

1.6 A brief history of conservation and environmentalism

Historic Roots of Nature Protection

Environmental science has a long history and concern with the condition of the environment has been expressed at intervals over many centuries. We tend to imagine that urban air pollution is a recent phenomenon, dating mainly from the period of rapid industrialization in Europe and North America that began in the late eighteenth century (Michael A., 2000).Plato complained in the fourth century B.C. that Greece once was blessed with fertile soil and clothed with abundant forests of fine trees, after the trees were cut to build houses and ships, however, heavy rains washed the soil into the sea, leaving only a rocky "skeleton of a body wasted by disease," Springs and rivers dried up, while farming became impossible. Some of the earliest scientific studies of environmental damage were carried out in the eighteenth century by French or British colonial administrators who considered responsible environmental stewardship as an aesthetic and moral priority, as well as an economic necessity. These early conservationists observed and understood the connections between deforestation, soil erosion, and local climate change.

The modern environmental movement emerged during the 1960s, first in the United States and Britain. The publication of Silent Spring in 1962 in the United States and 1963 in Britain provided a powerful stimulus to popular environmental concern and may have marked the origin of the modern movement. This was the book in which Rachel Carson mounted a strong attack on the way agricultural insecticides were being used in North America. The dire consequences of which she warned were essentially ecological: she maintained that the indiscriminate poisoning of insects by non-selective compounds was capable of disrupting food chains, the sequences of animals feeding on one another. The ‘silent spring' of her title referred to the absence of birds, killed by poisons accumulated through feeding on poisoned insects, but the ‘fable' with which the book begins also describes the deaths of farm livestock and humans. The catastrophe was ecological and so the word ‘ecology' acquired a political connotation. A magazine devoted to environmental campaigning, founded in 1970, was (and still is) called The Ecologist.

Although some early societies had negative impacts on their surroundings, others lived in relative harmony with nature. In modern times, however, growing human populations and the power of our technology have heightened concern about what we are doing to our environment. We can divide conservation history and environmental activism into at least four distinct stages: (I) pragmatic resource conservation (2) Moral and aesthetic nature preservation (3) a growing concern about health and ecological damage caused by pollution and (4) global environmental citizenship. These stages aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, however; parts of each persist today in the environmental movement, and one person may embrace them all simultaneously (William P. and Mary A., 2006).

Pragmatic Resource Conservation by Roosevelt and Pinchot

Pinchot can be seen as a proponent of a practical environmentalism in which natural resources are used for the good of society but only if done so on a sustainable basis ensuring the resource is available in perpetuity. This was almost heresy in his time, when the finite nature of resources, whether forests or mineral, was all but ignored. To consider the nation's resources inexhaustible, as many did in those years, was “stupidly false,” Pinchot said. “The conservation of natural resources is the basis, and the only permanent basis, of national success,” he wrote in his 1910 book The Fight for Conservation . Forests should be saved "not because they are beautiful or because they shelter wild creatures of the wilderness, but only to provide homes and jobs for people." Resources should be used "for the greatest good, for the greatest number, for the longest time.The first principle of conservation is development and use of the natural resources now existing on this continent for the benefit of the people who live here now.

Moral and Aesthetic Nature Preservation

John Muir first President of the Sierra Club Nature deserves to exist for its own sake -ro regardless of degree of usefulness to humans (Biocentric Preservation). Emphasizes the fundamental right of other organisms to exist and pursue their own interests Aesthetic and spiritual values formed the core of his philosophy of nature protection. This outlook has been called biocentric preservation because it emphasizes the fundamental right of other organisms to exist and to pursue their own interests. Muir wrote: 'The world, we are told, was made for man. A presumption that is totally unsupported by the facts .Nature's object in making animals and plants might possibly be first of all the happiness of each one of them.

Modern Environmentalism

The modern environmental movement and particularly their academic supporters are not just guilty of manipulating science for political advocacy and promoting bad science and unachievable solutions to exaggerated problems. They are also attempting to change a number of the ideas and principles that have allowed humans to achieve such dramatic progress in living standards in recent centuries, and as a result, in environmental protection in recent decades. The results are two-fold. The first is that it makes it easier for them to try to justify past, present, and potential future doubtful policy goals economically and scientifically. The second is that it corrupts both economics and science in general with unknown but potentially widespread effects in many other areas where the same principles and ideas may need to be applied (Carlin, 2013).

In recent years, however, environmentalists largely in developed countries have increasingly advocated that governments impose major restrictions on the prevailing (free) market economic system more generally, particularly on energy production and use. The main similarities to their earlier efforts is that they continue to try to make these changes through government action and further restrictions on the free market, and that they attempt to use scientific arguments to advance their cause. Their argument is presumably that these changes in the basis for much of Western Civilization are necessary to avoid alleged alarming adverse effects of man's activities on the environment, particularly through climate change. The economic and scientific basis for this has not been made.

Modern environmentalists and particularly their academic supporters are attempting to change a number of economic and scientific ideas and principles fundamental to Western Civilization that have helped humans to achieve much of our dramatic progress in living standards in recent centuries, and, as a result, in environmental protection more recently. In the longer run this may well do more damage than even the wasted investments in inefficient and soon-to-be abandoned solar and wind farms. Even limited application of their ideology on energy would result in decreased consumer choice, economic growth, and living standards. Without an economic and scientific basis, modern environmentalism cannot rationally claim that its proposed climate policies would make the world better off. It is just another ideology trying to pretend that it has a scientific and economic basis; these pretensions lead to many of the problems discussed here. Objective scientific and economic analysis is needed of past and present policy proposals by modern environmentalists to correct errors and avoid future ones.

The tremendous expansion of chemical industries during and after World War II added a new set of concerns to the environmental agenda. Silent Spring, written by Rachel Carson and published in 1962, awakened the public to the threats of pollution and toxic chemicals to humans as well as other species. The movement she engendered might be called modern environmentalism because its concerns extended to include both natural resources and environmental pollution. Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring was a landmark in modern environmental history. She alerted readers to the dangers of indiscriminate pesticide use. Environmentalism has become well established in the public agenda since the first Earth Day in 1970.

1.6.1 Environmental Issues of Global Concern

Among the leaders of the worldwide movement combining environmental protection with social justice have been British economist Barbara Ward and Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. All have been central in major international environmental conventions, such as the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm or the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Every year the WRI, the UNEP, and the WB issue Earth Trends, a comprehensive assessment of current world environmental conditions. The most recent version describes many serious environmental and social challenges. With more than 7 billion humans currently, we're adding about 85 million more to the world every year, project a population between 8 and 10 billion by 2050. The impacts of that many people on our natural resources and ecological systems are a serious concern. Water may well be the most critical resource in the twenty first century. Already at least 1.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and twice that many don't have adequate sanitation. Polluted water contributes to the death of more than 5 million people. The UN projects that by 2025 as many as three-fourths of the total world population could live under similar conditions.

Over the past century, global food production has more than kept pace with human population growth, but there are worries about whether we will be able to maintain this pace. Soil scientists report that about two-thirds of all agricultural lands show signs of degradation. The biotechnology and intensive farming techniques responsible for much of our recent production gains are too expensive for many poor farmers. In a world of food surpluses, currently more than 800 million people are chronically undernourished, and at least 20 million face acute food shortages due to bad weather or politics.

How we obtain and use energy is likely to play a crucial role in our environmental future. Fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) presently provide around 80 percent of the energy used in industrialized countries. Supplies of these fuels are diminishing, however. And problems associated with their acquisition and use-air and water pollution, mining damage, shipping accidents, and geopolitics - may limit what we do with remaining reserves. Cleaner, renewable energy resources-solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass power together with conservation could give us clean, less destructive options if we invest in appropriate technology. Burning fossil fuels, making cement, clearing forests, and other human activities release carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere. Over the past 200 years, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased about 30 percent. Climatologists warn that by 2100, if current trends continue, mean global temperatures will probably warm between 1.5 and 6°C. Global climate change already is affecting a wide variety of biological species. Further warming is likely to cause increasingly severe weather events, including droughts in some areas and floods in others. Biologists report that habitat destruction, overexploitation, pollution, and introduction of exotic organisms are eliminating species at a rate comparable to the great extinction that marked the end of the age of dinosaurs.

Our environment is constantly changing. There is no denying that. However, as our environment changes, so does the need to become increasingly aware of the problems that surround it. With a massive influx of natural disasters, warming and cooling periods, different types of weather patterns and much more, people need to be aware of what types of environmental problems our planet is facing. Global warming has become an undisputed fact about our current livelihoods; our planet is warming up and we are definitely part of the problem. However, this isn't the only environmental problem that we should be concerned about. All across the world, people are facing a wealth of new and challenging environmental problems every day. Some of them are small and only affect a few ecosystems, but others are drastically changing the landscape of what we already know. Our planet is poised at the brink of a severe environmental crisis. Current environmental problems make us vulnerable to disasters and tragedies, now and in the future. We are in a state of planetary emergency, with environmental problems piling up high around us. Unless we address the various issues prudently and seriously we are surely doomed for disaster. Current environmental problems require urgent attention.


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Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience. A Self-Teaching Book for PhD Students
Environmental sustainability and climate change resilience
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Shishay Kiros (Author), 2020, Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience. A Self-Teaching Book for PhD Students, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1040018


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