Tools for Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes written for faculty Introduction Every good gardener knows that the key to healthy plants is a fertile soil. Plants get water and nutrients from soil and it is the inherent characteristics of the soil in combination with environmental factors that determine soil fertility. Soils are complex and dynamic ecosystems with communities of organisms. Like all ecosystems they have a food web that may include bacteria, fungi, algae, protists, insects, worms, plant roots and burrowing animals.
Half of the world's wetlands were lost last century. Logging and conversion have shrunk the world's forests by as much as half. Some 9 percent of the world's tree species are at risk of extinction; tropical deforestation may exceedsquare kilometers per year. Fishing fleets are 40 percent larger than the ocean can sustain.
Nearly 70 percent of the world's major marine fish stocks are overfished or are being fished at their biological limit. Soil degradation has affected two-thirds of the world's agricultural lands in the last 50 years. Some 30 percent of the world's original forests have been converted to agriculture.
Sincethe global economy has tripled in size and population has grown by 30 percent to 6 billion people. Dams, diversions or canals fragment almost 60 percent of the world's largest rivers. Twenty percent of the world's freshwater fish are extinct, threatened or endangered.
People and Ecosystems, the Fraying Web of Life United Nations Development Programme A pioneering analysis of the world's ecosystems reveals a widespread decline in the condition of the world's ecosystems due to increasing resource demands. The analsysis, by the World Resources Institute WRI warns that if the decline continues it could have devastating implications for human development and the welfare of all species.
The analysis examined coastal, forest, grassland, and freshwater and agricultural ecosystems. The health of the each ecosystem was measured, as based on its ability to produce the goods and services that the world currently relies on. The analysis shows that there are considerable signs that the capacity of Earth's ecosystems to produce many of the goods and services we depend on is rapidly declining.
To make matters worse, as our ecosystems decline, we are also racing against time since scientists lack baseline knowledge needed to properly determine the conditions of such systems. New Analysis of World's Ecosystems Reveals Widespread Decline ENN Will our great- grandchildren inherit a desiccated husk of a once shimmering planet, and curse us for a legacy of droughts, plagues,storms and hardscrabble moonscapes?
The four-fold increase in humans and the advent of the consumer society - have made the end of the millennium a cusp of history.
Affluent consumers in Hong Kong want exotic fish and presto! Poachers in the Philippines destroy vital reefs to meet that demand. Millions of workers in China and Russia are plagued with pollution-related ailments.
We need your help to ask President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to get working on a bold plan to curb ocean acidification. Carbon dioxide pollution is also being absorbed by the ocean, causing its chemistry to change and become more acidic.
This spells trouble for marine animals that are now having difficulty building shells, growing and sometimes even surviving in increasingly corrosive waters. Damian Carrington Seafood is the critical source of protein for more than 2. Official catch data from FAO rarely includes small-scale, sport or illegal fishing and does not count fish discarded at sea.
A more exhaustive study, taking over a decade shows that the annual catches between and were much bigger than thought, but that the decline after the peak year of was much faster than official figures. The new research estimates the peak catch was million tons, but declined at 1. Prof Daniel Pauly, at the University of British Columbia in Canada and who led the work, said the decline is very strong and "is due to countries having fished too much and having exhausted one fishery after another.
While the results necessarily remain uncertain, they undoubtedly represent our most complete picture yet of the global state of fish catches. But afterfew undiscovered fisheries were left and catches started to decline.
The decline since has largely been in fish caught by industrial fleets and to a lesser extent a cut in the number of unwanted fish discarded at sea. On resumption, catches were bigger than ever. We know how to fix this problem but whether we do it or not depends on conditions that are difficult.
Illegal and pirate fishing take place in many parts of the world. We can also see, that in efforts to stem declines, we have been using more and more bycatch that was once thrown away. Jeremy Hance Seabirds have been around for sixty million years, and they are true survivalists: But now seabirds seabird abundance has dropped Edd Hammill with Utah State University and co-author of the paper, noted:The one process ongoing that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats.
Significant Energy E vents in Earth's and Life's History as of Energy Event. Timeframe. Significance. Nuclear fusion begins in the Sun.
c. billion years ago (“bya”) Provides the power for all of Earth's geophysical, geochemical, and ecological systems, with the only exception being radioactivity within Earth.
Decomposition is also important because it is part of the global carbon cycle. The carbon cycle is the cyclical movement of carbon atoms from the atmosphere to the biosphere/lithosphere and back to the atmosphere (Figure 1).
In the atmosphere, carbon is in the form of carbon dioxide gas. The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) will come to a close at the end of this year after three decades of fostering international collaborative research and synthesis on global change.
Global warming: Global warming, the phenomenon of rising average air temperatures near Earth’s surface over the past to years. Earth’s climate has changed over various timescales since the dawn of geologic time, and the force of human activities since the Industrial Revolution has been woven into the fabric of climate change.
For those of you warmists who blame the global temp decline on La Nia here is a chart saying that the La Nia was much stronger then the one we just experienced over the past year.