Community Submitted Links

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Human Activities and Water - our actions can influence water quality and pollution levels, as well as change waterways

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Human Activities and Air - our actions can influence water quality and pollution levels, as well as change waterways

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Climate Change - the US Environmental Protection Agency has created an interactive website to learn about and review climate change

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Activity 1.2: Determining Soil Quality - soil quality and testing is very important in agriculture, gardening, and ecology.
  • Soil Quality - read all about soil quality, from the USDA.
  • Soil Quality - a great resource for exploring and understanding soil quality and soil tests.

Community Submitted Resources

1. Human Impact on the Environment Article Assignment

Using local newspapers find an article that explores how humans are impacting local environments. The article you choose can explore either positive or negative impacts humans have had on the environment. Read the article and provide a one-paragraph report about the article. After the summary you will include another paragraph that describes your thoughts and feeling in relation to your article.

Appropriate Article 0 1
Summary Paragraph 0 1 2 3
Editorial 0 1 2 3
Spelling and Grammar 0 1 2
Class discussion 0 1

C /10

2. Soil Effects

SVN 3E Green Bin Organics Investigation
SOIL is composed of many different things – including small bits of rock, dead leaves and tress, many small animals, bacteria and plants.
Halton Region Waste Management runs a Green Bin Program – household organic waste is collected by garbage trucks and composted to be made into new soil.
There are many advantages to the green bin program including:

Purpose: To determine which materials are best suited to composting in the green bin program.
  1. Make an observation chart as directed by your teacher.
  2. Record the type and appearance of each of the items to be put in the composting bags.
  3. Predict whether each item will break down into new soil in 8 weeks or not. Give a reason for your prediction.
  4. Wearing gloves, place a selection of each type of material in a composting bag.
  5. Bury each bag in a location determined by the class. Make sure to bury the bag at least 10-15 cm below the ground.
  6. Make a map to mark the location of the bags. Use flagging tape or another method to mark the location of each bag.
  7. Wait 6-8 weeks.
  8. Dig up the bags. Wearing gloves, empty the bags and note the appearance of each type of material. In some cases, the material may not be identifiable anymore – it has turned into soil!
  9. Make a list of the materials that totally decomposed, partially decomposed, did not decompose at all.
  10. Compare your list to the predictions you made at the beginning of the investigation. How correct were your predictions?
  11. Is there anything on your list that decomposed well, but is not accepted in the Green Bin Program? Suggest some reasons why.

3. Water Effects

Antarctic's 'full sink' alarms scientists

Southern Ocean so full of carbon dioxide it would speed up global warming

May 18, 2007 Deborah Zabarenko

WASHINGTON–The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is so loaded with carbon dioxide that it can barely absorb any more, so more of the gas will stay in the atmosphere to warm up the planet, scientists reported yesterday.
Human activity is the main culprit, said researcher Corinne Le Quere, who called the finding very alarming.
The Southern Ocean is one of the world's biggest reservoirs of carbon, known as a carbon sink. When carbon is in a sink – whether it's an ocean or a forest, both of which can lock up carbon dioxide – it stays out of the atmosphere and does not contribute to global warming.
The Southern Ocean – the world's fourth-largest, also is known as the Antarctic Ocean or South Polar Ocean – is completely in Earth's southern hemisphere.
The new research, published in the latest edition of the journal Science, indicates that the Southern Ocean has been saturated with carbon dioxide at least since the 1980s.
This is significant because the Southern Ocean accounts for 15 per cent of the global carbon sink, Le Quere said.
"This is the first time that we've been able to say that climate change itself is responsible for the saturation of the Southern Ocean sink," Le Quere said, adding the trend was likely to intensify over time.
Increased winds caused by greenhouse gases and ozone depletion over the last half-century are to blame for the change, Le Quere said. These winds blend the carbon dioxide throughout the Southern Ocean, mixing the naturally occurring carbon that usually stays deep down with the human-caused carbon.
When natural carbon is brought up to the surface by the winds, it is harder for the Southern Ocean to accommodate more human-generated carbon, which comes from factories, coal-fired power plants and petroleum-powered motor vehicle exhaust.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution the world's oceans have absorbed about a quarter of the 500 billion tonnes of carbon emitted into the atmosphere by humans.

4. Acid Rain Article and Worksheet

In the 1970s and '80s, bulletins from the acid rain front were almost invariably bad: dead or dying lakes, forests, fish and birds. Then Canada and the United States signed agreements to cut their air-polluting emissions, and acid rain vanished from the news. But, while some major strides have been made, acid rain and its effects have by no means disappeared.
Acid rain is precipitation carrying sulphur dioxide (SO2), largely from industrial sites, and nitrogen oxide (NO), mainly from vehicles. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is also a contributor, produced by vehicles and industrial emissions.
The good news is that Canada has reached its pollution-control targets under domestic and international accords signed in 1984 and 1990: its sulphur dioxide emissions are down to 2.3 million tonnes a year from 3.8 million in 1980. It is too soon to say how effective controls in the U.S. will be--the target there is a 10-million tonne reduction, from 22 million, by 2010. Many lobby groups in the U.S. are against reducing emissions because they fear it will lose money for business. In all, the amount of acid rain falling on Eastern Canada, originating in both countries, is down 33 percent.
Research that is continuing shows that acid rain and its impacts on environmental health have not disappeared. Some recent bulletins:
    • Of lakes monitored by Environment Canada, 31 percent are becoming less acidic. But 41 percent have not changed and 28 percent are becoming worse.
    • Studies by the CWS have found some improvement in the water quality and fish populations in lakes around Sudbury, ON. However, some aquatic bird populations have not recovered and few species can be found in the area
    • Some species of fish have not recovered from the acidification of lakes in the 1980’s, despite efforts to re-introduce them.
The evidence that acid rain damages trees remains more tenuous than in the case of lakes. Recent laboratory tests show that acid attacks the cuticle, the thin covering that protects conifer needles. With no cuticle, needles age prematurely and fall off, stunting or killing the tree. Monitoring at 150 sample forest plots across Canada has not yet revealed evidence of such damage, but they will soon be inspected for "pre-visible" effects.
New studies are confirming 1980s research that suggested acid pollution damages human health. Canadian agencies have collected data from 24 communities, showing the amount of pollution in the air - 60 % of which are the result of acid emissions. These have been linked to differences in how well children's lungs function. The worst results were at Leamington and Dunnville, both on the Ontario shore of Lake Erie, which receive pollution carried north from industrial areas in the United States.(Reference needed)

Student Handout

Ecology & Chemistry: Acid Rain
  • Read the article “Acid Rain”.
  • Using the information from the article and your notebook, answer the questions.
  • Use the space provided.

1. Complete the following table. (6 marks)
Compound responsible for Acid Rain

Source of Compound

2. State three pieces of evidence presented that indicates that our lakes are being affected by acid rain? (3 marks)

3. Which country produces the greatest amount of acid rain, Canada or the United States with regards to emissions? Why? (3 marks)

4. What can be affected by acid train, other than lakes? (4 marks)

5. Human Effects

Human Effects on Soil Exercise : short exercise asking students to think about soil contamination and clean up

Great WATER Conservation Video (runs like a movie with music)
OR to display as a regular slideshow (on or offline).

Great stuff here - thanks for the uploading of ideas