GE6351 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERINGUNIT IENVIRONMENT

Topics: Biodiversity, Ecosystem, Ecology Pages: 35 (8178 words) Published: December 19, 2014
GE6351 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

UNIT I

ENVIRONMENT, ECOSYSTEMS AND BIODIVERSITY

ENVIRONMENT DEFINITION: It is defined as the sum total of water, air, and the inter-relationship that exists among them and with the human beings, other living organisms and materials. SCOPE: As a subject it has a wide scope. It encompasses a large number of areas and aspects, which may be summarized as follows

1. Natural resources
2. Ecology and biodiversity
3. Environmental pollution and control
4. Social issues in relation to development and environment
5. Human population and environment
Career Options:
1. Research and development in environment
2. Green Advocacy
3. Green marketing
4. Green Media
5. Environmental Consultancy
Importance:
Whatever be the occupation or age of a person, he will be affected by environment and also he will affect the environment by his deeds. To mark some important aspect or issue of environment we internationally observe international calendar

1. World wetland day Feb 2
2. World forest day
March 21
3. Earth day
April 22
4. Ozone week
Sept 16-23
5. Anti-tobacco day
May 31
Global vs local Nature of Environment.
Issues like global warming, Depletion of ozone layer, dwindling forests and energy resources, loss of global biodiversity etc. which are going to affect the mankind as a whole are global in nature and for that we have to think and plan globally.

Some issues have localized importance. E.g. impact of mining or hydro-electric project in an area, problems of disposal, management of solid wastes and river or lake pollution. Individualistic Nature of Environment:

Environmental Studies is very important since it deals with the most mundane problems of life where each individual matters, like dealing with safe and clean drinking water, hygienic living conditions, Clean

and fresh air, fertile land, healthy food and sustainable development. IMPORTANCE OF RISK AND HAZARDS: (Chemical, Physical & Biological Hazards.) Risk is the chance or probability that a person will be harmed or experience an adverse health effect if exposed to a hazard. It may also apply to situations with property or equipment loss. For example: The risk of developing cancer from smoking cigarettes could be expressed as "cigarette smokers are 12 times (for example) more likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers". Another way of reporting risk is "a certain number, "Y", of smokers per 100,000 smokers will likely develop lung cancer" (depending on their age and how many years they have been smoking). These risks are expressed as a probability or likelihood of developing a disease or getting injured, whereas hazards refer to the possible consequences (e.g., lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease from cigarette smoking). Factors that influence the degree of risk include:

1.
2.
3.

how much a person is exposed to a hazardous thing or condition, how the person is exposed (e.g., breathing in a vapour, skin contact), and how severe are the effects under the conditions of exposure.

An environmental hazard is any condition, process or state adversely affecting the environment. Environmental hazard manifest as physical or chemical pollution in air, water and soils. Environmental hazard can cause wide spread harm to humans and the physical environment. Three specific examples are:

1. lead, an element historically used in many products causing neurological problems 2. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, a group of nearly indestructible molecules with cancercausing properties 3. Asbestos, a widely used flame retardant which leads to cancers with long latency periods. TYPES OF HAZARDS:

Chemical hazard: depends on physical, chemical and toxic property of the chemicals. Biological Hazard: bacteria, Virus, insects, plants, birds and animals Physical hazard: Radiation, Magnetic field, pressure extreme (vacuum), noise. CONCEPT OF AN ECOSYSTEM:

ECOSYSTEM:
An ecosystem is a natural unit consisting of...
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