Complete the tasks listed below:
Think about the ways that humans have affected the natural ecological systems and consider the following questions:
- What human activities move chemical materials from the Earth’s crust and release them into the biosphere?
- What chemicals are involved?
- What volumes of material are involved?
- How do they end up in the biosphere and what is the effect of releasing them into natural systems?
- How are these materials returned to the Earth’s crust to retain the biosphere’s balanced chemical composition?
- What new chemical materials have humans developed and released into the biosphere?
- What examples can you think of?
- Where are these chemicals used?
- What happens to them after they have been used?
- How are these synthetic chemicals broken down into substances that nature can process?
- Other than the movement of chemicals, how have humans physically affected natural systems like forests, wetlands, oceans, rivers and soils?
- What ecosystem functions have been affected?
- What impacts might this have on the biosphere and what might it mean for us?
- What reliance does our economy and society have on the activities you’ve identified above?
- What are the implications of this?