Complete the tasks listed below:

Think about the ways that humans have affected the natural ecological systems and consider the following questions:

  1. What human activities move chemical materials from the Earth’s crust and release them into the biosphere?
  2. What chemicals are involved?
  3. What volumes of material are involved?
  4. How do they end up in the biosphere and what is the effect of releasing them into natural systems?
  5. How are these materials returned to the Earth’s crust to retain the biosphere’s balanced chemical composition?
  6. What new chemical materials have humans developed and released into the biosphere?
  7. What examples can you think of?
  8. Where are these chemicals used?
  9. What happens to them after they have been used?
  10. How are these synthetic chemicals broken down into substances that nature can process?
  11. Other than the movement of chemicals, how have humans physically affected natural systems like forests, wetlands, oceans, rivers and soils?
  12. What ecosystem functions have been affected?
  13. What impacts might this have on the biosphere and what might it mean for us?
  14. What reliance does our economy and society have on the activities you’ve identified above?
  15. What are the implications of this?