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Ch 12: Impacts of Humans on the Environment

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the different ways human beings and industrialization are affecting and harming the natural world. These easy-to-follow lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

Impact of Humans on the Environment - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The videos in this chapter are designed to show you how agricultural developments, industrialization and pollution are affecting our planet. In particular, you'll find out the IPAT equation can be used to calculate these effects. In case you were wondering, these letters stand for environmental impact (I), number of people (P), the affluence of each person (A) and environmental effects (T).

At the beginning of the chapter, you'll learn how deforestation and other activities are turning once fertile areas into deserts and having a negative impact on biodiversity. The process of eutrophication will be discussed, whereby land runoff into lakes and other sources of water encourages excessive plant growth and causes animals to die. You'll also see how our energy and mineral resources are being depleted on a global level. When you've finished watching the videos and testing your own knowledge of these important issues, you should be able to discuss the following topics:

  • The agricultural and industrial revolutions and their impact on the environment
  • Desertification
  • Greenhouse gases and their environmental effects
  • Industrial ecology
  • Our disappearing natural resources
  • Pollution, including biological, chemical and physical causes and consequences

VideoObjective
What Is IPAT? - Factors of the Human Impact on the Environment Use the IPAT equation to determine how human beings impact the environment.
Deforestation, Desertification and Declining Biological Diversity Discuss the relationship between deforestation and desertification issues and biological diversity.
The Agricultural Revolution: Impacts on the Environment Describe how the agricultural revolution affected the environment.
The Industrial Revolution: Impacts on the Environment Explain how the Industrial Revolution affected the environment.
Industrial Development of Emerging Nations and the Environment Discuss industrial development in emerging nations as well as some of the problems found in urban environments.
What Is Industrial Ecology? - Definition and Examples Define industrial ecology, and provide some examples.
Pollution: Physical, Chemical and Biological Identify and elaborate on the different forms of pollution, including its physical, chemical and biological aspects.
Human Causes of Eutrophication Describe the eutrophication process and its relationship to sewage, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and dissolved oxygen.
Greenhouse Gases and the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect Identify the five main greenhouse gases. Understand what is meant by the enhanced greenhouse effect.
Natural Resources: Minerals and Energy Resources Understand how our mineral and energy resources are being depleted on a global level.

10 Lessons in Chapter 12: Impacts of Humans on the Environment
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Is IPAT? - Factors of the Human Impact on the Environment

1. What Is IPAT? - Factors of the Human Impact on the Environment

What do the letters IPAT have to do with the environment? Learn how this four-letter equation helps explain the environmental impact of different variables, including population, affluence, and technology.

Deforestation, Desertification & Declining Biological Diversity

2. Deforestation, Desertification & Declining Biological Diversity

When trees are lost due to deforestation, the result can be a drier climate and desertification or the transformation of the once fertile land to desert. Learn how deforestation and desertification can lead to a decline in biological diversity.

The Agricultural Revolution: Impacts on the Environment

3. The Agricultural Revolution: Impacts on the Environment

The Agricultural Revolution was a time of agricultural development that saw many inventions and advancements in farming techniques. Learn about the Agricultural Revolution and how this period impacted society and the environment.

The Industrial Revolution: Impacts on the Environment

4. The Industrial Revolution: Impacts on the Environment

The Industrial Revolution was marked by the introduction of power-driven machinery and ushered in a time of strong economic development. Learn how advancements made during the Industrial Revolution impacted the environment.

Industrial Development of Emerging Nations and the Environment

5. Industrial Development of Emerging Nations and the Environment

Industrial development has brought economic prosperity to a number of less developed countries. Learn about the environmental challenges and risks associated with these newly emerging national economies.

What Is Industrial Ecology? - Definition and Examples

6. What Is Industrial Ecology? - Definition and Examples

Industrial ecology is a young science that studies industrial systems with the goal of finding ways to lessen their environmental impact. Learn how industries are using industrial ecology to reduce the use of natural resources and generate less waste.

Pollution: Physical, Chemical & Biological

7. Pollution: Physical, Chemical & Biological

Pollution is the presence of unwanted substances in an environment. It is often the result of human interference. Learn about physical, chemical and biological pollutants and see examples of each.

Human Causes of Eutrophication

8. Human Causes of Eutrophication

Eutrophication occurs when a body of water becomes overly enriched with nutrients. While this can happen naturally, accelerated eutrophication is typically the result of human activities. Learn about the human causes of eutrophication.

Extraction and Processing of Minerals & the Environmental Impacts of Mineral Use

9. Extraction and Processing of Minerals & the Environmental Impacts of Mineral Use

In this lesson, you will learn about the different methods used to extract minerals from the ground and gain an understanding about how different types of mining affect the environment.

Global Mineral Reserves: Sustainability, Economic Implications, and Environmental Effects

10. Global Mineral Reserves: Sustainability, Economic Implications, and Environmental Effects

Minerals are vital components of our everyday lives, but each mineral only exists in a finite amount on Earth. How do we find a balance between supporting economies while also protecting the environment and ensuring the use of minerals for future generations?

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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