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Five Environmental Geography

FIVE ENVIRONMENTAL GEOGRAPHY 1

FiveEnvironmental Geography

It is important to understand the interactions between humans andtheir environment in space and time. In the world today, there are alot of geographical events and phenomena taking place. From theclimate change conference currently underway in Paris, to theinvasion of harmful algae in Lake Baikal in Russia, and to the winterstorm that has hit the West of America, among others. With all thesehappenings it is important to watch carefully and study the relevantaspects of the environment, sustainability of the environment andbiodiversity.

The Paris Climate Change Conference

TheParis Agreement, an accord decided upon by close to 200 countries,was made effective from 4th November 2016. Through thisagreement, leaders are bound to maintain the global warming below 2C,as recommended by scientists as the best target for safety (Harvey,2016). It includes minimized carbon emission and aims at eliminatingfossil fuels. If this threshold is surpassed, the climate change willbe hazardous. Many climate change activists and environmentalconservationists together with world leaders commended the step as agreat leap towards a safe earth (Harvey, 2016). However, the CEO ofthe World Coal Association stated “For many countries, coal willcontinue to play a significant role in economic development,industrialization, and urbanization. For the Paris Agreement to berealized, we need to support those countries that are committed tolower coal technology, such as high-efficiency plants. We cannot wishcoal away.”

Thisis a significant achievement in the journey to recovering theclimatic conditions that came before the industries or just gettingcloser. Given the prevailing weather conditions, without thisregulation, global warming was becoming catastrophic by the day. Itis a promise and hopes for a safer and sustainable earth.

TheInvasion and Pollution by Harmful Algae on Lake Baikal

Thislake is the oldest, deepest and has the most volume in the world.Many regard and describe it as the cleanest lake in the world too.But not anymore, the lake’s beaches have been covered in algae(Nuwer, 2016). Scientists have found out that the untreated sewagescause the algal bloom in the towns and villages around the shores ofthe lake (Nuwer, 2016). Dumpsites, fertilizers, and several otherpollutants create a favorable environment for the algae to grow. Thisexcessive growth exhausts the oxygen in the water, stifling theaquatic plants and animals.

Ifthis continues without any changes, the lake will lose its uniquespecies of aquatic creature. This danger is because Lake Baikalboasts of over 3700 species of which half are unique. Better channelsof dumping wastes should be developed and sewages treated before theyare released into the lake. Education of the locals living around thelake on its benefits, and sensitizing them on ways in which they canconserve and save the lake in their capacities will help.

Thehydroelectric dam under construction in Canada

There have been protests in Canada because of the ongoingconstruction of a hydroelectric dam at the Muskrat Falls. The localsare not in worry of the dam but the methylmercury that is developedand accumulated by the dam reservoirs. Often this side effect of damsin Canada is ignored (Austen, 2016). This mercury causes poisoningand health problems as result of eating fish and the other game fromthe river. The provincial authorities negotiated with the protestorsabout the issue and made a promise to help curb the effects ofmercury. The protestors gave in and allowed the construction tocontinue due to the partial flooding that had started occurringbehind the reservoir.

Canada is a country that depends majorly on hydroelectric power forits electricity supply. Unless the authorities find a solution to themercury problem soon, many people are going to be affected. This isbasing on the fact stated earlier about Canada’s dependency onhydroelectric power. The construction is already underway, hence theurge for proper measures in handling the mercury.

LocalImages

Iowa Flood waters spread over Highway 218 on Saturday,September 24, 2016.

Floods

Floods usually occur when the water covers a dry land especially dueto excessive rains or water bodies breaking their banks.Additionally, water in the water bodies escapes its boundariesespecially as a result of rainwater in saturated ground. The specificnames given to floods depend on the type of land that is affected,the cause, and even the water body from which the water overflowsfor example, Riverine flooding, which occurs in all kinds of rivers.

Lightsare out on Highway A1A from the winds of Hurricane Matthew, October7, 2016, on Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Hurricanes

A hurricane is a type of storm called a tropical cyclone. Thisstorm is a rotating low-pressure weather system that has organizedthunderstorms but no fronts. When a storm’s maximum sustained windsreach 74mph, it is called a hurricane.

In conclusion, the terrestrial environments of human beingsrequire maximum conservation and proper utilization. Without which,human species and other living creatures are at a catastrophic risk.However, there are some occurrences that the people cannot controlsuch as hurricanes. The only way to reduce the lives lost during suchtimes is to determine before it happens and evacuations made. Lastly,the interdependence between the environment and living creatures isparamount for sustainability.

References

Austen, I. (2016, November 10). Canada. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/world/canada/clean-energy-dirty-water-canadas-hydroelectric-dams-have-a-mercury-problem.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FWater%20Pollution&ampaction=click&ampcontentCollection=timestopics&ampregion=stream&ampmodule=stream_unit&ampver

Harvey, F. (2016, November 4). Climate Change Paris Climate Change Agreement Enters into Force. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/04/paris-climate-change-agreement-enters-into-force

Nuwer, R. (2016, November 14). Science. Retrieved November 2016, 2016, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/science/lake-baikal-russia-algae.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FWater%20Pollution