Introductory Homework Task
Produce an A4 page report to address the assignment question. Use in-text citations for at least 3 references you have consulted.

Consider your writing based on the ESS Interim Criteria (found in our Criteria link), Critical Thinking aspect

Population Dynamics

Review Hans Rosling's animated depiction of the world's population and relationship to health & wealth (the video is in our EE link)

Reading: Pearson p83-84 - Exponential Growth in Human Populations

See SharePoint -> Year 11 Resources -> Diploma Programme -> Group 4 -> ESS -> Population Change - animated interactive


3.1.2 Calculating Doubling Time Activity

3.1.3 Age/Sex Pyramids Activity


Related to the above PowerPoint:

Population Growth Tutorial & Simulation

And the related Tutorial & Simulation on Predicting Population Size when growth is exponential and there is no limit to resources


Simulation Activity: Habitable Planet - Demographics Lab Interactive (download the data table to record your work)
The data which was used to model the future trends for population in the countries shown in the
Habitable Planet - Demographics Lab Interactive (ie, the predicted line on the graphs supplied) was based on the information gathered by the Population Reference Bureau`s 2006 World Data Sheet (provided below)


Page 92 of Pearson, facts pertinent for Q4;
The Great Chinese famine – 1958-1961
One child policy introduced – 1978 (first child 1979)

Natural Capital & Sustainability


Biodiversity Economics


A big thank you to Olivia for creating this table for everybody :-)
Living species and ecosystems which can be replaced by natural production as fast as they are used.
Non-living resources which are continuously restored by natural processes as fast as they are used up.
Natural resources which cannot be replenished within a timescale of the same order as that at which they are taken from the environment.
They have sustainable yield or harvest equal to or less than natural productivity so the natural capital is not diminished.
The provide sustainable natural income as the natural capital is not diminished and they depend on abiotic processes for their replenishment.
Any use of these resources results depletion of the stock. i.e. fossil fuels and minerals.
They can be reused and 'will' always be there for human benefits.
Will always be there, cannot be reused but restores itself.
Will eventually run out in the future if humans don't lower demand.
e.g. crops, cattle, biomass, timber...
e.g. rivers, ozone layer, solar, wind...
e.g. fossil fuel oil, natural gas, coal...

Video on sustainable timber use -

The dynamic nature of a resource

A transition to a world without oil

GNP = Gross National Product
GDP = Gross Domestic Product
HDI = Human Development Index
GEM = Gender Empowerment Measure
The Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) is a measure of inequalities between men's and women's opportunities in a country. It combines inequalities in three areas: political participation and decision making, economic participation and decision making, and power over economic resources. It is one of the five indicators used by the United Nations Development Programme in its annual Human Development Report. (wikipedia)

HPI = Human Poverty Index
GDI = Gender-related Development Index


Hans Rosling - The magic washing machine

TED Ed - Re-thinking progress: A circular Economy

And now... for our budding psychologists...!
Is this really the crux of, not only this whole topic, but of EVERY environmental issue!?

Tragedy of the Commons: ESS meets Social Psychological Theory - a great resource, thanks Olivia

The original article which started this thinking... by Garrett Hardin, 1968
PDF version -

Believe it or not - a wikipedia link for this one:

And a recent, possibly peripheral, Professor who has something to offer as to a perspective and strategies for Averting the Tragedy of the Commons..?


Sustainability - The Bundtland Report vs the ideas presented by Hawkens

The Lorax

Read it first! Dr. Seuss`s children`s storybook... The Lorax

Tim Jackson's economic reality check

Global Canopy -> Proactive investment in Natural Capital


Mrs Sasaki's class;
Login to ESS Discussion Board on Moodle - using your Moodle login (it's the same as your AIS intranet login)
And follow the Brundtland report activity :-)

A different type of education?

The Green School, Bali

Ecological Limits Thinking: The Interconnectedness of Carrying Capacity, Resources and Ecological Footprint... from a sustainable business perspective

Sustainable Yield

A super trawler???
Margiris but now renamed the Abel Tasman??

Update, Sept 11 2012

Greenpeace update, Sept 11 2012

Update, Sept 19 2012

Update, Oct 15 2012

Mrs Sasaki's class;
Activity on our Moodle wiki - The supertrawler and conservation organisations

Thanks again Mr G!

An example of Greenwashing - Orange Roughy

A detailed study of Orange Roughy

Sustainable yield... something to think about...

Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) is one type of Sustainable Harvesting model, all of which have limitations.

Other such models are Maximum Annual Yield (MAY), the Optimum Sustainable Yield (OSY) and the Annual Sustainable Yield (ASY):
In population ecology and economics, optimum sustainable yield (OSY) is the level of effort (LOE) that maximizes the difference between total revenue and total cost. Or, where marginal revenue equals marginal cost. This level of effort maximizes the economic profit, or rent, of the resource being utilized. It usually corresponds to an effort level lower than that of maximum sustainable yield.
In environmental science, optimum sustainable yield is the largest economical yield of a renewable resource achievable over a long time period without decreasing the ability of the population or its environment to support the continuation of this level of yield.
Most fisheries scientists now interpret MSY in a more dynamic sense as the maximum average yield (MAY) obtained by applying a specific harvesting strategy to a fluctuating resource.
Annual Sustainable Yield (ASY) is defined as biomass that can be harvested from a fish population each year without resulting in a decline. ASY is dynamic and is adjusted based on population levels and performance of previous years fisheries.
(And... there are others!)
These excerpts were taken from: (read through the limitations of MSY on this wikipedia page)

Orange Roughy

Read more about the threats to and conservation strategies for the Orange Roughy, here:
and here...

In relation to carrying capacity (K), sustainable yield (SY) will naturally fall
Refer to this website for further information and a worked example of MSY using a different formula... though it essentially results in the same information.

Basically, the calculation in Fig 1 shows that whatever the biomass has increased to at time t+1, if we subtract the original stock biomass at time t, then the surplus (MSY) is derived.


Video: How the Earth Made Us (Prof. Iain Stewart, BBC) - Fire episode

"The real solution to the energy crisis is not simply alternative energy: huge forests of
wind mills, solar panels on every roof top, and hydrogen cells in every basement. The
real solution certainly includes alternative energy, but can better be summed up as a
“whole systems solution.” We need a whole-new-systems-approach to economics,
politics, culture, values, science, and yes, energy".
Source: The end of Fossil Fuels: Crisis and Opportunity

Discovery Education video - Powering the Future: The Energy Planet

Teaching Point PowerPoint - 3.2

Google Doc - Collaborative task for 3.3.3 (assess the Google doc to complete this)

Here's a copy of the task that is on Google docs.

Habitable Planet - Energy Interactive

Algae for biofuels


The Textural Triangle

Reading the triangle animation

Determining the percentage of 3rd particle type

Soil Analysis - Field & Lab Work using data loggers

Colorimetry with the Vernier Ti84

Soil Overview

Go to SharePoint ESS -> Teaching Point Resources, to access the PowerPoints

How to read a soil texture chart -


Soil infiltration & water absorption tests

(Infiltration test worked well, need durable PVC pipe instead of using a can... water absorption test, find another method)

Soil texture, porosity, invertebrates, organic tests

Gizmo: Porosity of Soil - DCP Task

Plating microbes/fungi
How to make agar plates -
How to pour agar plates -

Soil Investigations - OCC PSOW (% moisture, % organic matter)

VSA - Visual Soil Assessment - on SharePoint
(page 3, Table 1 - How to score soil texture)

Soil Lab Studies link (good experiments here, for porosity & ability of the soil to retain pollutants etc)

More soil tests (eg. good for knowing how to test for lead in soil)


Soil ecology

Fungal ecology

Soil biology and management

Singapore soil types

Soil structure - in depth

Toxic fertiliser?

Earthworms and crop management

Fertiliser and why plants need it


Eluvium - The process of removal of materials from geological or soil horizons is called eluviation or leaching.
In soil science, eluviation is the transport of soil material from upper layers of soil to lower levels by downward precipitation of water across soil horizons.

Alluvium - From the Latin, alluvius, from alluere, "to wash against" is loose, unconsolidated (not cemented together into a solid rock, soil or sediments, which has been eroded, reshaped by water in some form, and redeposited in a non-marine setting.

Illuvium - It is a water-assisted transport in a basically vertical direction. It is material displaced across a soil profile, from one layer to another one, by the action of rainwater.
(a link to images, overviews and to Mr G`s soil section and slides)
...more on the Sahel

Salinization - an excellent explanation with diagrams

Western Australia - salinisation


Machu Pichu - Incan Terracing

An Internet tool for designing terracing

Agricultural Urban Terracing... the way of the future?


Source of diagrams above:

The Case Study:

The corresponding worksheet:

3.5 FOOD REOURCES - Assessment Task

DVD - Our Daily Bread (confronting!)
Watch while working on...

Now watch these TED Talks regarding Food
Institute for the Future - Global Food Outlook




Mr G`s Earth`s Water Budget information

Definition of an aquifer

Growing crops on the Great Plains in the USA - information, diagrams and simulation indicating relationship between use of wells, aquifers and water usage

Mission 2014: Feeding the world - water & irrigation





Limits to Growth Model

Pearson - p152-153

Club of Rome (1972)
"The Club of Rome is an international Think Tank which addressed the public first in 1972 with the provoking report **"Limits to Growth"** (the result of the Limits to Growth study) by Donnella Meadows, Dennis Meadows and Jorgen Randers. For the first time, computer based models were used to describe sustainable and disastrous scenarios. The report started an intensive discussion about the future of humankind."

Examined 5 basic factors that determine and limit growth on Earth:
- population
- natural resources
- pollution
- agricultural production
- industrial production

"The Limits to Growth model was based on the assumption of exponential growth. Exponential growth increases surprisingly rapidly compared with linear growth.

Arithmetic or Linear versus Exponential Growth
An example of arithmetic growth is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on. Exponential growth means a quantity increases by doubling: 2, 4, 8,16, 32, and so on.

A Riddle

A French riddle for children illustrates another aspect of exponential growth and the apparent suddenness with which it approaches a fixed limit;

Suppose you own a pond on which a water lily is growing.
The lily plant doubles in size each day.
If the lily were allowed to grow unchecked, it would completely cover the pond in 30 days, choking off the other forms of life in the water.
For a long time the lily plant seems small, and so you decide not to worry about cutting it back until it covers half the pond.
On what day will that be?

On the twenty-ninth day, of course.
You have one day to save your pond!"


They considered these necessities:
- physical (food, raw materials, fuels, etc)
- social (peace, stability, education, etc)

Assuming no great change in human values, the original limits-to-growth model, aka "business as usual" graph, is obtained (fig. 3.51)


Read the information under fig. 3.51 for explanation

Q: What are the criticisms (ie, limitations) of the model above?

Q: How does the alternative sustainable model differ? (fig. 3.52)


Source: Limits to Growth presentation RIVM - 33 Years Later (2005) - Dennis Meadows, slide #8

Q: How does the above graph compare with the information presented in fig. 3.52 of Pearson?


Carrying Capacity & Population Ceiling
Refer to Pearson p154, fig. 3.53 - Models 1,2 and 3...
Q: How do they differ?
Q: Which is more likely for the human population?

Optimum, Over & Under Population, Malthus`s view
Refer to Pearson p154-156
Define these terms, giving examples and causes.

  • Lack of food is ultimately argued to be the real ceiling to population saturation?

Q: Why is it difficult to reliably estimate the carrying capacity for human populations?

More on Malthus - positive and preventative checks

Boserup: A technocentric view?
Pearson p156-157
Discuss the possibility of food production being increased.

The 3 R`s: Reduce, Re-use & Recycle...
and one S: Substitute

Q: What might ultimately determine human carrying capacity?

Task: Create a concept map

Using all of the key terms from this section...
What shall we place as the central concept of the concept map?


Ecological Footprint

A model for monitoring environmental impact - Highlighting sustainable and unsustainable lifestyles, from a personal, local, national and global perspective
Go to:
Click on the Footprint Basics tab, select Personal Footprint... and calculate your personal footprint

Take a look at the similarities/differences in the information asked of you on this website

A complex set of calculations have likely been incorporated in both of the calculations above...
The calculation of Ecological Footprint is often simplified - the approximation being achieved by considering carbon dioxide emissions and food production

Pearson - p160-163

  • Follow the example calculations given.



Q: Why is the footprint of MEDC's higher than that of LEDC's?


Ecological Footprint and Economic Freedom

Complete worksheet 3.8.3

3.8.4 Millenium Development Goals

Pearson - pre-reading -> class discussion



We discussed pronatalist and antinatalist policies and gave examples of countries employing such policies

Here`s information focussed on France`s pronatalist policy aimed at increasing total fertility rate (number of children per woman)

View more presentations from HNurton

We discussed the relationship between urbanisation and the demographic transition model

And... the Millenium Development Goals

Learn more about the Millennium Development Goals

Learn more about the progress of any country in achieving the Millennium Development Goals

See interactive maps for the Millennium Development Goals


Millenium Ecosystem Assessment