04.22.2020 - Science - Wednesday - Notes / Reflection
This is today’s LEFT side of our notes. The RIGHT side will be a reflection assignment, described below. The notes are a review. As always, be sure to define any CAPITALIZED terms with which you are unfamiliar. - Thanks -
- The notes and reflection are a bit different today as its Wednesday - usually a briefer day in class - and it’s Earth Day.
- Earth Day had been recognized since 1970. It’s designed to increase awareness of the environmental impacts humans have had on our shared environment, the Earth!
- This year, in class, we’ve witnessed - through out current events - the fires in the Amazon, the bleaching of coral reefs worldwide, our oceans having a greater volume of plastic trash than of photosynthesizing plankton, and other alarming trends in the health of our shared environment.
- Our unit on Yosemite, and the naturalist John Muir, was designed to teach and introduce several concepts:
- We (humans) are part of all the cycles in nature, we don’t stand separate from them. The Sierra Nevada mountains are our “reservoir” of fresh water here in Northern California. As the water cycle brings snow, during the winter, to the mountains to our east; the SPRING and SUMMER brings snowmelt that replenishes our rivers - creating habitat for both land and aquatic animals. The freshwater snowmelt also provides our drinking water - here on the San Francisco peninsula. Finally, the fresh water from the snowpack in the Sierra irrigates the crops upon which we all depend.
- With global temperatures rising, partly in response to the increase in CARBON DIOXIDE emissions from the burning of FOSIL FUELS, California is seeing less snow and less fresh water available for irrigation and other, critical, needs.
- Across the world people rely of fresh water melt from GLACIERS to supply their drinking and irrigation water. Most glaciers are in retreat - they are shrinking - as global temperatures rise.
II. On Earth Day we also pay special attention to BIODIVERSITY.
A. SPECIES have been going extinct at an accelerating rate since the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. The two, main, reasons for species loss are;
1. HABITAT destruction: Once a habitat is gone, like the Amazon rain forest - for example - species that depend upon that habitat also disappear, forever.
2.. INVASIVE species: In California - and here near San Francisco - we gave the example of several invasive species. For example, eucalyptus tress are non-native trees that were introduced to California a little over one hundred years ago. Since then the Eucalyptus trees have displaced several species of pine and oak - that are NATIVE to California - and have been, partly, responsible for the loss in BIODIVERSITY in our state; including birds, insects, small and medium sized MAMMALS, and REPTILES.
III. Assignment: Visiting the Exploratorium site (linked) please visit any three of the virtual exhibit and write a 20-word minimum reflection on the right side of today’s notes. Please be sure to include the name of the virtual exhibit and something you learned from your visit.
A. Exploratorium Link: https://www.exploratorium.edu/learn
B. It’s OK to visit other museum sites as well. Be sure to write the URL of the site you visited.