**      *
* *
      Case Studies
Exam Wednesday 5/5,
   Here, 10 a.m.
 Study Guide will be on Olson’s
       Sit in your section
        Bring #2 pencil
   No communication devices
  Outline of lecture
A. Preliminaries
B. Case Studies
  i.     Cuyahoga River
  ii.    Aral Sea
  iii.   Groundwater in arid regions
  iv.    Acid Rain
  v.     Photochemical Smog
  vi.    Peak Oil
       Current World
    You don’t have to
      be a wacko...
          …Or even a Democrat

To be concerned about the environment!

You should be
 interested in
 Pardon my 2 minute
intrusion, but IMNSHO
   Energy is the big issue…
 More particularly it’s POWER
POWER = RATE of energy usage
Global Power Usage (TW)   – 87% Fossil
Economic Energy Efficiency
              The U.S.
Consumes   3.4 TW
  – about 22% of global Power
Has 21% of economic productivity
And 5% of the population
To get to U.S. standards…
To get to U.S. standards
Since  Productivity ~ Power consumption
To get rest of world to U.S. level would
 require 60 TW power consumption
Even at a German/British/Japanese level
 of power, we’re talking 30 TW
Which is twice the current consumption
Is this possible???
Is this Possible?
In view of the fact that 87%
of global power comes from
    fossil (carbon) fuels?
There’s a lot of work to
       be done
    And there are no simple
Back to the lecture
    What’s a
   resource ?
Anything obtained from the
environment to meet human
    needs and/or wants
Minerals and Petroleum
Resources  that can be exhausted on a
 human time scale
Fossil fuels
  –Oil, natural gas, coal
Nuclear    Fission fuel
 –Uranium ore
Metals (if not recycled)
Resources   are
 inexhaustible on a
 human time scale
Not many examples:
 Solar energy, wind,
 geothermal, salt water,
 silicate rocks
Others resources are…
   Potentially Renewable
They   can be
 if properly managed
 – for example,
Fresh water, clean
 air, trees, soil, metals
The Rate of Use or Manner of Use
    of Potentially Renewable
    Resources Can be either

       Sustainable OR
        This Lecture ...
Will focus on three of the most fundamental
 material resources
Fossil Fuels (Petroleum in particular)
The first two are potentially renewable
 – Or better: potentially inexhaustible
Problem with air

  Is quality (pollution)
Problems with
water include
Both quality and quantity
Problems with
 Fossil Fuels
Are quantity (non-renewable –
    “Peaking”) and quality
(Pollution and Climate Change
Good News & Bad News
Bad                         Good
Water  tends to stay        Hydrologic   Cycle
 in “compartments”            continually
 where it can be              recycles Earth’s
 depleted and                 water
 Distributional   problem
     Distribution of H2O
Oceans  (salt water) - over 97%
Glaciers (ice) - almost 2%
Of the remainder (available to humans):
Lakes and streams - a little over 1%
Groundwater - over 98% of fresh water
  – Very liable to be polluted and depleted
The Cost of Pollution
  Internal vs. External Costs
Most Costs are Internal
Which are easily accounted for on the
 General Ledger:
 – Raw materials
 – Labor
 – Infrastructure
 – Fuel
 – Taxes
   Environmental Costs
    are mostly External
What’s   the cost (and to whom?) of the
exhaust from your car?
What’s the (environmental) cost of
developing a piece of land?
Usually very difficult for standard
accounting, but can be roughly estimated
Catskill Watershed and
the NYC Water Supply
   Protect the
watershed from
development or
 desalinate the
Atlantic at a cost
of 6 billion $ per
Cuyahoga River, Ohio
    The Solution to
           Is Dilution???
        No, Only to a point…
Proximal cognition, Bystander effect, Status Quo bias
Cuyahoga River Caught Fire
  June 1969
      Clean Water Acts
Of 1972 and 1977
Goal: Make all of U.S. surface waters
 safe for fishing and swimming by 1983
Progress has been made, but goal not met
  Stream Recovery
Fact: If they are not overloaded,
Flowing waters (streams) recover
 rapidly from certain forms of
By dilution, aeration, and
 bacterial decay
Cuyahoga today
 Much cleaner, especially
 upstream from Cleveland
Nashua River, MA
Aral Sea, Central Asia
  Former U.S.S.R.
           Principle of
    Resulting from poor planning
Proximal cognition, Status Quo bias, Cognitive dissonance,
                     Confirmation bias

Central   Asia
 Aral Sea Before 1960
Was  once the world’s fourth largest
 fresh water lake (now it’s the 10 largest inland water body)

A five-year-plan of communist
 leadership called for agricultural
 development of area
Starting in late 1950s, its two feeder
 rivers diverted for irrigation (mainly to
 grow cotton)
What’s Wrong with this Picture?
     Aral Sea Results
Surface  area
 shrunk by 60%
Volume decreased
 by 75%
Split into two
 pieces --->
        Aral Sea Results
It’snow a salt lake - all fish have died,
 half of bird and mammal species gone
Dry lake bottom contains salts and
 pesticides which blow around by winds
 => salt & dust storms
  Recovery of Aral Sea?
Dam   built on Small Aral Sea in 1990s to
 help restore water
Only limited success so far
Hard to reverse environmental damage...
Groundwater depletion in
     Dry Climates
U.S. Southwest and High Plains
   Overdrawing a Natural
    Resource “Checking
  Spending more than you make has consequences…

Status Quo bias, the Affect heuristic, Bystander effect, Cognitive dissonance
Pumping and Recharge of
      an Aquifer
Over-pumping drops water table
    Pumping rate exceeds recharge
 “Mining” Water
Pumping water from an aquifer
  faster than it is recharged is
analogous to mining of a non-
 renewable resource (like oil!)
            Two Examples
Urban  – Phoenix, AZ
Rural – Ogallala Aquifer
  – “High Plains” region of near west
           Phoenix, AZ
Population has grown from 110,000 in
 1960 to 4,200,000 in 2008
Arid climate
  – Average annual rainfall = 8 inches
   Phoenix water usage
Lots  of swimming
 pools, golf courses,
Water supply is
 mainly from
Is this sustainable?
 Depletion of Soil Water

Nearly 500 foot drop in water table in the
 Santa Cruz basin
Another SW Example
   Borrego Springs, CA
     Near San Diego
       Ogallala Aquifer
As  much water as
 Lake Huron
Formed from
 sediments and run-
 off from the Rockies
 over 10 Ma
No longer recharged
 by Rockies run-off
 This is a semi-arid region
 with abundant agriculture
Rich soil, but it needs to be irrigated
94% of the water from the Ogallala is
 used for agriculture
Region provides 20% of U.S.’s
 agricultural productivity
  – But it’s completely dependent on irrigation
    Overdrawing the Account
Recharge   from rainfall
 averages 1 inch per
Drawdown averages
 200 inches per year
Average thickness of
 aquifer is 200 feet
Do the math!
  – Obviously not
 Wasteful Irrigation Practices
 Center-Pivot   Irrigation
  – Lots of evaporation loss
 Are   being replaced by more conservative practices
 Wasteful Irrigation Practices
Like by
 flooding 
Need to end
Conservation Practices so
      far can only
Slow  the rate of
Not make this a
                   Acid Rain
       Eastern U.S. and Canada
     Who has the
To regulate conflicting interests?
   Proximal cognition, bystander effect
Coal burning releases
   sulfur dioxide
Regions with lots of
  SO2 emissions
           Acid Rain
Results when sulfur and nitrogen
 oxides mix with water in clouds
Recall: At our latitudes, prevailing
 winds blow from west to east
So, where do you think this rain
Regions affected by Acid Rain
How Acid is Acid Rain?
   Results of Acid Rain
       include ...
Dead  trees,
 especially conifers
Dead fish and
 other aquatic life
  – About 6% of
    Adirondack lakes
    are fishless ---->
Damage    to
 buildings, statues
 and car finishes
 buildings in
 Ottawa ===>
      A little bit about
Bearing   in mind the Acid Rain
Should (at least) air pollution
 regulation occur at the state or
 federal level ?
   Los Angeles, CA
  Photochemical smog
 Cars, Geography,
and High Population
         You can’t have it all!
 Status Quo bias, Affect heuristic, Bystander effect, Confirmation bias

Clear day ===>
Note the brown haze
 of photochemical
 smog ====>
Unfortunate Conditions
Hot, sunny weather PLUS
Automobile exhaust YIELDS
Photochemical Smog
 A noxious mixture that includes ozone -
 the “bad” kind                      O3
Made worse sometimes by weather
 condition called a thermal inversion
    Thermal Inversion

Cooler         Cool
Cool        Warm inversion layer

Warm          Cool

  NORMAL             THERMAL
On a clear day ...

Downtown L.A. - Civic Center
  During a high level
 thermal inversion ...

Pollution is trapped, bad air can’t rise
 During a low level
thermal inversion ...

 Pollution trapped near surface
Main cultural culprit is the

  Internal combustion engine
         (Gasoline and diesel)
  Peak Oil
    What is it?
How does it affect us?
There’s always more
      … Isn’t there?
    Conservation Psychology
      Dr. Seely, April 14
           What is Oil?
 Also know as crude oil or Petroleum, “rock oil”
 It’s a type of fossil fuel
 A non-renewable resource
 – Renewable, Potentially Renewable, Non-Renewable
 – Oil is non-renewable
Natural  resources have reserves – that is
 the amount that is available for extraction
 with current technology at a profit
For oil, profit also means both a monetary
 profit and an energy “profit”
    Economic issues are
    involved in reserves
Two  types of ROI (Return On
 – Monetary ROI (do you make a profit?)
 – EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested)
   Oilaverages about 5 to 1 right now
   Corn alcohol is about 1.6 to 1
  Discovery of a
Definition is pretty obvious
Discovery of a resource
Requires investment in exploration
Unless you’re Jed Clampett
Amount   of resource extracted from Earth, per
 day or per year
  – Oil is measured in barrels (bbl)
       1 bbl = 42 gallons

Global  oil production was 84.2 million bbl per
 day in 2009, 84.9 in 2008, 84.4 in 2007
  – 76 million in 2000
  – 65.5 million in 1990
  – 63 million in 1980
How Oil Forms
                How oil forms                *

Dead  plankton accumulate on the ocean
 floor during times when the oceanic
 circulation stops and the bottom of the
 ocean goes anoxic
Thousands of feet of this material
Then it is buried by other sediments

* From a Web forum posting by Glenn Morton
         How oil forms
As  the sediment is buried deeper, the
 temperature rises “cooking” the organic
 rich shales, like the oil shales in the
 This cooking releases oil from the rock
         How oil forms
Pressure  fractures the source rock
 allowing the oil to float up because oil is
 less dense than water
The oil will float up until it hits a place
 where some impermeable upper rock
 layer or “cap” won't let it pass – the
 overall structure is called a “trap”.
Geology of a typical oil deposit
      M. King Hubbert
He was a geophysicist who in the 1950s
Predicted an absolute maximum or
 “peak” in oil production around 2004-
 2008 – often referred to as “Hubbert’s
Here’s his model:
Hubbert’s Production Peak
     “Peak Oil”
   Occurs when the demand
(consumption) for oil equals or
   exceeds peak production
                  Oily Facts
Global oil consumption was 84.0 million
 barrels per day in 2009
  – 20 million bbl/day in 1960
  – 60 mbbl/day in 1980
  – 85.8 mbbl/day in 2007

At 2000-07 rate of increase, would be
 120 million in 2020
So far, production has been able to
 meet demand – can this continue???
   Global Oil Production
Will eventually reach a maximum
At which time, demand for oil will equal
 production rate (= Peak Oil)
The result?
Very high prices, and even more
 Ultimately   this will lead to economic recession
 The four most productive oil fields
Al Ghawar, Saudi Arabia: 4.5 million
 barrels/day (5% global total)
Cantarell, Mexico: 2.1 million (2%)
Burgan, Kuwait: 1 million (1%)

Da   Qing, China: 1 million (1%)
Only   one of these was discovered after
 1960   --- Cantarell in 1976
   New Oil exploration?
The  annual exploration cost for the 10
 companies as a group exceeded the estimated
 value of annual new discoveries made in both
 2001 and 2002 – a reversal from previous
In spite of high prices, “Big Oil” companies
 have cut their exploration budgets
  – This would be bizarre from a pure business
    standpoint, UNLESS they thought there was little
    chance of finding large deposits
 Oil found by exploration
drill bit (billions of barrels)
 1997 4.5
 1998 5.8
 1999 9.5
 2000 13.05
 2001 4.02
 2002 3.34
 2005 4.5
Bear in mind that we consume (demand) over
 30 billion per year!
Discovery Trends
Is ANWR the solution?
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Has  been a political football for over a
Should its oil supply be exploited or not?
Environmental damage vs. U.S oil
 independence… Environmentalists vs.
 the Economy… – Ye Olde “Warfare”
  ANWR’s Reserve Estimates
Low      estimate: 4.3 billion barrels (95%

High     estimate: 11.8 billion barrels (5%

The high estimate is a bit more than the
 U.S. consumes in one year!
Well, it’s nice that it’s there, but it
 doesn’t seem to be a long-term solution
 to U.S. energy independence
Peak Oil Analogy
  Production Rate and
  Inheriting a Fortune
Suppose  you were given a billion dollars in
 special bank account, but…
Could withdraw only $100 a day indefinitely
Would you still be a billionaire?
Analogous to oil --- maybe a trillion barrels of
 molecules left in ground (resource), but…
There’s a maximum rate that it can be
 withdrawn (produced)
What about the last years?
Global  economic recession
Leads to lower demand
Oil demand is (temporarily) below Peak
Won’t last long!
And when demand returns, the situation
 will likely be worse
      Epilogue – page 1
The oil crisis and AGW have a similar
solution: replacing carbon fuels with
potentially renewable energy resources
Even if you are skeptical about AGW, many of the
solutions in any sensible scheme are shared with
reducing use of oil/energy and with reducing
pollution in cities.
         Epilogue – page 2
This solution will entail some compromises,
including personal energy conservation and
even (~shudder~) nuclear fission – which is
the only energy source that can replace the
sheer amount of energy of oil in the short term
           Epilogue – page 3
Ultimately, we need to mimic the way the Sun makes
its energy - Hydrogen fusion
At the present there is no technology to do this, and
maybe there will never be
  –And Hydrogen bombs don’t count, remember Core 5
   World Population

How many people have been added during this lecture?

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