This presentation is a courtesy of            The Wecskaop Project                                  It is entirely free fo...
Part OneCarrying Capacity
How many individuals can a   particular ecosystem [or  planet] indefinitely support  over a long period of time while cont...
How many individuals can a                                                particular ecosystem [or                        ...
Since ecosystems are finite in                                                                                      So wis...
Since ecosystems are finite intheir size and resources, each has an upper limit to the population     that it can support ...
What happens if we destroy them or diminish their numbers or weaken their ability to function?                            ...
Other ecological services include, for instance,   Pollination of vastpercentages of flowering                            ...
Environmental carrying capacities need not necessarily involve foodand water, but can also reflect critical limits to the ...
Imagine an elevator, for example, that   can safely accommodate 18 passengers and yet83 or 247 or 1058 passengers begin to...
Notice that this is quite different than Malthus’s assessments involving food;        So that the science and understandin...
A similar unsettling scenario can be    envisioned if one imagines     an aircraft of finite size, only to notice that a l...
It is thus important to appreciate that        carrying capacity in  biological and biospheric systems    is commonly far ...
Thus, more and more persons endlessly boarding an      elevator or aircraft or vehicle or planet           of finite capac...
A behavior that invitestransgressions of at least one or more  and/or
Thousands of examples of thresholds, limits, andtipping points (both known and unknown) exist in    real-world natural and...
Real-world thresholds    As two quick examples ofthresholds in real-world systems:     One instance in a biological system...
All three classical examples experienced 99%-plus die-offs and collapse at a time when the combined bodies or cells of eac...
All three classical examples experienced 99%-plus die-offs and collapseat a time when the combined bodies or cells of each...
All three classical examples experienced 99%-plus die-offs and collapseat a time when the combined bodies or cells of each...
Not a very wisepolicy, was it?
Also notice that this graphof human population growth over the past 10,000 years       is an extreme          J-curve
How worrying should      J-curves be? Unfortunately, humankind first learned withhorror what J-curves can do from unspeaka...
Physicists know thatexponential progressionsand their resulting graphs  which are known as            J-curvesexhibit a de...
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
Population:  Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems
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Population: Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems

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What is earth's planetary carrying capacity for a modern, industrialized humanity with a properous standard of living for all? Explores limits and population limiting factors in real-world and biospheric systems.

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Population: Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Natural systems

  1. 1. This presentation is a courtesy of The Wecskaop Project It is entirely free for use by scientists, students, and educators anywhere in the world.What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet Copyright 2012, The Wecskaop Project. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Part OneCarrying Capacity
  3. 3. How many individuals can a particular ecosystem [or planet] indefinitely support over a long period of time while continuing to functionand without suffering severe or irreparable damage?
  4. 4. How many individuals can a particular ecosystem [or planet] indefinitely support over a long period of time while continuing to function and without suffering severe or irreparable damage?For scientists, the answer to such a question constitutes the systems carrying capacity
  5. 5. Since ecosystems are finite in So wisdom recommends protecting them and doing them no harmtheir size and resources, each has an upper limit to thepopulation that it can support while continuing to  provide food  resources  withstand impacts and damage  tolerate or withstand wastes  maintain, perpetuate, and repair itself and also provide the assorted Phytoplankton in the ecological services oceans, such as these diatoms, produce that allow a given population to exist more than half of the oxygen that we breathe
  6. 6. Since ecosystems are finite intheir size and resources, each has an upper limit to the population that it can support while continuing to  provide food  resources  withstand impacts and damage  tolerate or withstand wastes  maintain, perpetuate, and repair itself and also provide the assorted ecological services that allow a given population to exist
  7. 7. What happens if we destroy them or diminish their numbers or weaken their ability to function? Examples of crucial ecological services include each day’s production and replacement of most of the molecular O2 that we and most other animals con- sume every few seconds The fifty species of diatoms in the image above, forinstance, are examples of phytoplankton in the earth’s oceans that produce more than half of the oxygen that we breathe
  8. 8. Other ecological services include, for instance, Pollination of vastpercentages of flowering What happens if we destroy them or diminish their numbers ? plants everywhere, and dramatic contributions to the production of rainfall by the process of transpiration.
  9. 9. Environmental carrying capacities need not necessarily involve foodand water, but can also reflect critical limits to the damages, wastes, eradications, and impacts that they can safely withstand – and totheir capabilities for self-perpetuation, maintenance, and self-repair
  10. 10. Imagine an elevator, for example, that can safely accommodate 18 passengers and yet83 or 247 or 1058 passengers begin to squeeze aboard
  11. 11. Notice that this is quite different than Malthus’s assessments involving food; So that the science and understandings today are far broader It is easy to understand that the stresses of excessive loading virtually ensure failures in one or more components, triggering the collapse of the entire system and the destruction of both the vehicle and its passengers
  12. 12. A similar unsettling scenario can be envisioned if one imagines an aircraft of finite size, only to notice that a line of more and more and more persons continue to endlessly board the aircraft
  13. 13. It is thus important to appreciate that carrying capacity in biological and biospheric systems is commonly far MORE than simply a matter of food, or water, or “resources”
  14. 14. Thus, more and more persons endlessly boarding an elevator or aircraft or vehicle or planet of finite capacity constitutes an egregiously-unwise behavior
  15. 15. A behavior that invitestransgressions of at least one or more and/or
  16. 16. Thousands of examples of thresholds, limits, andtipping points (both known and unknown) exist in real-world natural and biospheric systems
  17. 17. Real-world thresholds As two quick examples ofthresholds in real-world systems: One instance in a biological system can be seen in human blood which has buffers that maintain its pH at a mildly alkaline 7.4 level. Seemingly small transgressions, how- ever, beyond pH 7.3 (lower limit) or 7.5 (upper limit) result in acidosis or alkalosis, both of which are potentially fatal.
  18. 18. All three classical examples experienced 99%-plus die-offs and collapse at a time when the combined bodies or cells of each of the populations physically-occupied roughly 2/1000ths of 1% of their surrounding environment that appeared to remain theoretically-available to them
  19. 19. All three classical examples experienced 99%-plus die-offs and collapseat a time when the combined bodies or cells of each of the populations physically-occupied roughly 2/1000ths of 1% of their surrounding environment that appeared to remain theoretically-available to them
  20. 20. All three classical examples experienced 99%-plus die-offs and collapseat a time when the combined bodies or cells of each of the populations physically-occupied roughly 2/1000ths of 1% of their surrounding environment that appeared to remain theoretically-available to them
  21. 21. Not a very wisepolicy, was it?
  22. 22. Also notice that this graphof human population growth over the past 10,000 years is an extreme J-curve
  23. 23. How worrying should J-curves be? Unfortunately, humankind first learned withhorror what J-curves can do from unspeakably deadly events at the close of World War II
  24. 24. Physicists know thatexponential progressionsand their resulting graphs which are known as J-curvesexhibit a decided tendency to obliterate everythingaround themselves in every directionA graph of this shape on the display monitors of a nuclear power plant would send the plant’s engineers scrambling for the exits

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