Environmental Science 101

1. As we mean the term in this course, “The environment” is:

A. Everything that affects an organism over its lifetime
B. Plants and animals in natural settings
C. Nature
D. Everything that is affected by human civilization

2. “Frontier science” is characterized by

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A. preliminary results
B. incorrect data
C. widespread agreement
D. lack of precision

3. The chemical-bond energy in food is converted into

A. movement
B. growth
C. heat
D. all of the above

4. Developers have proposed to build a subdivision near the shore of a lake, but this would require altering a popular wetland area significantly. A person with an anthrocentric view might say that the wetland should be preserved because

A. the local ecosystem should be maintained
B. it houses important species
C. it is a scenic area that is popular with birdwatchers and hikers
D. None of the above

5. Low-quality energy has significant environmental implications because

A. It is the source of over 50% of the world’s commercial energy production
B. It contributes to weather patterns and causes ocean currents that regulate climate
C. It is easy to capture and convert to electricity
D. It is the main source of food for most organisms

5. Low-quality energy has significant environmental implications because A. It is the source of over 50% of the world’s commercial energy production B. It contributes to weather patterns and causes ocean currents that regulate climate C. It is easy to capture and convert to electricity D. It is the main source of food for most organisms
7. The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economics (CERES)

A. Is an example of individual environmental ethics
B. Is a small, non-governmental organization that advocates environmental regulation
C. Places strict limits on development to preserve natural resources
D. Promotes waste reduction, energy conservation, and prevention or mitigation of environmental damage.

8. Population, technology, economics, and politics are all components of:

A. the human cultural sphere
B. the biosphere
C. the earth’s life support systems
D. anthrocentrism

9. The second law of thermodynamics (law of entropy) states that

A. energy tends to form organized systems.
B. when converting from one form of energy to another, useful energy is lost (e.g., as heat.)
C. when converting from one form of energy to another, oxygen is released
D. kinetic energy cannot be converted to potential energy, and vice versa

10. Which of the following molecules are used by plants to make sugar during photosynthesis?

A. carbon dioxide and oxygen (releasing water vapor)
B. oxygen and water (releasing carbon dioxide)
C. glucose and oxygen (carbon dioxide and water vapor)
D. carbon dioxide and water (releasing oxygen)

11. What source supplies the largest fraction of energy in the U.S.?

A. Coal
B. Biomass
C. Natural Gas
D. Oil

12. Organic matter

A. Is produced without the use of chemical pesticides
B. Is mostly found in non-living things like rocks
C. consists of molecules that contain carbon atoms
D. Does not store very much chemical energy

13. A scientific theory

A. explains only a few observations
B. is often controversial
C. is preliminary
D. is supported by a wide range of evidence

14. Burning methane is an example of an

A. exothermic reaction
B. exogenic reaction
C. endogenic reaction
D. endothermic reaction

15. A bowling ball is sitting on a high shelf. The most important kind of energy associated with the bowling ball is

A. thermal energy
B. kinetic energy
C. electrical energy
D. potential energy

16. The energy efficiency of a car is about

A. 90%
B. 60%
C. 40%
D. 10%

17. When a gasoline engine is used to run a car, chemical potential energy is converted to:

A. kinetic energy only
B. gravitational potential energy and heat
C. gravitational potential energy only
D. kinetic energy and heat

18. The difference between belief and science is that:

A. belief is wrong and science is right
B. science is only one kind of knowledge, based on observation and hypothesis-testing
C. science disproves belief
D. science is based on knowledge; belief is not.

A natural resource is being used at a rate of 30 million tons per year. Each year, 10 million tons of this resource are regenerated through natural processes.
19. This resource should be described as

A. non-renewable
B. cyclic
C. perpetual
D. renewable

20. Usage rates of this resource should be described as:

A. sustainable
B. degrading
C. anthropocentric
D. unsustainable.

21. If organic matter (garbage) is buried (in a landfill), what energy resource can be recovered?

A. Oil
B. Methane
C. Gasoline
D. Coal

22. Many “alternative” energy sources

A. are just as economical as fossil fuels, if external costs are factored into overall cost
B. are old sources being looked at with new technologies to increase their efficiency
C. can have real impact in peak energy load management
D. all of the above

23. The Earth’s life-support system includes:

A. Atmosphere
B. Biosphere
C. Lithosphere
D. All of the above

24. Science is

A. The study of something through observation
B. Knowledge organized in a testable fashion
C. Based on testable, falsifiable hypotheses
D. All of the above.

25. The statement “God exists”

A. Can be proved true by science
B. Can be false by science
C. Is not testable with scientific methods.
D. Is a falsifiable hypothesis

26. Which of the following statements is FALSE:

A. Environmental Science is concerned with both natural sciences and social sciences
B. Environmental science is concerned with interrelationships
C. Ecosystem boundaries often (usually) match political boundaries
D. Interrelationships make environmental science complicated

27. Which of the following is FALSE:

Re-introduction of a top-level predator (like wolves) can:
A. Increase biodiversity
B. Decrease tourism
C. Affect the hydrosphere (change water flow)
D. Cause livestock losses

28. A good example of where political boundaries and ecological boundaries DO NOT coincide is:

A. In the hydrosphere (watersheds)
B. In the lithosphere (land ownership)
C. In the atmosphere (air, including air pollution)
D. All of the above

29. Which of the following statements is TRUE:
A. All cultures share the same ethical commitments
B. Ethics are the results of long-term discussion and debate
C. Ethics are absolute rules of what is right and what is wrong
D. Corporate ethics are always anthrocentric
30. In the 1960s, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring warned of the ecological effects of:
A. The pesticide DDT
B. Growing suburban development
C. Toomuch back-country tourism
D. Automobile exhaust fumes
31. An ecological disaster in the 1960s that focused public and Congressional attention on the need for environmental pollution regulation was:
A. The Catawba River Oil Spill in North Carolina
B. The Cooper River sturgeon die-off in South Carolina
C. The Cayahoga River Fire in Ohio
D. Hydroelectric damming on the Colorado River in Nevada.
32. The view that the environment deserves direct moral consideration, not derived only from human or animal interests, is:
A. Anthropocentric
B. Biocentric
C. Ecocentric
D. Gaiacentric
33. How is respiration like burning?
A. Both use oxygen to break chemical bonds in organic molecules
B. Both release energy, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.
C. Both convert potential energy to heat and work
D. All of the above
E. None of the above.
34. The invention of steam-power was closely tied to:

A. Coal replacing wood as a major energy source
B. Invention of the automobile
C. The Industrial Revolution in Europe and the United States
D. A and C
E. A and B

35. Centralized electrical power generation was closely tied to:

A. Introduction of urban gaslights
B. Invention of the Bunsen burner
C. Invention of the incandescent lightbulb
D. Invention of the automobile

36. The growth of American-style extra-urban suburbs was linked to:

A. Invention of automobiles powered by the internal combustion engine
B. Introduction of centralized electrical power distribution
C. Development of refrigeration systems
D. Development of the petroleum industry
E. All of the above.

37. Nuclear power is an example of

A. A non-renewable resource
B. A resource for which perceived risks exceed actual (statistical) risk
C. A resource that is more dangerous than fossil fuels (coal and petroleum)
D. A resource that is not carbon-neutral

38. Whether or not an energy resource is cost effective depends on:

A. How expensive it is to extract
B. How expensive it is to deliver
C. Whether or not it requires new plant development
D. How expensive it is to prevent or mitigate environmental impacts
E. All of the above

39. As compared to the rest of the world, the United States uses

A. Much less biomass energy
B. Much more biomass energy
C. Much less petroleum
D. Much less nuclear power.

40. What is the largest energy source in the United States?

A. Biomass
B. Coal
C. Oil
D. Natural Gas
E. None of the above

41. What fraction of U.S. energy comes from renewable sources?
A. 90%
B. 60%
C. 30%
D. Less than 10%
42. What is the definition of risk?

A. the probability that a condition or action will lead to an injury, damage, or loss
B. the likelihood that you will suffer consequences if you are caught
C. a cost-benefit analysis
D. the likelihood that using a resource will result in pollution

43. Which of the following is NOT a main consideration when characterizing risk:

A. Probability of a bad outcome.
B. Probability of a good outcome
C. Consequences of a bad outcome.
D. Cost of dealing with a bad outcome.

44. A risk assessment is:

A. A statistical statement
B. An ethical statement
C. A belief statement
D. A political statement

45. Statistically speaking, in day-to-day life, which of the following poses the HIGHEST risk to the average American

A. Driving to the airport
B. Serving in the military
C. Being exposed to outdoor air pollution
D. Being bitten by an animal or insect.

46. The seriousness of a chemical risk to a single organism (such as from pollution) does NOT depend on:

A. Howmany individuals are exposed
B. Dosage
C. Species
D. Developmental stage (infant, adult, elderly)
E. Length (duration) of exposure

47. Environmental risks

A. Are always overestimated
B. Are always underestimated
C. May be over- or under- estimated, depending on risk tolerance
D. Are never reliable

48. Things seem riskier when they

A. are new and/or complex
B. have no alternative
C. are not publicized
D. have consequences spread out over a long time

49. Generally, humans assign value to natural resources based on

A. their perception of abundance or scarcity
B. Whether or not they are renewable
C. Whether or not they are sustainable
D. The actual cost to replace them with something else.

50. Pollution, species extinction, resource depletion, and loss of scenic quality are all examples of

A. Environmental costs
B. Deferred costs
C. External costs
D. All of the above

1. Which form of coal is relatively abundant and most widely used?

A. pyrolite
B. anthracite
C. lignite
D. bituminous

2. Which fossil fuel produces the most energy per unit of CO2 released (burns most efficiently with fewest greenhouse gas emissions)?

A. natural gas
B. coal
C. oil
D. peat

3. Which is NOT a problem associated with coal mining?

A. acid mine drainage
B. mine collapse
C. radon gas
D. black lung disease

4. Which was NOT a factor in GenOn’s decision to close its coal plant in Alexandria, VA?

A. operating efficiency
B. economics
C. public opinion
D. demonstrated health effects

5. Acid mine drainage occurs when

A. oxygen and water react with sulfides
B. acid is used in mining is accidentally released
C. iron gets into nearby streams
D. sulfur is released into the atmosphere during mining

6. The primary source of energy in much of the developing world is

A. biomass.
B. coal.
C. natural gas.
D. peat.

7. A hydroelectric power plant runs a generator by converting

A. potential energy to heat
B. kinetic energy to heat
C. kinetic energy to potential energy
D. potential energy to kinetic energy

8. Of these choices, which would be the best place to build a wind farm?

A. Florida
B. South Carolina
C. Louisiana
D. Wyoming

9. The methane generated by USC’s wood-chip gasification plant is a

A. perpetual resource
B. renewable resource
C. non-renewable resource

10. Which of the following is a renewable method to generate electricity?

A. geothermal
B. hydroelectric
C. wind
D. All of the above.

11. If you were designing a house that would rely on active solar heating, you would

A. install photovoltaic shingles
B. plant evergreens
C. live in the desert
D. need a pump and pipes to move the heat around

12. Which is the most efficient mode of tranportation, per passenger?

A. car
B. airplane
C. motorcycle
D. intercity bus

13. Your aunt and uncle are looking at new cars, and they say they want to buy the car with the lowest lifecycle costs. This means that they want the car with the lowest

A. insurance costs
B. purchase price
C. gas mileage
D. total cost per year of ownership

14. A kilowatt-hour is a unit of

A. heat
B. energy
C. temperature
D. power

15. Uranium mining and milling waste contains low levels of

A. hydrogen sulfide
B. fuel rods
C. dust
D. radioactive materials

16. At the start of an experiment, you have 100 mg of a radioactive isotope. It has a half-life of 8 days. 16 days (two “half-lives”) into the experiment, how much of this isotope should you have?

A. 25 mg
B. 33 mg
C. 50 mg
D. 200 grams

17. Which of the following is NOT a part of the nuclear fuel cycle?

A. mining uranium ore
B. constructing cooling towers
C. fabricating fuel into fuel rods
D. enriching the uranium ore
E. disposal or recycling of spent fuel rods

18. Biological effects of ionizing radiation include

A. damage to DNA.
B. mutations.
C. damage to molecules in cells.
D. All of these are correct.

19. As fission occurs in a nuclear reactor the concentration of U-235 atoms

A. increases.
B. remains constant.
C. converts to hydrogen atoms.
D. decreases.

20. What is the most important concern related to the use of coal as an energy source?

A. limited supply
B. net energy yield
C. economics/technology
D. environmental impact

21. Organic matter has been buried and has reached a temperature of 40 oC. What energy resource(s. should be forming here?

A. oil
B. methane
C. gasoline

22. You discover a major new oil field. About how much of the oil do you expect to be able to extract, assuming that secondary extraction methods are economically feasible at the time?

A. 90%
B. 60%
C. 40%
D. 10%

23. U.S. oil production peaked in

A. 1950
B. 1970
C. 1987
D. 2009

24. A trap rock is required for a useful oil reservoir to form, because the trap rock

A. prevents oil from rising to the surface
B. soaks up oil
C. is where the oil forms
D. has a high permeability

25. Assume that technological improvements could prevent environmental problems associated with extracting and transporting oil. If so, then which environmental impacts of oil use would remain?

A. large drilling “footprints” and oil seeps
B. air pollution and leaky underground storage tanks
C. blowouts and land subsidence
D. oil spills and leaky oil pipelines

26. You want to compare the lifecycle costs for two different cars. For each car, you need to know:

A. The initial price, the cost to operate it per year, and its expected lifespan
B. The initial price, taxes, and its fuel efficiency
C. The initial price, a typical repair history, and taxes
D. The initial price, external costs, and its fuel efficiency

27. The half-life of Plutonium-239 is 24,000 years. If you start with 10 kg of it, how much will be left after 48,000 years (two “half-lives”).?

A. 40 kg
B. 20 kg
C. 5 kg
D. 2.5 kg

28. You need to get to Washington, DC for a meeting. What is the most energy efficient way to get there?

A. Taking the train
B. Flying
C. Driving your car
D. Taking a bus

29. You need to generate a specific amount of heat for your industrial process. Which fuel source would emit the least CO2, for that amount of heat?

A. Coal
B. Natural gas
C. Oil
D. Tar

30. On a map, the pattern of contamination coming from the damaged Fukushima power plant

A. resembled a bulls-eye pattern
B. was completely random
C. depended on wind patterns
D. increased as you moved further from the power plant

31. If we were going to prevent acid rain, the two most important places to start would be

A. Uranium mines
B. Coal-fired power plants and vehicles
C. Industrial emissions and fertilizers
D. Coal mines and fertilizers

32. Driving is statistically much riskier than living near a nuclear power plant, but there are many people who think the risks associated with nuclear power are unacceptable. Why?

A. Nuclear waste remains hazardous for thousands of years
B. There have been highly publicized accidents
C. Any associated injuries and deaths happen all at once, to the general public, and are highly publicized
D. All of the above

33. Many countries still invest in developing hydroelectric power, however,

A. hydroelectric plants can disrupt fish migration and trap sediments.
B. hydroelectric plants are prohibitively expensive to build.
C. hydroelectric plants have a short lifespan.
D. hydroelectric power is not useful for electrical load management

34. To qualify as a proven reserve, a substance must be

A. extracted with undeveloped technology.
B. extracted over time.
C. extracted economically with existing technology
D. None of the above are correct.

35. “Overburden” is a term used for

A. material left over from refining coal in industry.
B. material on top of coal veins that is removed to extract the coal during strip mining
C. the difference between the weight of the coal, and the weight of the extracted material.
D. All of the above are correct.

36. A primary cause of acid mine drainage from coal mining is

A. Sulfur mixing with water
B. Carbon mixing with oxegen
C. Mercury mixing with carbon
D. Oxygen mixing with methane

37. Allowing sunlight to enter a window and warm a wall inside is an example of:

A. Active solar heating
B. Passive solar heating
C. Solar generated electricity
D. Geothermal energy

38. Renewable energy sources can create environmental impacts.

A. True
B. False

39. Natural gas and oil are formed from

A. ancient marine deposits.
B. Ancient peat bogs.
C. Ancient forests.
D. landfills.

40. Biomass energy includes all the of the following EXCEPT

A. wood chips
B. solid waste and manure
C. perennial grasses.
D. oil and natural gas.

41. When a radioactive atom undergoes spontaneous decomposition it can release

A. electrons.
B. protons.
C. neutrons.
D. All of the above are correct

42. A commonly used nuclear fuel is

A. potassium.
B. beryllium.
C. carbon.
D. uranium.

43. The combining of two lighter atomic nuclei to form a heavier atomic nucleus is called

A. radioactive decay.
B. nuclear fission.
C. nuclear fusion.
D. isotope.

44. Nuclear energy can provide large amounts of energy without carbon emissions; however,

A. many question the safety of nuclear power plants as well as nuclear waste.
B. nuclear power will never be an important source of energy.
C. nuclear plants are too complex to build.
D. many question whether nuclear plants can produce large amounts of energy.

45. Gamma radiation can travel through nearly a meter of concrete.

A. True
B. False

46. Some forms of electromagnetic radiation include

A. X-rays.
B. light.
C. radio waves.
D. All of the above are correct.

47. Comparing Chernobyl to Three Mile Island, which factor played the biggest role in preventing injuries and deaths at Three Mile Island?

A. Effective regulatory oversight
B. Immediate actions taken by employees
C. Better reactor cooling systems
D. Geographic location of Three Mile Island.

48. Cumulative doses of radiation soon disappear over time.
A. True
B. False
49. Gamma radiation cannot penetrate the human body.
A. True
B. False
50. The U.S. CURRENTLY plans to store spent nuclear fuel rods and high-level radioactive waste at
A. Three Mile Island.
B. Yucca Mountain.
C. Chernobyl.
D. Pikes Peak.
E. None of the above
A. Terrestrial Biomes

1. Hot, wet, dominated by trees.
2. Temperate, dry, dominated by shrubs.
3. Cold, wet, dominated by mosses and small plants.
4. Cold, wet, dominated by conifers (pine, spruce, fir).
5. Temperate, dry, dominated by grasses.

A. Taiga (Boreal Forest)
B. Tundra
C. Mediterranean (Chaparral)
D. Prairie (Steppe, Temperate Grassland)
E. Tropical Rainforest

B. Aquatic Ecosystems

6. High dissolved salt content
7. Low dissolved salt content
8. A mixture of waters of different salt content
9. Marine, warm, shallow, clear water
10. Coastal, warm, nutrient-rich

A. Mangrove Forest
B. Marine
C. Coral Reef
D. Palustrine (Freshwater)
E. Estuarine

11. Deserts, Grasslands, Savannas and Mediterranean Shrublands are all:

A. Ecosystems
B. Communities
C. Chaparral
D. Characterized by low amounts of annual rainfall

12. Which of the following is NOT a biome:

A. Tropical Dry Forest
B. Tropical Rainforest
C. Tropical Deciduous Forest
D. Temperate Rainforest
E. Taiga

13. From bare rock, PRIMARY succession to a mature oak/hickory climax forest generally requires:

A. A few years
B. A few decades
C. About one century
D. Several centuries
E. At least a millennium

14. After forest clearance, SECONDARY succession of farmland back to a mature oak/hickory climax forest generally requires
A. A few years
B. A few decades
C. About one century
D. Several centuries
E. At least a millennium
15. True or False: Keystone species are always carnivores.
A. True
B. False
16. During Primary Succession, ecosystems
A. Increase in biodiversity
B. Increase trophic levels
C. Increase in energy efficiency
D. All of the above
17. Because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, in a food chain, the rough ratio of plant biomass to herbivore biomass is:
A. 1:1 (all plant biomass is converted to animal biomass, with no loss of energy)
B. 10:1 (the rest is lost as motion and heat)
C. 100:1 (the rest is lost as motion and heat)
D. 1000:1 (the rest is lost as motion and heat)
18. Fill in the blank. Ultimately, all life forms rely on __________ to recycle nutrients.
A. Producers
B. Consumers
C. Decomposers
D. Food Webs
19. The three major nutrient cycles critical for all life on earth are:
A. Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus.
B. Producer, Consumer, Decomposer.
C. Terrestrial, Estuarine, and Marine.
D. Community, Ecosystem, and Niche.
20. Lichen are an example of
A. A Pioneer Community
B. A Symbiotic Community
C. A Community with low trophic level
D. Producers
E. All of the Above
21. All nutrient cycles are impacted by human activity, but the nutrient cycle MOST impacted by human activity is:
A. Carbon
B. Nitrogen
C. Phosphorus
D. Sulfur
Matching: Niches. For each terrestrial organism below, fill in the letter for the marine organism that fills a similar niche within its own ecosystem. Use each letter only once
22. Lichen
23. Wolf
24. Deciduous Forest
25. Cypress Swamp

A. Mangrove Swamp
B. Coral
C. Shark
D. Kelp Forest

1. What did UC Berkeley physicist Richard Muller say in the Wall Street Journal?

A. Previous researchers were not careful with research design
B. Human activities have not contributed to global warming
C. Global warming skeptics are right
D. Global warming is real

2. What did Muller do?

A. Statistically examined 1.6 billion temperature records
B. Carefully controlled for the “urban heat island” effect
C. Found that one-third of locations had cooler temperatures,
D. Found that two-thirds of locations had warmer temperatures
E. All of the above

3. The Kyoto Protocol was signed by every industrialized nation in the world EXCEPT:
A. Canada and Iceland
B. Spain and Portugal
C. United States and Australia
D. Czech Republic and Slovakia
4. Signatories to the Kyoto protocol only pledged emissions reductions of 5-8%. What percentage reduction would actually be required to keep global warming below 2 degrees C.?
A. 10-15%
B. 15-25%
C. 25-50%
D. 60-80%
5. At any one moment, a Cat 5 hurricane embodies as much energy as the entire electrical output of:
A. A small nuclear power station.
B. A small country.
C. The United States of America.
D. The World.
6. Why is the stratospheric ozone layer important?
A. It is a greenhouse gas
B. It affects weather
C. It blocks UV radiation from the sun
D. It affects air quality
7. Ozone depletion (“the Ozone hole”) is caused by
A. Global warming
B. Cooling in the stratosphere
C. Reactions with CFCs in the atmosphere
D. Vehicle emissions
8. Why was it so easy to reduce CFC emissions compared to CO2 emissions?

A. There was clear scientific evidence that CFCs were causing a problem
B. CFCs were produced by a small number of companies
C. There were alternatives available
D. All of these

9. Internal combustion engines are the largest anthropogenic sources of all of these gases, EXCEPT
A. Carbon monoxide (CO)
B. Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
C. Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
D. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
10. Photochemical smog forms when _________ and ________ react with sunlight to form ozone.
A. carbon dioxide (CO2); water vapor (H2O)
B. carbon monoxide (CO); sulfur dioxide (SO2)
C. VOCs; nitrogen oxides (NOX)
D. mercury (Hg); lead (Pb)
11. Riverside, California (pop. 310,610) has much more trouble with photochemical smog than Columbia, SC because Riverside
A. has a much larger overall population
B. is prone to thermal inversions
C. is warmer and sunnier in August
D. All of these
12. Ground level ozone is a significant air pollutant that
A. is found only in rural areas
B. persists for long periods (weeks)
C. contributes to the increase in the ozone hole
D. contributes to the formation of smog
13. Global warming will increase the number and severity of major storms, by increasing the number of days that sea surface temperatures exceed 79 degrees F.
A. True
B. False
14. The real “lungs of the Earth” are oceanic plankton, which release approximately half of all the oxygen in our atmosphere.
A. True
B. False
15. Wildfires, triggered by lightning strikes, are an essential part of global nutrient systems and are essential for ecosystem health.
A. True
B. False
16. Which of the following is NOT characteristic of suburban sprawl?
A. Reduced biodiversity
B. Reduced smog
C. Increased waste
D. Increased water demand
17. The Amazon rainforest depends on

A. 40 million tons of wind-blown dust per year, bearing iron and phosphorus from ancient sea beds in the Sahara desert
B. An undersea Antarctic brine waterfall as big as five hundred million Niagra Falls, which stabilizes ocean temperatures
C. Solar heating at the equator, which evaporates water and drives storm systems
D. Food web interactions among half of all life on earth
E. All of the Above

18. The amount of energy delivered to the earth by the sun every day equals about how many times the energy consumed by humans?

A. one hundred
B. one thousand
C. ten thousand
D. one million

19. Lightning serves to
A. Transfer positive and negative ions between the Earth’s surface and the upper atmosphere
B. Break atmospheric nitrogen (N2) bonds and form bioavailable nitrate, distributed through rainfall
C. Ignite wildfires that return nutrients to soil and open forest floors to light
D. All of the above
20. Volcanos produce which nutrients

A. Sulfur
B. Potassium
C. A
D. None of the above

21. CO2 makes up about what percent of the gases in the atmosphere?

A. 80%
B. 20%
C. 2%
D. less than 1%

22. Where is the protective ozone layer?

A. thermosphere
B. mesosphere
C. stratosphere
D. troposphere

23. Where does weather develop?

A. thermosphere
B. mesosphere
C. stratosphere
D. troposphere

24. The Clean Air Act has significantly reduced levels of

B. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
C. Greenhouse gases
D. Lead

25. The catalytic converter on your car does NOT significantly reduce emissions of

A. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
B. Carbon monoxide (CO)
C. Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
D. Greenhouse gases

26. If the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases
A. There will be more smog
B. Less heat will reach Earth’s surface
C. More heat will be trapped by the atmosphere
D. All of the above
27. Evidence that global warming is occurring includes:

A. Mean surface temperatures have increased 1–2 degrees F over the past century.
B. Eight of the warmest years on record have occurred in the past decade
C. Glaciers world-wide are retreating, Arctic sea ice is thinning, and sea level is rising about 2 mm per year (=7 inches per century)
D. The arrival of spring is earlier in many parts of the world. E. All of the above.

28. Which of the following is NOT an important greenhouse gas?

A. Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
B. Methane (CH4)
C. Sulfate (SO4)
D. Nitrous Oxide (N2O)

29. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is now higher than it has been any time in the last _______ years.

A. 50
B. 100
C. 100,000
D. 400,000
E. All of the above

30. If countries like China improve environmental regulation, the price of stuff at Walmart will likely
A. Go up
B. Stay the same
C. Go down
D. Stuff will become unavailable
31. The release of _______ into the atmosphere has declined because of environmental regulations.
A. Lead
C. Ozone
D. All of these
32. Why does the concentration of ozone rise in the afternoon?
A. Vehicle traffic is heavier in the afternoon
B. Ozone is a secondary pollutant
C. It takes time for ozone to build up each day
D. Sunlight is more intense in the afternoon
33. Mountain forests in Eastern Europe, Southeastern Canada and the Northeastern U.S. are particularly vulnerable to acid rain because
A. The pH of rain is naturally lower there
B. The bedrock in that area cannot buffer the low pH rainwater
C. The plants are more sensitive to acid
D. There is a high amount of precipitation (clouds, fog, dew, rain, and snow) year-round.
E. Polluted air from industrial cities all ends up there.
34. The amount of future greenhouse gas emissions depends on all of the factors listed below. Which factor has the MOST impact?
A. Population
B. Standard of living
C. Energy efficiency
D. Carbon intensity in energy-producing fuels
35. « No Regrets » actions means :
A. Drill, baby, drill
B. Major emissions reductions actually save money through cost reductions.
C. Emissions harm can be offset by planting trees.
D. Reducing environmental risk by altering insurance payouts.
36. If nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the current world-wide rate of greenhouse gas emissions will result in likely average global warming of how much by the year 2080?
A. < (Less than) 1 degree C.
B. 1-2 degrees C
C. 2-4 degrees C
D. 4-6 degrees C
37. World-wide, due to ongoing industrialization, the rate at which greenhouse gasses are added to the atmosphere is growing is
A. decreasing
B. increasing
C. constant
D. rates have nothing to do with industrialization
38. Which country had a negative rate of CO2 emissions growth in 2011?
B. Mexico
C. Korea
D. Russia
39. By feeding plants to animals, and harvesting animal products, what percent of the energy in the original plant is lost?
A. 10
B. 25
C. 50
D. 90
40. Meteorology is the study of climate and the factors that affect it.
A. True
B. False
41. Climatology is the study of weather and the factors that affect it.
A. True
B. False
42. Choices of food, energy, and raw materials affect global warming.
A. True
B. False
43. Social factors do not influence climate change.
A. True
B. False
44. Which of the following answers is FALSE: When solar flares penetrate the Earth’s outer magnetic sphere, they do not cause massive mutations & radiation sickness because:
A. The flares are not harmful.
B. The Earth’s magnetic field directs solar particles toward the poles
C. Their speed is slowed by striking gasses, generating “northern lights”
D. Energy is dissipated by the upper atmosphere
45. Humans release more CO2 than the Amazon captures.
A. True
B. False
46. Seen from an evolutionary perspective, human impacts are NOT a part of the natural system.
A. True
B. False
47. Humans manufacture more nitrate than lightning.
A. True
B. False
48. Humans produce more airborne sulfur than all the world’s volcanos.
A. True
B. False
49. Which of the following is NOT true: The difference between human impacts on global cycles and other planetary impacts is:
A. Timescale. Other cycles have been established over hundreds of thousands of years. Humans have had rather sudden impact, especially over the past several centuries.
B. Understanding. Humans are capable of analyzing the consequences of their actions. Plankton can’t.
C. Choice. Humans are capable of deciding what to do or not do. Lightning can’t.
D. Scale: Human impacts are minor, compared to the impacts of non-human systems.
50. After watching “Earth From Space,” I have a better understanding of the interconnections between energy, atmosphere, climate, and ecosystems.
A. True
B. False
1. What use(s) does Columbia get from the rivers that run through it?
A Water Supply
B. Recreation
C. Waste disposal
D. All of the above
2. Which is historically the more important city, economically?
A Columbia
B. Charleston
3. Historically, why was zoning originally invented and deemed important?
A To separate noisy, dirty, smelly, and polluting industries from residential areas
B. To reduce commuting distance
C. For public safety
D. None of the above
4. The MOST IMPORTANT reason that permeable pavers are better than asphalt or concrete for parking lots and driveways is that:
A They let rain infiltrate the soil
B. They are cheaper
C. They look better
D. They retain less heat
5. In DOWNTOWN Columbia (the city center, right around the Capitol building), NOT including Five Points what hazard is MOST likely to damage a home or business?
A. Volcanic eruption
B. Hillslope failure
C. Earthquake
D. Flooding
6. Is Five Points in a floodplain?
A. Yes
B. No
7. If you use 100 gallons of water per day, how much will you use in a year?
A. 3,650 gallons
B. 36,500 gallons
C. 365,000 gallons
D. Enough to fill 50 fire trucks.
8. One cubic meter equals 264 gallons. If you use 100 gallons of water per day, how many cubic meters of water will you use in a year?
A. 138
B. 1380
C. 96,360
D. Enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
9. Which of the following represents consumptive use of water?

A. Doing laundry (water goes into the sewage treatment system).
B. Bathing/showering (water goes into the sewage treatment system).
C. Irrigation water (taken up by crops)
D. Nuclear power plant coolant water (cooled, then piped into river).

10. Rainfall that enters the soil
A. Is taken up by pant roots
B. Flows downward to recharge groundwater
C. A and B

10. Rainfall that enters the soil
A. Is taken up by pant roots
B. Flows downward to recharge groundwater
C. A and B

10. Rainfall that enters the soil
A. Is taken up by pant roots
B. Flows downward to recharge groundwater
C. A and B
D. None of the above.

11. What kind of river is this?
A. Braided (high energy)
B. Meandering (low energy)
C. Wandering
D. Unrestricted
12. What increases the chance of catastrophic flooding?
A. Re-foresting slopes
B. Replacing “hardscape” (asphalt and concrete) with permeable pavers
C. Leaving soil and vegetation buffers along stream banks and floodplains
D. Building flood control dams and walls.
13. An UNCONFINED aquifer
A. Is connected to the water table
B. Lies beneath loose shale or clay
C. Takes decades to centuries to recharge D. Flows rapidly
14. Artesian water
A. Has bubbles in it
B. Comes from confined aquifers under high pressure
C. Recharges quickly
D. Is hand-crafted by elves in Fiji
15. After pumping oil or water, land subsidence will be greatest where the overburden is
A. Mostly clay silt
B. Mostly hard rock
C. Mostly sand or shale
D. Mostly sandstone or limestone
16. Can pumping from deep, confined aquifers affect the height of the water table?
A. Yes
B. No
17. After you stop pumping from deep, confined aquifers, how long will they take to recharge?
A. Days to weeks
B. Months to years
C. decades to centuries
D. millennia or more
18. A factory uses water to cool generators as a part of its manufacturing process. To do this, it pipes in water from upstream, passes it through a cooling jacket, then pipes the heated water downstream. This is an example of:
A Thermal pollution
B. Diffuse source pollution
C. Oxygen Sag
D. DOC / BOD pollution
19. What kind of pollution causes the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico ?
A Diffuse source pollution
B. DOC / BOD pollution
C. Agricultural pollution
D. All of the above
20. Where do most storm drains empty?
A Into wastewater treatment plants
B. Directly into bodies of water (rivers, ocean, lakes)
C. Into river floodplains
D. Into distilleries and breweries
21. Common sources of soil and groundwater contamination are:
A Fuel tanks and fuel stations
B. Dry cleaning facilities
C. Home septic systems
D. Landfills
E. All of the above
22. Urban sprawl is best defined as
A building urban areas adjacent to existing urban areas.
B. the convergence of urban areas into regional cities.
C. commercial development outside of cities on previously undeveloped land.
D. the planning of a new city.
23. Europe and Japan have better urban mass transit systems than the U.S.
A True
B. False
24. Waterways have always been important to shaping land use for humans.
A True
B. False
25. Unplanned urban growth can lead to loss of farmland and forests.
A True
B. False
26. Sprawl impacts quality of life by
A increasing commuting times and costs.
B. decreasing commuting times and costs.
C. increasing our overall health.
D. increasing green space.
27. Sprawl can impact the environment by causing fragmentation of open space and wildlife habitat.
A True
B. False
28. Land-use planning is the construction of an orderly list of priorities for the use of available land.
A True
B. False
29. In the U.S., environmental clean-up of “brownfield” sites is overseen by the EPA.
A True
B. False
30. One characteristic of high-performance green buildings is that they are located near public transportation.
A True
B. False
31. The best way to reduce soil erosion from very steep slopes is to:
A Re-forest (plant trees)
B. Build terraces
C. Convert to pasture (grazing land)
D. Practice no-till and/or contour plowing.
32. Over the past decade there has been a lack of interest in sustainable agriculture.
A True
B. False
33. In the United States, more streams and lakes are safe for swimming and fishing now than thirty years ago.
A True
B. False
34. The vadose zone is an area below the ground that is
A NOT saturated with groundwater (above the water table)
B. confined above and below by impervious layers.
C. a source of ground water.
D. an area where salt water penetrates
35. In the U.S., total domestic water use is more than either industrial or agricultural use of water, but less than both industrial and agricultural use together.
A True
B. False
36. Sustainable uses of groundwater include all EXCEPT
A shifting away from groundwater as the only source of water.
B. reuse of “gray” water.
C. drilling more and deeper wells
D. using precision irrigation (not overwatering or allowing run-off)
37. What percent of industrial-use water is used for cooling purposes in the U.S.?
A 90
B. 10
C. 50
D. 100
38. The primary stage of sewage treatment
A allows physical settling of large particles
B. mixes in chlorine and other chemicals to kill germs
C. filters water through osmosis
D. is more efficient than allowing water to run through a treatment marsh
39. Which is NOT diffuse-source (non-point source) pollution?
A Agricultural runoff from fields
B. Storm water runoff from parking lots
C. Bioaccumulated mercury in birds
D. Groundwater contamination from unlined hog waste ponds.
40. Land use can affect infiltration of water.
A True
B. False
41. Biochemical oxygen demand is
A The amount of oxygen needed to decompose organic waste
B. The amount of oxygen needed to make ozone
C. The amount of oxygen needed to keep a fire burning
D. None of the above
42. In the U.S., both the EPA and the FDA set drinking water standards.
A True
B. False
43. Banning the sale of one-time-use beverage containers could
A reduce litter
B. save energy
C. save money
D. All of the above
44. One way to reduce individual solid waste is
A use reusable bags and bottles
B. use rechargeable batteries
C. compost yard and food wastes
D. recycle
E. All of the above
45. Potential environmental problems related to landfills include:
A groundwater contamination
B. methane emissions
C. space amount of land required)
D. All of the above
46. Wetlands are important to water quality because
A. they encourage saltwater intrusion
B. they allow water to warm before reaching the ocean
C. they biodegrade nanoparticles and hormones
D. they filter waste and nutrients from waterways.
47. Common ingredients in chemical fertilizers that can contribute to aquatic “dead zones” related to excessive nutrient inputs include:
A nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium
B. vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K
C. sugars, starches, and proteins
D. carbon, oxygen, and sulfur
48. The pesticide, now banned, that was banned due to its bioaccumulation effect of birds was:
D. SO2
49. Many companies are starting to recognize the value of environmental __________ to their long-term business success.
A sustainability
B. services
C. conservation
D. All of the above
50. When I am old, I MOST want to be

A Thin
B. Rich
C. Powerful
D. Able to breathe