Environmental Science: Test 1

Renewable and nonrenewable resources
Not all resources are renewableRenewable – solar, hydroelectricNonrenewable – oil
Pollution
Any addition to air, water, soil, or food that threatens the health, survival, or activities of humans or other living organisms
Air pollution
Transportation – #1 cause of air pollutionVehicles, industrial sources
Water pollution
Agriculture – #1 cause of water pollutionFactories, human waste, power plants, chemical supply places
How pollutants enter the environment
Pollutants may enter the environment naturally or through human activitiesPoint, nonpoint, and line sources
Point sources
Single identifiable sourceSmokestack, leaking pipe
Nonpoint sources
Water on a gold course, fertilizer runoff
Pollutant effects are dependent on… (4)
1. The pollutant’s chemical nature2. The pollutant’s concentration3. The pollutant’s persistence4.

The sensitivity of the receiving environment

Tragedy of the commons
Cumulative effect of many people exploiting common property resources, resulting in environmental degradation
Strategies for sustainable living (5/10)
1. Reduce waste of matter and energy resources2. Pollution prevention and waste reduction3. Compost, recycle, reuse4. Products that are durable and easier to repair, reuse, and recycle5. Greater use of renewable energy: sun, wind, hydro, and biomass6.

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Protect vital habitats for wild species7. Political and economic systems that reward environmental protection and discourage degradation8. Use renewable resources no faster than they can be renewed9. Slow population growth10. Reduce poverty

Environmental science
The study of how we and other species interact with one another and with the non-living environmentA multi-disciplinary science including physics, chemistry, biology, geology, law, economics, social science, engineering, and other disciplines
Organic and inorganic compounds
Compounds can be organic or inorganicOrganic compounds carbon and most contain hydrogen
Important organic compounds (5)
1.

Hydrocarbons2. Chlorinated hydrocarbons3. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – banned in 19954. Carbohydrates5. Nucleic acids and genes

Important inorganic compounds (8)
1. Sodium chloride2. Water3. Nitrogen oxides (Nox)4.

Carbon monoxide5. Carbon dioxide6. Sulfur oxides (Sox)7. Hydrogen sulfide8. Ammonia

Energy
The capacity to do work and transfer heatKinetic and potential
Forms of energy
LightHeatElectricityChemical energy stored in matterMoving matter (wind, water)Nuclear energy
Kinetic energy
Moving energy
Potential energy
Stored energy
Carbon cycle
CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a key component of nature’s thermostatPlants remove CO2 from the atmosphere and water to produce carbohydrates and O2 (oxygen)Respiration produces CO2Some carbon lies deep in the earth and is released during burning of fossil fuelsVolcanic eruptions release CO2CO2 is dissolved in the oceanThe carbon cycle has been distributed by vegetation removal and burning fossil fuels and wood
Nitrogen cycle
Nitrogen gas is not usable by plants or animalsNitrogen fixation – conversion of nitrogen gas to usable forms by bacteriaOther bacteria convert nitrogen compounds back to nitrogen gasNitrogen oxides are produced by man and are emitted into the atmosphere – ozoneNox are a component of acid rainLivestock waste and fertilizer runoff produce pollution containing nitratesAlgal blooms
Nitrogen fixation
Conversion of nitrogen gas to usable forms by bacteria
Phosphorus cycle
Phosphorus is circulated from land and ocean sediments to living organisms and backPhosphorus is most often the limiting factor for plant growthGeologic and climatic processes cycle phosphorus among rock, water, and airHumans intervene by mining phosphorus and by water pollution from livestock, fertilizer, and sewage
Sulfur cycle
Much of earth’s sulfur is underground in rocks and mineralsHydrogen sulfide is released from volcanoes and decaying organic matterSulfur dioxide is released by volcanoes and from burning fossil fuels and oil refining and smelting of oresSulfur compounds are the biggest component of acid rain
Hydrologic cycle
A fixed supply of water is collected, purified, and distributedProcesses (6): evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, percolationGlaciers contain much of the earth’s waterHumans intervene
Aquifers
Porous, water-saturated layers of sand, gravel, or bedrock that can yield an economically significant amount of water1/3 of drinking water comes from aquifers
Ecology
Study of how organisms interact with one another and their environment
Types of species (5)
1.

Specialists2. Native3. Immigrant4. Indicator5. Keystone

Specialist species
Have very defined habitat or needsPanda – bamboo
Native species
Indigenous to the areaTN – deer, raccoons, beaver
Immigrant species
Brought into the areaTN – wild boar, carp, rats
Indicator species
Indication of environmental qualityFlies
Keystone species
Play an extremely important rolePollinating bees, predators
Species interactions (5)
1. Competition2. Predation3.

Parasitism4. Mutualism5. Commensalism

Competition
Two species competing for food in one areaCoyotes and foxes
Predation
Members of one species feed on another species, but do not live in or on the preyLions and zebra
Parasitism
One parasite preys on a host by living in or on the host to the host’s detrimentFleas, lice
Mutualism
Members interact to the benefit of bothClownfish and anemone, rhinoceros and birds
Commensalism
Interaction between two species that benefits one but doesn’t benefit nor harm the otherBromeliad and tree
Natural capital (5)
The natural resources and services provided by nature that keep us and other species alive and support our economies1. Air2.

Water3. Soil4. Plants5.

Wind

Hydrologic processes (6)
1. Evaporation2. Transpiration3. Condensation4. Precipitation5.

Infiltration6. Percolation

Evaporation
Conversion of water into water vapor
Transpiration
The evaporation of water from plants; leaves
Condensation
Conversion of water vapor into droplets of liquid
Precipitation
Rain, sleet, hail, snow
Percolation
Flow of water through soil and rock formations to aquifers
Infiltration
Movement of water into soil
Humans intervene in the cycle by… (2)
1.

Withdrawal of water from surface and aquifer supplies2. Clearing of land resulting in increased runoff and flooding

Sustainability
Ability of earth’s various systems, including human cultural systems and economies, to survive and adapt to changing environmental conditions indefinitely
Organism
Any form of life
Species
Groups of organisms that are biologically similar and can reproduce
Population
All members of the same species occupying a given area at the same time
Habitat
Place where a population (or individual organism) typically lives
Niche
Role, job, etc
Community
Populations of all the different species occupying a particular place
Ecosystem
A community of different species interacting with one another and with their non-living environment of matter and energyBiotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components
Major components of an ecosphere (4)
1. Atmosphere (air)2.

Hydrosphere (water)3. Lithosphere (crust)4. Biosphere (all ecosystems; where everything lives)

Limiting factor
Determines whether a particular species can thrive in a certain placeTemperature, rainfall
Primary consumers
Herbivores – eat plants that produce photosynthesisRabbits
Secondary consumers
Carnivores – eat plant eatersFox (eat rabbits)
Tertiary consumers
Eat other meat eating animalsTigers, wolves