Environmental Science: Test 1

Renewable and nonrenewable resources
Not all resources are renewable
Renewable – solar, hydroelectric
Nonrenewable – 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 pollution
Vehicles, industrial sources
Water pollution
Agriculture – #1 cause of water pollution
Factories, human waste, power plants, chemical supply places
How pollutants enter the environment
Pollutants may enter the environment naturally or through human activities
Point, nonpoint, and line sources
Point sources
Single identifiable source
Smokestack, leaking pipe
Nonpoint sources
Water on a gold course, fertilizer runoff
Pollutant effects are dependent on… (4)
1. The pollutant’s chemical nature
2. The pollutant’s concentration
3. The pollutant’s persistence
4. 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 resources
2. Pollution prevention and waste reduction
3. Compost, recycle, reuse
4. Products that are durable and easier to repair, reuse, and recycle
5. Greater use of renewable energy: sun, wind, hydro, and biomass
6. Protect vital habitats for wild species
7. Political and economic systems that reward environmental protection and discourage degradation
8. Use renewable resources no faster than they can be renewed
9. Slow population growth
10. Reduce poverty
Environmental science
The study of how we and other species interact with one another and with the non-living environment
A 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 inorganic
Organic compounds carbon and most contain hydrogen
Important organic compounds (5)
1. Hydrocarbons
2. Chlorinated hydrocarbons
3. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – banned in 1995
4. Carbohydrates
5. Nucleic acids and genes
Important inorganic compounds (8)
1. Sodium chloride
2. Water
3. Nitrogen oxides (Nox)
4. Carbon monoxide
5. Carbon dioxide
6. Sulfur oxides (Sox)
7. Hydrogen sulfide
8. Ammonia
Energy
The capacity to do work and transfer heat
Kinetic and potential
Forms of energy
Light
Heat
Electricity
Chemical energy stored in matter
Moving 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 thermostat
Plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere and water to produce carbohydrates and O2 (oxygen)
Respiration produces CO2
Some carbon lies deep in the earth and is released during burning of fossil fuels
Volcanic eruptions release CO2
CO2 is dissolved in the ocean
The carbon cycle has been distributed by vegetation removal and burning fossil fuels and wood
Nitrogen cycle
Nitrogen gas is not usable by plants or animals
Nitrogen fixation – conversion of nitrogen gas to usable forms by bacteria
Other bacteria convert nitrogen compounds back to nitrogen gas
Nitrogen oxides are produced by man and are emitted into the atmosphere – ozone
Nox are a component of acid rain
Livestock waste and fertilizer runoff produce pollution containing nitrates
Algal 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 back
Phosphorus is most often the limiting factor for plant growth
Geologic and climatic processes cycle phosphorus among rock, water, and air
Humans 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 minerals
Hydrogen sulfide is released from volcanoes and decaying organic matter
Sulfur dioxide is released by volcanoes and from burning fossil fuels and oil refining and smelting of ores
Sulfur compounds are the biggest component of acid rain
Hydrologic cycle
A fixed supply of water is collected, purified, and distributed
Processes (6): evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, percolation
Glaciers contain much of the earth’s water
Humans intervene
Aquifers
Porous, water-saturated layers of sand, gravel, or bedrock that can yield an economically significant amount of water
1/3 of drinking water comes from aquifers
Ecology
Study of how organisms interact with one another and their environment
Types of species (5)
1. Specialists
2. Native
3. Immigrant
4. Indicator
5. Keystone
Specialist species
Have very defined habitat or needs
Panda – bamboo
Native species
Indigenous to the area
TN – deer, raccoons, beaver
Immigrant species
Brought into the area
TN – wild boar, carp, rats
Indicator species
Indication of environmental quality
Flies
Keystone species
Play an extremely important role
Pollinating bees, predators
Species interactions (5)
1. Competition
2. Predation
3. Parasitism
4. Mutualism
5. Commensalism
Competition
Two species competing for food in one area
Coyotes and foxes
Predation
Members of one species feed on another species, but do not live in or on the prey
Lions and zebra
Parasitism
One parasite preys on a host by living in or on the host to the host’s detriment
Fleas, lice
Mutualism
Members interact to the benefit of both
Clownfish and anemone, rhinoceros and birds
Commensalism
Interaction between two species that benefits one but doesn’t benefit nor harm the other
Bromeliad and tree
Natural capital (5)
The natural resources and services provided by nature that keep us and other species alive and support our economies
1. Air
2. Water
3. Soil
4. Plants
5. Wind
Hydrologic processes (6)
1. Evaporation
2. Transpiration
3. Condensation
4. Precipitation
5. Infiltration
6. 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 supplies
2. 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 energy
Biotic (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 place
Temperature, rainfall
Primary consumers
Herbivores – eat plants that produce photosynthesis
Rabbits
Secondary consumers
Carnivores – eat plant eaters
Fox (eat rabbits)
Tertiary consumers
Eat other meat eating animals
Tigers, wolves