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Terms in this set (30)
Sythetic Organic compounds first created in the 1950's and used primarily as refigerants and as propellants. The role of CFCs in the destruction of the ozone layer led to the signing of an international agreement (the Montreal Protocol).
The primeval supercontinent, hypothesized by Alfred Wegner, that broke apart and formed the continents and oceans as we know them today; consisted of two parts- a northern Laurasia and a southern Gondwana.
The formation of carbohydrates in living plants from water and carbon dioxide, through the action of sunlight on chlorophyll in those plants.
loss of diversity through a failure to produce new species.
Mass destruction of most species.
Pacific Ring of Fire
Ocean-girdling zone of crustal instability, volcanism, and earthquakes resulting from the tectonic activity along plate boundaries in the region.
The most recent epoch of the Late Cenozoic Ice Age, beginning about 1.8 million years ago and marked by as many as 20 glaciations and interglaciations of which the current warm phase, the Holocene epoch, has witnessed the rise of human civilization.
the condition of being covered with glaciers or masses of ice.
Sustianed warming phase between glaciations during an ice age.
The most recent glaciation period of the Pleistocene, enduring about 100,000 years and giving way, beginning about 18,000 years ago, to the current interglaciation, the Holocene.
The current interglaciation period, extending from 10,000 years ago to the present on the geologic time scale.
Little Ice Age
Temporary but significant cooling period between the fourteenth and the nineteenth centuries; accompanied by wide temperature fluctuations, droughts, and storms, causing famines and dislocation.
The threat to environmental security by human activity such as atmospheric and groundwater pollution, deforistation, oil spills, and ocean dumping.
Resources that can regenerate as they are exploited.
The system of exchange involving water in its various forms as it continually circulates among the atmosphere, the oceans, and above and below the land surface.
Subterranean, porous, water-holding rocks that provide millions of wells with steady flows of water.
Blanket of gases surrounding the Earth and located some 350 miles from the Earth's surface.
Theory that the Earth is gradually warming as a result of an enhanced greenhouse effect in the Earth's atmosphere caused by ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide produced by various human activities.
A growing environmental peril whereby acidified rainwater severely damages plant and animal life; caused by the oxides of sulfur and nitrogen that are released into the atmosphere when coal, oil, and natural gas are burned, especially in major manufacturing zones.
Cycle whereby natural processes and human activity consume atmospheric oxygen and produce carbon dioxide and the Earth's forests and other flora, through photosynthesis, consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
The clearing and destruction of forests to harvest wood for consumption, clear land for agricultural uses, and make way for expanding settlement frontiers.
The wearing away of the land surface by wind and moving water.
Non-liquid, non-soluable materials ranging from municipal garbage to sewage sludge; agricultural refuse; and mining residues.
Disposal sites for non-hazardous solid waste that is spread in layers and compacted to the smallest practical volume. The sites are typically designed with floors made of materials to treat seeping liquids and are covered by soil as the wastes are compacted and deposited into the landfill.
hazardous waste causing danger from chemicals and infectious organisms
hazardous-waste-emitting radiation from nuclear power plants, nuclear weapon factories, and nuclear equipment in hospitals and industry.
The total variety of plant and animal species in a particular place; biological diversity.
The layer in the upper atmosphere located between 30 and 45 kilometers above the Earth's surface where stratosphereic ozone is most densely consentrated. The ozone layer acts as a filter for the Sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.
Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
the first international convention aimed at addressing the issue of ozone depletion. Held in 1985, the Vienna convention was the predecessor to the Montreal Protocol.
An international agreement signed in 1987 by 105 countries and the European Community (now European Union). The protocol called for a reduction in the production and consumption of CFCs of 50 percent by 2000. Subsequent meetings in London (1990) and Copenhagen (1992) accelerated the timing of CFC phaseout, and a worldwide complete ban has been in effect since 1996.
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