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AP Enviromental Science Review
major terms from 12 units of the entire course
Terms in this set (180)
Active Solar Heating System
System that uses solar collectors to capture energy from the sun and store it as heat for space heating and water heating.
Small particles of solid or liquid substances that are released into the atmosphere by natural and human activities.
Energy resource that is replenished continually.
The time when human beings first domesticated plants and animals and no longer relied entirely on hunting and gathering.
A nonrenewable energy resource formed from the remains of organisms that lived long ago. These include oil, coal, and natural gas.
A liquid mixture of complex hydrocarbon compounds; used widely and is a nonrenewable fuel source.
Situated in the original, natural, or existing place or position. especially in conservation efforts.
Positive Feedback Loop
When the response to a stimulus increases the original stimulus.
Negative Feedback Loop
A feedback loop in which a system responds to a change by returning to its original state, or by decreasing the rate at which the change is occurring.
Emphasizing the organic or functional relation between parts and the whole.
Human-induced changes on the natural environment.
Author of Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) who claimed that population grows at an exponential rate while food production increases arithmetically, and thereby that, eventually, population growth would outpace food production.
The ability to meet humanities current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The extent to which a population exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment.
Tragedy of the Commons
Overuse or misuse of certain resources occurs because they are publically owned.
Formed by carbon and hydrogen atoms; carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.
Compounds that do not contain carbon.
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Abundance of money, property, and other material goods; riches; wealth.
Measurement system used to indicate the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) in solution; ranges from 0 to 14.
The time when human beings first domesticated plants and animals and no longer relied entirely on hunting and gathering.
Triple Bottom Line
Demand that our current human population limit its environmental impact while also promoting economic well-being and social equity.
the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole).
The number of different species and the relative abundance of each species in a biological community.
The number of different species in acommunity.
Noticeable decline in population, uncommonly seen.
Variability in the genetic makeup among individuals within a single species.
Endangered Species Act
Identifies threatened and endangered species in the US, and puts their protection ahead of economic considerations.
Species that enter new ecosystems and multiply, harming native species and their habitats.
Value of an organism, species, ecosystem, or the earth's biodiversity based on its existence, regardless of whether it has any usefulness to humans.
A species with a broad niche that can tolerate a wide ranger of conditions and can use a variety of resources.
In danger of becoming extinct.
Variety of habitats, communities, and ecological processes in the biosphere.
Naturally rare organisms or species whose numbers have been reduced by human activities to the point that they are susceptible to actions that could push them into threatened or endangered status.
The number os individuals that make up a certain species in a particular enviroment.
The populations of plants animals and microorganisms living and interacting in a certain area at a given time.
The area where an organism lives, including the biotic and abiotic factors that affect it.
Organism that breaks down and obtains energy from dead organic matter.
A species whose impact on its community or ecosystem are much larger and more influential than would be expected from mere abundance.
Species that serve as early warnings that a community or ecosystem is being degraded.
A species for which meeting its habitat needs automatically helps meet those of many other species.
the regions of the surface and atmosphere of the Earth (or other planet) where living organisms exist
the average weather conditions in an area over a long period of time
group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
collection of all the organisms that live in a particular place, together with their nonliving environment
Full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions.
All the different populations that live together in a particular area
An environmental factor that prevents a population from increasing.
Gross Primary Production, rate at which an ecosystem's producers convert solar energy into chemical energy
rate at which producers use photosynthesis to store enregy minus the energy they use for aerobic respiration
a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment
Water ecosystem changes to terrestrial one. Lake, lake fills in, becomes meadow, meadow becomes forest.
a major biotic community characterized by the dominant forms of plant life and the prevailing climate
a stable, mature community that undergoes little or no change in species over time
largest number of individuals of a population that a environment can support
The transition from one type of habitat or ecosystem to another, such as the transition from a forest to a grassland.
process in which fixed nitrogen compounds are converted back into nitrogen gas and returned to the atmosphere
The division of environmental resources by coexisting species such that the niche of each species differs by one or more significant factors from the niches of all coexisting species.
step in the movement of energy through an ecosystem; an organism's feeding status in an ecosystem.
the change from an agricultural to an industrial society and from home manufacturing to factory production, especially the one that took place in England from about 1750 to about 1850.
Pprocess by which plants and some other organisms use light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and high-energy carbohydrates such as sugars and starches
An organism that uses the energy of the Sun to produce usable forms of energy.
A relationship between species in which one species benefits and the other species is neither harmed nor helped.
Would involve learning how to reduce our ecological footprints and live more sustainably
the formation of ammonia compounds in the soil by the action of bacteria on decaying matter
the shift from hunting of animals and gathering of food to the keeping of animals and the growing of food on a regular basis around 8,000 BC
An area where permeable soil or rock allows water to seep into the ground to replenish an aquifer.
the occurrence of surplus liquid (as water) exceeding the limit or capacity
The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a specified amount of a substance by 1°C or 1 K.
Waste water generated from processes such as washing dishes, bathing and laundry.
The area subject to flooding during a given number of years according to historical trends.
The removal of salt from ocean water.
a body of rock or sediment that stores groundwater and allows the flow of groundwater
Percentage of the population (or number of people of each sex) at each age level in a population.
The process of change in a society's population from a condition of high crude birth and death rates and low rate of natural increase to a condition of low crude birth and death rates, low rate of natural increase, and a higher total population.
population of middle aged and older people than younger
the amount by which a population's size changes in a given time
Logistic Growth Curve
a plot that shows how the initial exponential growth of a population is slowed and finally brought to a standstill by limiting factors
Crude Death Rate
The number of deaths per year per 1,000 people.
Crude Birth Rate
The number of live births per year per 1,000 people.
the branch of sociology that studies the characteristics of human populations
the period between the birth of one generation and the birth of the next generation
the potential for future increases or decreases in a population based on the present age structure
proportion of the population that are still alive at successive annual ages.
Zero Population Growth
A decline of the total fertility rate to the point where the natural increase rate equals zero.
the ratio of deaths in an area to the population of that area
a condition of a lake or other body of water characterized by low nutrients, low productivity, and high oxygen levels in the water column.
the ratio of live births in an area to the population of that area
the direct transfer of heat from one substance to another substance that it is touching
plate boundary where two plates separate, causes mid-ocean ridge
the point on the Earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake
rock formed by the solidification of molten magma
the solid part of the earth consisting of the crust and outer mantle
measure of the energy released during an earthquake
a geological process in which one edge of a crustal plate is forced sideways and downward into the mantle below another plate
Plates that are moving past each other (rubbing next to each other) in opposite directions
the amount of pressure change occurring over a given distance
a type of rock that forms from an existing rock that is changed by heat and pressure.
the pressure exerted by the atmosphere
earth rotates from west to east. the winds move north to south or south to north. due to combine forces the wind travels in a curve.
Point of orgin of an earthquake.
the transfer of heat through a fluid (liquid or gas) caused by molecular motion.
Plates collide, causing one plate to go underneath or both edges crumble, creating mountains.
Destruction of vegetation caused by too many grazing animals consuming the plants in a particular area so they cannot recover
refers to an agricultural planting practice - generally using a "planter" or "seed drill" - in which disturbance of the soil is kept to a minimum. The structure of the top-soil which determines the water-holding capacity of the soil and the ease of new plants to put down roots is thus preserved.
Freshly cut or still-growing green vegetation that is plowed into the soil to increase the organic matter and humus available to support crop growth.
material formed from decaying leaves and other organic matter
the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock.
A course or method of operation that produces, maintains, or alters human systens on earth, such as migration or diffusion.
Planting of crops in strips with rows of trees or shrubs on each side.
Mixture of humus, clay, and other minerals that forms the crumbly, topmost layer of soil.
material from which a soil is formed, determines composition and properties of the soil
a mixture of decaying vegetation and manure.
pH values below 7.
the feel of a surface.
material in the top layer of the surface of the earth in which plants can grow (especially with reference to its quality or use)
The process by which wind, water, ice, or gravity transports soil and sediment from one location to another.
The percentage of the total volume of a rock or sediment that consists of open spaces.
A fertilizer that consists of mined or synthetically manufactured mineral supplements. Generally more susceptible than organic fertilizers to leaching and runoff and may be more likely to cause unintended off-site impacts.
the event of something burning (often destructive)
the ability of one or more organisms in a population to tolerate a chemical designed to kill it.
the critical concentration at which the stimulus will evoke a response.
the branch of pharmacology that deals with the nature and effects and treatments of poisons.
Increase in concentration of certain stable chemicals (for example, heavy metals or fat-soluble pesticides) in successively higher trophic levels of a food chain or web
Chemicals that disrupt normal hormone functions.
a chemical or toxin that can contaminate food.
Integrated Pest Management
A combination of pest control methods that, if used in the proper order and at the proper times, keep the size of a pest population low enough that it does not cause substantial economic loss.
Broad Spectrum Pesticide
chemical pesticides that kill many different kinds of pests, both the target pests and the nontarget pestsbeneficial ones)
any living organism or waste of living organism that may contaminate food.Ex. mushrooms, seafood,and meat
Contact with a substance that occurs once or for only a short time (up to 14 days [for humans]).
any agent that interferes with normal embryonic development: alcohol or thalidomide or X-rays or rubella are examples
a substance that causes cancer
the amount of a chemical that kills 50% of the animals in a test population
a chemical used to kill pests (as rodents or insects)
the increased accumalation in the concentration of a chemical (pollutant) as it moves up the food chain
the process in which high energy electrons are passed through food to kill bacteria without changing the food
Point Source Polluction
Pollution that can be traced to a specific source such as oil that spills from a pipeline
the act of treating waste or pollutants by the use of microorganisms (as bacteria) that can break down the undesirable substances
Industrial Solid Waste
Waste from production of consumer goods, mining, agriculture and petroleum extraction and refining
Law involving liability for clean-up of sites affected by toxic materials. Official name is Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act (CERCLA)
the surface soil that must be moved away to get at coal seams and mineral deposits.
Close Loop Reclyling
Production system in which the waste or byproduct of one process or product is used in making another product.
Reducing waste at the source, producing less waste or decreasing its toxicity.
A neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York, which became the subject of national and international attention, controversy, and eventual environmental notoriety following the discovery of 21,000 tons of toxic waste buried beneath the neighborhood.
abandoned formerly developed lands that may be contaminated with toxic and other materials
A place to deposit solid waste, where a layer of earth is bulldozed over garbage each day to reduce emissions of gases and odors from the decaying trash, to minimize fires, and to discourage vermin.
Open Loop Recycling
The conversion of material from one or more products into a new product, involving a change in the inherent properties of the material itself (often a degradation in quality). For example, recycling plastic bottles into plastic drainage pipes. Often called downcycling or reprocessing.
Liquid waste in landfill: the liquid produced in a landfill from the decomposition of waste within the landfill.
Municipal Solid Waste
A waste type consisting of everyday items that are discarded by the public.
Any material that can be harmful to human health or the environment if it is not properly disposed of
fine solid particles of ash that are carried into the air when fuel is combusted
Is part of the non- combustible residue of combustion in a furnace or incinerator.
smog resulting from emissions from industry and other sources of gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels.
a brownish haze that is a mixture of ozone and other chemicals, formed when pollutants react with each other in the presence of sunlight
Depletion of oxygen in water: the process by which a body of water becomes rich in dissolved nutrients from fertilizers or sewage, thereby encouraging the growth and decomposition of oxygen-depleting plant life and resulting in harm to other organisms.
Used to treat household sewage and wastewater by allowing the solids to decompose and settle in a tank, then letting the liquid be absorbed by the soil in a drainage field. Septic systems are used when a sewer line is not available to carry wastes to a sewage treatment plan. Also called an onsite wastewater treatment system.
Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals used in certain products, such as building materials?insulation and vehicle brakes. Fibrous in apperance. Causes respitory illnesses.
Human-made ponds lined with rubber built to handle large quantities of manure produced by livestock.
any compound containing carbon
Sudden increase or decrease in temperature that puts great stress on a aqautic species.
A pollutant that forms in the atmosphere by chemical reaction with primary pollutants, natural compenents of the air, or both
A small discrete mass of solid or liquid matter that remains individually dispersed in gas or liquid emissions (usually considered to be an atmospheric pollutant).
Light reflected by planet: the fraction of light hitting an object that is reflected by that object, especially a planet reflecting the Sun's light.
It is an environmental treaty with the goal of achieving "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropocentric interference with the climate system." Signed by Clinton in 1997.
A primary pollutant is an air pollutant emitted directly from a source.
The term given to any gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. It does this by letting the sun's energy through, but not back out- like a glass window. Common greenhouse gasses are CO2 and methane.
Large or dispersed land areas such as crop fields, streets, and lawns that discharge pollutants into the environment over a large area.
The temperature inversion in which warm air traps cold air and pollutants near the earth.
Heat Island Effect
An urban heat island (UHI) is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas.
resulting from a deficiency of available oxygen in the blood and bodily tissues.
The ability to keep in existence or maintain. A sustainable ecosystem is one that can be maintained
A bell-shaped curve representing oil use and projecting both when world oil production will reach a maximum and when we will run out of oil
Deposit of a mixture of clay, sand, water, and varying amounts of a tarlike heavy oil known as bitumen. Bitumen can be extracted from tar sand by heating. It is then purified and upgraded to synthetic crude oil.
An oily, dark-colored, flammable liquid found in the earth, consisting mainly of a mixture of various hydrocarbons.
A network of interconnected transmission lines that joins power plants together and links them with end users of electricity.
A nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy.
A nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy.
Rotary engine in which the kinetic energy of a moving fluid is converted into mechanical energy by causing a bladed rotor to rotate.
Fuel consisting of the remains of organisms preserved in rocks in the earth's crust with high carbon and hydrogen content.
The mechanical energy that a body has by virtue of its motion.
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