Environmental Science Exam 3
St. Marys University
Terms in this set (75)
Nuclear power has a low environmental impact and a very low accident risk. Why has its use been limited?
The limited use is due to low net energy yield, high costs, fear of accidents, long-lived radioactive wastes, and its role in the spread of nuclear weapons technology.
A 2012 study found that ________ is the world's second most toxic industry.
An underreported but significant source of sewage waste in the oceans comes from ________ .
Approximately 84% of all ________ used in the United States is wasted and about 41% of this energy unavoidably ends up as low-quality waste heat in the environment because of the second law of thermodynamics.
NASA scientists predict that by 2059, up to 45% of the world's land area could be experiencing extreme ________ due to an increase in kinetic energy in the atmosphere.
What is the best recommendation to save energy and money in existing buildings?
Insulate the building and plug leaks
What is a reason for why renewable energy resources only make 5% of energy production in the United States?
The government tax breaks, subsidies, and funding for research renewable energy resources have been much lower than those for other fuels.
What happens to land if water is removed from an aquifer faster than it is replaced?
The ever-decreasing supply of ________ is needed for the mining and processing of some minerals, especially in arid and semi-arid areas.
pproximately three of every four Americans depend on energy-inefficient ________ .
internal combustion engines
What water issue will likely be the source for increasing international conflicts as water becomes scarcer?
two or more countries sharing the same basins
In what two ways can farms reduce nonpoint sources of water pollution?
slow-release fertilization and organic farming
When the global rate of production for crude oil starts to decline faster than new oil fields can be found and put into production, ________ has occurred.
global peak production
Although many pesticides have been banned in the United States, the outlawed poisons can still be found in our food supply because of the ________ .
For about one-half of the world's population, how much money does a single person have to survive on each day?
$2.25 or less
The practice of ________ has been part of aquaculture for centuries and is where operations raise fish or shrimp along with algae, seaweeds, and shellfish in coastal lagoons, ponds, and tanks.
What are the processes that recycle the three types of rocks?
weathering, erosion, and deposition; heat and pressure; melting and cooling
Industrialized agriculture accounts for ________ of all water pollution.
The single largest use of domestic freshwater in the U.S. that accounts for about one-fourth of home water use is through ________ .
Some believe that when supplies of key minerals become overly expensive or too scarce due to unsustainable use, then ________ .
human ingenuity will find substitutes
About 87% of the world's commercial ocean fisheries are ________ .
harvested at full capacity or overfished
Estimated extinction rates for freshwater species are higher than rates for marine and terrestrial species because of ________ .
damns and excessive surface water withdrawal
Global atmospheric warming could lead to ________ winter weather in some regions.
What is the indoor pollutant found in carpet, furniture, and building materials?
Why is eating chicken better for the environment than eating beef?
Chickens are more grain-efficient
Croplands contribute most to water and air pollution through ________ .
If flooding in already wet areas is made worse by engineering practices such as channelization, then it could be expected to become even more so because of ________ .
In addition to carbon dioxide, levels of atmospheric ________ , which is a potent greenhouse gas, have risen by 160% since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1750.
It is suggested that the best way to address the severe ecological problems associated with the damming of the Colorado River is to ________ .
sharply increase the price of water
How could a hole in the ozone layer accelerate global warming?
Ultraviolet radiation could destroy CO2 consuming photosynthetic organism in the oceans.
What causes the majority of large tsunamis?
faults in the ocean floor move up or down as a result of a large underwater earthquake
________ is a combination of rain, snow, dust, and other particles with a pH lower than 5.6.
What is a major disadvantage of conventional oil as an energy resource?
It releases CO2 and other air pollutants when burned.
What is a possible reason for the lack of emphasis in our society on improving energy efficiency?
Energy resources such as fossil fuels and nuclear power are artificially cheap largely because of subsidies and tax breaks.
Wet areas with increasing amounts of heavy rainfall would be expected to have ________ amounts of reliable surface runoff.
In all cases in which we use freshwater, we can do so more sustainably by ________ .
Why is it difficult to make any statement about climate based on data from the past two decades?
Climate is the average weather over three or more decades.
Under the ________ , each fossil fuel burning plant is given a number of pollution credits annually, which allows the plants to emit a certain amount greenhouse gases.
Conservation tillage has been successful at reducing soil erosion; however, this has been a tradeoff because of the ________ .
increased use of herbicides
Wet places will become ________ on average because of global warming.
Approximately 250,000 young children, most of them in less-developed countries, go blind every year from a lack of ________ .
The use of ________ will help cool a building during the summer months by pumping cool air from underground.
geothermal heat pumps
When it comes to renewable energy, the lesson from one of nature's three scientific principles of sustainability is to ________ .
rely mostly on solar energy
Why is mining low-grade ores more harmful to the environment compared to high-grade ores?
More resources are required
The power of prevention was made clear by the 99% drop in atmospheric ________ emissions after this substance was banned from use in gasoline in 1976.
What causes soil salinization?
repeated irrigation of crops in dry climates
What is the most inefficient irrigation system?
Almost one-half to two-thirds of ________ could be prevented each year at an average cost of $5 -$10 per individual.
nutrition-related childhood deaths
Herbicide resistant genetically engineered crops have contributed to ________ .
increased herbicide use and to herbicide-resistant superweeds
How do hydrothermal ore deposits form?
When superheated, mineral-rich water shoots out of vents in volcanic regions of the ocean floor
Active volcanoes will occur where magma rises through the ________ and reaches the earth's surface through a central vent or fissure.
The potentially massive release of methane from thawing arctic permafrost and from the arctic seafloor is an example of what concept?
climate change tipping points
Sedimentary rocks are composed of dead plants, animal remains, and weathered and eroded bits of rock. Given these components, what would we expect to find interlayered with sedimentary rocks?
Why does the reduction of mining subsidies promote sustainable use of nonrenewable minerals?
A truly competitive free market will promote technological advances.
What creates a seismic wave?
When a fault forms or moves, the accumulated energy is released in the form of vibrations
________ are chemicals or substances emitted directly into the air from natural processes and human activities at concentrations high enough to cause harm.
building that has enough access to sunlight can get all or most of its heat through ________ .
a passive solar heating system
What gave rise to the process called the green revolution, in which global grain production increased as a result of using high-input industrialized agriculture?
use of monocultures, irrigation, fertilizers, and multiple cropping
What gas is absorbed by oceans and causes ocean acidification?
Why is access to freshwater an economic issue?
Water is vital for producing food and energy and for reducing poverty.
How many workers are poisoned by pesticides each year in the United States?
at least 300,000
Pest control becomes increasingly more expensive and requires more effort because ________ .
humans must devise ways to protect monoculture crops, tree plantations, etc. from insects
What is produced in the stratosphere when oxygen interacts with ultraviolet radiation?
Photochemical smog first begins to form when ________ .
NO and VOCs are released by morning commuter traffic
Why do some people propose that the nuclear power fuel cycle is uneconomical?
There are high levels of financial support needed from governments and taxpayers because of the extraordinarily high cost of safety and the low net energy yield.
What action is required to keep atmospheric concentrations of CO2 below 450 ppm and the atmospheric temperature increase to no more than 2°C (3.6°F) above the preindustrial level?
Reduce global consumption of goods and services during this century by 0.06% per year.
The world's available freshwater supply is approximately ________ of the planet's total water supply.
What two factors determine which type of surface mining is to be used?
The resource being sought and the local topography
Many experts generally conclude that a combination of energy efficiency improvements and regulated use of ________ will likely be the best way to make a transition from nonrenewable to using mostly renewable energy resources.
Using high pressure to force saltwater through a membrane filter with pores small enough to block the salt is called ________ .
What are depletion allowances?
The permission to deduct the costs of developing and extracting mineral resources from their taxable incomes.
Geological activity at the earth's surface generally takes place at ________ .
In northern Iowa, an acre of land planted in corn can produce about $1,000 worth of ethanol car fuel, but the same site used for a(n) ________ can produce $300,000 worth of electricity per year.
single wind turbine
How does an energy resource with a low or negative net energy yield compete in the marketplace with other energy alternatives that have medium to high net energy yields?
Resources with lower and negative net energy yields require government subsidies and tax breaks.
What is the slowest of the earth's cyclic processes?
the rock cycle
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