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75 terms

AP Environmental Ch. 1-2 Exam

STUDY
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Environment
Everything around us
Evironmental Science
How humans interact with the environment
Ecology
The biological science that studies how organisms interact with one another and with their environment
Ecosystem
A set of organisms within a defined area that interact with one another and with their environment
Reliance on Solar Energy
The sun provides enerygy for photosynthesis, which provides energy for plants,which provide energy for non-plants
Biodiversity
Large variety of organisms allows life to survive almost any condition. Also provides renewal of topsoil, pest control, air and water purification, etc.
Chemical Cycling
Circulation of chemicals from environment into organisms and back to environment. Allows same materials to be used over and over
Natural Capital
The natural resources and services that keep us and other life forms alive
Natural Resources
Materials and energy in nature that are essential, or useful to humans, classified as renewable and non renewable
Natural Services
Processes in nature (e.g. air and water purification)
Resource
Anything humans can gain from the environment to meet our needs and wants
Perpetual Resource
A lasting, continuous supply (e.g. sunlight)
Sustainable Yield
The highest rate at which we can use a renewable resource indefinitely without reducing its supply
Non-Renewable Resource
Resource that exists in a fixed quantity
Reuse
Using a resource again in the same form
Recycle
Collecting waste materials and transforming them into new materials (different form)
Economic Growth
An increase in a nation's output of goods and services
Gross Domestic Product
The annual market value of all goods and services produced by all busineses
Per Capita GDP
Economic growth per person
Economic development
Using economic growth to improve living standards
Natural Capita Degradation
Environmental degredation (e.g. destroying ecosystems, decrease in biodiversity)
Pollution
Any presence in the environment of any agent at a level harmful to the health, survival, or activites of organisms
Point Source Pollution
Single, identifiable source
Non-point Source
Dispersed, difficult to identify
Output Pollution Control
Cleaning up or dilluting pollutants after they have been released into the environment
Input Pollution Control
Reduces or eliminates the production of pollutants
Ecological Footprint
The amount of biologically productive land and water needed to provide the people in a particular area with an indefinite supply of renewable resources
Per Capita Ecological Footprint
Average ecological footprint of an individual in a particular area
Impact
Population x Affluence x Technology
Estimate of how much humanity is degrading the natural capital it depends on
Ecological Tipping Point
An often irreversable Shift in the behavior of a natural system (i.e. collapse in fish populations, premature extinctions, and long term climate change)
Culture
The whole of society's knowledge, beliefs, technology, and practices
Sustainability Revolution
Change in human behavior hoped to come within this century, would involve reducing ecological footprint to live more sustainably
Agricultural Revolution
Humans learned how to grow and breed plants and animals for food, clothing, etc.
Industrial Medical Revolution
Large scale production of goods in factories, medical advancements
Technology Revolution
Technology for gaining access to information on a global scale
Poverty
People unable to fulfill needs for food, water, shelter, health, and education, leads to environmental degredation, pollution leads to poverty, lack of hygene, premature deaths
Environmental Wolrd View
Set of assumptions and values reflecting how you think the world works
Environmental Ethics
Beliefs about what is right and wrong with how we treat each other
Stewardship Worldview
We should manage the Earth for our benefit, but we still have ethical responsibility
Planetary Management World View
We are seperate from and in charge of nature, only exists to meet our needs and wants
Environmental Wisdom Worldview
We are a part of and dependent on nature, nature exists for all species, not just us
Four Basic Causes of Environmental Problems
1) Population growth
2) Wasteful and unsustainable resource use
3) Poverty
4) Failure to include the harmful environmental costs and service goon on resource prices
Environmentally Sustainable Society
Meets current and future basic resource needs of its people in a just and equitable manner, without compromising the resource needs of future generations
Natural Income
Renewable Resources such as plants, animals, and soil provided by the earth's natural capital, not depleting or degrading the natural capital, and providing humans with adequate access to it for the forseeable future.
Social Capital
Getting people with different views and values to talk and listen to one another to solve environmental problems, trade off solutions
Model
An appropriate representation or simulation of a system
Scientific Theory
A well tested and widely accepted group of hypothesises
Peer Review
Publuishing Details of Methods, models, and results, for other scientists to review
Scientific Law (law of nature)
A well tested and widely accepted description of what we find happening repeatedly in nature
Tentative (frontier) Science
Has not been widely tested or accepted yet so it id not considered reliable
Matter
Has mass and takes up space
Element
Fundamental type of matter
Compound
Combo of 2 or more elements
Atom
Smallest unit of matter to which an element can be divided
Atomic Theory
All elements are made up of atoms (most widely accepted theory in science)
Atomic number
Number of protons in the Nucleus
Mass Number
Mass of one atom of the element
Isotope
Same atomic number, different mass
Ion
Has pos or neg charge
PH
Measure of acidity
Chemical Formula
Number of each type of atom in a compound
Organic Compound
Contains Carbon Atoms
Matter Quality
How useful a form of matter is to humans as a resource based on availability and concentration
Physical Change
No change in chemical composition
Chemical Change
Change in chemical composition, usually irreversable
Law of Conservation of Matter
We cannot create or destroy atoms on earth (except nuclear)
First law of Thermodynamics
Law of conservation of energy, energy is never created or destroyed
Second Law of Thermodynamics
Whenever energy is converted from one form to another, there is a loss of usable matter (lowers quality)
System
Set of components that function and interact in some regular wat
Feedback
Any process that increases or decreases a change in a system
Positive feedback loop
Causes a system to move furhter faster in a certain direction (e.g. ice caps)
Negative Feedback Loop
(Corrective) Causes a system to start moving the opposite direction (e.g. thermostat)
Time Delay
Lack of response during a period of time between the input of a feedback stimulus and a response
Threshold level (tippinng point)
Fundamental Shift
Synergy
Two or more processes interact so the combined effect is greater than the sum of the effects (can be good or bad)