15 terms

How humans alter cycles

What are some things that can impact the natural cycles of water, carbon and nitrogen?
Farming, fires, burning fossil fuels, and paving roads.
How do farming and sewage treatment plants add nitrogen to the nitrogen cycle?
Farming - adding fertilizers to crops, because it helps the plants grow by giving the plants nitrogen, the extra fertilizer can enter the local water supply as runoff. Sewage treatment plants - release dissolved nitrogen compounds into the local water supply.
What is eutrophication?
The rapid growth of algae in a body of water that reduces the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water and kills other organisms living there.
What happens when the exhaust from motor vehicles and some industries enters the atmosphere?
They release nitrogen and sulfur compounds into the air, these compounds combine with water to form nitric acid and sulfuric acid which are the main components of acid rain.
What is acid rain?
Rain containing sulfuric and nitric acids that have formed from air pollutants and combined into droplets.
How can human activity help the nitrogen cycle?
Farmers will often rotate crops, planting legumes every few years to help replenish the nitrogen content in the soil.
What are some ways that humans alter the carbon cycle?
Deforestation - clearing land for farming or lumber, burning wood, removing trees, and burning of fossil fuels.
How does the removal of trees affect the carbon cycle?
It decreases photosynthesis in the area..... less carbon is removed from the air.
How does the burning of trees affect the carbon cycle?
It releases carbon dioxide into the air.
About what percent of the additional carbon dioxide in the air does cutting down and the burning of trees account for?
How does carbon dioxide attribute to "global warming"?
It traps the heat from the sun close to the surface of earth.
How is the water cycle affected by humans?
Deforestation, paving roads and overuse.
How does paving of roads affect the water cycle?
Water runs off of the pavement into bodies of water instead of infiltrating through the ground. Now the water supply is not as clean.
How does over use of water affect the water cycle?
Water is removed from the environment faster than it can be put back. Lack of water.
How does deforestation affect the water cycle?
The removal of trees that put water back into the air by transpiration.