Environmental science final
Terms in this set (107)
Ozone depletion in stratosphere results in increased heat because
The ozone protects earth from UV rays
A Hole over Antarctica requires 2 conditions
sunlight just returning to polar region
occurs when heated water produced during industrial processes is released into waterways
What are the two major categorizations of water pollution?
point source pollution and non-point source pollution
pollutants that enter bodies of water over large areas rather than being concentrated at a single point of entry. It will diffuse, but its cumulative effect is very large. (most pollution is from run off). This describes what type of water pollution?
Non-point source pollution
water pollutions that can be traced to a specific point describes what type of pollution?
The many ecosystem services per- formed by rural lands enable the majority of humans to live in concentrated urban environments. What are 4 of these ecosystem services?
wildlife habitat, flood and erosion control, and groundwater recharge
72% of water pollution in rivers is from what?
Ozone tinning hole
first identified in 1985 over antarctica occurs annually between November
Indoor air pollutants
pollutants can be 5- 100x greater than outdoors and include radon, cigarette smoke, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde pesticides, lead, cleaning solvents ozone and asbestos
An organic compound is
chemicals that contain carbon atoms
sugar, amino acids, and oils
are natural examples of organic compounds
pesticides, solvents, industrial chemicals, and plastics
are examples of human made organic compounds
Sources of radioactive substances include
mining, processing radioactive materials, medical and research facilities, nuclear power plants, natural sources
Crime and Vandalism, Traffic jams, Pollution of the soil, water and air, and Resource violations are all threats to
The U.S National Parks
Subsistence agriculture, Commercial logging, and Cattle ranching are immediate causes of
the disappearing tropical rainforest
Tropical dry rain forests Primarily destroyed for
Primarily destroyed for fuel wood
"humans use an estimated 3% of the world's total land area for cities and 38% for agriculture that is, for raising crops and livestock Another 30% of the land surface consists of rock, ice, tundra, and desert areas considered unsuitable for long-term human use.
"This leaves 29% of the land surface as natural ecosystems, such as forests, that could potentially be developed for human purposes"
"In 1872 Congress established the world's first national park,in federal lands in the territories of Montana and Wyoming. This park is called what?
Yellowstone National Park
"The National Wildlife Refuge System"
"established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, is the most extensive network of lands and waters committed to wildlife habitat in the world. The National Wildlife Refuge System contains 553 refuges, with at least one in each of the 50 states, and encompasses 60.7 million hectares (150 million acres) of land."
What is natural regulation?
" A park management policy that involves letting nature take its course most of the time, with corrective actions undertaken as needed to adjust for changes caused by pervasive human activities"
"One of the disadvantages of monocultures is?
is that they are more prone to damage from insect pests and disease causing microorganisms.
"Ecological simplification in which only one type of plant is cultivated over a large area
What is the Role of forests in the hydrologic cycle.
Forests return most (up to 75%) of the water that falls as precipitation to the atmosphere by transpiration. When an area is deforested, almost 100% of precipitation is lost as runoff
" The use and management of forest ecosystems in a way that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to use the forests."
"Sustainable forestry maintains a mix of forest trees, by age and species, rather than a
A logging practice in which all the trees in a stand of forest are cut, leaving just the stumps."
"According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about 3.4 million cubic meters of wood (for fuelwood, timber, and other products) are harvested annually. The five countries with the greatest tree harvests are"
"United States, Canada, Russia, Brazil, and China; these countries currently produce more than half the world's timber"
"Deforestation contributes to regional climate changes. Trees release substantial amounts of moisture into the air; about 97% of the water that roots absorb from the soil is evaporated directly into the atmosphere. This moisture falls back to Earth in the?
"When an old-growth forest is harvested, about how years does it take for the replacement forest to accumulate the amount of carbon that was stored in the original forest?
Deforestation also contributes to an increase in global temperature, ocean acidification, and other global changes by releasing carbon originally stored in the trees into the atmosphere as...?
"Carbon dioxide enables the air to retain heat. The carbon in forests is released immediately if the trees are burned or more slowly when unburned parts decay. If trees are harvested and logs are removed...
"roughly one- half of the forest carbon remains as dead materials (branches, twigs, roots, and leaves) that decompose, releasing carbon dioxide."
What are two ways to manage climate change?
mitigation and adaptation
Limiting greenhouse emissions to moderate global climate is called
is a way to manage climate change: learning to live with environmental changes and societal consequences brought about by global climate change
Less mitigation -->more green house gases------>more serious climate change effects . This results in
a greater impact on humans and the natural environment
A few examples of adaptation include
people in coastal populations respond to rising sea levels by moving inland, constructing dikes and levees, and responding to shifting agricultural zones
The use of alternative fuels, increased energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and planting and mantainting trees to naturally sequester carbon. these examples demonstrate which climate change method?
Biologists estimate that for every 2000 species that have ever lived 1999 of them are
genetic engineering makes it possible to use
the genetic resources of an organism on a wide scale
removal of a species from a community
can decrease ecosystem services
the death of a life form when the last member of a species dies
Four criteria of importance of conservation:
Areas lost or degraded since European colonization
Number of present examples of a particular ecosystem (or the total area)
Estimate of the likelihood that a given ecosystem will lose significant area or be degraded in next 10 years
Number of threatened and endangered species living in the ecosystem
agricultural importance of genetically engineered food
numerous species that are nutritionally superior to the food we eat
Mass extinction is when numerous species disappear in a relatively short period of geologic history, this has happened
5-6 in times in history
Municipal sewage treatment
primary treatment, secondary treatmen, and tertiary treatment
Municipal sewage treatment in the primary treatment stage is done by
removing suspended and floating particles by mechanical processes
chlorine byproducts are linked to numerous cancers, miscarriages and birth defects. But if you stop using it completely it can result in disease outbreaks
result if chlorine is completely ceased to be used
Peru stopped using chlorine in 1991 which led to a cholera epidemic infecting 300,000 people
Tertiary treatment are advanced waste water treatment methods that are sometimes employed after primary and secondary treatment. In this phase they work to reduce
phosphorus and nitrogen
Chemicals added to the atmosphere by natural events or human activities in high enough concentrations to be harmful
Primary Air Pollutant
Harmful substance emitted directly into the atmosphere
Secondary Air Pollutant
Harmful substance formed in the atmosphere when a primary air pollutant reacts with substances normally found in the atmosphere or with other air pollutants
Primary classes of air pollutants include
lead, Particulate matter, solid particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon oxides, hydrocarbons, hazardous air pollutants (air toxics), greenhouse gases, and ozone
" A pale blue gas that is both a pollutant in the lower atmosphere (troposphere) and an es- sential component that screens out UV radiation in the upper atmosphere (stratosphere)"
"The two main human sources of primary air pollutants are
transportation (mobile sources) and industries (stationary sources) , although intentional fires can also contribute significantly"
the gases carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas produced in the largest quantities of any atmospheric pollutant except carbon dioxide, is poisonous and interferes with the blood's ability to transport oxygen. Carbon dioxide, also col- orless, odorless, and tasteless, is a greenhouse gas; its buildup in the atmosphere is associated with global climate change."
"a secondary air pollutant that forms when sulfur dioxide reacts with oxygen in the air. Sulfur trioxide, in turn, reacts with water to form another secondary air pollutant, sulfuric acid. Sulfur oxides cause acid deposition, and they corrode metals and damage stone and other materials. Sulfuric acid and sulfate salts produced in the atmosphere from sulfur oxides damage plants and irritate the respiratory tracts of humans and other animals."
"inhibit plant growth and, when breathed, aggravate health problems such as asthma, a disease in which breathing is wheezy and labored because of airway con- striction. They are involved in the production of photochemical smog and acid deposition (when nitrogen dioxide reacts with water to form nitric acid and nitrous acid). Nitrous oxide is associated with global warming (nitrous oxide traps heat in the atmosphere and is therefore a greenhouse gas) and depletes ozone in the stratosphere. Nitrogen oxides cause metals to cor- rode and textiles to fade and deteriorate."
"Unlike stratospheric ozone, ozone in the troposphere— the layer of atmosphere closest to Earth's surface-is a
human made pollutant
The only country to not sign the Kyoto protocol ?
The United states
70% of United States drinking water is
"A brownish-orange haze formed by chemical reactions involving sunlight, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons."
Sources of Nitrogen Oxide pollution
"Motor vehicles, industries, heavily fertilized farmland"
Health effects of particulate matter
"Aggravates respiratory illnesses; long-term exposure may cause increased incidence of chronic conditions such as bronchitis; linked to heart disease; suppresses immune system; some particles, such as heavy metals and organic chemicals, may cause cancer
or other tissue damage"
sulfur oxides are know to produce
The Clean Air Act focuses on 6 pollutant
ead, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon
monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and ozone
The clean air act led to
decreases in air pollutants: Most dramatic is lead - decreased by 98% since 1970 (due to switch to unleaded gasoline)
"the removal of unburned gasoline vapors from gasoline containers, including underground tanks at gas stations and automobile gas tanks.
Effects of Ozone Depletion include
Higher levels of UV- radiation hitting the earth, Eye cataracts, Skin cancer (right), Weakened immunity, disrupt ecosystems, damage crops and forests
Effects of acid deposition include
Declining Aquatic Animal Populations, Thin-shelled eggs prevent bird reproduction, Calcium is unavailable in acidic soil, and Forest decline
Human-made organic compounds of carbon, chlorine, and fluorine
that had many industrial and commercial applications but were banned because they attack the stratospheric ozone layer."
How does acid deposition develop?
"Acid deposition occurs when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the atmosphere, combine with moisture to form acids, and then are deposited on land through rain, snow, or condensate (dew)"
"global distillation effect:
The process whereby vola- tile chemicals evaporate from land as far away as the tropics and are carried by air currents to higher latitudes, where they condense and fall to"
The process whereby volatile chemicals evaporate from land as far away as the tropics and are carried by air currents to higher latitudes, where they condense and fall to
5 worst cities in the world in terms of air pollution
Beijing, China; Mexico City, Mexico; Shanghai,
China; Tehran, Iran; and Calcutta, India
list the 7 major classes of air pollutants including ozone and hazardous air pollutants, and describe their effects."
(from review in text book)
"The main classes of air pollutants produced by human activities are particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon oxides, hy- drocarbons, ozone, and hazardous air pollutants. Particulate matter corrodes metals, erodes buildings, and soils fabrics. Nitrogen oxides are associated with photochemical smog and acid deposition; nitrous oxide is associated with global climate change as well as stratospheric ozone depletion; nitrogen oxides corrode metals and fade textiles. Sulfur oxides are associated with acid deposition and corrode metals and damage stone and other materials. Carbon oxides include carbon monoxide, which is poisonous, and carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Hydrocarbons include methane, which is a greenhouse gas; some hy- drocarbons are dangerous to human health. Ozone is a pollutant in the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) and an essential component that screens out UV radiation in the upper atmosphere (the strato- sphere). In the troposphere ozone reduces air visibility, causes health problems, stresses plants, and is a greenhouse gas. Hazardous air pollutants are potentially harmful and can pose long-term health risks to people who live and work around chemical factories, incinerators, or other facilities that produce or use them"
Explain why air pollution is generally worse in developing countries␣than in highly developed countries.
Air quality is deteriorating in developing countries. Rapid industrialization, a growing number of automobiles in those countries, and lack of emissions standards are contributing to air pollution, particularly in urban areas."
Define the stratospheric ozone thinning and describe some of the harmful effects of ozone depletion"
"Stratospheric ozone thinning is the accelerated destruction of ozone, a naturally occurring gas, in the stratosphere by human- produced chlorine- and bromine-containing chemicals. With deple- tion of the ozone layer, higher levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation reach Earth's surface. In humans, excessive exposure to UV radiation causes cataracts, weakened immunity, and skin cancer. Increased levels of UV radiation may disrupt ecosystems, such as the Antarctic food web, because the negative effect of UV radiation on one species has ramifications throughout the ecosystem.
Describe the composition of the atmosphere
"Excluding water vapor and trace gases including air pollutants, four gases comprise the atmosphere: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, and carbon dioxide. The two atmospheric gases most important to living organisms are carbon dioxide and oxygen. Nitrogen gas is an important component of the nitrogen cycle."
Provide examples of agricultural, municipal, and industrial water pollution.
Agriculture is the biggest contributor to surface-water pollution, including fertilizers, pesticides, plant and animal wastes, and eroded soil. Municipal waste can include surface runoff containing a variety of chemical and organic contaminants as well as sewage. Industrial wastes vary based on the type of industry and can include a variety of chemicals, organic materials, and radioactive materials."
List and briefly describe 8 categories of water pollutants
"Water pollution consists of any physical or chemical change in wa- ter that adversely affects the health of humans and other organisms. Sewage is the release of wastewater from drains or sewers (such as from toilets, washing machines, and showers); it includes human wastes, soaps, and detergents. Disease-causing agents, such as "bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasitic worms, are transmitted in sewage. Sediment pollution, primarily from soil erosion, increases water turbidity, thereby reducing photosynthetic productivity in the water. Inorganic plant and algal nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, contribute to enrichment, the fertilization of a body of water. Many organic compounds, such as pesticides, pharmaceuti-cals, solvents, and industrial chemicals, are quite toxic to organisms "Inorganic chemicals include toxins such as lead and mercury. Ra- dioactive substances include the wastes from mining, refining, and using radioactive metals. Thermal pollution occurs when heated water, produced during many industrial processes, is released into waterways."
"Roughly half of the people in the United States obtain their drinking water from
"groundwater, which is also withdrawn for irrigation and industry. "
The most common pollutants of ground water
"pesticides, fertilizers, and organic compounds"
"According to the EPA, WHAT is the leading source of water quality impairment of surface waters nationwide"
"occurs when heated water produced during certain industrial processes is released into waterways. Many industries, such as steam-generated electric power plants, use water to remove excess heat from their operations"
The result of thermal pollution
"is that the waterway is warmed slightly.
Increasing the temperature of a lake, stream, or river leads to several chemical, physical, and biological effects. Chemical reactions, including decomposition of wastes, occur faster, depleting the water of oxygen. Moreover, less oxygen dissolves in warm water than in cool water, and the amount of oxygen dissolved in water has important effects on aquatic life . When the level of dissolved oxygen is lowered due to thermal pollution, a fish ventilates its gills more frequently to obtain enough oxygen. Gill ventilation, however, requires an increased consumption of oxygen. This situation puts a great deal of stress on the fish as it tries to obtain a greater supply of oxygen from a smaller supply dissolved in the water."
less oxygen dissolves in warm water than in
When the level of dissolved oxygen is lowered due to thermal pollution, a fish ventilates its gills more frequently to obtain enough oxygen. Gill ventilation, however, requires an increased consumption of oxygen. This situation puts a great deal of stress on the fish as it tries to
obtain a greater supply of oxygen from a smaller supply dissolved in the water
"According to the EPA, coal-fired power plants release the largest amount (40%) of..
"mercury into the environment"
Sediment pollution, Excessive amounts of suspended soil particles: Originates from erosion of agricultural lands, forest soils exposed by logging, degraded stream banks, overgrazed rangelands, strip mines, and construction, problems associated with this are
Limits light penetration, Covers aquatic animals and plants, Brings insoluble toxins into waterways
Man-made pollutant in the lower atmosphere Secondary air pollutant
Component of photochemical smog
Gas that absorbs infrared radiation
"carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and tropospheric ozone are all
green house gases
"Because CO2 and other gases slow the loss of heat generated by the incoming solar radiation in a manner parallel to how the glass enclosure reduces energy loss in a greenhouse, the natural trapping of heat in the atmosphere is often referred to as the"
"Atmospheric cooling that occurs where and when aerosol pollution is the greatest"
Enhanced greenhouse effect : The buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases absorbs some of the outgoing infrared (heat) radiation, warming the atmosphere. Some of the heat in the warmed atmosphere is transferred back to Earth's sur- face, warming the land and ocean. The percent of incoming radiation absorbed is increasing, while
"the percent reflected is decreasing"
Evidence for climate change
16 warmest years since mid-1800s have occurred since 1990
Phenological spring in N. hemisphere now begins 6 days earlier (date the buds of specific plants open)
where is declining biological diversity the greatest problem?
- concern throughout the US
- -Hawaii (63% of species at risk)
- California (29% of species at risk
- -globally-most serious in tropical rain forests
- -south central American east Asia
The two atmospheric gases most important to living organisms are
carbon dioxide and oxygen
CASE IN POINT disappearing frogs
Amphibians are indicator species because
frogs have permeable skin and most any pollutant can cause damage. 168 amphibian species have gone extinct in last 2 decades
eight categories of water pollutants
sewage, disease-causing agents. Sediment pollution, inorganic plant and algal nutrients, organic compounds, inorganic chemicals, radioactive substances, and thermal pollution
Inorganic plant and algal nutrients :
nitrogen and phosphorus that stimulate the growth of plants and algae (harmful in large amounts)
Inorganic plant and algal nutrients : Sources include
human and animal wastes, plant residues, atmospheric deposition, and fertilizer run off
Sea level rise caused in 2 ways
thermal expansion and melting of land ice
Melting has positive feedback
Increased melting decreases ice, which
decreases albedo leading to further warming
Change in some condition triggers a response that
intensifies the changed condition
sources of radioactive pollution include
Mining, Processing radioactive materials, Medical and Research Facilities, Nuclear power plants, Natural sources
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