38 terms

AP Environmental Science Chapter 1 Vocab

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environment
a sum of all the conditions surrounding us that influence life.
environmental science
the field that looks at interactions among humans and nature.
system
a set of interacting components that influence one another by exchanging energy or materials.
ecosystem
the living and non-living components of a particular place on earth.
biotic
the living part of the Earth (animals, plants)
abiotic
the non-living part of the Earth (soil, air, water)
environmental studies
includes environmental science, the study of interactions among human systems and those found in nature along with other subjects such as environmental policy, economics, literature and ethics.
ecosystem services
environments provide life supporting services such as clean water, timber, fisheries, crops.
environmental indicators
describe the current state of the environment.
sustainability
living on the Earth in a way that allows us to use its resources without depriving future generations of those resources.
biodiversity
the diversity of life formed in an environment
genetic diversity
A measure of the genetic variation among individuals in a population.
species
a group of organisms that is distinct form other groups in form, behavior or biochemical properties. Individuals in a species can breed and produce fertile offspring.
ecosystem diversity
A measure of the diversity of ecosystems or habitats that exist in a particular region.
greenhouse gases
gases in our planets atmosphere that act like a blanket, trapping heat near Earth's surface.
anthropogenic
caused by human activities.
development
improvement in human well-being through economic advancement. As economies develop, resource consumption also increases.
sustainable development
development that balances current human well-being and economic advancement with resource management for the benefit of future generations.
ecological footprint
A measure of how much a person consumes, expressed in area of land.
hypothesis
An educated guess that can be proved or disproved through controlled experimentation.
null hypothesis
a statement that can be proved wrong.
replication
repeating the measurement many times
sample size
the number of times the measurement is repeated.
accuracy
how close a measured value is to the actual or true value.
precision
how close to one another the repeated measurements are.
uncertainty
how much the measure differs from the true value
inductive reasoning
the process of making general statements from specific facts or examples.
deductive reasoning
the process of applying a general statement to specific facts or situations.
theory
a hypothesis that has been repeatedly tested and confirmed by multiple groups of researchers and is widely accepted.
natural experiment
when a natural event, such as a volcano, acts as an experimental treatment in an ecosystem
environmentalist
a person who participates in environmentalism
speciation
the evolution of new species
background extinction rate
the average rate at which species go extinct over the long term
biophilia
love of life
scientific method
an objective way to explore the natural world, draw inferences from it, and predict the outcome of certain events, processes, or changes
critical thinking
questioning the source of information, considering the methods or processes that were used to obtain the information, and drawing conclusions
control group
a group that experiences exactly the same conditions as the experimental group, except for the single variable under study
environmental justice
a social movement and field of study that works toward equal enforcement of environmental laws and the elimination of disparities in how pollutants and other environmental harms are distributed among the various ethnic and socioeconomic groups within a society