35 terms

AP Environmental Science Chapter 1: Studying the State of Our Earth


Terms in this set (...)

The sum of all the conditions surrounding us that influence life
Environmental Science
The field that looks at interactions among human systems and those found in nature.
A particular location on Earth whose interacting components include living components and nonliving components
Living components
Nonliving components
A person who participates in environmentalism
Environmental Studies
Environmental Science, environmental policy, economics, literature, and ethics
Ecosystem Services
The process by which life-supporting resources such as clean water, timber, fisheries, and agricultural crops are produced
Environmental Indicators
Describe the current state of an environmental system
Living on Earth in a way that allows us to use its resources without depriving future generations of those resources
The diversity of life forms in an environment
A group of organisms that is distinct from other groups in its morphology (body from and structure), behavior, or biochemical properties.
The evolution of new species
Background Extinction Rate
The average rate at which species go extinct over the long term
Greenhouse Gases
Heat-trapping gases
Derived from human activities
Improvement in human well-being through economic advancement
Sustainable Development
Development that balances current human well-being and economic advancement with resource management for the benefit of future generations
Love of life
Ecological Footprint
A measure of how much that is person consumes, expressed in area of land
Scientific Method
An objective way to explore the natural world, draw inferences from it, and predict the outcome of certain events, processes, or changes
A testable conjecture about how something works
Null Hypothesis
A statement or idea that can be falsified, or proved wrong
Taking several sets of measurements
Sample Size
The number of times a measurement is replicated
How close a measured value is to the actual or true value
How close to one another the repeated measurements of the same sample are
An estimate of how much a measured or calculated value differs from a true value
Inductive Reasoning
The process of making general statements from specific facts or examples
Critical Thinking
Essential to all scientific endeavor
A hypothesis that has been repeatedly tested and confirmed by multiple groups of researchers and has reached wide acceptance
Natural Law
A theory to which there are no known exceptions and which has withstood rigorous testing
Control Group
A group that experiences exactly the same conditions as the experimental group, except for the single variable under study
Natural Experiment
Occurs when a natural event acts as an experimental treatment in an ecosystem
Environmental Justice
A social movement and field of study that works toward equal enforcement of environmental laws and the elimination of disparities, whether intended or unintended, in how pollutants and other environmental harms are distributed among the various ethnic and socioeconomic groups within a society.