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Terms in this set (60)

Renewable Energy:

Radiant energy emitted by the sun
Ex.: Solar panels

-Biomass (burn):
Biomass is organic material that comes from plants and animals, and it is a renewable source of energy. Biomass contains stored energy from the sun. Plants absorb the sun's energy in a process called photosynthesis. When biomass is burned, the chemical energy in biomass is released as heat.

Wind energy (or wind power) refers to the process of creating electricity using the wind or air flows that occur naturally in the earth's atmosphere.
Ex.: Wind turbines

-Geothermal (Uneven heating of the Earth's surface):
Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. It's clean and sustainable.

-Hydropower Energy:
Flowing water creates energy that can be captured and turned into electricity.
Non-Renewable Energy:

-Fossil Fuel:
A natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms.

-Fossil Fuel Oil (petroleum):
A liquid mixture of hydrocarbons that is present in certain rock strata and can be extracted and refined to produce fuels
Ex.: Gasoline

-Coal (fossil fuel):
A combustible black or dark brown rock consisting mainly of carbonized plant matter found mainly in underground deposits and widely used as fuel.
Ex.: Coal

-Natural Gas (fossil fuel):
Flammable gas, consisting largely of methane and other hydrocarbons, occurring naturally underground (often in association with petroleum) and used as fuel.
Ex.: Propane

The energy released during nuclear fission or fusion, especially when used to generate electricity.
Ex.: Nuclear power plants
Plants move carbon from the atmosphere into the biosphere through photosynthesis: they take in carbon dioxide and use energy from the sun to chemically combine it with hydrogen and oxygen to create sugar molecules. Animals that eat the plant can digest the sugar molecules to get energy for their bodies. Respiration, excretion, and decomposition release the carbon back into the atmosphere or soil continuing the cycle.

The ocean plays a critical role in the storage of carbon, as it holds about 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere. Two-way carbon exchange can occur quickly between the ocean's surface waters and the atmosphere, but carbon may also be stored for centuries at the deepest ocean depths.

Rocks such as limestone and fossil fuels such as coal and oil are storage reservoirs that contain carbon from plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. When these organisms died, slow geologic processes trapped their carbon and transformed it into these natural resources. Processes such as erosion release this carbon back into the atmosphere very slowly while volcanic activity can release it very quickly.

Key Facts:

-The amount of carbon on Earth is finite. (matter is not created or destroyed/ carbon is not created or destroyed)

-The natural carbon cycle is a transfer of carbon between living matter and the atmosphere.

-Carbon is found in the atmosphere, in oceans and in the ground.

-When fossil fuels are burnt, the carbon in them is released into the atmosphere.

-Human activity affects the balance of the carbon cycle by putting more carbon in the atmosphere then in the ground or oceans;

The process in which carbon travels from the atmosphere into organisms and the Earth and then back into the atmosphere