95 terms

APES Chapter 6 (Unit 2)


Terms in this set (...)

Gaia Hypothesis
the hypothesis that earth's organisms adjust the environment to keep it habitable for life; the planet behaves like a living organism
Negative Feedback Loop
feedback loop that works to restore the normal values of a variable, thereby stabilizing the system. Operates between organisms and the physical environment. Response to a change that restores equilibrium
Biogeochemical Cycles
cycles of matter (involve biological, geological, and chemical interactions). Five types for the most important compounds for life
nitrogen, oxygen, carbon
the atmosphere is mostly _____ and _____, ______ is only 0.04%
the part environment that receives an input of materials; economies depend on these for waste
fossil fuels, trees, ocean, atmosphere, limestone
carbon dioxide sinks (5)
steps of the _____ cycle: Photosynthesis (producers take carbon dioxide out of the air) --> cellular respiration (animals eat producers and release CO2 into the air --> decomposition (releases CO2) --> combustion (wood, coal, oil, and natural gas return stored carbon to the atmosphere when burned) --> sediments accumulate and erode (marine organisms accumulate on the ocean floor to form limestone, which releases carbon when it erodes)
a sedimentary rock made from decomposed marine creatures; releases carbon when it erodes
carbon dioxide is a _____ gas, meaning it traps heat in the atmosphere by absorbing and re-radiating heat as infrared (form of solar radiation that cannot reflect out of the atmosphere), which is reflected back to earth
combustion, sinks, warming
since the Industrial Revolution, humans have released an excess of CO2 through ______, which overloads carbon _____ and contributes to global _____
carbon is the defining element of ______ molecules, which are essential to life; include carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids
proteins, nucleic acids, atmosphere
nitrogen is an essential part of ____ and ____ ____ (DNA/RNA), and composes most of the gas in the ____
atmospheric nitrogen is too stable to readily bond with other elements, so it must be ______ to be available for biological use
nitrogen fixation, nitrification, assimilation, ammonification, denitrification
5 steps of the nitrogen cycle
Nitrogen Fixation
conversion of gaseous nitrogen to ammonia/ammonium by bacteria in soil and legume root nodules
enzyme employed by nitrogen-fixing bacteria that splits N2 and combines it with hydrogen
combustion, volcanic activity, lightning, industry
methods of abiotic nitrogen-fixation (4)
the conversion of ammonia to nitrites and then nitrates by bacteria in the soil (now a usable nutrient for plants)
the conversion of inorganic nitrates into organic molecules (proteins, nucleic acids) by plants that take in nitrates through their roots. Animals then ingest the plants and convert them to animal compounds
the conversion of organic nitrogen (biological molecules containing nitrogen) to ammonia and ammonium ions by bacteria. Happens through the decomposition of organisms and their wastes
bacteria reverse the action of nitrogen-fixation by returning nitrogen to the atmosphere as nitrogen gas
agricultural product that leaks into and contaminates groundwater and oceans, causing algal blooms that kill marine life (steal all the oxygen)
mixture of air pollutants that injure plant tissues, irritate eyes, and cause respiratory issues; results from the release of nitrogen oxides by fossil fuel combustion
Acid Deposition
sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, emitted by burning fossil fuels, enter the atmosphere, where they combine with oxygen and water. Return to earth where they cause the PH of surface waters and soil to lower
_______ does not form gaseous compounds, and is therefore not found in the atmosphere
nucleic acids, ATP
phosphorous is an essential component of _____ _____ and _____
Steps of the ____ cycle: erosion --> taken up by plant roots --> eaten by animals or taken in through drinking water --> returned to soil by decomposers
(aquatic) absorbed/assimilated by algae and plants --> consumed by plankton --> eaten by fish --> decomposers re-release into water
Phosphate can be ____ from the cycle if carried from the land to the ocean by streams/rivers, where it is deposited on the sea floor and remains for millennia. Humans are accelerating this process through farming, sewage, and the clearcutting of forests
sulfur is an essential component of _____
rocks, minerals
most sulfur is found in sedimentary ____ and ____, which erode to release sulfur-containing compounds into the ocean
steps of the ____ cycle: atmosphere (sea spray, forest fires, dust storms, volcanic activity, burning coal, smelting metals)--> goes to soil/water --> plants --> animals eat --> returns to soil and creates metallic deposits
_____ drive the sulfur cycle
acid rain
burning coal and smelting metals puts sulfur into the atmosphere at unprecedented levels, where it mixes with water to create sulfur oxide that falls to the earth as ___ ___
precipitation, evaporation, condensation, transpiration, runoff, percolation
processes of the hydrologic cycle (6)
process by which water moves from the atmosphere to the land -- rain, snow, sleet, hail
sunlight turns water from the earth's surface into a gaseous form that creates clouds in the atmosphere
loss of water vapor from plants
the moment of water from land to rivers, lakes, wetlands, and ultimately the ocean (brings everything on the land with it)
area of land being drained by runoff
the process of water seeping downward through the soil and rock to become groundwater
tiny particles of air pollution produced from fossil fuel combustion and the burning of forests. Enhance the scattering/absorption of sunlight in the atmosphere and cause brighter clouds that increase the temperature of the atmosphere while decreasing the solar radiation reaching earth and the ocean (less evaporation). Creates clouds less likely to release precipitation
the hydrologic cycle is powered by the ___
the proportional reflectance of earth's surface (snow and ice are highly reflective); cools the earth by reflecting sunlight away
the root nodules of ____ contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria
nitrogen-fixing bacteria require ____ conditions
if water cannot ____ (due to pavement/synthetic ground coverings), it runs off to the nearest body of water, taking all the waste and nutrients in the soil with it
spherical, tilt
earth's ______ shape and ____ create variation in sunlight exposure; the sun's rays hit nearly vertically at the equator (more concentrated, obliquely at the poles (energy is spread out over a larger surface area). Creates seasons and differing climates
Organisms depend on, but also ____ and maintain the atmosphere
the lowest layer of the atmosphere; where weather occurs
the layer of the atmosphere that contains the ozone; second closest to earth's surface
middle layer of the atmosphere; meteors burn up here
layer of the atmosphere characterized by steadily rising temperatures; second farthest away from earth's surface. Reflects outgoing radio waves back to earth/where aurora borealis occur
outermost layer of the atmosphere; extends into space
complex horizontal movements of air that result from differences in atmospheric pressure and earth's rotation. Blow from areas of high atmospheric pressure to low atmospheric pressure
Coriolis Effect
moving air is deflected from its path by the earth's rotation, causing it to swerve right in the Northern Hemisphere and left in the Southern Hemisphere
right, left
the Coriolis Effect dictates that air is deflected to the _____ in the Northern Hemisphere and _____ in the Southern Hemisphere
Prevailing Winds
major surface winds that blow continually; three types
polar easterlies, westerlies, trade winds
name the three types of prevailing winds: _____ _____ (blow from the Northeast near the North Pole/from the Southeast near the South Pole), _____ (blow in the mid-latitudes from the Southwest in the Northern Hemisphere/the Northwest in the Southern Hemisphere), _____ _____ (tropical winds that blow from the Northeast in the Northern Hemisphere/the Southeast in the Southern Hemisphere; near the equator)
mass movements of surface ocean water caused by prevailing winds
circular ocean currents
Coriolis Effect
the _____ _____ causes ocean currents to swerve right in the Northern Hemisphere and left in the Southern Hemisphere, which creates a counterclockwise pattern
there is less land mass in the _____ Hemisphere; therefore, water flow is less impeded there
density, currents
the varying _____ of sea water impact deep ocean currents: colder/saltier water sinks while warm/less salty water rises, creating ____ far below the surface
the Coriolis Effect in the Ocean is more pronounced at _____ depths
Ocean Conveyor Belt
circulation of shallow and deep currents that transfers heat from one region to another through the movement of warm and cold water
El Nino-Southern Oscillation
example of interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean; periodic warming of surface waters of the tropical eastern Pacific that alters both ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns and results in unusual weather in areas far the the tropical Pacific
El Nino results in weak trade winds, which prevent _______ from bringing nutrient-rich water to the surface (destruction of South American fisheries)
the movement of deep, cold, and nutrient-rich water to the surface caused by trade winds
conditions in the atmosphere at a given place and time (increased temperature, atmospheric pressure, precipitation, cloudiness, humidity, and wind); temporary/day-to-day
the average weather conditions that occur in a place over a period of years. Determined by temperature (both average and extremes), precipitation (both average and extremes), wind, humidity, fog, cloud cover, and lightning. Changes slowly
latitude, elevation, topography, vegetation, distance from ocean, location on land mass
factors that influence climate (6)
which elements are the most biologically important?
Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium
ingredients of plant fertilizer (3 elements)
evaporation, rises, cools, decreases
heavy rainfall occurs in the tropics because high surface water temperatures cause the _____ of water. This evaporated water blows over land and is heated by the land surface. The air _____ due to its heat, then ______ as it rises, which ______ its moisture-holding ability. Clouds form and precipitation is released on the tropics
rain shadows
______ ______ occur when mountains force air upwards. As it rises, the air cools, causing clouds to form and release precipitation (windward slope receives rainfall). All the moisture is taken out of the air by the time it goes down the other side of the mountain, creating dry, arid land (leeward side)
powerful, rotating funnel of air associated with severe thunderstorms; forms when a mass of cool, dry air collides with warm, humid air, producing a strong updraft of spinning air on the underside of a cloud. More concentrated energy than any other type of storm and most common in the US (Great Plains, Midwest, Gulf of Mexico)
Tropical Cyclones
giant, rotating tropical storms with powerful wind velocities. Form as strong winds pick up moisture over warm surface waters of the tropical ocean and start to spin as a result of the earth's rotation; upward spiral of clouds. Causes storm surges (huge waves) and torrential rains (flooding and landslides)
Plate Tectonics
the movement of crustal plates that float on the mantle (layer of hot/soft rock beneath the earth's crust and above the earth's core)
Plate Boundary
area where tectonic plates meet; site of intense geological activity, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain formation
pockets of molten rock formed when rock reaches the melting point; under the surface
magma that reaches earth's surface; happens when one plate slides under/away from an adjacent plate
Hot Spot
weak spot in oceanic crust that allows magma to flow up; not a plate boundary
_________ are caused when forces in the earth push/stretch rocks in the crust and energy accumulates until the rock suddenly shifts or breaks
Seismic Waves
vibrations that spread through rocks rapidly in all directions to cause earthquakes
fractures in earth's crust along which rock moves forward/backward, up/down, side/side; where most earthquakes occur (often found at plate boundaries)
site where earthquake begins (often far below the surface)
point directly above the focus of an earthquake on earth's surface
where prevailing winds meet; no clear wind direction
the _______ islands occur on a hot spot
Divergent Boundary
the boundary between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other; creates new oceanic crust. Under continental plates, creates a rift valley
Transform Fault
tectonic plates slide past each other (San Andreas); earthquakes occur in these areas
Convergent Boundary
a tectonic plate boundary where two plates collide, come together, or crash into each other (collision, subduction)
Collision Boundary
a convergent boundary in which continental crusts collide, causing mountains to form
Subduction Boundary
a convergent boundary in which an oceanic crust collides either with another oceanic crust or a continental and one slides under the other. An oceanic crust will always slide beneath the continental because it is more dense. Volcanoes (ring of fire) and ocean trenches form here
La Nina
a cooling of the water in the equatorial Pacific, which occurs at irregular intervals, and is associated with widespread changes in weather patterns complementary to those of El Niño, but less extensive and damaging in their effects