26 terms

Human Impact

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Acid Rain
Rain containing acids that form in the atmosphere when industrial gas emissions (especially sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) combine with water.
ozone depletion
thinning of Earth's ozone layer caused by CFC's leaking into the air and reacting chemically with the ozone, breaking the ozone molocules apart
climate change
Any significant change in measures of climate, such as temperature, precipitation, or wind, lasting for an extended period of a decade or longer.
global warming
An increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere (especially a sustained increase that causes climatic changes)
biodiversity
The diversity of plant and animal life in a particular ecosystem
exotic species
A species that is not native to a particular region.
invasive species
A species that is not native to an area, they unbalance and disturb a native ecosystem and can kill off native organisms.
rainforest
A tropical forest, usually of tall, densely growing, broad-leaved evergreen trees in an area of high annual rainfall.
desert
A type of biome characterized by low moisture levels and infrequent and unpredictable precipitation. Daily and seasonal temperatures fluctuate widely
tundra
A vast, level, treeless plain in the arctic regions. The ground beneath the surface of the tundras is frozen even in summer
carbon cycle
The organic circulation of carbon from the atmosphere into organisms and back again
water cycle
The continuous process by which water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere and back
nitrogen cycle
The transfer of nitrogen from the atmosphere to the soil, to living organisms, and back to the atmosphere
decomposers
Fungi and bacteria are considered this since they can transform complex molecules into simpler raw materials and return them to the soil
biomagnification
Increase in concentration of certain stable chemicals (for example, heavy metals or fat-soluble pesticides) in successively higher trophic levels of a food chain or web
fracking
Pumping a mixture of sand, water and chemicals to create cracks in rock layers, which allow the natural gas to flow to the surface.
deforestation
The process of stripping the land of its trees
overfishing
Harvesting so many fish of a species, especially immature fish, that not enough breeding stock is left to replenish the species and it becomes unprofitable to harvest them.
introduced species
species moved by humans to new geographic areas, either intentionally or accidentally
trade-off
An exchange of one thing in return for another; giving up one benefit or advantage for another regarded as more desirable.
finite
having limits; lasting for a limited time
infinite
limitless or endless
renewable resource
A natural resource that can be replaced at the same rate at which the resource is consumed
nonrenewable resource
A natural resource that is not replaced in a useful time frame.
alternative energy
energy derived from sources that do not use up natural resources or harm the environment
alternative energy examples
solar energy, nuclear power, tidal power, hydrogen fuel cells, and ocean thermal energy conversion
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