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100 terms

100 ways to go apes

Surface mining control and reclamation act
1977, requires coal strip mines to reclaim the land
Madrid protocol
1991, suspension of mineral exploration (mining) for 50 years in Antarctica
Safe drinking water act
1974, set maximum contaminant levels for pollutants in drinking water that may have adverse effects on human health
Clean Water Act
(CWA, 1972) set maximum permissible amounts of water pollutants that can be discharged into
waterways; aims to make surface waters swimmable and fishable
Ocean Dumping Ban Act
(1988) bans ocean dumping of sewage sludge and industrial waste in the ocean
Clean Air Act
(CAA, 1970) set emission standards for cars and limits for release of air pollutants
Kyoto Protocol
(2005) controlling global warming by setting greenhouse gas emissions targets for developed countries
Montreal Protocol
(1987) phase-out of ozone depleting substances
Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA)
(1976) controls hazardous waste with a cradle to grave system
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA)
(1980) "Superfund," designed to
identify and clean up abandoned hazardous waste dump sites
Nuclear Waste Policy Act
(1982) U.S. government must develop a high level nuclear waste site (Yucca Mtn)
Endangered Species Act
(1973) identifies threatened and endangered species in the U.S., and puts their protection ahead of economic considerations
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
(1973) lists species that cannot be commercially traded as live specimens or wildlife products
Magnuson-Stevens Act
(1976) Management of marine fisheries
Food Quality Protection Act
(1996) set pesticide limits in food, & all active and inactive ingredients must be screened for
estrogenic/endocrine effects
National Environmental Policy Act
(1969) Environmental Impact Statements must be done before any project affecting
federal lands can be started
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
(2004) Seeks to protect human health from the 12 most toxic chemicals (includes 8 chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides / DDT can be used for malaria control)
High Quality Energy
organized & concentrated; can perform useful work (fossil fuel & nuclear)
Low Quality Energy
disorganized, dispersed (heat in ocean or air wind, solar)
Ionizing radiation
enough energy to dislodge electrons from atoms, forming ions; capable of causing cancer (gamma, X-rays, UV)
Natural radioactive decay
unstable radioisotopes decay releasing gamma rays, alpha particles, and beta particles
Estimate of how long a radioactive isotope must be stored until it decays to a safe level
approximately 10 half-lives
Nuclear Fusion
two isotopes of light elements (H) forced together at high temperatures till they fuse to form a heavier nucleus (He). Process is expensive; break-even point not reached yet
Organic fertilizer
slow-acting & long-lasting because the organic remains need time to be decomposed
Best solutions to energy shortage
conservation, increase efficiency, explore alternative energy options
organic, dark material remaining after decomposition by microorganisms
deposit of leached material in lower soil layers (B horizon)
Parts of the hydrologic cycle
evaporation, transpiration, runoff, condensation, precipitation, infiltration
Cone of depression
lowering of the water table around a pumping well
El Niño Southern Oscillation, see-sawing of air pressure over the S. Pacific
Comparison of an El Nino year and a non El Nino year
During an El Niño year: trade winds weaken & warm water sloshed back to SA
During a non El Niño year: easterly trade winds and ocean currents pool warm water in the western Pacific, allowing upwelling of nutrient rich water off the west coast of South America
Effects of El Niño
upwelling decreases disrupting food chains; N U.S. has mild winters, SW U.S. has increased rainfall, less Atlantic hurricanes
decomposers convert organic waste into ammonia
ammonia (NH3) is converted to nitrate ions (NO3)30
inorganic nitrogen is converted into organic molecules such as DNA/amino acids & proteins
bacteria convert nitrate (NO3)-and nitrite (NO2)-back into N2 gas
How excess phosphorus is added to aquatic ecosystems
runoff of animal wastes, fertilizer, discharge of sewage
Largest reservoirs of C
carbonate (CO3)2-rocks first, oceans second
using waste heat to make electricity
R strategist
reproduce early in life; many small unprotected offspring
K strategist
reproduce late in life; few offspring; care for offspring
said human population cannot continue to increase exponentially; consequences will be war, famine & disease
Doubling time
rule of 70; 70 divided by the percent growth rate
Preindustrial stage
(demographic transition) birth & death rates high, population grows slowly, infant mortality high
Transitional stage
(demographic transition) death rate lower, better health care, population grows fast
Industrial stage
(demographic transition) decline in birth rate, population growth slows
Postindustrial stage
(demographic transition) low birth & death rates
Percent water on earth by type
97.5% seawater, 2.5% freshwater
Salinization of soil
in arid regions, water evaporates leaving salts behind
Ways to conserve water
agriculture = drip/trickle irrigation; industry = recycling; home = use gray water, repair leaks, low
flow fixtures
biological oxygen demand, amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic decomposers to break down organic materials
rapid algal growth caused by an excess of nitrates (NO3)-and phosphates (PO4)3-in water
when aquatic plants die, the BOD rises as aerobic decomposers break down the plants, the DO drops & the water cannot support life
Minamata disease
(1932-1968, Japan) mental impairments caused by methylmercury (CH3Hg)+ poisoning
Primary air pollutants
produced by humans & nature (CO,CO2,SOx,NOx, hydrocarbons, particulates)
Particulate matter
Source: burning fossil fuels and diesel exhaust
Effect: reduces visibility & respiratory irritation
Reduction: filtering, electrostatic precipitators, alternative energy)
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
Source: auto exhaust
Effects: acidification of lakes, respiratory irritation, leads to smog & ozone
Equation for acid formation: NO + O2 = NO2 + H2O = HNO3
Reduction: catalytic converter
Sulfur oxides (SOx)
Source: coal burning
Effects: acid deposition, respiratory irritation, damages plants
Equation for acid formation: SO2 + O2 = SO3 + H2O = H2SO4
Reduction: scrubbers, burn low sulfur fuel)
Carbon oxides (CO and CO2)
Source: auto exhaust, incomplete combustion
Effects: CO binds to hemoglobin, reducing blood's ability to carry O2; CO2 contributes to
global warming
Reduction: catalytic converter, emission testing, oxygenated fuel, mass transit
Ozone (O3)
Formation: secondary pollutant,
NO2 + uv = NO + O O + O2 = O3, with VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
Effects: respiratory irritant, plant damage
Reduction: reduce NO and VOC emissions
Radon (Rn)
naturally occurring colorless, odorless, radioactive gas, found in some types of soil and rock, can seep into homes and buildings, formed from the decay of uranium (U), causes lung cancer
Effects of global warming
rising sea level (thermal expansion), extreme weather, drought, famine, extinctions
Causes of ozone depletion
CFCs, methyl chloroform or trichloromethane (CHCl3), carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), halon
(haloalkanes), methyl bromide (CH3Br)— all of which attack stratospheric ozone
Effects of ozone depletion
increased UV, skin cancer, cataracts, decreased plant growth
Main component of municipal solid waste (MSW)
paper; most is landfilled
True cost / External costs
harmful environmental side effects that are not reflected in a product's price
Sanitary landfill problems and solutions
problem = leachate; solution = liner with collection system
problem = methane gas; solution = collect gas and burn
problem = volume of garbage; solution = compact and reduce
Incineration advantages
volume of waste reduced by 90%, and waste heat can be used
Incineration disadvantages
toxic emissions (polyvinyl chloride, dioxins), scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators needed,
ash disposal (contains heavy metals)
Best way to solve waste problem
reduce the amounts of waste at the source
Characteristics of endangered species
small range, large territory, or live on an island
In natural ecosystems, methods which control 50-90% of pests
predators, diseases, parasites
Major insecticide groups (and examples)
chlorinated hydrocarbons (DDT); organophosphates (malathion); carbamates (aldicarb)
Pesticide pros
saves lives from insect-transmitted disease, increases food supply, increases profits for farmers
Pesticide cons
genetic resistance, ecosystem imbalance, pesticide treadmill, persistence, bioaccumulation, biological
Natural pest control
better agricultural practices, genetically resistant plants, natural enemies, biopesticides, sex attractants
Electricity generation methods
using steam from water boiled by fossils fuels or nuclear reactions; falling water to turn a turbine to power a generator
Petroleum formation
microscopic aquatic organisms in sediments converted by heat and pressure into a mixture of
Pros of petroleum
relatively cheap, easily transported, high-quality energy
Cons of petroleum
reserves will be depleted soon; pollution during drilling, transport and refining; burning makes CO2
Steps in coal formation
peat, lignite, bituminous, anthracite
Major parts of a nuclear reactor
core, control rods, steam generator, turbine, containment building
Two most serious nuclear accidents
Chernobyl, Ukraine (1986) and Three Mile Island, PA (1979)
Alternate energy sources
wind, solar, waves, biomass, geothermal, fuel cells
LD50 (LD-50, LD50)
the amount of a chemical that kills 50% of the animals in a test population
Mutagen; Teratogen; Carcinogen
(in order) causes hereditary changes through mutations; causes fetus deformities; causes
Volcano and Earthquake occurrence
at plate boundaries (divergent= spreading, mid-ocean ridges) (convergent= trenches)
(transform= sliding, San Andreas)
Sources of mercury
burning coal, compact fluorescent bulbs
Major source of sulfur
burning coal
Temperature Inversion
layer of dense, cool air trapped under a layer of warm dense air, pollution in trapped layer may
build to harmful levels. Frequent in Los Angeles, California and Mexico City, Mexico.
process where water is absorbed by plant roots, moves up through plants, passes through pores (stomata) in leaves or other parts, evaporates into atm. as water vapor
Forest Fires
Types - Surface, Crown, Ground (in order) usually burn only under growth and leaf litter on forest floor;, hot fires, may start on ground but eventually leap from treetop to treetop; go underground, may smolder for days or weeks, difficult to detect and extinguish i.e. peat bogs.
cultivation of a single crop, usually in a large area
Threshold dose
the maximum dose that has no measurable effect
The Tragedy of the Commons
(1968 paper by ecologist Garret Hardin) global commons such as atmosphere and oceans are used by all and owned by none
Greenhouse gases
Examples: H2O, CO2, O3, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), methane (CH4). Effect: they trap outgoing
infrared (heat) energy, causing Earth to warm
Acid deposition
caused by sulfuric and nitric acids (H2SO4, HNO3), resulting in lowered pH of surface waters
Ways to decrease birth rate
family planning, contraception, economic rewards and penalties
First, second and third most populated countries
China, India, U.S.
Chlorine good and bad
good= disinfection of water; bad = forms trihalomethanes