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Study Island- Earth and Human Activity
Terms in this set (29)
The Aral Sea in Central Asia used to be the fourth largest lake in the world, but now barely 10% of it remains. The aerial image below compares the size of the Aral Sea in 2016 to its size in 1960.
Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory
Which of the following explains how the shrinking lake most likely affected the nearby human population?
The shrinking lake reduced fishing and farming opportunities, which decreased the human population nearby.
The Earth's hydrosphere and biosphere are interdependent. This means that alterations in the hydrosphere can affect the biosphere, and alterations in the biosphere can affect the hydrosphere.Pharmaceuticals such as estrogen can be excreted by humans into the wastewater system and subsequently pollute groundwater and surface water. Estrogen is a hormone that is associated with the development of female characteristics.Which of the following effects is most likely caused by estrogen pollution in the hydrosphere?
an increase in the ratio of female to male fish
Throughout the history of the Earth, large changes in climate have caused ocean levels to rise and fall. Which of the following describes how rising ocean levels would most likely affect humans over the next several decades?
Humans would migrate away from coastal areas due to flooding.
Humans depend upon a variety of Earth's natural resources. Certain resources should be conserved because humans are able to consume them much faster than they can be replaced by natural processes.
Which of the following is a resource that should be conserved?
Albert wants to practice conservation. He has decided to examine his lifestyle in order to identify areas in which he can reduce the resources he consumes, reuse resources he already has, and recycle resources that he cannot reuse. In which of the following ways can Albert best reduce the resources he currently consumes?
Ride a bike to work instead of taking his car.
Sustainability refers to systems and activities aimed at preserving a particular resource. More specifically, human sustainability refers to strategies and methods aimed at preserving and improving the quality of human life. Which of the following factors most affects human sustainability?
Human activity can cause changes in one of the Earth's systems that lead to subsequent alterations in a different system. For example, the combustion of fuel in automobiles can cause elevated levels of atmospheric nitrogen oxides. Reactions within the atmosphere convert nitrogen oxides into nitric acid, which can subsequently return to the Earth's surface as acid rain.Which of the following statements best describes the effect of acid rain on the hydrosphere?
Surface water in nearby areas can become polluted.
In the early 19th century, rabbits were shipped from Europe to Australia. These non-native rabbits rapidly became invasive due to little competition for food and relatively few predators in the introduced regions. Which of the following explains the effect humans most likely had on the ecosystem by introducing this non-native rabbit species?
The non-native rabbits decreased the ecosystem biodiversity by causing a decline of other organism populations that were competing for resources.
Human activity that impacts the Earth's atmosphere can eventually impact the Earth's cryosphere. The cryosphere includes the frozen parts of the Earth's surface.Greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere during industrial processes have the potential to accelerate global warming. If greenhouse gas emission continue to increase, how will this most likely effect the cryosphere?
Glaciers will melt at a faster rate.
A scientist has determined a new way for automobiles to run using an alternative energy source. What factors must be considered before the scientist's method can be mass-produced by an auto maker?
all of these
Most modern forms of transportation are powered by fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, and other gases are released into the atmosphere during the production and combustion of these fuels. How might these gases cause climatic changes?
These gases reduce the amount of thermal energy escaping into space, effectively warming the atmosphere.
A group of scientists studying human sustainability researched how the world's population is changing using the information below.
Image courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau
The scientists found that the human population doubled from 1959 to 1999, growing from 3 billion to 6 billion people. Given that the human population is projected to continue increasing, which of the following strategies are the scientists most likely to propose in order to preserve and improve human sustainability?
Increase agricultural efficiency to ensure farm land is being used productively and can support an increasing population.
A town must decide whether to convert their bus fleet from gasoline to electric-powered vehicles. Which of the following would most likely be a benefit to the city resulting from the switch?
reduced carbon monoxide emissions
Water treatment facilities have been developed in many countries in order to provide clean water to their inhabitants. However, in some parts of the world, these facilities do not exist, and residents must sterilize their water by boiling it. Alternately, the best way to obtain pure water is by
digging deep wells.
Urbanization describes an overall migration of humans from rural to urban and industrial areas. This process can have both positive and negative environmental impacts.Which of the following accurately describes a way in which urbanization can have a positive environmental impact?
Centralizing populations generally reduces the need for individual automobiles, which decreases greenhouse gas emissions.
During the water cycle, water from rivers, lakes, and streams evaporates into water vapor. Then, the water vapor condenses in the cool atmosphere to form precipitation which falls back down to Earth. How does the water cycle affect humans?
all of these
The image below shows where shale oil and gas formed throughout the world in 2013.
Image courtesy of U.S. Energy Information Administration
Which of the following best describes how humans are influenced by natural resources such as shale oil and gas?
Most humans are dependent upon oil and gas, regardless of where they live on the map.
Albert wants to practice conservation. He has decided to examine his lifestyle in order to identify areas in which he can reduce the resources he consumes, reuse resources he already has, and recycle resources that he cannot reuse. In which of the following ways can Albert best reuse the resources he currently has?
clean empty food jars, and use them to organize small tools in his garage
The impact of human activity can lead to the decline of ecosystems. Which of the following is concerned with returning the ecosystem to its original state?
Coal is a fossil fuel that is formed from plant remains that were buried under layers of rock for millions of years. Coal serves as the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity in the world, but to obtain coal, it is necessary to dig underground.Mountaintop coal mining is one way in which coal is retrieved from the ground. During this process, mountaintops are removed and placed in adjacent valleys, so the coal is left exposed. This coal mining process can cause
all of these
Which of the following examples describes an act of conservation?
planting new trees to replace ones that have been cut down
Over the past generations, there has been a great deal of deforestation to accommodate the increase in the human population. Which statement describes one of the main impacts of deforestation?
decrease in animal populations
The burning of fossil fuels provides energy for humans to use, but it also can have negative effects. For example, when large power plants burn fossil fuels, certain chemicals are released in the atmosphere that react with water vapor, resulting in acidic precipitation. This phenomenon is known as acid rain. Acid rain has had an adverse effect on ecosystem diversity throughout the world.Which of the following would best decrease acid rain levels and reduce the human pollution impact on the environment?
regulation of factory emissions
The processes of natural ecosystems are not only affected by humans; they also affect humans. How might deforestation affect the carbon cycle and humans?
Deforestation might increase atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and make the Earth warmer.
In recent years, composting has become more common in American households. Composting involves decomposing organic matter in order to make a soil additive. Organic matter such as food waste and yard trimmings can be placed in a compost pile or bin. Over time, bacteria and other decomposers break down the organic matter into humus, an important component of fertile soil.Which of the following is a benefit of composting?
Households that compost will produce less solid waste.
During the 19th century, millions of American plains bison were killed for their valuable hides and because they were seen as a nuisance during the westward expansion of the United States.Which of the following actions would be most likely to restore native bison populations with the least cost to humans and the environment?
moving bison to protected lands where they can live and breed freely
One technique used to check ecosystem health and biodiversity of an ecosystem is to monitor populations of native species and introduced species. Native species are species that were present in an ecosystem before humans began altering it. Generally, the more native species that are present, the healthier the ecosystem.Introduced species are species that humans bring into an ecosystem from other ecosystems. Introduced species can become invasive species if they outcompete native species for local resources. In some cases, invasive species can cause native species to disappear from an ecosystem, or even to become extinct. Some invasive species can even become the only species of its kind in an ecosystem, which greatly reduces biodiversity.Based on this information, which of the following ecosystems is the healthiest and most diverse?
An ecosystem with several native species and no introduced species.
Mass wasting is the large downward movement of rock and soil due to the force of gravity. It is constantly occurring throughout Earth's surface, and it is an important part of the erosional process in the rock cycle, as it moves materials from higher to lower elevations. Some mass wasting processes happen very slowly, while others occur very suddenly, as shown in the image below taken at Redwood National Park.
Image courtesy of the National Park Service
Which of the following best explains how mass wasting affects human activity?
Human-built structures, such as houses and roadways, must be carefully planned to avoid the effects of mass wasting.
Forest fires often have some benefits to the ecosystem. For example, when a forest fire occurs, large trees are cleared, and new sprouting seedlings benefit from increased exposure to sunlight. Also, if there is no forest fire for a long period of time, dry debris from trees can build up on the ground and become a fire hazard. Such a fire hazard would result in a catastrophic fire.Because of this, many government organizations administer controlled fires to help preserve the ecosystem. Which of the following best describes the human effect on the environment when using controlled fires?
Although controlled fires can be beneficial to ecosystems, they also release a large amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and can be dangerous.
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