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36 terms

Ap Environmental Science: Unit 1 Vocabulary

Vocabulary that will help!
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Environment
biotic and abiotic surroundings to which an organism must constantly adjust; includes air, water, weather, temperature, other organisms, and many other factors
Environmental Science
the study of how humans interact with the environment
System
a collection of structures, cycles, and processes that relate to and interact with each other
ecosystem
All the organisms in a given area as well as the abiotic factors with which they interact; a community and its physical environment.
biotic
the living organisms in an ecosystem
abiotic
nonliving, physical features of the environment, including air, water, sunlight, soil, temperature, and climate
environmentalist
person who works to reduce pollution and protect the natural environment
environmental studies
Study of the environment, including the social, political, and ethical aspects or dimensions
ecosystem services
Natural services or natural capital that support life on the earth and are essential to the quality of human life and the functioning of the world's economies.
environmental indicators
organisms or physical factors that serve as a gauge for environmental changes
sustainability
the ability to meet humanities current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
biodiversity
the number of different species in an area
species
group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
speciation
formation of new species
background extinction rate
the average rate at which species go extinct over the long term
greenhouse gases
(Examples: H2O, CO2, O3, methane (CH4), CFC's) (EFFECT: they trap outgoing infrared (heat) energy causing earth to warm
anthropogenic
human induced changes on the natural environment
development
the act of making more area of land or water more profitable or productive or useful
sustainable development
using natural resources at a rate that does not deplete them
biophilia
sense of connection to nature and other forms of life
ecological footprint
The amount of biologically productive land and water needed to support a person or population.
scientific method
a method of investigation involving observation and theory to test scientific hypotheses
hypothesis
a tentative theory about the natural world (based on limited evidence)
null hypothesis
The hypothesis that states there is no difference between two or more sets of data.
replication
the repetition of an experiment in order to test the validity of its conclusion
sample size
The number of subjects used in an experiment or study. Generally, the larger the better.
accuracy
the quality of nearness to the truth or the true value
precision
how close a series of measurements are to one another
uncertainty
being unsettled or in doubt
inductive reasoning
reasoning from specific examples to general
deductive reasoning
reasoning from the general to the specific
critical thinking
the ability and willingness to assess claims critically and to make judgments on the basis of objective and supported reasons
theory
well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations, a tentative theory about the natural world (based on principles)
control group
in an experiment, a group that serves as a standard of comparison with another group to which the control group is identical except for one factor
natural experiment
A natural event that acts as an experimental treatment in an ecosystem.
environmental justice
recognition that access to a clean, healthy environment is a fundamental right of all human beings