37 terms

AP Environmental Science: Chapter 1 Vocab

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abiotic
the nonliving parts of an ecosystem
accuracy
how close a measured value is to the true value
anthropogenic
caused by human activities
background extinction rate
the average rate at which species go extinct over the long term
biodiversity
biological diversity; the diversity of life forms in an environment, in terms of genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity
biophilia
love of life; the need that humans feel to connect with all of life
biotic
the living parts of an ecosystem
control group
the group in an experiment that does not receive the independent variable
critical thinking
the process of questioning the source of information, considering the methods or processes that were used to obtain the information, and drawing your own conclusions
deductive reasoning
applying general statements to specific facts or situations
development
improvement in human well-being through economic advancement
ecological footprint
a measure of how much one consumes, expressed in area of land
ecosystem services
the processes by which life-supporting resources (clean water, timber, fisheries, crops, etc.) are produced
environment
the sum off all the conditions surrounding us that influence life
environmental
pertaining to the environment
environmentalist
one who participates in environmentalism
environmental justice
a social movement and field of study that works toward equal enforcement of environmental laws and the elimination of disparities, whether intended or unintended, in how pollutants and other environmental harms are distributed among various ethnic and socioeconomic groups within a society
environmental science
the field that looks at interactions among human systems and those found in nature
environmental studies
includes environmental science, environmental policy, economics, literature, and ethics
ecosystem
a particular location on Earth whose interacting components include biotic and abiotic components
greenhouse gases
heat-trapping gases, the most important of which is carbon dioxide
hypothesis
a testable conjecture about how something works
indicators
describe the current state of an environmental system
inductive reasoning
making general statements based on specific facts or examples
natural experiment
occurs when a natural event acts as an experimental treatment in an ecosystem
null hypothesis
a statement or idea that can be falsified or proved wrong
precision
how close to one another the repeated measurements are
replication
when scientists take several sets of measurements
sample size
the number of times a measurement is replicated; a larger sample size generally yields better results
scientific method
an objective way to explore the natural world, draw conclusions from it, and predict the outcome of certain events, processes, or changes
species
a group of organisms that is distinct from other groups in form, behavior, and biochemical properties, and can produce fertile offspring
speciation
the evolution of new species
sustainable development
development that balance current human well-being and economic advancement with resource management for the benefit of future generations
sustainability
a measure of how capable our current lifestyles can continue on without using up all of the Earth's resources
system
any set of interacting components that influence one another by exchanging energy or materials
theory
a hypothesis that has been repeatedly tested and confirmed by multiple groups of researchers and has reached wide acceptance
uncertainty
an estimate of how much a measured or calculated value differs from a true value