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Chapter 12 Geo

Human Impact on the Environment

QuestionAnswer
What is ecology? The study of how organisms interact with one another and with their physical environment
What is the biosphere? A think film of air, water, and earth within which we live
What is the troposphere? The lowest layer of the earth's atmosphere that goes up to seven miles above the earth
What is the hydrosphere? It includes the surface and subsurface water on/in the earth (icluding glaciers and water trapped in the ice/earth)
What is the lithosphere? The soils of the earth supporting plant and animal life
What is a food chain? A sequence of organisms through which energy and materials move within an ecosystem
What is the "IPAT"equation (I=PAT)? Impact on environment = population x affluence x technology factor
What is the hydrologic system? The system by which water is continuously circulated through the biosphere and changes form
What is desalization and why is it important? The cleansing of water of seawater of its salt and mineral content so it can be used as a possible solution for the scarcity of water supply
What is Euthrophication? the enrichment of water by nutrients
What is a point source? Enters the environment at specific sites such as sewage treatment facilities or industry discharge pipes
What is a non-point source? They enter the environment in a more diffuse way making it more difficult to control such as runoffs from agricultural fields and road salts
What makes air polluted? When air contains substances in sufficent concentrations to have a harmful effects on living things
What are some natural air pollutants? Volcanic ash, marsh gases, and smoke from forest fires
What are some unnatural air pollutants? The most common is the burning of fossils fuels such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydracarbons, nitrate oxides, particulates, and sulfar oxides
What are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)? The most significant chemicals that destroy the ozone layer and includes halons, carbontetrachloride, and methyl chlorofoam and are found in refridgerators, A/C, spray cans, and hundreds of other products
What is surface mining? It involves the removal of vegetation, top soil, and rocks from the earth's surface in order to get resources underneath
What is strip mining? A trench is dug, the material is excavated, another is dug and the waste from this trench goes into the first
What is leachate? Chemically created drainage from landfills that contaminates groundwater (can be organic or nonorganic)
What is low-level radioactive waste? It stays radioactive for less than 100 years and its sources include nuclear powe plants, industries, research establishments, universities, and hospitals
What is high-level radioactive waste? It can remain radioactive for over 10,000 years
what is civilian waste? (High-level waste) primarily spent fuel assemblies of nuclear reactors
What is military waste? (High-level waste) By-product of manufacture of nuclear weapons
Created by: rqbert