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First law of thermodynamics Energy is neither created nor destroyed, may be converted from one form to another
Second law of thermodynamics When energy is changed from one form to another, some useful energy is degraded into lower quality energy (usually heat) entropy is increased
High quality energy Organized and concentrated, able to perform useful work (ex. Oil and nuclear)
Low quality energy Disorganized dispersed (ex. Heat)
Units of energy joules, calories, kilocalories, BTU's, kilowatt-hours
Power The rate of doing work
Units of power Watts and kilowatts
Electromagnetic radiation Form of energy, travel as waves - radio waves, IR, visible light, UV, gamma rays
Ionizing radiation Has enough energy to knock electrons from atoms, forming ions and capable of doing damage to DNA
Radioactive decay Unstable radioisotopes decay releasing gamma rays, alpha and beta particles
Half-life Time it takes for 1/2 of the mass of a radioisotope to decay
Estimate of how long a radioisotope must be stored until it has decayed to a safe level 10 half lives
Nuclear fission Nuclei of isotopes are split apart into smaller nuclei; used in nuclear reactors.
Nuclear fusion 2 isotopes of light elements are forced together at high temperatures; not technologically available now
Parts of hydrologic cycle Evaporation (transpiration), condensation, precipitation
Fate of precipitation Runoff or infiltration, percolation
Aquifer Underground water bearing layer water table- upper surface of groundwater
Cone of depression Lowering of water table around a pumping well
Salt water intrusion Over pumping of groundwater near coast causes salt water to move into aquifer
Ways to conserve water Agriculture - drip irrigation, industry - recycling, home use - fix leaks,use gray water, low flow fixtures.
Distribution of water on earth 97% seawater, 2% in icecaps and glaciers, <1% in groundwater, surface, organism, and atmosphere
Carbon Component of all organic molecules.
Largest reservoir of carbon Sedimentary rocks, then ocean
Photosynthesis Process by which plants convert CO2 to carbohydrates, removes C from the atmosphere
Cellular respiration Organisms break down carbohydrates; releases energy, returns C to atmosphere.
Processes that release C back into the atmosphere Cellular respiration and decomposition, fires, burning fossil fuels, volcanoes
Carbon-silicate cycle Very slow, geological cycle, C in oceans used by marine organisms, end up in ocean sediments and are subducted into earth's crust, eventually returned through volcanic venting
Nitrogen Component of proteins and amino acids
Largest reservoir of nitrogen The atmosphere (78% N2). Producers cannot use nitrogen gas.
Nitrogen fixation N2 is converted to ammonia NH3. Bacteria do this
Nitrification Ammonia is converted to nitrite (NO2) to nitrate
Assimilation Plants incorporate ammonia and nitrate ions into organic molecules (nucleic acids, amino acids )
Ammonification Decomposer bacteria break down organic compounds into ammonia.
Denitrification Specialized bacteria convert nitrogen compounds into N2 and N2O wich is released into the atmosphere.
Phosphorus component of nucleic acids
P cycles more slowly no gaseous phase, mostly found in rocks as PO4, released by weathering.
P major limiting factor for plant growth.
Too much P in aquatic ecosystems from animal wastes, fertilizers, sewage can cause eutrophication.
Earth is 4.5 billion years old 1st cells appeared 3.5 billions years ago
Created by: danat214