AP Environmental Science Vocabulary Flashcards

Terms Definitions
reproducibility
capable of being renewed/reproduced.
environmentalism
Being active in protecting/maintaining a clean/healthy environment.
winds
"horizontal movements" in the atmosphere caused by differences in atmospheric pressure and also the Earth's rotation
humus
the dark, crumbly, nutrient-rich material that results from the decomposition of organic material.
pathogens
bacteria, virus, or other microorganisms that can cause disease.
epicenter
spot on Earth's surface, directly above an earthquake's focus
gyres
Large, circular ocean current systems that often encompass an entire ocean basin
environmental ethics
Question the moral relationships humans have with our world.
consumption
the day-to-day use of environmental resources as food, clothing, and housing.
natural resources
biotic and abiotic natural ecosystems.
Southern Oscillation
the atmospheric pressure conditions corresponding to the periodic warming of El Nino and cooling of La Nina.
Westerlies
These prevailing winds come from the southwest in the Northern Hemisphere and northwest in the Southern Hemisphere
Nitrification
second step of nitrogen cycle. ammonia (NH3) or ammonium (NH4) is converted to nitrate by bacteria in the soil.
seismic waves
vibrations that spread through the lithosphere's rocks rapidly in all directions
moral extensionism
allowing people to be ethically significant and having certain inalienable rights.
double-blind design
Neither the subject nor the experimenters know who is being experimented with and who is controlled until afterwards.
transform boundary
also known as transform faults, boundaries at which plates are moving past each other, sideways.
jet stream
a high-speed, meandering wind current, generally moving from a westerly direction at speeds often exceeding 400 km (250 miles) per hour at altitudes of 15 to 25 km (10 to 15 miles).
primary consumers
this category includes organisms that consume producers (plants and algae).
secondary treatment
the biological treatment of wastewater in order to continue to remove biodegradable waste.
silt
soil with particles 0.002,0.05 mm in diameter.
disease
occurs when infection causes a change in the state of health.
autotroph
an organism that obtains organic food molecules without eating other organisms or substances derived from other organisms. autotrophs use energy from the sun or from the oxidation of inorganic substances to make organic molecules from inorganic ones.
bioaccumulation
the accumulation of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in various tissues of a living organism.
composting
a process that allows the organic material in solid waste to be decomposed and reintroduced into the soil, often as fertilizer.
erosion
the process of soil particles being carried away by wind or water. Erosion moves the smaller particles first and hence degrades the soil to a coarser, sandier, stonier texture.
greenhouse effect
the phenomenon whereby the Earth's atmosphere traps solar radiation, caused by the presence in the atmosphere of gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane that allow incoming sunlight to pass through, but absorb heat radiated back from the Earth's surface.
deforestation
the removal of trees for agricultural purposes or purposes of exportation.
transpiration
the emission of water vapor from the leaves of plants
landslide
avalanche of rock, soil & debris that slides down a mountain. Often the result of an earthquake
instrumental value
tools/things created by humans only to be used by them.
dose-response curve
the result of graphing a dose-response analysis.
strip mining
involves the removal of the Earth's surface all the way down to the level of the mineral seam.
red tide
a bloom of dinoflagellates that causes reddish discoloration of coastal ocean waters. Certain dinoflagellates of the genus Gonyamfox produce toxins that kill fish and contaminate shellfish.
trade winds
the more or less constant winds blowing in horizontal directions over the Earth's surface, as part of Hadley cells.
underground mining
involves the sinking of shafts to reach underground deposits. In this type of mining, networks of tunnels are dug or blasted and humans enter these tunnels in order to manually retrieve the coal.
albedo
the fraction of solar energy that is reflected back into space.
greenbelt
open or forested areas built at the outer edge of a city.
high-level radioactive waste
radioactive wastes that produce high levels of ionizing radiation.
indigenous species
species that originate and live, or occur naturally, in an area or environment.
emigration
the movement of individuals out of a population.
by-catch
any other species of fish, mammals, or birds that are caught that are not the target organism.
tree farms
also known as plantations, these are planted and managed tracts of trees of the same age that are harvested for commercial use.
market permits
when companies are allowed to buy permits that allow them a certain amount of discharge of substances into certain environmental outlets. If they can reduce their amount of discharge, they are allowed to sell the remaining portion of their permit to another company.
environmental science
the study of our environment and our proper place in it.
Ocean Conveyor Belt
The circulation of shallow and deep currents
monoculture
the cultivation of a single crop on a farm or in a region or country; a single, homogeneous culture without diversity or dissension.
subduction zone
in tectonic plates, the site at which an oceanic plate is sliding under a continental plate.
industrial smog (gray smog)
smog resulting from emissions from industry and other sources of gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels.
active collection
the use of devices, such as solar panels, to collect, focus, transport, or store solar energy.
ozone holes
the thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica (and to some extent, over the Arctic).
dose-response analysis
a process in which an organism is exposed to a toxin at different concentrations, and the dosage that causes the death of the organism is recorded.
convergent boundary
a plate boundary where two plates are moving toward each other.
El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
A cycling of alternating warming and cooling of surface waters of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean that affects both ocian and atmospheric circulation patterns. Every 3 to 7 years, the trade winds weaken, causing there to be a wider spread of warm waters for a few years.
A layer
a soil horizon; the layer below the O layer is called the A layer. The A layer is formed of weathered rock, with some organic material; often referred to as topsoil.
clear-cutting
the removal of all of the trees in an area.
Environmental Wisdom Worldview
Beliefs that 1 nature exists for all the earth's species, not just for us, and we are not in charge of the rest of nature; 2 there is not always more, and it is not all for us; 3 some forms of economic growth are beneficial and some are harmful, and our g
net Primary Productivity (NPP)
the amount of energy that plants pass on to the community of herbivores in an ecosystem.
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