AP Environmental Science 2 Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Exosphere
Outer layer of atmosphere
combustion
the process of burning.
mesosphere
directly above stratosphere. Contains the atmosphere's lowest temperature (as low as -138 degrees Celsius)
bituminous
the second-purest form of coal.
preservationist
Person concerned primarily with setting aside or protecting undisturbed natural areas from harmful human activities
climate
the average weather conditions that occur in an area over a period of years
morals
the differences between right and wrong.
sand
the coarsest soil, with particles 0.05,2.0 mm in diameter.
detritivore
organisms that derive energy from consuming nonliving organic matter.
wind farm
a group of modern windmills.
atmosphere
the gaseous mass or envelope surrounding a celestial body, especially the one surrounding the Earth, which is retained by the celestial body's gravitational field.
k-selected
organisms that reproduce later in life, produce fewer offspring, and devote significant time and energy to the nurturing of their offspring.
watershed
area of land drained by a runoff
Ammonification
Fourth step in the Nitrogen Cycle. Biological nitrogen compounts change into ammonia (NH3) and ammonium (NH4). Animals will often form waste containing nitrogen, called "urea" or "uric acid."
inductive reasoning
studying specific examples and using these observations in order to come up with conclusions.
Uneven-aged management
the broad category under which selective cutting and shelter-wood cutting fall; selective deforestation.
thermosphere
the outermost shell of the atmosphere, between the mesosphere and outer space, where temperatures increase steadily with altitude.
solid waste
can consist of hazardous waste, industrial solid waste, or municipal waste. Many types of solid waste provide a threat to human health and the environment.
water-scarce
countries that have a renewable annual water supply of less than 1,000 m3 per person.
nitrogen fixation
the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into compounds, such as ammonia, by natural agencies or various industrial processes.
photosynthesis
the process in green plants and certain other organisms by which carbohydrates are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water using light as an energy source. Most forms of photosynthesis release oxygen as a byproduct.
sludge
the solids that remain after the secondary treatment of sewage.
respiration
the process in which animals (and plants!) breathe and give off carbon dioxide from cellular metabolism.
extinction
being extinct or the process of becoming extinct.
agroforestry
when trees and crops are planted together, creating a mutualistic symbiotic relationship between them.
coral reef
an erosion-resistant marine ridge or mound consisting chiefly of compacted coral together with algal material and biochemically deposited magnesium and calcium carbonates.
driftnets
nets that are dragged through the water and indiscriminately catch everything in their path.
human development index
evaluates the quality of human life.
Denitrification
The fifth and last step of the Nitrogen Cycle. Nitrate (NO3) is reduced to gaseous nitrogen
Asthenosphere
the region of the mantle of the lithosphere where rocks become hot and soft
significant numbers
the most important numbers in a decimal.
nihilists
people who don't believe in moral, and feel that the world makes no sense at all.
drip irrigation
a method of supplying irrigation water through tubes that literally drip water onto the soil at the base of each plant.
renewable resources
refers to resources, such as plants and animals, which can be regenerated if harvested at sustainable yields.
crop rotation
the practice of alternating the crops grown on a piece of land - for example, corn one year, legumes for two years, and then back to corn.
rain shadow
the low-rainfall region that exists on the leeward (downwind) side of a mountain range. This rain shadow is the result of the mountain range's causing precipitation on the windward side.
primary succession
when ecological succession begins in a virtually lifeless area, such as the area behind a moving glacier.
realized niche
when a species occupies a smaller niche than it would in the absence of competition.
physical treatment
in a sewage treatment plant, the initial filtration that is done to remove debris such as stones, sticks, rags, toys, and other objects that were flushed down the toilet.
food chain
a succession of organisms in an ecological community that constitutes a continuation of food energy from one organism to another as each consumes a lower member and, in turn, is preyed upon by a higher member.
food web
a complex of interrelated food chains in an ecological community.
ecological succession
transition in species composition of a biological community, often following ecological disturbance of the community; the establishment of a biological community in any area virtually barren of life.
hurricane (typhoon, cyclone)
a severe tropical cyclone originating in the equatorial regions of the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea or eastern regions of the Pacific Ocean, traveling north, northwest, or northeast from its point of origin, and usually involving heavy rains.
risk assessment
calculating risk, or the degree of likelihood that a person will become ill upon exposure to a toxin or pathogen.
tailings
piles of gangue, which is the waste material that results from mining.
edge effect
the condition in which, at ecosystem boundaries, there is greater species diversity and biological density than there is in the heart of ecological communities.
Environmental Movement
efforts by citizens at the grassroots level demand that political leaders enact laws that and develop policies that 1 curtail pollution, 2 clean up polluted environments, and 3 protect pristine areas
Prevailing winds
Major surface winds that blow more or less continually. Includes polar easterlies, westerlies, and trade winds
total fertility rate
the number of children an average woman will bear during her lifetime; this information is based on an analysis of data from preceding years in the population in question.
ED50
the point at which 50 percent of the test organisms show a negative effect from a toxin.
non-point source pollution
pollution that does not have a specific point of release, open,loop recycling,when materials are reused to form new products.
green tax
a fiscal policy that lowers taxes on income, including wages and profit, and raises taxes on consumption, particularly the unsustainable consumption of non-renewable resources.
divergent boundary
a plate boundary at which plates are moving away from each other. This causes an upwelling of magma from the mantle to cool and form new crust.
prior appropriation
when water rights are given to those who have historically used the water in a certain area.
sick building syndrome
when the majority of a building's occupants experience certain symptoms that vary with the amount of time spent in the building.
R horizon
The bedrock, which lies below all of the other layers of soil, is referred to as the R horizon.
utilitarian conservation
Nature should be saved so that we can benefit from and use it's resources how we wish to.
replacement birth rate
the number of children a couple must have in order to replace themselves in a population.
Gross Primary Productivity
the amount of sugar that the plants produce in photosynthesis and subtracting from it the amount of energy the plants need for growth maintenance, repair, and reproduction.
physical (mechanical) weathering
any process that breaks rock down into smaller pieces without changing the chemistry of the rock; typically wind and water.
law of conservation of matter
states that matter can neither be created nor destroyed.
birth rate (crude birth rate)
the number of live births per 1,000 members of the population in a year.
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