APES Final Flash Cards

AP Environmental Science FinalSemester 1
Created Dec 26, 2009
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Side ASide B
biological science that studies organisms (living things)
group of organisms with distinctive traits
set of organisms interacting w/ one another and w/ either environ. w/in defined area
ability of the earth's natural systems & human cultural systems & economies to survive...
natural capital
natural resources/services that keep life alive/support our econs.
natural services
functions of nature which support life and human economies
nutrient cycling
circulation of chems. necessary for life from environ. thru organisms back to environ.
solar capital
energy from sun
environmentally sustainable society
one that meets current/future bsaic resource needs in a just manner w/o compromising future...
natural income
renewable resources provides by natural capital
gross domestic product (GDP)
annual market value of all goods/services produced by all firms/orgs.
per capita GDP
GDP divided by total pop. at midyear
per capita GDP PPP
measure of amount of goods/services a country's average citizen could by in U.S.
economic development
goal of using economic growth to improve living standards
developed countries
1.2 billion people (U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe)
developing countries
5.5 billion people (Africa, Asia, Latin America)
anything obtained by environ. to meet our needs/wants
management of natural resources w/ goal of minimizing resource waste/sustaining supplies
perpetual resource
renewed continuously and is expected to last forever (i.e. solar energy)
renewable resource
can be replenished quickly thru natural processes as long it is not used up faster than renewed...
sustainable yield
highest rate at which a renewable resource can be used *indefinitely* w/o reducing available...
environmental degradation
exceeding sustainable yield -- supply begins to shrink
nonrenewable resource
fixed quantity in earth's crust
ecological footprint
amount of biologically productive land/water needed to supply people
per capita ecological footprint
average ecological footprint of an individual in a given country
point sources
single, identifiable sources of pollutants
nonpoint sources
dispersed and often difficult to identify
biodegradable pollutants
harmful materials that can be broken down by natural processes
nondegradable pollutants
harmful materials that natural processes cannot break down
pollution cleanup (output pollution control)
cleaning up or diluting pollutants after they've been produced
pollution prevention (input pollution control)
reduces/eliminates the production of pollutants
population growth, unsustainable resource use, poverty, excluding environmental costs from...
environmental worldview
set of assumptions/values reflecting how you think the world works
environmental ethics
our beliefs about what is right and wrong with how we treat the environment
planetary management worldview
holds that we are separate from nature, that nature exists mainly to meet our needs/increasing...
stewardship worldview
holds that we can/should manage the earth for our benefit but that we should be the managers...
environmental wisdom worldview
holds that we are part of and totally dependent on nature and that nature exists for all species,...
social capital
making shift to more sustainable societies and economies
1) Identify problem 2) Gather scientific info3) Propose 1+ solutions 4) Project short-...
1) Reliance on solar energy2) Biodiversity 3) Nutrient Cycling4) Population Control
free enterprise
changes and innovations that lead to new technologies, products, and opportunities for profits
set of laws/regulations gov't. enforces and the programs it funds
environmental policy
environ. laws/regulations that are developed, implemented, and enforced
humility principle
understanding of nature and how our actions affect it
reversibility principle
not taking actions that cannot be reversed if a decision turns out to be wrong=
precautionary principle
taking precautionary measures to prevent/reduce harm to environ.
net energy principle
avoiding widespread use of energy alternatives/technologies w/ low net en. yields
prevention principle
making decisions that help to prevent a problem from occurring/becoming worse
polluter-pays principle
regulations and economic tools (i.e. green taxes) to ensure that polluters bear costs of pollutants/wastes...
public access and participation principle
citizens should have open access to environ. data/right to participate in creating environ....
human rights principle
all people have a right to live in an environ. that doesn't harm their health/well-being
environmental justice principle
establishing environ. policies so no group bears unfair share of burden created by pop., environ....
1) Used primarily for protecting biodiversity, habitats, ecosystems2) No gov't. tax breaks 3)...
1) Sell @ less than market value 2) Slash fed. funding for admin. 3) Cut old-growth...
common law
unwritten rules
calculated that pop. of England would be getting so out of control that there wouldn't be enough...
life on Earth is getting better (Julian Simon)
frontier ethic
use all we want
sustainable ethic
use resources responsibly (conservationism and preservationism)
-used resources at sustainable rate-had knowledge of natural world-lived in "harmony with nature"...
3 Reasons Agriculture = Bad for Health
1) hunter-gatherers enjoyed varied diet, while early farmers obtained food from 1+ starchy...
What environmental trends result from our lack of sustainability?
-extinction-exceeding carrying capicities
Examples of nonrenewable resources
-oil-minerals-topsoil-energy sources-genetic diversity
Examples of renewable resources
solar energy
Potentially renewable
-trees-water-air-soil fertility
What factors affect environmental degradation?
-population size-per capita consumption-technology
total environ. impact = population x per capita consumption x technology
GNP Measures
-depletion of natural resources as positive (i.e. Brazil cuts down all forests and sells it,...
GNP Doesn't Measure
-quality of air, water, and other environ. factors-factors of resources
Solutions to measuring GNP
use environ. indicators which include costs of resource depletion, pollution, land degradation
Hiding harmful environmental costs from the market prices of goods and services causes all...
E. Causes increases in prices
The trickle-down effect describes how:A. Waterfalls flow during the fall seasonB. Toxic wastes...
D. Economic growth increases the number of jobs and helps the poor help themselves
Which of the following would not traditionally support an eco-economy?A. Shift taxes from wages...
E. Decrease subsidies for alternative fuel vehicles
Levying taxes on each unit of pollution discharged into the air/water is an example of:A. tradable...
E. subsidies for beneficial actions
economic system
social institution through which goods/services are produced, distributed, and consumed
human capital (human resources)
people's physical and mental talents, which provide labor, innovation, culture, and organization
manufactured capital (manufactured resources)
items such as machinery, equipment, and factories made from natural resources with the help...
high-throughput economies
attempt to boost economic growth by increasing flow of matter and energy resources extracted...
discount rate
estimate of a resource's future economic value compared to its present value
cost-benefit analysis
comparing estimated costs/benefits for actions
Genuine progress indicator equation
Genuine progress indicator = GDP + benefits not included in market transactions - harmful environmental...
green taxes
help include many of the harmful environmental/health costs of production and consumption in...
matter recycling and reuse economies
mimic nature by recycling and reusing most matter outputs instead of dumping them into environ.
Law of Conservation of Matter
-cannot be created nor destroyed-can change state or take place in chemical reactions-amount...
Environmental Effects of Mass Conservation
-waste products-we bury or dilute unwanted byproductsDILUTION IS NOT THE SOLUTION OF...
splitting nucleus (atomic bomb)
combining 2 nuclei (sun, H-bombs)
First Law of Thermodynamics
no energy is created or destroyed in physical or chemical change
Second Law of Thermodynamics
always end up with less usable/lower-quality energy than started with
inductive reasoning
using scientific observations and measurements to arrive at a general conclusion/hypothesis
deductive reasoning
using logic to arrive at a specific conclusion 
paradigm shift
overthrowing scientific law
tentative/frontier science
not yet considered reliable. opposite = reliable science
natural radioactive decay
isotopes spontaneously emit fast-moving subatomic particles (radioactive isotopes)
nuclear fission
dense objects have nuclear change
nuclear fusion
less dense objects have nuclear change
increase or decrease change to a system
feedback loop
output of matter is fed back as input
1) Nitrogen fixation2) Conversion to ammonia3) Ammonia incorporated into proteins4) Ammonification:...
PHOSPHORUS CYCLE (hint: only cycle that doesn't involve air at all)
-needed for ATP (energy) and DNA-found in rocks (PO4- ion)-we eat it as tertiary...
limiting factor
if any one abiotic factor is in short supply, it'll limit the size of a pop. in an ecosystem...
Hubbard Brook Experiment
attempted to measure effects of deforestation on loss of water and soil nutrients from a forestConclusions: -deforestation...
interspecific competition
members of 2+ species interact to gain access to same limited resources (i.e. food, light,...
1 organism (parasite) feeds on body of, or energy by, other organism (host), usually by living...
predator feeds direction on all or part of prey
benefits both species by providing each w/ food, shelter, or some other resource
benefits one species but has little/no effect on the other
species' way of life in a community and includes everything that affects its survival
competitive exclusion principle
no 2 species can occupy exactly the same niche
2 species interact, changes in gene pool of one species and causes both sides to become more...
resource partitioning
some species evolve to reduce niche overlap
population dynamics
how characteristics of populations change in response to environ. conditions
(births + immigration) - (deaths + emigration)
age structure
proportions of individuals at various ages
biotic potential
capacity for pop. growth under ideal conditions
intrinsic rate of increase
rate pop. of a species would grow if it had unlimited resources
environmental resistance
combination of all factors that act to limit growth of a pop.
carrying capacity (K)
max. pop. of a given species that a particular habitat can sustain indefinitely w/o being degraded
logistic growth
rapid exponential pop. growth followed by steady decrease of pop. growth until pop. size levels...
r-selected species
small offspring and given little/no parenting or protection
k-selected species
reproduce later in life and have small number of offspring w/ long life spans
top-down population regulation
pop. regulated thru predation
bottom-up population regulation
size of predator/prey controlled by scarcity of 1+ resources
primary succession
ecosystem starts from scratch (no life to begin with)
secondary succession
ecosystem doesn't start from scratch (already has est. community)
tipping point
where any additional stress can cause the system to change in an abrupt and irreversible way...
What are the four trophic levels?
-producers (plants)-primary consumers (herbivores)-secondary consumers (carnivores)-tertiary...
Gross primary productivity (GPP)
amount of energy captured thru photosynthesis
gradual change in an area as one biotic community replaces another
Why does one biotic community replaces another?
b/c it is going toward a more mature community
cell theory
idea that all living things are composed of cells
eukaryotic cell
surrounded by a membrane and has a distinct nucleus
prokaryotic cell
surrounded by membrane, but has no distinct nucleus and no other internal parts
all populations of diff. species that live in a particular place
all parts of earth's air, water, and soil where life is found
thin envelope of gases surrounding earth's surface
contains majority of air we breathe
greenhouse gases
trap heat and thus warm lower atmosphere
world's sunscreen--filters out most of sun's harmful UV raysalso where ozone is most abundant
consists of all water on or near earth's surface
core, mantle, crust
large regions such as forests, deserts, grasslands, w/ distinct climates and certain species...
1) way of flow of high-quality energy (can't be recycled)2) cycling of matter/nutrients (can...
too much or too little of any abiotic factor can limit or prevent growth of a population, even...
trophic level
all organisms that are the same # of energy transfers away from the original source of energy
anaerobic respiration/fermentation
organisms get energy they need by breaking down glucose (or other organic compounds) in ABSENCE...
food web
interconnected food chains
dry weight of all organic matter contained in its organisms
ecological efficiency
% of all usable chemical energy transferred as biomass from 1 trophic level to the next --...
Net primary productivity (NPP)
rate @ which an ecosystem's producers (usually plants) convert solar energy into chemical energy...
biogeochemical cycles/nutrient cycles
elements and compounds that make up nutrients that move continually through air, water, soil,...
H2O cycle
collects, purifies, and distributes earth's fixed supply of H2O1) precipitation2)...
approx. 90% of H2O that reaches atmosphere evaporates from surfaces of plants
Carbon cycle
1) carbon removed from atmosphere2) carbon goes into plants3) animals eat plants4) carbon from...
nitrogen cycle
1) nitrogen fixation** (N2 + 3H2 = 2NH3) in soil2)...
6CO2 + 6H2O ---> C6H12O6 + 6CO2
modifies what it eats
1 type of food it can live on (better when ecosystem is stable)
foundation species
basis of whole ecosystem
keystone species
if removed, whole ecosystem falls
indicator species
not good-- it's always first to die b/c they need something specific
endemic species
native and ONLY in that area
invasive species
didn't coevolve -- invades ecosystem
phosphorus cycle
1) sulfur enters atmosphere from natural sources2) H2S is released from active volcanoes...
Why is earth hotter at the equator than at the poles?
b/c the sunlight is more direct at equator
axis tilt
23.5 degreesSEASONS
hadley cell
convection cell which moves moisture from equator to tropics and createst desert
-has high heat capacity-absorbs heat during day w/ little change of temp.- gives off heat @...
Coriolis effect
rotation of Earth, which causes deflection of wind
polar easterlies
constant loop going from east
prevailing westerlies
constant loop going from west
horse latitudes
sit still
intertropical convergence zone (low pressure and little wind)
El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
winds are weak; weather is  hot and wet
La Nina
cold water, dry heat
What are three major climatic factors?
temperature, rainfall, sunlight
What are the 8 types of biomes?
1) tundra2) taiga3) temperate forest4) deciduous forest5) grassland6) chaparral7) desert8)...
Characteristics of TUNDRA
-temp: very cold winters with short, warm summers-water: frozen desert, often >15 in./year-sunlight:...
Characteristics of TAIGA(northern coniferous forest)
-temp: very cold winters, warm in spring and summer-water: frozen for much of the year. summers...
-temp: cool winters, snow; warmer spring and summer-water: plentiful w/ lots of rain in summer-sun:...
Characteristics of GRASSLAND(savanna, plain)
-temp: warm-hot summers, cold winners-water: rainy, but often dry and vulnerable to fires-sun:...
Characteristic of DESERT
-temp: very hot summers, cold winters-water: DEFINING VARIABLE-sun: plentiful, but bad given...
Characteristics of CHAPARRAL(brush, sagebrush)
-temp: mild winters, warm-hot summers-water: light rain in winter, prolonged drought in summer-sun:...
Characteristics of TROPICAL RAINFOREST
-temp: warm all year, little variation b/w summer and winter-water: bountiful at all times,...
What happens when some solar radiation is reflected back into space?
What are the greenhouse gases?
water vaporcarbon dioxidemethanenitrous oxideCFC's (not natural source)
change b/w troposphere and atmosphere
change b/w atmosphere and stratosphere
solar formation: 1)   O2 +UV light ---> 2O  ...
Why are CFC's good?
-"miracle chemical"-- can last forever-very stable-- don't burn or react w/ other chemicals-refrigerant-"freon"-low...
Why are CFC's bad?
-reactive in upper atmosphere
Why don't most populations change much from year to year?
b/c they reach a carrying capacity as a result of environ. resistance
What 2 events increased human population growth rates?
Agricultural Revolution and Industrial Revolution
birth rate
# of live births per 1,000 people in 1 yearto calculate: (birth rate - death rate) / 10
replacement-level fertility
# of children a woman needs to replace her and her partner
Why does population continue to grow after reaching replacement rate?
if a large portion of population is under 15, there are a lot of future mothers; even if each...
What are the 3 categories of population pyramids?
0-14 years old15-44 years old45+ years old
total env. impact = pop. x per capita consumption x technology

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