APES Final Flash Cards

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APES Final Flash Cards

AP Environmental Science FinalSemester 1

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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 and adapt
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 gens. to meet their basic needs
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 (i.e. forests, freshwater, fresh air)
sustainable yield
highest rate at which a renewable resource can be used *indefinitely* w/o reducing available supply
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 market prices, trying to manage nature w/o knowing enough about it
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 wants, and that we can control the earth indefinitely
stewardship worldview
holds that we can/should manage the earth for our benefit but that we should be the managers (stewards) of earth
environmental wisdom worldview
holds that we are part of and totally dependent on nature and that nature exists for all species, not just us
social capital
making shift to more sustainable societies and economies
1) Identify problem 2) Gather scientific info3) Propose 1+ solutions 4) Project short- and long-term advantages/disadvantages of each solution 5) Decide and implement on solution 6) Evaluate consequences 7) Revise as needed
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 they produce
public access and participation principle
citizens should have open access to environ. data/right to participate in creating environ. policies
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. degradation, or execution of environ. las
1) Used primarily for protecting biodiversity, habitats, ecosystems2) No gov't. tax breaks 3) Fair compensation for prop. use 4) Users should be fully responsible for environ. damage
1) Sell @ less than market value 2) Slash fed. funding for admin. 3) Cut old-growth forests and replace w/ plantations 4) Open nat'l. parks, wildlife refugees, wilderness areas to oil drilling, mining, etc. 5) Eliminate Nat'l. Park Service
common law
unwritten rules
calculated that pop. of England would be getting so out of control that there wouldn't be enough resources
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" b/c they didn't take more than they needed
3 Reasons Agriculture = Bad for Health
1) hunter-gatherers enjoyed varied diet, while early farmers obtained food from 1+ starchy crops2) starvation if crop failed3) agriculture clumped people together in crowded societies
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, its GNP increases)-services such as pollution clean-up, cancer treatments, etc.
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 of the following, except:A. hides costs from consumersB. Hinders development of environmentally beneficial green goods and servicesC. Promotes pollutionD. Promotes environ. degradationE. Causes increases in prices
E. Causes increases in prices
The trickle-down effect describes how:A. Waterfalls flow during the fall seasonB. Toxic wastes filter down in landfillsC. Water percolates through loam soilsD. Economic growth increases the number of jobs and helps the poor help themselvesE. Toxic pesticides percolate through farm lands
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 and profits to pollution and wasteB. Improve energy efficiencyC. Shift from a carbon-based economy to a renewable fuel-based economyD. Repair ecological damageE. Decrease subsidies for alternative fuel vehicles
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 pollution rightsB. charging user feesC. regulationD. green taxesE. subsidies for beneficial actions
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 of human resources
high-throughput economies
attempt to boost economic growth by increasing flow of matter and energy resources extracted from environ. thru their economic systems
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 and social costs
green taxes
help include many of the harmful environmental/health costs of production and consumption in market prices
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 remains the same-can't run out of an element b/c it has a set amount
Environmental Effects of Mass Conservation
-waste products-we bury or dilute unwanted byproductsDILUTION IS NOT THE SOLUTION OF POLLUTION
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: Ammonia released back into biosphere when organism dies5) Nitrification: bacteria convert ammonia into nitrite6) Denitrification: bacteria use nitrate as an Oxygen source for respiration: C6H12O6 + 4NO3- = 6CO2 + 6H2O + 2N2
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 consumers-taken up by plants-very slow3 ways it enters:-hydrogen sulfide (H2S--rotten egg smell)-from anaerobic decomposition-sulfur dioxide (SO2) from volcanoes
limiting factor
if any one abiotic factor is in short supply, it'll limit the size of a pop. in an ecosystem regardless of the abundance of other abiotic factors(phosphate, eutrophication [too many nutrients], nitrates in ocean, land [major components of fertilizers removed by overcultification], water, sunlight and oxygen)
Hubbard Brook Experiment
attempted to measure effects of deforestation on loss of water and soil nutrients from a forestConclusions: -deforestation causes loss of nitrate ions from soil-losses of other nutrients-causing eutrophication downstream-nowhere for NO3 to go except water-w/ no vegetation, water runoff increased, washing soil away
interspecific competition
members of 2+ species interact to gain access to same limited resources (i.e. food, light, space)
1 organism (parasite) feeds on body of, or energy by, other organism (host), usually by living in/on host
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 competitive
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 off
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 that often involves collapse
What are the four trophic levels?
-producers (plants)-primary consumers (herbivores)-secondary consumers (carnivores)-tertiary consumers (top carnivores)
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 adapted to them
1) way of flow of high-quality energy (can't be recycled)2) cycling of matter/nutrients (can be recycled)3) gravity
too much or too little of any abiotic factor can limit or prevent growth of a population, even if all other factors are at or near the optimal range of tolerance
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 OF OXYGEN
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 -- range from 2%-40%
Net primary productivity (NPP)
rate @ which an ecosystem's producers (usually plants) convert solar energy into chemical energy as biomass found in their tissues
biogeochemical cycles/nutrient cycles
elements and compounds that make up nutrients that move continually through air, water, soil, rock, and living organisms in ecosystems and in biosphere
H2O cycle
collects, purifies, and distributes earth's fixed supply of H2O1) precipitation2) transpiration3) evaporation
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 atmosphere into oceans5) carbon moves from living things to plants6) carbon back to atmosphere
nitrogen cycle
1) nitrogen fixation** (N2 + 3H2 = 2NH3) in soil2) conversion to ammonia (NH3)3) NH3 used in proteins4) ammonification5) nitrification** (NH3 ---> nitrite NO2- and then nitrate NO3-)
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 and broken down by organic matter3) particles of sulfate enter atmosphere from sea spray, dust storms, forest fires4) plant roots absorb sulfate ions into proteins5) DMS converted to sulfur dioxide
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 @ night-deserts have extremes in weather (hot to cold, hot to cold...)-areas near bodies of water have small changes in temp.
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) tropical rainforest
Characteristics of TUNDRA
-temp: very cold winters with short, warm summers-water: frozen desert, often >15 in./year-sunlight: very little in winter, some in summer
Characteristics of TAIGA(northern coniferous forest)
-temp: very cold winters, warm in spring and summer-water: frozen for much of the year. summers often dry-sunlight: little in winter, fair amount in summer. needles always have sunlight
-temp: cool winters, snow; warmer spring and summer-water: plentiful w/ lots of rain in summer-sun: little in winter, plentiful in summer (warmth and water produce rapid decomposition so trees can be deciduous
Characteristics of GRASSLAND(savanna, plain)
-temp: warm-hot summers, cold winners-water: rainy, but often dry and vulnerable to fires-sun: plentiful in summer, less so in winter (frequent fires prevent trees from becoming est.)-scattered tree
Characteristic of DESERT
-temp: very hot summers, cold winters-water: DEFINING VARIABLE-sun: plentiful, but bad given lack of water
Characteristics of CHAPARRAL(brush, sagebrush)
-temp: mild winters, warm-hot summers-water: light rain in winter, prolonged drought in summer-sun: plentiful, but lack of water limits growth to spring-fire is a normal occurrence
Characteristics of TROPICAL RAINFOREST
-temp: warm all year, little variation b/w summer and winter-water: bountiful at all times, rains over 100 in/year-sun: plentiful entire year-places least physical demands upon organisms, therefore there is great diversity
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                                2) O + O2 ---> O3solar destruction: 1) O3 +UV light ---> O2+ O                                  2) O + O3 ---> 2O2
Why are CFC's good?
-"miracle chemical"-- can last forever-very stable-- don't burn or react w/ other chemicals-refrigerant-"freon"-low thermal conductivity-- great for insulation-inexpensive
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 of those girls have only 2 children, the population won't stabilize until their are too old to reproduce
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