AP Environmental Science Natural Resources And Energy Exam

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AP Environmental Science Natural Resources And Energy Exam - Quiz

So, you’ve been working away on your studies in Advanced Placement Environmental Science, but the grind doesn’t end quite yet as we now turn our attention to two important topics within the study. Tell us all about them in this “AP Environmental Science Natural Resources and Energy Exam”!


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Which of the following is an environmental problem associated with abandoned coal mines?

    • A.

      A. Thermal pollution of streams in the area

    • B.

      B. Acid drainage due to leaching of spoil heaps by rainwater

    • C.

      C. Air pollution caused by smog from ozone formation

    • D.

      E. Released nutrients that cause eutrophication into streams d. Alkaline solutions that pollute streams

    • E.

      E. Released nutrients that cause eutrophication into streams

    Correct Answer
    B. B. Acid drainage due to leaching of spoil heaps by rainwater
    Explanation
    Abandoned coal mines can lead to the formation of spoil heaps, which are piles of waste rock and soil. When rainwater comes into contact with these spoil heaps, it can leach out harmful substances such as sulfuric acid. This process is known as acid drainage, and it can contaminate nearby streams and water bodies. Acid drainage is a significant environmental problem associated with abandoned coal mines, as it can harm aquatic life and degrade water quality.

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  • 2. 

    1. Some solar energy systems produce high temperature water for industrial applications and produce steam to run turbines that generate electricity.  What type of solar energy system is needed for these kinds of applications? 

    • A.

      A. A flat-panel solar collector system

    • B.

      B. A solar collector system using mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight

    • C.

      C. A passive solar system that uses building design to block summer sunlight

    • D.

      D. A flat non-tracking array of photovoltaic panels

    • E.

      E. A passive solar system that uses building design to collect winter sunlight

    Correct Answer
    B. B. A solar collector system using mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight
    Explanation
    This type of solar energy system, using mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight, is known as a concentrated solar power (CSP) system. CSP systems are used to produce high temperatures necessary for industrial applications and to generate electricity through steam turbines. The mirrors or lenses focus the sunlight onto a receiver, which absorbs the heat and transfers it to a fluid to produce steam. This steam is then used to drive a turbine and generate electricity.

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  • 3. 

    Which of the following is the best example of an energy storage element in a solar energy system?

    • A.

      A. The photovoltaic array in a solar electric system

    • B.

      B. The overhang that blocks sunlight in a passively cooled home.

    • C.

      C. The insulated windows in a passively heated solar home

    • D.

      D. The sun-tracking mirrors in a power tower system

    • E.

      E. The hot water tank in a solar hot water system

    Correct Answer
    E. E. The hot water tank in a solar hot water system
    Explanation
    The hot water tank in a solar hot water system is the best example of an energy storage element in a solar energy system. In a solar hot water system, solar energy is used to heat water, which is then stored in the hot water tank for later use. This allows the system to store and use the energy generated by the sun even when sunlight is not available, such as during cloudy days or at night. The hot water tank acts as a reservoir, storing the thermal energy until it is needed, making it an effective energy storage element in a solar energy system.

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  • 4. 

    Some automobiles in the United States are fueled by natural gas.  What is the primary environmental advantage of natural gas relative to gasoline as a transportation fuel?

    • A.

      A. The United States has 60% of the world’s proven natural gas reserves

    • B.

      B.Natural gas is a renewable resource that is usually produced from corn and other agricultural products.

    • C.

      C.When natural gas is burned in an automobile engine, the only emission product is water vapor.

    • D.

      D. Natural gas combustion emits fewer pollutants.

    • E.

      E. There is an extensive retail distribution network for natural gas so that natural gas is available at most gas stations

    Correct Answer
    D. D. Natural gas combustion emits fewer pollutants.
    Explanation
    The primary environmental advantage of natural gas relative to gasoline as a transportation fuel is that natural gas combustion emits fewer pollutants. Compared to gasoline, natural gas produces lower levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, which are harmful to both human health and the environment. This makes natural gas a cleaner and more environmentally friendly option for fueling automobiles.

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  • 5. 

     
    1. The separation of the various components of crude oil in refineries is accomplished primarily by taking advantage of differences in which of the following? 

    • A.

      A. The densities of the components

    • B.

      B. The boiling points of the components

    • C.

      C. The solubility of the components

    • D.

      D. The sulfur content of the components

    • E.

      E. The viscosities of the components

    Correct Answer
    B. B. The boiling points of the components
    Explanation
    The separation of the various components of crude oil in refineries is primarily accomplished by taking advantage of differences in the boiling points of the components. This is because different components of crude oil have different boiling points, allowing them to be separated through the process of distillation. Distillation involves heating the crude oil and collecting the vapors that are produced at different temperatures. The components with lower boiling points will vaporize first and can be collected separately from the components with higher boiling points.

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  • 6. 

    1. The majority of atmospheric mercury is produced by  

    • A.

      A. medical waste incinerators

    • B.

      B. volatilization of lead-based paint

    • C.

      C. coal-burning power plants

    • D.

      D. runoff from thermometer factories

    • E.

      E. municipal waste incinerators

    Correct Answer
    C. C. coal-burning power plants
    Explanation
    Coal-burning power plants are the main source of atmospheric mercury. When coal is burned, it releases mercury into the air. This mercury then settles into bodies of water, where it can be converted into methylmercury, a highly toxic form that accumulates in fish and other aquatic organisms. When humans consume these contaminated fish, they can be exposed to high levels of mercury, which can have harmful effects on the nervous system, especially in developing fetuses and young children.

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  • 7. 

    Which of the following is the current recommendation of Congress for the permanent storage of high-level radioactive waste in the United States?

    • A.

      A. Burial deep underground at sites remote from population centers

    • B.

      B. Storage in huge pools of water at the nuclear plants where they are produced

    • C.

      C. Storage in concrete and steel casks, above ground in air-cooled buildings, at nuclear plants where they are produced

    • D.

      D. Storage deep in the Antarctic ice sheet and burial beneath the ocean floor

    • E.

      E. Injection deep underground in remote areas between impervious layers of shale and clay e. Injection deep underground in remote areas between impervious layers of shale and clay e. Injection deep underground in remote areas between impervious layers of shale and clay e. Injection deep underground in remote areas between impervious layers of shale and clay a. Injection deep underground in remote areas between impervious layers of shale and clay a. Injection deep underground in remote areas between impervious layers of shale and clay a. Injection deep underground in remote areas between impervious layers of shale and clay a. Injection deep underground in remote areas between impervious layers of shale and clay e. Injection deep underground in remote areas between impervious layers of shale and clay

    Correct Answer
    A. A. Burial deep underground at sites remote from population centers
    Explanation
    The correct answer is a. Burial deep underground at sites remote from population centers. This recommendation by Congress suggests that high-level radioactive waste should be stored in deep underground sites that are far away from populated areas. This method ensures that the waste is securely contained and isolated from the environment and human exposure. By burying the waste deep underground, the risk of potential accidents or leakage is minimized, protecting both the population and the environment.

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  • 8. 

    Which of the following has the largest proven coal reserves?

    • A.

      A. South America

    • B.

      B. The United Sates

    • C.

      C. Australia

    • D.

      D. Indonesia

    • E.

      E. Africa

    Correct Answer
    B. B. The United Sates
    Explanation
    The United States has the largest proven coal reserves because it has vast coal deposits that have been extensively explored and confirmed. These reserves have been estimated to be the largest in the world, making the United States a major producer and exporter of coal.

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  • 9. 

    Between 1960 and 1970, world oil consumption approximately doubled.  Which of the following explanations is consistent with this increase?

    • A.

      A. The number of passengers per car increased.

    • B.

      B. People drove less, conserving gasoline.

    • C.

      C. The price of gasoline increased.

    • D.

      D. The number of cars on the road increased.

    • E.

      E. Cars that were more fuel-efficient were manufactured.

    Correct Answer
    D. D. The number of cars on the road increased.
    Explanation
    The increase in world oil consumption between 1960 and 1970 can be attributed to the increase in the number of cars on the road. As more cars were manufactured and made available to the public, the demand for oil and gasoline also increased. This led to a doubling of oil consumption during this period. The other options, such as an increase in passengers per car or people driving less, would not result in such a significant increase in oil consumption.

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  • 10. 

    Which of the following best describes the process known as "mountainto removal?

    • A.

      A. The use of trees planted at high elevations to eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

    • B.

      B. The use of heavy equipment to move overburden downhill during the strip mining of coal

    • C.

      C. The placement of hazardous-waste disposal sites at high elevations in mountainous regions

    • D.

      D. The shearing away of undersea mountain peaks to improve shipping lanes

    • E.

      E. The reduction of glacial ice resulting from increased global temperatures

    Correct Answer
    B. B. The use of heavy equipment to move overburden downhill during the strip mining of coal
    Explanation
    Mountaintop removal refers to the process of removing the top of a mountain to extract coal deposits. This is done by using heavy equipment to strip away the overburden (rock and soil) and expose the coal seams. The overburden is then typically moved downhill, often into nearby valleys, which can result in significant environmental damage, including the destruction of ecosystems and water pollution. Therefore, option b best describes the process of mountaintop removal.

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  • 11. 

    Approximate efficiency of an average coal-fired power 

    • A.

      A) 100%

    • B.

      B)95%

    • C.

      (c) 30%

    • D.

      D) 15%

    • E.

      (e) 1%

    Correct Answer
    C. (c) 30%
    Explanation
    The approximate efficiency of an average coal-fired power plant is around 30%. This means that only 30% of the energy generated from burning coal is converted into electricity, while the remaining 70% is lost as waste heat. This low efficiency is due to various factors such as the heat lost during combustion, energy losses in the conversion process, and inefficiencies in the steam turbine. Improving the efficiency of coal-fired power plants is important for reducing carbon emissions and maximizing the use of this non-renewable energy source.

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  • 12. 

    Approximate percentage of electrical energy converted to heat in the average incandescent

    • A.

      A) 100%

    • B.

      B) 95%

    • C.

      C) 30%

    • D.

      D) 15%

    • E.

      E) 1%

    Correct Answer
    B. B) 95%
    Explanation
    Incandescent bulbs are known for their inefficiency in converting electrical energy into light. Most of the energy is converted into heat instead. Therefore, the approximate percentage of electrical energy converted to heat in the average incandescent bulb is around 95%.

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  • 13. 

    The maximum efficiency possible in an energy conversion process that is not limited by the second law of thermodynamics     

    • A.

      A) 100%

    • B.

      B) 95%

    • C.

      C) 30%

    • D.

      D)15%

    • E.

      E) 1%

    Correct Answer
    A. A) 100%
    Explanation
    The maximum efficiency possible in an energy conversion process that is not limited by the second law of thermodynamics is 100%. This means that all of the input energy is converted into useful output energy without any losses. In reality, no energy conversion process can achieve 100% efficiency due to various factors such as friction, heat dissipation, and other forms of energy loss. The second law of thermodynamics states that energy will always be lost in the form of heat in any energy conversion process, limiting the maximum possible efficiency.

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  • 14. 

    Approximate efficiency of the conversion of light energy to chemical energy in photosynthesis    

    • A.

      A)100%

    • B.

      B) 95%

    • C.

      C) 30%

    • D.

      D) 15%

    • E.

      E) 1%

    Correct Answer
    E. E) 1%
    Explanation
    Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy in the form of glucose. However, this conversion is not 100% efficient due to various factors such as energy loss through heat, reflection, and absorption by other molecules. Therefore, the approximate efficiency of this conversion is only 1%, making option e) the correct answer.

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  • 15. 

    The most abundant element in Earth’s crust  

    • A.

      A) Oxygen

    • B.

      (B) Aluminum

    • C.

      (C) Iron

    • D.

      (D) Nitrogen

    • E.

      (E) Argon

    Correct Answer
    A. A) Oxygen
    Explanation
    Oxygen is the most abundant element in Earth's crust because it makes up about 46.6% of the crust by weight. It is found in various minerals such as silicates, oxides, and carbonates. Oxygen is essential for the formation of rocks and minerals, and it plays a crucial role in the Earth's geological processes. Additionally, oxygen is a key component of water, which is abundant on Earth's surface. Therefore, due to its high concentration and widespread presence in the crust, oxygen is the most abundant element.

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  • 16. 

    The most abundant element in Earth’s atmosphere     

    • A.

      (A) Oxygen

    • B.

      (B) Aluminum

    • C.

      (C) Iron

    • D.

      (D) Nitrogen

    • E.

      (E) Argon

    Correct Answer
    D. (D) Nitrogen
    Explanation
    Nitrogen is the most abundant element in Earth's atmosphere. It makes up about 78% of the air we breathe. Oxygen is the second most abundant element, making up about 21% of the atmosphere. Aluminum and iron are not found in significant quantities in the atmosphere. Argon is present in trace amounts.

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  • 17. 

    The most abundant element in Earth’s core     

    • A.

      (A) Oxygen

    • B.

      (B) Aluminum

    • C.

      (C) Iron

    • D.

      (D) Nitrogen

    • E.

      (E) Argon

    Correct Answer
    C. (C) Iron
    Explanation
    Iron is the most abundant element in the Earth's core. The Earth's core is primarily composed of iron and nickel, with iron being the dominant element. This is supported by scientific evidence and studies, including seismic data and the analysis of meteorites. Iron's abundance in the Earth's core is due to its high density and ability to sink to the center during the formation of the Earth. Therefore, iron is the correct answer for the most abundant element in the Earth's core.

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  • 18. 

    The element commercially extracted from bauxite  

    • A.

      (A) Oxygen

    • B.

      (B) Aluminum

    • C.

      (C) Iron

    • D.

      (D) Nitrogen

    • E.

      (E) Argon

    Correct Answer
    B. (B) Aluminum
    Explanation
    Bauxite is a mineral that is the main source of aluminum. It is mined and then processed to extract aluminum oxide, which is further refined to produce aluminum metal. Therefore, the correct answer is (B) Aluminum.

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  • 19. 

    Which of the following energy sources is not derived directly or indirectly from solar energy?

    • A.

      A. Geothermal

    • B.

      B. Photovoltaic

    • C.

      C. Hydroelectric

    • D.

      D. Biomass

    • E.

      E. Wind

    Correct Answer
    A. A. Geothermal
    Explanation
    Geothermal energy is not derived directly or indirectly from solar energy. It is generated from the heat stored within the Earth's core. This heat is produced by the radioactive decay of elements and the residual heat from the planet's formation. Geothermal energy is harnessed by drilling deep into the Earth's crust to access hot water or steam, which can be used to generate electricity or for heating and cooling purposes. Unlike solar energy, which is derived from the sun's radiation, geothermal energy is sourced from the Earth's internal heat.

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  • 20. 

    An industry uses natural gas for manufacturing and uses the waste heat to produce electricity.  This is an example of which of the following processes?

    • A.

      A. Cogeneration

    • B.

      B. Electrolysis

    • C.

      C. Gas hydration

    • D.

      D. Gasification

    • E.

      E. Reclamation

    Correct Answer
    A. A. Cogeneration
    Explanation
    Cogeneration is the process of simultaneously producing electricity and useful heat from the same energy source. In this example, the industry is using natural gas for manufacturing and utilizing the waste heat generated in the process to produce electricity. This aligns with the concept of cogeneration, making it the correct answer.

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  • 21. 

    Of the following sources, which supplies the most commercial energy in the world today?

    • A.

      A. Solar

    • B.

      B. Oil

    • C.

      C. Biomass

    • D.

      D. Nuclear

    • E.

      E. Hydroelectric

    Correct Answer
    B. B. Oil
    Explanation
    Oil is the correct answer because it is the most widely used source of commercial energy in the world today. Oil is used for various purposes such as transportation, electricity generation, and heating. It is a highly efficient and easily accessible source of energy, which makes it the preferred choice for many industries and households. Additionally, oil reserves are abundant in many countries, further contributing to its dominance as the primary source of commercial energy.

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  • 22. 

    Which of the following is the primary environmental problem associated with the use of nuclear power to generate electricity?

    • A.

      A. Radon leaking into buildings

    • B.

      B. Production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide

    • C.

      C. Disposal of radioactive waste

    • D.

      D. Depletion of the ozone layer

    • E.

      E. Production of acid rain

    Correct Answer
    C. C. Disposal of radioactive waste
    Explanation
    The primary environmental problem associated with the use of nuclear power to generate electricity is the disposal of radioactive waste. Nuclear power plants produce radioactive waste that remains dangerous for thousands of years. Proper disposal of this waste is crucial to prevent contamination of the environment and potential harm to human health.

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  • 23. 

    Compared to a coal-fired power plant that produces the same amount of energy, a nuclear power plant generates more

    • A.

      A. CO2

    • B.

      B. SO2

    • C.

      C. Fly ash

    • D.

      D. Particulates

    • E.

      E. Thermal pollution

    Correct Answer
    E. E. Thermal pollution
    Explanation
    A nuclear power plant generates more thermal pollution compared to a coal-fired power plant that produces the same amount of energy. This is because nuclear power plants release a significant amount of heat into the environment during the process of generating electricity. This excess heat can have negative effects on the surrounding ecosystem, such as causing changes in water temperature and disrupting aquatic life.

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  • 24. 

    Acid rain is associated with which of the following?

    • A.

      A. Formation of the Antarctic ozone hole

    • B.

      B. Release of PCBs into the atmosphere

    • C.

      C. Damage to tropical rain forests

    • D.

      D. The burning of fossil fuels

    • E.

      E. The increasing pH of lake waters

    Correct Answer
    D. D. The burning of fossil fuels
    Explanation
    Acid rain is formed when pollutants from burning fossil fuels, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, react with water vapor in the atmosphere to form sulfuric acid and nitric acid. These acids then fall back to the Earth's surface as acid rain, causing damage to ecosystems, buildings, and infrastructure.

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  • 25. 

    Which statement best describes the approximate global distribution of coal supplies?

    • A.

      A. Brazil and South Africa together contain 33% of proven reserves.

    • B.

      B. The United States contains 40% of proven reserves.

    • C.

      C. Australia, Japan, and France together contain 45% of proven reserves.

    • D.

      D. The United States, the former Soviet Union, and China together contain 50% of proven reserves.

    • E.

      E. Germany, Brazil, and India together contain 75% of proven reserves.

    Correct Answer
    D. D. The United States, the former Soviet Union, and China together contain 50% of proven reserves.
    Explanation
    The answer states that the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China together contain 50% of proven reserves. This means that these three countries have the largest share of coal reserves globally.

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  • Mar 22, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
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