Environment and Humanity DSST

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Pathogens
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Disease causing bacteria, viruses, parasitic worms, and other organisms.
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Biological Magnification
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Occurs when toxins pass from organism to organism: An infected fish is eaten by a bird, the toxin increases and is passed onto the bird.
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Eutrophic
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Containing an abundance of nutrients
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Thermal Pollution
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When excessive amounts of heat are added to a body of water.
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Primary Pollutant
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A pollutant that is put directly into the air by human activity.
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Secondary Pollutant
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Is formed when a primary pollutant comes into contact with other primary pollutant.
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Thermal Inversion
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Occurs when a layer of warm air settles over a layer of cooler air that lies near the ground. The warm air holds down the cool air and prevents pollutants from rising and scattering.
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Troposphere
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Extends from the earth’s surface to 10km (6mi). Contains 90% of the atmosphere’s gases. The layer where most weather occurs.
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Stratosphere
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Extends from 10km to about 50km (30mi) above earth. Comercial airless fly in the lower part. Contains ozone layer.
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Climate
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The average weather in an area over a long period of time. Temperature, humidity, wind, and precipitation all play a role in climate.
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Greenhouse Effect
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Sunlight comes through the atmosphere and heats earth. The heat radiates up from earth and some escapes into space. The rest of the heat is trapped by gases in the troposphere and warms the air on earth.
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Greenhouse Gases
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Gases that trap and radiate heat: Water vapor, carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.
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Urbanization
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The growth of cities as people move from rural to urban areas.
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Infrastructure
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All the things society builds for public use
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Urban Crisis
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Lack of adequate infrastructure in overpopulated cities.
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Suburban Sprawl
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development that spreads out around cities, characterized by houses and strip malls.
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Deforestation
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Clearing trees without replacing them
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Clear Cutting
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A process that involves removing all of the trees from a land area
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Selective Cutting
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Cutting only middle aged or mature trees.
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Reforestation
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Replacing trees that have died or have been cut down.
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Open Pit Mining
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When machines are used to dig large holes in the ground and remove ore.
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Strip Mining
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Huge bull dozers and other machines are used to clear away large strips of the earth’s surface.
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Reclamation
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Restoring mined land to the condition it was in before mining.
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Wilderness
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An area where the land and ecosystems are protected from all development.
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Green Revolution
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The intro of new grains and farming techniques. Allows for more people to be fed. Problems: some people can not afford the necessary chemicals and equipment, new grains have to have specific fertilizer, pesticides, and amounts of water. The chemicals and pesticides harm the environment.
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Subsistence Farmers
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Those who grow food just for just their family.
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Arable Land
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Fertile land that can be plowed to grow crops.
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Desertification
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Soil fertility that deteriorates so much that the land becomes desert-like.
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No-Till Farming
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The seeds of the next crop are planted in slits that are cut into the soil, straight through the remains of the previous crops.
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Low Input farming
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Farming which doesn’t use a lot of energy, pesticides, fertilizer, or water.
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Salinization
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Accumulation of salts in the soil.
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Biological pest control
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Using living organisms or naturally produced chemicals to control pests.
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Pheromones
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Chemicals produced by one organism that affect the behavior of another.
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Biodiversity
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Refers to the number and variety of species on earth.
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Exotic Species
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A species that is not a native to a particular region
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Keystone Species
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Species that are very important to the functioning of an ecosystem.
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Endangered Species
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When the species numbers have fallen so low it could become extinct.
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Threatened Species
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A species that could become endangered
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Germ Plasm Bank
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When reproductive (germ) cells of organisms are stored.
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Electric generator
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A device for converting mechanical energy into electricity.
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Fossil Fuels
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Coal, oil, and natural gas
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Nonrenewable resources
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Materials being used faster than they can naturally be replaced.
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Renewable resources
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Resources that are continually produced
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Nuclear energy
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The energy that exists within the nucleus of an atom.
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Nuclear Fission
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When the nucleus of an atoms is split apart
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Nuclear Fusion
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Occurs when lightweight atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, releasing huge amounts of energy in the process.
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Solar Energy
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Energy from the sun
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Passive solar heating
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When sunlight is used to heat buildings directly without pumps or fans.
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Solar cells
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Devices that convert the sun’s energy directly into electricity.
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Joseph Fourier 1824
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The natural greenhouse effect was first described by:
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Claude Pouillet
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The role of water vapor and CO2 in the greenhouse effect was later identified by:
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Abiotic
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The components of an environment that are non-living (water, air)
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Biotic
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The components of an environment that are living (plants, animals)
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Detrivores
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Made up of detritus feeders and decomposers.

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