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The ABC's of AP Environmental Science
Transcript of The ABC's of AP Environmental Science
: small particles, liquid or solid, that float in the atmosphere. Aerosols reflect the sun’s light and cools the surface of Earth and the atmosphere. Black carbon aerosols, however, absorb the sun’s energy and have a warming effect. Aerosols are released into the atmosphere naturally by volcanic eruptions and erosion. Still, human activity releases aerosols as well. Methods of industry, agriculture, transportation, and construction all release aerosols into the atmosphere.
Fresh water: water that is fairly pure. Fresh water is found in a limited number of sources. It is mainly found in surface waters, like rivers and lakes, and as ice but it can also be in groundwater. Fresh water is important because it is what people and animals drink. It is also used in agriculture to water crops.
Landfill: A place where one can dispose of waste material and then the waste is covered by soil. We took a picture of the Hanover Dump. They dispose of their large waste containers into a landfill.
W is for Waste
Waste: unwanted material that is a product of human activities. We took a picture of a battery to show that some waste must be disposed of properly. Batteries have environmentally hazardous ingredients. If they are not disposed of in the right way, these ingredients infiltrate into water sources and even food webs. Dispose of batteries at a hazardous waste site or check to see if a store near you will collect them from you.
F is for Fresh Water
Image by Tom Mooring
L is for Landfill
The ABC's of AP Environmental Science
M is for Metamorphic Rock
Metamorphic rock: type of rock formed and shaped by intense heat and pressure. Metamorphic rocks are formed from extreme heat and pressure. Because of the formation process other forms of rocks can be changed into metamorphic rocks. Marble, slate, gneiss and schist are all metamorphic rocks. These are different examples of metamorphic rocks.
R is for Recycle
B is for Biodiversity
Biodiversity: total amount of organisms in an area. Biodiversity accounts for the diversity of species, genes, populations, and communities in an area. These populations do not have to be animals. In this picture, the garden has a variety of different plant species.
By: Julianne Kannan & Keeleigh Combs
C is for Crust
Crust: The outer layer of the earth consisting of rock. We took a picture of the ground because the crust is the outer most layer of the earth. It is made up igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rock. The crust is the thinnest layer of the earth and is divided into 15 separate tectonic plates.
D is for Deforestation
Deforestation: When forests are destroyed. Usually after deforestation the land is destroyed. Forests are mainly destroyed for agriculture and development. In this picture the bare area before the trees was cleared to help expand a neighborhood, but due to the existing neighborhood's request the extra houses were never built and the land is now used for farming.
E is for Ecological Footprint
Ecological footprint: the amount of land and water that a person uses through their use of raw materials. We took a picture of a foot print to represent ecological footprints because it is essentially the total impact a person has on the environment. When we overuse earth’s resources, it takes a while for those resources to be replenished. The footprint in the sand represents a human’s impact. The water will eventually wash the impression away but it may take time.
G is for Global Warming
Global Warming: The steady increase of the earths surface temperature. It is caused by the steady rise of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere. We took a picture of a thermostat to show how warm water can be after only being exposed to the sun for a few hours. A prime example of rising temperatures.
H is for Habitat
Habitat: Specific environments where organisms live. Habitats are made up of physical characteristics such as temperature, moisture, light, etc. We took a picture of a wooded area because it is an example of a habitat for animals such as squirrels and rabbits.
I is for Igneous
Igneous rock: type of rock formed by magma when it cools (basalt, granite). Igneous rock is formed when magma cools. Depending on how fast the magma cools, the appearance of igneous rocks may vary. There are two main types of igneous rocks: intrusive and extrusive. Intrusive rocks are formed by magma that cools slowly beneath the earth’s surface. Extrusive rocks are formed at the surface usually by magma released from a volcano.
J is for Judicial Branch
K is for Kinetic Energy
Kinetic energy: moving energy. We took a picture of clouds for kinetic energy because wind farms collect the kinetic energy from the wind. Wind farms consist of hundreds of wind turbines. These turbines help convert the kinetic energy into mechanical energy and then electricity.
N is for Non-point Source
Non-point Source: Sources of pollution that are abundant and hard to pin point. This can refer to water and air pollution. We took a picture of cars because not only does the emission of greenhouse gases affect the atmosphere but when car leaks oil it can run off into marine habitats and harm the aquatic life.
O is for Omnivore
Omnivore: organism that eats plants and animals. We took a picture of a human because most humans are omnivores. A human’s diet incorporates both meat and vegetables. In nature, omnivores have a higher chance of survival because they can eat more. Carnivores or herbivores have more competition for their food.
P is for Pollution
Pollution: Any matter that if released into the atmosphere causes harm to the land and its inhabitants in any way. We took a picture of a factory because even though the smoke stacks are releasing clean steam some harmful particles enter the atmosphere.
S is for Solar Energy
Solar energy: the sun’s energy. The sun’s energy, or solar energy, can be used as an environmental friendly source of energy. Solar panels, once installed, do not give off any pollution. These panels may be mounted on rooftops and, after the initial cost purchase and set up, allow homes and businesses to have free energy. Unfortunately, there are downsides to using solar energy. The sun’s rays are often seasonally affected, thus making an inconsistent energy source.
T is for Topsoil
Top soil: the top layer of soil that hold the most plant nutrients. Topsoil, also called the A Horizon, is the second layer in the soil horizons. Topsoil is usually dark because it is full of humus. Nutrients in topsoil make it essential for plant growth. Because the A Horizon is the second layer, it is sheltered from weathering and erosion.
U is for Urbanization
Urbanization: When an area shifts from rural to urban and/or the number of people in an urban area increases. We took a picture of a neighborhood because this area was once a vast land and now it is covered by houses and people.
V is for VOCs
VOCs: A large group of potentially harmful organic chemicals. They can be man made or natural and can cause long lasting health effects. We took a picture of a carpet because many VOCs are emitted by the carpet itself and the padding and adhesives used when laying it.
X is for X-axis
X-axis: the horizontal axis on a graph. The X-axis on this graph shows the lifespan of a black phoebe. The X-axis should be scaled and labeled on a graph. In a scientific experiment, the X-axis often represents the independent variable.
Y is for Y-axis
Y-axis: the vertical axis on a graph. This graph uses the Y-axis to show the percentage of survivors in a mountain gorilla population. Just like the X-axis, the Y-axis also should be labeled and scaled. The Y-axis typically represents the dependent variable in an experiment.
Z is for Zebra Mussels
Zebra Mussels: Invasive Species. These mussels make their way to America via cargo ships coming from Europe. We took a picture of a fish being scared of a zebra mussel because they often latch onto anything around them and use their resources making them a dominant species.
Q is for Quantitative
Quantitative data: data that can be presented in numbers. We took a picture of a calculator to represent quantitative data because quantitative data can be presented in numbers. If a scientist is doing an experiment on the effect of carrots on a rabbit’s fur color, the color of the fur cannot be described in numbers or quantities. This is because color is qualitative. The scientist can however state the amount of carrots eaten in a quantity. In this experiment, the amount of carrots is quantitative data.
Learning Objectives We Use
· Define climate, weather and biodiversity as a function of population dynamics, Evolution, and human impact.
· Describe the geologic processes: plate tectonics, weathering, erosion, the rock cycle, and soil formation. Describe the connection between plate tectonics and Evolution.
· Describe the global environmental problems of deforestation and loss of biodiversity.
· Explain how water is used and identify sources and causes of, and solutions for water pollution.
· Explain trends in human population growth, demographic transition, and population dynamics.
· Describe the methods of production and disposal of solid and hazardous waste.
· Describe the relationship between economics, politics, and the environment.
· Identify and explain nuclear and alternative energy resources. Explain the costs and benefits of utilizing these resources.
· Identify sources and costs associated with and solutions for air pollution. Provide evidence for global warming and ozone loss and solutions for each.
· Interpretation of Data
Brennan, S. R., & Withgott, J. (2005). Environment:
The science behind the stories.
San Francisco: Pearson/Benjamin Cummings.
Judicial Branch: A branch of the U.S. government that has the duty of interpreting the law. We took a picture of a BP gas station, because after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP was taken to court and the Judicial Branch played a part in what was to happen to the company and to determine what laws the company broke.
Recycle: The process of one disposing of used materials into a designated area so that material can be used for another purpose. This is to reduce the wasting of materials. We took a picture of a recycling truck/bin because that is one of many places a person can recycle.