Flashcards in Environment/Nature Deck (55)
What is a GHG?
- greenhouse gas.
- it is a gas that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range.
- excess greenhouse gas in our atmosphere causes global warming (a rise in the earth's temperature)
- the primary greenhouse gases are: water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and ozone.
What is the greenhouse effect?
- the process by which excess greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere cause global warming.
- the sun's rays heat the earth and then emit back into space as infrared radiation.
- when there is an excess of greenhouse gas, the sun's excess heat becomes trapped and heats our atmosphere.
What has been the effect of our burning fossil fuels and clearing forests (since the industrial revolution)?
It has contributed to a 40% increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Where is the South Pole?
- in the Southern Hemisphere (below the equator)
- the middle of Antarctica, at the very bottom of the earth.
What is a pathogen?
A disease-carrying organism.
What is Antarctica?
- an island of land within the Antarctic circle surrounded by water.
- it's at the bottom of the earth, in the Southern Hemisphere. Below the equator.
- the South Pole is right in the middle of it.
- much colder than the arctic.
- the ice at the Antarctic ice cap is 10,000 feet (2 miles) thick.
- animal life (penguins, seals) stay near the water. There is almost no life inland.
Where is the North Pole?
- the top of the world.
- north of the equator, in the northern hemisphere.
- in the middle of the arctic circle.
What is the Arctic?
- an area that is mostly water, surrounded by ice, and then countries peeking into the arctic circle.
- the countries that edge into the arctic circle (and are inside it) are: Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Alaska.
- the arctic ice cap is the ice layer above the water and is only about 10ft. thick.
- has many ice shelves.
- the ice cap (polar ice cap) has been melting since the 70s.
What is the arctic circle?
- The demarcation circle that surrounds the arctic.
- the northern hemisphere.
- several countries edge inside of it.
What is the Antarctic circle?
- The demarcation line around Antarctica .
- in the Southern Hemisphere
What is the main greenhouse gas in our atmosphere?
- Carbon dioxide.
- it accounts for 80% of the greenhouse gas in our atmosphere.
- carbon dioxide is created when we burn fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal)
The half of the earth that is below the equator.
Contains all or parts of Antarctica, Australia, South America, Africa, Asia, Oceania.
Photosynthesis (plants) consumes it.
Respiration (animals) consumes it.
Plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen (photosynthesis)
Animals breathe in the oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide (respiration)
What company is responsible for the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill?
Plains All American
What is causing the CA draught?
A "blocking ridge", which is a region of high atmospheric pressure that disrupts normal wind patterns (like a boulder blocking a stream).
The blocking ridge is pushing the polar jet stream north (to the arctic circle) and leaving CA, Oregon, and Washington dry.
Invisible radiant energy
In physics, radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles.
Example: x-rays, visible light, radio waves, seismic waves.
Relating to heat
Radiant energy: visible light, x-rays, radio waves.
BP oil spill
Largest oil spill in US history.
2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana.
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank.
11 people died. 200 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf.
BP has paid out roughly 50 billion dollars as a result.
UK oil company
Responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (largest spill in US history)
Owns a minority stake in Rosneft, a state-owned oil company in Russia (the part BP owns is in Siberia). - US sanctions on Russia only prevent them from raising credit in the US or using US technology. (The Rosneft drilling operation hasn't been profitable).
BP also had a drilling operation in Libya, but they pulled out because it was too dangerous.
A type of rock composed of silt and clay.
Produces various grades of unconventional oil (cheap oil - heavy, needs much much refining).
Example: China has dams that produce energy
A measurement in electricity generation.
How much energy must be generated for a renewable energy source to be viable commercially?
It must generate 1MWh of electricity using renewable energy in order to be granted an REC.
What is an REC?
Renewable energy certificate
Given to renewable energy sources able to generate 1MWh of electricity.