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What is sustainable development?

A real increase in well-being and standard of life for the average person that can be maintained over the long term without degrading the environment or compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


What are the steps in the scientific method and what are its strengths and weaknesses?

1. State the problem
2. Develop a hypothesis
3. Design and perform an experiment to test the hypothesis
4. Analyze and interpret the data
5. Share the results with other scientists
Useful in defining a problem and tends to focus on past and present while ignoring future possibilities


What is the current population on earth and the United States and the anticipated population in 2050 on earth and United States?

7.2 billion
320 million
9-10 billion
439 million


What qualities make water unique and essential for life as we know it?

Waters density makes life possible


What is the relationship between species diversity and community stability?

Number of species in a community affects the stability


What is the relationship between population growth and environmental impact?

Environmental impacts are the product of our population size


Identify three reasons that the human populations grew so rapidly in the last century?

Discovered cures for diseases
Modern technology


How does population growth change as a society develops?

Knowledge, availability, and use of effective and acceptable means of birth control


What is population growth momentum?

A potential for increased population growth as young members reach reproductive age


Which two environmental characteristics define a biome?

Temperature and precipitation


What is meant by biodiversity?

The genetic, species and ecological diversity of the organisms in a given area


What are the major benefits of biodiversity?

Provides food and medicines, can aid ecosystem stability


What is ecosystem services?

Resources or services provided by environmental systems


What is green revolution?

Dramatically increased agricultural production brought about by miracle strains of grain; usually requires high inputs of water, plant nutrients, and pesticides


What is genetically modified organisms (GMO)?

Organisms created by combining natural or synthetic genes using the techniques of molecular biology


What traits are most commonly introduced with GMOs?

Insect resistance and herbicide


What are the connections between ecology and our health?

There are ecological diseases that are affecting humans


What makes some chemicals dangerous and others harmless?

Most toxic substances degrade over time


What is toxic?

Poisonous chemicals that react with specific cellular components to kill cells or to alter growth or development in undesirable ways; often harmful, even in dilute concentrations


What is chronic problems?

Long-lasting results of exposure to a toxin; can be a permanent change caused by a single, acute exposure or a continuous, low-leveling exposure


What is biomagnification?

Increase in concentration of certain stable chemicals in successively higher tropic levels of a food chain or web


If you take antibiotics when you have a cold, why don't you get better faster? What are some of the problems related to taking antibiotics when you have a cold virus?

The medication has no effect on your cold. It could lead to having antibiotics resistant bacteria in your system


What is (IPCC) intergovernmental panel on climate change?

A large group of scientists from many nations and a wide variety of fields assembled by the United Nations environment program and world meteorological organization to access the current state of knowledge about climate change


What has IPCC accomplished?

The IPCC modeled future emissions


In what ways can air pollution affect human health?

It causes cancer, nerve damage, disrupt hormone functions and fetal development; persist in environment


What policies and strategies have had a positive effect on reducing air pollutants?

Clean air act


Why are Americans so healthy?

Sanitation systems


What is the importance of the clean water act?

Swimmable and fishable


What is sustainability?

Ecological, social, and economic systems that can last over the long term.


What is the disadvantages and benefits of coal?

Dirty, dangerous activity destroys ecosystems and highly polluting

10x greater than all oil and gas