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Flashcards in Midterm 1 Deck (104):
1

System

-A group of interrelated components which operates as a whole.
-distinct from its surroundings
-dependant on scale (spatial, time)

2

Closed system

One where an exchange of matter is not allowed, but an exchange of energy is

3

Open system

Allows an exchange of both energy and mass. Most difficult systems to manage and most realistic when looking at earth

4

Thermodynamics

Relationship between heat and other forms of energy

5

1st Law of Thermodynamics

Energy can be transformed from one state to another and none is lost (cannot be destroyed)

6

2nd Law of Thermodynamics

In being converted from one form to another, quality declines as entropy increases

7

Entropy

Describes the progression of energy from highly ordered to less ordered (or chaotic)

8

Feedback

Occurs when a change in one part of the system causes a change in another part of the system.
-output affects input

9

Positive feedback

Enhancement or amplification
Ex) melting of arctic ice

10

Negative feedback

Regulates
Ex) atmospheric CO2
CO2 boosts plant growth. Photosynthesis causes CO2 to fall in the atmosphere

11

Steady state equilibrium

A balanced system

12

Dynamic equilibrium

System that fluctuates around an average

13

Threshold

Reached when a system moves far from equilibrium

14

Metastable equilibrium

If a system exceeds a threshold, it will behave differently from its original behaviour
Ex) landslides

15

Computer-based models

Allow the simulation of subsystems

16

Models

Representative of systems

17

Emergent property

Property which a collection or complex system has, but which the individual members do not have

18

Deterministic chaos

Apparently random patterns, upon closer examination there is a scale dependent fractal pattern

19

Self-organization

Occurs when a complex or stochastic system produces an ordered or regulated system

20

Lithosphere

Land surface and rocks

21

Biosphere

Life

22

Atmosphere

Gaseous envelope

23

Hydrosphere

Water

24

Cryosphere

Ice and snow

25

Mineral

Naturally occurring inorganic substance with a fixed structure

26

Rock

Composed of minerals

27

3 major classes of rock

Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock

28

Igneous

From molten rock

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Sedimentary

From debris eroded from other rocks and other materials

30

Metamorphic

Rocks changed by heat and/or pressure

31

Intrusive igneous rocks

Cools at depth producing coarse texture
-magma: within the earth

32

Extrusive igneous rocks

Cools at the surface producing fine texture
-molten rock on the surface

33

Sedimentary rocks

-mostly found under water
-sediments are laid down in layers, and the compacted
-fossils can be found in sedimentary rock

34

Metamorphic rocks

Igneous or sedimentary rock alerted by intense heat and/or pressure

35

Using minerals determination:

1. Concentration in near surface layers of the Earth
2. Ease of converting the raw form into usable products

36

Fake news

News that is false.

37

Alternative facts

No such thing. Different opinions

38

Scientific theories

An explanation for an aspect of the natural world that has been extensively tested and supported under a wide range of conditions by a large number of scientists

39

Pseudoscience

Claimed to be scientific, but lacks evidence gathered by the appropriate scientific methods

40

Biodiversity

Variety and variability of living organisms

41

Intermediate disturbance hypothesis

Suggests that ecosystems under moderate disturbance have higher diversity

42

Species

A group of organisms that can breed with each other under natural conditions and produce offspring

43

Taxonomy

Discipline of naming and classifying life

44

Evolution

The process through which organisms have developed and diversified over the history of life on earth

45

Population

A group of interbreeding organisms that live together in a specific area

46

Genetic mutation

Any change that occurs in the DNA sequence of a gene

47

Adaptation

Inherited characteristics in the structure or function of an organism that make it better suited to a particular physical and/or biological setting

48

Natural selection

Occurs when, over generations, beneficial adaptations accumulate in a population that lead to improved reproductive success of the organism

49

Speciation

The process in which one species separates into two or more species.
-usually some type of geographic isolation involved

50

Species distribution

Total number of species in a certain area

51

Extinction

Species entirely lost

52

Extirpation

Species lost from an area

53

Ecologically extinct

Species in such small numbers it no longer fulfills its ecological role

54

IUCN

International Union for the Conversation of Nature

55

Vulnerable Species

Likely to become endangered unless threats are reduced

56

Endangered species

At risk for becoming extinct

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Critically endangered species

Extremely high risk of extinction or population decline of more than 80% in 3 generations

58

Extinction causes

-habitat loss
-invasive species
-pollution
-overexploitation
-climate change

59

Why biodiversity matters

-maintains ecosystem function
-enhances food security
-provides drugs and medicine
-economic benefits through tourism and recreation

60

Ecosystem services

Services that nature performs for free

61

MEA

Millennium ecosystem assessment

62

Ecosystem economics

Add the value of ecologies to traditional economics

63

Sustainable scale

Do not overuse non-renewables

64

Mutualism

Beneficial to both organisms

65

Environmental Science

Study of the relationship between organisms and the physical environment

66

Ecosystem

Combination of all the living organisms in a given area and the physical environment in which they live

67

Ecosystem energy balance

Difference between the amount of energy that enters and leaves a system

68

Evaporation

Liquid water into watee vapor

69

Transpiration

Liquid water from soil and plants into atmosphere

70

Evatranspiration

Combination of both evaporation and transpiration

71

GPP

Gross Primary Production: organic carbon produced during photosynthesis

72

Autotrophic respiration

When photosynthetic organisms use the organic carbon they created to power their own cells during cellular respiration

73

NPP

Net Primary Production: how much organic carbon a plant accumulates over time

74

Heterotrophic respiration

Process of converting organic carbon to CO2 by organisms that consume organic material as food during cellular respiration

75

NEP

Net Ecosystem Production: the net total exchange of carbon between an ecosystem and the environment

76

What % of the atmosphere is oxygen?

20%

77

Soil

Mixture of mineral particles amd various types of organic and inorganic material

78

Biological components of soil

Microorganisms
Macroorganisms
Detritus

79

Physical components of soil

Clay
Silt
Sand particles

80

How does soil become soil?

Physical weathering
Chemical weathering

81

Mineralization

Process of converting mineral elements in organic matter to inorganic forms accessible by plants

82

Soil organic matter

Carbon containing compounds found in soil
Nitrogen and phosphorus most important

83

Provisioning services

Services human use

84

Cultural services

Serves the need of the culture

85

Regulating services

Wetlands, mangroves, forests, pollinators.
STABILIZERS

86

Supporting services

Soil, decomposers, plants producing oxygen, habitat

87

Biome

Large area characterized by similar climate, plants and animals

88

Food production

Critical for developing more complex societies where some people specialize on food and others on other activities

89

Agriculture

-most animal and plant species are not suitable to domestication
-varied a lot between continents

90

The Big 5

Sheep
Goats
Cattle
Pig
Horse

91

Germs 4 factors

1. Diff in plants and animals at orgins of ppl in that area
2. Diffusion between continents
3. Diffusion within continents
4. Continental differences in area and total population size

92

Birth rate

Number of people born/1000 people in a year.
Sometimes called CBR

93

Current world fertility rate

2.45
Best predictor of future population growth

94

Replacement rate

2.1

95

Growth rate

Number of people added to a population over a given period of time, divided by the total number of people in that population

96

Current growth rate MDC

1.18

97

Current growth rate LDC

2.38

98

Common pool resources

Natural or human-made resource for which one person's use decreases it's availability to other people, and which preventing someone from using is difficult and costly

99

Tragedy of the commons

Degradation of a commonly held resource.
Issues with individual profit.
No benefit for preservation

100

How do we value the environment?

Direct use value, indirect use value, option value, existence value

101

GPI

Genuine process indicator

102

GNH

Gross national happiness

103

BLI

Better life index

104

HDI

Human development index