Flashcards in REN1201 Deck (317)
How is environmental science defined?
Systematic study of the natural and human-made world
What does the word 'environment' refer to?
An organism's surroundings
What are the 4 components of the biophysical earth system?
Atmosphere, Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere
What is an atmosphere?
Gas surrounding the earth that protects from UV, traps IR and provides oxygen.
What is lithosphere?
Solid crust and upper part of the earths mantle, contributes to rock and soils
What is hydrosphere?
Represents 70% of earths surface covered in liquid and frozen water (sometimes known as the cryosphere).
What is biosphere?
Parts of the earth that contains living organisms and the complex interactions occurring.
What are the 4 components of the human-earth system?
Economics, Population, Politics, Ethics
What are the 2 main factors in human effect on the environment?
Consumption of resources, production of wastes and pollutants
What does 'resources' refer to?
Anything an organism uses up or depletes (i.e. food, water, etc.)
What is renewable energy?
That which can be consumed and replenished quickly (ie. food crops, forests, solar, etc.
What is non-renewable energy?
Materials that exist in finite amounts and can't be replenished within a reasonable time frame.
What is waste assimilation?
The ability of the environment to absorb wastes.
What does PCB stand for?
What did the early 'doomsday' scenarios (in the 70s) suggest?
That there were limits to human population growth.
What did the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report reveal?
- 60% of ecosystem services that support life are being degraded.
- Human activity is changing the world around us, leading to mass extinction.
- Relieving poverty wont succeed while environmental degradation is set to worsen.
What is the scientific method?
The systematic approach of observation, hypothesis formation, hypothesis testing and hypothesis evaluation.
What is a hypothesis?
A tentative explanation for an observation or question.
What is a theory?
A hypothesis thats been repeatedly tested with little modification.
TRUE OR FALSE: Scientific method = Hypothesis > Analysis > Experiment > Conclusion
TRUE OR FALSE: Scientific method = Hypothesis > Experiment > Analysis > Conclusion
How does 'logical positivsm' view the natural world?
In terms of cause and effect relationships.
What is a biotic component?
It includes neighbouring individuals of the same or different species and their interactions (parasitism, symbiotic relationships, competition, etc.).
What is an abiotic component?
A wide range of factors that chiefly derive from basic physical and chemical interactions (ie. weather, climate, radiation, etc.).
What is matter?
Anything that takes up space and has mass (and has 3 interchangeable forms: liquid, solid and gas).
What are elements?
Simplest substances that can be isolated chemically (is periodic table) [consists of atoms].
What are atoms?
Smallest units of matter capable of entering into chemical reactions (consists of neutrons, electrons, protons).
What is a molecule?
Conjunction of atoms of the same element (i.e. N2, O2, etc.)
What is a compound?
A molecule containing different kinds of atoms (i.e CH4, CO2, etc.)