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24 Cards in this Set

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Pollutants
Substances with which ecosystems have had no prior evolutionary experience, so adaptive mechanisms to deal with them are not in place.
Thermal Inversion
When a layer of cool, dense air is trapped under war air.
Winds cannot dispense pollutants --> accumulate.
Industrial Smog
Industrial pollutants (dust, smoke, etc…) accumulate over cities as a gray haze in cold, wet winters; can become lethal.
Photochemical Smog
Nitrogen dioxide accumulates from oxygen reacting with nitric oxide and reacts with hydrocarbons to form a brown haze over land basins in warm climates.
Dry Acid Deposition
When sulfur and nitrogen oxides fall in dry weather.
Acid Rain
When dry acid deposition falls as rain or snow (pH can be 10-100x lower).
CFCs
Chlororfluorocarbons; used as coolants in many household items; reacts with oxygen, ultimately releases chlorine atom that breaks down over 10,000 ozone molecules.
Green Revolution
Research towards improving the genetic character of crop plants and exporting modern resources and practices to developing countries.
Animal-Assisted Agriculture
Relies on energy from draft animals.
Mechanized Agriculture
Yields are much higher, but requires many resources and much more energy.
Deforestation
The removal of all trees from large tracts of land for logging, agriculture, and grazing operations.
Shifting Cultivation
The practice of cutting and burning trees, then tilling the ashes into soil, which can then sustain crops for at least one season.
Desertification
Conversion of large grasslands to new desert-like conditions.
Desalinization
The removal of salt from seawater.
Salinization
A build up of salt in soil; result of evaporation in soil that drains poorly.
Water Table
The upper limit at which the ground is fully saturated.
Primary Wastewater Treatment
Screens and settling tanks used to remove sludge  disposed; chlorine is used, doesn’t kill all germs.
Secondary Wastewater Treatment
Microbial populations break down organic matter.
Tertiary Wastewater Treatment
Reduces pollution (expensive and experimental).
Net Energy
Energy left after process of delivering energy to consumers.
Nuclear Meltdown
Water is overheated --> steam reacts with other chemicals --> could release radioactive material.
Solar-Hydration Energy
– Sunlight-created energy in “photovoltaic cells” can split water molecules --> oxygen and hydrogen gas (can be used a fuel).
Wind Farms
Arrays of turbines that exploit wind patterns and convert sunlight and wind into mechanical energy.
Fusion Power
The sun’s gravitational force’s ability to compress atomic nuclei into high densities and temperatures high enough to force atomic nuclei to fuse.