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100 Cards in this Set

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"The tragedy of the commons"
Garret Hardin's theory that unregulated areas offered free to the public will be depleted
Thomas Malthus
From the 18th century, believed that rapid population growth would soon outgrow the available food supply
Relavist
An ethicist who believes that ethics vary with social context
Universalist
An ethicist who believes that ethics can be the same in different social contexts
anthropocentrism
A human-centered view of our relationship with the environment
Biocentrism
A view of our relationship with the environment that centers on the well-being of all living things (animals AND plants)
Ecocentrism
A view of our relationship with the environment that centers on the well-being of biotic AND abiotic elements of an ecosystem
John Ruskin
Critic who disliked 19th century industrialization in Europe
Gifford Pinchot
The first professionally trained American forester
Preservation ethic
Ethic that says we should protect the natural environment in a pristine, unadulterated state
Conservation ethic
Ethic that says humans should put resources to use, but also manage them wisely
Deep ecology
Philosophy that says humans are inseparable from the environment (biocentric)
Externality
A cost or benefit that affects people other than the buyer or seller
Legislative Branch
Congress
Executive Branch
President
Judicial Branch
Supreme Court
Regulatory taking
When the government deprives a property owner of some or all economic uses of the property
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
U.S. law that created the Council on Environmental Quality
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Required for any major federal action (by NEPA)
Command-and-control
When environmental laws set strict limits and laws, and harsh punishments for breaking them
"Revolving door"
Movement between a private sector and government agencies
Customary law
A law that arises from a long-standing practice
Policy process
1. Identifying the problem 2. Identifying the causes 3. Envisioning solutions 4. Organizing 5. Getting power 6. Making the solution a law
First wave of environmental policy
Encouraged frontier expansion and resource extraction
Second wave of environmental policy
Mitigated impacts of the first wave
Third wave of environmental policy
Targeted pollution
Isotopes
A form of an element that has a different number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom than normal
Radioisotopes
Radioactive isotopes that emit radiation as they "decay" and become stable isotopes
Covalent bond
A chemical bond in which the uncharged atoms in a molecule share electrons
Ionic bond
A chemical bond in which oppositely charged ions are held together by electrical attraction
Ion
An electrically charged atom
Organic compound
A compound consisting of carbon atoms joined by covalent bonds and sometimes other elements
Ionic compound/Salt
An association of ionic bonds
Polymer
A chemical compound consisting of long chains of repeated molecules (building block of life)
Lipids do not dissolve in...
Water
First law of thermodynamics
Energy can change form but cannot be created or destroyed
Second law of thermodynamics
Energy tends to change from an ordered state to a less ordered state through the process of entropy
Autotrophs/Primary producers
Organisms that can use the energy from the sun to produce food
Heterotrophs/Consumers
Organisms that consume other organisms
Transcription
Process in which hereditary information in DNA is rewritten to RNA
Translation
Process in which RNA directs the order in which amino acids assemble to build proteins
K-selected species
Species with stabilizing population, slow reproduction, and few offspring (ex: elephants)
R-selected species
Species that reproduce quickly and have many offspring (ex: fish)
Formula for growth rate
(Crude birth rate + immigration rate) - (Crude death rate + emigration rate)
Type 1 survivorship curve
Classifies species with higher death rates at old ages
Type 2 survivorship curve
Classifies species with equal death rates at all ages
Type 3 survivorship curve
Classifies species with higher death rates at young ages
Artificial selection
Natural selection conducted under human direction
Niche
The functional role of a species in a community
Endemic
Native or restricted to a particular geographic region (nowhere else on Earth)
Limiting factor
A physical, chemical, or biological characteristic of the environment that restrains population growth
Density-dependent factor
A limiting factor whose effects on a population increase or decrease depending on the population density
Density-independent factor
A limiting factor whose effects on a population are constant regardless of population density
Unregulated populations increase by...
Exponential growth
Can carrying capacities change?
Yes
What is the primary source of nitrogen gas?
The atmosphere (N2 makes up 79%)
Nitrogen fixation
In which N2 goes into legumes and becomes NH3 (ammonia)
Nitrification
In which NH3 becomes NO2 (nitrite) and NO3 (nitrate)
Assimilation/uptake
In which nutrients move from the soil to an organism
What do plants make once they uptake nitrogen?
DNA, RNA, and proteins
Ammonification
In which organisms die and break down the nitrogen in their bodies into ammonia
Denitrification
In which NO2, NO3, and NH3 become N2 again
Nitrogen fixation can also be caused by...
Lightning
How do humans cause nitrogen fixation?
Mainly by producing fertilizers
Bacteria is involved in every step of the nitrogen cycle except...
Assimilation/uptake
Does phosphorus go into the atmosphere?
No; it is not a gas
Phosphorus mainly comes from...
Rocks
Decomposition
In which PO4 (phosphate) goes back into the soil after organisms uptake it and die
Igneous rock
Created from cooled magma
Intrusive igneous rock
Magma that cools slowly while it is well below Earth's surface
Extrusive igneous rock
Magma that cools quickly above ground
Lithification
The process of dissolved minerals seeping through sediment layers to stick them together, creating sedimentary rock
Aquifiers
Underground water reservoirs
Water table
The upper limit of groundwater held in an aquifier
Divergent plate boundaries
Formed when plates are pushed apart by magma, which creates new crust as it cools and spreads
Transform plate boundaries
Formed when two plates grind against each other, causing earthquakes
Convergent plate boundaries
Formed when plates collide
Subduction
When one plate of crust slides beneath another
Haber-Bosch process
Process in which ammonia is synthesized on an industrial scale; alters the nitrogen cycle
Feedback loop
When a system's output can serve as an input to that same system
Closed system
An isolated and self-contained system
Open system
A system that exchanges matter, energy, and information with other systems
Eutrophication
When nutrients are over-enriched
Lithosphere
The earth's uppermost layer (rock beneath our feet)
IPAT model
Model representing that human's total impact (I) results from population (P), affluence (A), and technology (T)
Troposphere
Layer of atmosphere closest to the earth; gives us air we breathe and causes most weather patterns
Stratosphere
Layer above troposphere; blocks UV rays emitted by the sun
Ozone layer
Within the stratosphere, also helps protect from UV rays
Mesosphere
Layer above stratosphere
Thermosphere
Layer above mesosphere, air pressure is very low
Temperature/thermal inversion
Cold air occurs near the ground, with warmer air above it; this traps pollutants near the ground and causes smog
Coriolis effect
When regions near the equator spin faster than region near the poles, and north-south air currents to a partly east-west direction
Primary pollutant
A hazardous substance that is emitted into the troposphere in a form that is directly harmful
Secondary pollutant
A hazardous substance produced through a reaction of substances; added to the atmosphere with chemicals normally found there
What are the five greenhouse gases?
Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide
What does El Nino cause?
Warm oceans and weak equatorial winds
What does La Nina cause?
Cold oceans, strong equatorial winds
Proxy indicators
Indirect evidence of the climate of the past
Formula for exponential growth
future value = present value X e^kt
Formula for doubling time
t = 70/k (k is written as a percent)