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20 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
abiotic
pertaining to factors or things that are separate and independent from living things; nonliving
abortion
the termination of a pregnancy by some form of surgical or medicinal intervention
absolute poverty
the lack of sufficient income in cash or exchange items for meeting the most basic human needs for food, clothing, and shelter
acid
any compound that releases hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. Also, a water solution that contains a surplus of hydrogen ions.
acid deposition
any form of acid precipitation and also fallout of dry acid particles
acid precipitation
includes acid rain, acid fog, acid snow and any other form of precipitation that is more acidic than normal (i.e., less that pH 5.6) excess acidity is derived from certain air pollutants, namely, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen
activated sludge
sludge made up of clumps of living organisms feeding on detritus that settles out and is recycled in the process of secondary wastewater treatment
activated sludge system
a system for removing organic wastes from water. The system uses microorganisms and active aeration to decompose such wastes. The system is used most as a means of secondary sewage treatment following the primary settling of materials
active safety features
those safety features of nuclear reactors that rely on operator-controlled reactions, external power sources, and other features that are capable of failing
adaptation
an ecological or evolutionary change in structure or function that enables and organism to adjust better to its environment and hence enhances that organism's ability to survive and reproduce
adiabatic cooling
the cooling that occurs when warm air rises and encounters lower atmospheric pressure. Adiabatic warming is the opposite process, whereby cool air descends and encounters higher pressure
adsorption
the process whereby chemicals (ions or molecules) stick to the surface of other materials
aeration
Soil: the exchange within the soil of oxygen and carbon dioxide necessary for the respiration of roots.
Water: the bubbling of air or oxygen through water to increase the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water.
aerosols
Microscopic liquid and solid particles origination from land and water surfaces and carried up into the atmosphere
affluenza
a term used to describe a dysfunctional relationship with wealth or money
Agenda 21
a definitive program to promote sustainable development that was produced by the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and adopted by the U.N. General Assembly
age structure
within a population, the different proportons of people who are old, middle aged, young adults, and children
AID
the U.S. Agency for International Development, the development arm of the U.S. State Department responsible for administering international aid from the United States
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, a fatal disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and transmitted by sexual contact or the use of non sterile needles (as in drug addiction)
air pollution disaster
short-term situation in industrial cities in which intense industrial smog brings about a significant increase in human mortality