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15 Cards in this Set

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acid precipitation
Has a pH below 5.6; occurs when air pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels react with water to form strong acids; can pollute water, kill fish and plants, and damage soils.
erosion
Movement of soil from one place to another.
fossil fuels
Nonrenewable energy resources--coal, oil, and natural gas--that have formed in Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years.
geothermal energy
Heat energy within Earth's crust, available only where natural geysers or volcanoes are located.
greenhouse effect
Natural heat-trapping feature; occurs when certain gases in Earth's atmosphere, such as methane, carbon dioxide, and water vapor, trap heat and keep Earth warm enough to support life.
hazardous wastes
Waste materials, such as pesticides and leftover paints, that are harmful to human health or poisonous to living organisms.
hydroelectric power
Electricity produced when the energy of falling water turns the blades of a generator turbine.
natural resources
Parts of Earth's environment that supply materials useful or necessary for the survival of living organisms.
nonrenewable resources
Natural resources, such as petroleum, minerals, and metals, that are used more quickly than they can be replaced by natural processes.
nuclear energy
Energy produced from the splitting apart of billions of uranium nuclei by a nuclear fission reaction.
ozone depletion
Thinning of Earth's ozone layer caused by chlorofluorocarbons leaking into the air and reacting chemically with ozone, breaking the ozone molecules apart.
petrolium
Nonrenewable resource formed over hundreds of millions of years mostly from the remains of microscopic marine organisms buried in Earth's crust.
pollutant
Substance that contaminates any part of the environment.
recycling
Conservation method that is a form of reuse and requires changing or reprocessing an item or natural resource.
renewable resources
Natural resources, such as water, sunlight, and crops, that are constantly being recycled or replaced by nature.