• Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

Card Range To Study



Play button


Play button




Click to flip

Use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to navigate between flashcards;

Use UP and DOWN arrow keys to flip the card;

H to show hint;

A reads text to speech;

55 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What is Energy?

Ability to do work

What is Power?

Rate at which we use energy

What is the Law of Conservation of Energy?

Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only changed in form

What are the nine types of energy?

Mechanical Elastic Chemical

Electrical Magnetic Sound

Radiant Nuclear Thermal

What are the states of energy?

Potential and Kinetic

What is potential energy?

Stored energy

What is Kinetic energy?

Energy of motion

What is Energy Intensity?

Amount of energy used to produce $1 GDP

Energy use is broken up into what four categories?

Residential, Transportation, Industrial, and Commercial

What is Gradualism?

Slow changes in the Earth

What is catastrophic?

Large scale, rapid changes

10 Billion Years Ago...

The big bang occured

4.6 Billion Years Ago...

The sun was formed

4.54 Billion Years Ago

The Earth was formed

Describe young Earth's atmosphere

Mostly Carbon Dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide

Describe young Earth's surface

Hotter, more geologically active, more hostile to life

What are Archea

-Single Celled Organisms

-Dominated for +1 Billion years

-Able to survive in uninhabitable environments

-Dependent on Geothermal Energy

2.4-2.3 Billion Years Ago...

Great Oxidation Event

What caused the GOE?

Cyanobacteria producing oxygen through the first processes of Photosynthesis

Components of Earth's modern atmosphere

Nitrogen (78%)

Oxygen (21%)

Argon (0.9%)

Carbon Dioxide (0.03%)

Water Vapor (0-4%)

What does the environmental Kuznets curve show?

The relationship between environmental pollution and income per capita?

What do the letters in the I=P*A*T equation stand for?

Impact = Population * Affluence * Technology

What is Affluence?

consumption of each individual

GDP per capita

What is coal?

Fossil fuel, combustible, sedimentary rock

How is coal formed?

Intense Heat and Pressure on buried vegetation/organic matter over millions of years

Five stages of coal formation

Peat, lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous, and anthracite

What is coalification

The formation of coal through gradual heating and compression of organic matter

What are coal reserves?

Deposits that can be mined with current technology

What are coal resources?

Estimate of global coal deposits

Surface area mining

-Shallow seam (<50m)

-Must replace overburden and restore after extraction

-Recovery Rate 90%

Underground Mining

-Shaft drilled to coal

-Mining machine breaks up seam before miners retrieve

-Recovery Rate 50%

What influences Coal Value?

-Sulfur Content

-Ease of access to seam

-Temperature, pressure, length of time

-Organic maturity

Environmental Impacts

-Atmosphere emission -carbon andsulfur

-Miner effects - inhalation, economic

-Groundwater - mining, power plants

-Surface mining - deforestation, displacement people and animals

Instances of health impacts from coal emissions?

Meuse Valley, Belgium 1930

London 1952

India 1984

Los Angeles and Salt Lake City currently

What does the Air Quality Index do?

Measures the quality of the air

What is the mass number of an atom?

Number of protons and neutrons

What is an atomic number?

Number of protons in the nucleus

What makes an isotope different?

Same number of protons, but different number of neutrons

When is an atom most stable?

When the number of protons and electrons are closest

What is radiation?

High power energy created by particles emitted from the nuclei of an unstable atom

What is a half-life?

-Amount of time it takes for half of or a radioactive nucleus to decay

-Exponential decrease

Alpha Decay

-Emits Alpha particle (2 protons and 2 neutrons)

-Large, slow particle

-Stopped by paper or skin

Beta Decay

-A proton turns into a neutron, and then emits an electron

-Smaller, faster particle

-Can be stopped with aluminum

Gamma Decay

-Emits photons and EM radiation

-Most penetration power

-Can be stopped with lead


-Gives off energy through combination of two small atoms

-Eg: The sun


-Gives off energy through the splitting of a larger atom

-Currently used in power plants

What do moderators do in a power plant?

They control the chain reaction by absorbing extra neutrons produced by fission


-3-4.5% needed for nuclear fuel

-Make U-235 from -238

How can nuclear reactors be classified?

Generation, moderator, and/or type of coolant

What causes Acid Rain?

Reaction of Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides with water vapor in the atmosphere

What causes bad Urban Air Quality?

Road Transport emissions

Three largest Oil Spills?

Gulf War Oil Spill - 1991

Deepwater Horizon - 2010

Ixtoc 1 - 1979

What causes Acid Mine Drainage?

The oxidation of iron sulfide in a coal mind, allowing sulfur to seem into groundwater

What is Strip Mining?

Blowing the top off of a mountain to access the coal underneath


-Little to no regulation or research

-Chemicals used in drilling aren't cleaned up after, just left to sit in ponds