Environmental Science Study Guide

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AP Environmental Science
Chapter 1
Environment- everything around us. Including nonliving things (air, water, and energy) Environmental science- an interdisciplinary study of how humans interact with the living and nonliving parts of their environment. Ecology- the biological science that studies how organisms or living things interact with one another. Ecosystem- A set of organisms within a defined area or volume that interact with one another and with their environment of nonliving matter and energy. Natural capital- the natural resources and natural services that keep us and other forms of life alive and support our human economies. Resource- anything that we can obtain the environment to meet our needs and wants. Perpetual resource- is a continuous supply of solar energy.

Renewable resource- a resource that takes anywhere from several days to several hundred years to be replenished through natural processes. Sustainable yield- the highest rate at which we can use a renewable resource without reducing its available supply. Reuse- involves using a resource over and over in the same form. Recycling- involves collecting waste materials and processing them into new materials. Economic growth- is an increase in a nation’s output of goods and services. Gross domestic product (GDP) - the annual market value of all goods and services produced by all businesses, foreign and domestic, operating within a country. Economic development- an effort to use economic growth to improve living standards. More-developed countries- those with high average income and they include the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and most European countries. Less-developed countries- (opposite of well-developed countries) Pollution- any presence within the environment of a chemical or other agent such as noise or heat at a level that is harmful to the health, survival, or activities of humans or other organisms. Point sources- single, identifiable sources. Ex. Smokestack of a coal-burning power or industrial plant. Non-point sources- are dispersed and often difficult to identify. Ex. Pesticides & some trash. Pollution cleanup/output pollution control- Involves cleaning up or diluting pollutants after we have produced them. Pollution prevention/pollution control- reduces or eliminates the production of pollutants. Ecological footprint- the amount of biologically productive land and water needed to provide the people in a particular country or area with an indefinite supply of renewable resources and to absorb and recycle wastes. Affluence- consuming large amounts of resources far beyond basic needs. Per capita ecological footprint- the average ecological footprint of an individual in a given country or area. Ecological tipping point- an irreversible shift in the behavior of a natural system. Exponential growth- occurs when a quantity such as the human population increases at a fixed percentage per unit of time, such as 2% per year. Poverty- occurs when people are unable to fulfill their basic needs for food, water, shelter, health, and education. Environmental worldview- your set of assumptions and values reflecting how you think the world works and what your role in the world should be. Environmental ethics- are beliefs about what is right and wrong with how we treat the environment. Planetary management worldview- the view that we are separate from and in charge of nature. Stewardship worldview- holds that we can and should manage the earth for our benefit, but that we have an ethical responsibility to be caring managers or stewards of the earth. Environmentally sustainable society- one that meets the current and future basic resource needs of its people in a just and future basic resource needs of its people in a just and equitable manner. Natural income- living sustainability

Social capital- making the shift to more sustainable societies and economies.

Chapter 2
Science- a human effort to discover how the physical...
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