APHG Chapter 13 Guided Reading Assignment
1. What key contribution to our planet’s history did Alfred Wegener make? A. He proposed a hypothesis that would account for the close “fit” of the shapes of the facing continents. His continental drift hypothesis required a preexisting super continent, Pangaea, which split into the continents of the world.
2. In what two ways have humans effected the earth’s environment during our presence on this planet? A.
Long before we became technologically proficient, we exterminated wild life by the millions and burned grasslands and forests by the hundreds of thousands of square miles.
The twentieth-century population explosion combined with a rapid escalation in human consumption, magnifies humanity’s impact on the Earth. Adjectives such as “calamitous’ and “catastrophic” are often used to describe this impact.
3. Why is Earth often called the Blue Planet?
A. Because 70 percent of its surface discovered by water, and views from space are dominated by blue hues and swirls of white clouds.
4. Describe the Comet Hypothesis:
A. Proposes that icy comets bombarded the Earth for more than a billion years, while its atmosphere was still thin, accumulating fresh water from space that filled the basins in the formative crust.
5. Define Pacific Ring of Fire:
A. Ocean-girdling zone of crustal instability, volcanism, and earthquakes resulting from the tectonic activity along plate boundaries in the region.
6. When do scientists suggest that Homo sapiens appeared on the Earth? A. A warming phase that occurred between 120,000 and 100,000 years ago.
7. What came close to exterminating humanity about 73,500 years ago? A. Mount Toba erupted. This was not just an eruption: the entire mountain exploded, sending millions of tons of debris into orbit, obscuring the sun, creating long-term darkness, and altering global climate.
8. What do some bio geographers suggest the next great extinction may be caused by? A. The next great extinction may be caused not by asteroids, but by humans, whose numbers and demands are destroying millions of species.
9. No species, not even the _____________________, ever affected their environment as strongly as ______________do today.
A. Powerful dinosaurs, humans.
10. What ushered in the Black Death that swept over an already weakened Europe in waves that often killed half the population or more? A. As the Mongol migrants penetrated westward, their horse caravans picked up the strain of bacteria that brings on the bubonic plague, and its vector, the flea, rode into Europe.
11. Late in the fourteenth century, what legendary admiral authorized the construction of an ocean going fleet that would eventually number more than 6,000 ships, carrying as many as 500 people each? A. Admiral Chung Ho
12. In North America, what colony collapsed so fast that the chief cause may well have been environmental? A. The Jamestown Colony
13. What event happened in April of 1815 on the island of Sumatra that killed all but 26 of the islands population of 12,000? A. The Tambora Volcano exploded in a series that could be heard thousands of miles away, covering the colony in darkness and poisonous ash for weeks.
14. How many types of organisms do Biologists estimate that there are on Earth? A. About 25 million types
15. Besides providing us with oxygen, what else does the atmosphere do for us? A. It shields us from the destructive rays of the sun; it moderates temperature; and it carries moisture from the oceans over the land sustaining crops and forests, and replenishing soils and wells. 16. How is acid rain causing our environment to change?
A. Acid rain is causing acidification of lakes and streams; stunted growth of forests; loss of crops in affected areas. In cities, corrosion of buildings and monuments has accelerated. 17. Define Deforestation.
A. Clearing and destruction of forests to harvest wood for consumption;...
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