Ap environmental

Abiotic
nonliving
acid/acid solution
any water solution that has more hydrogen ions than hydroxide ions: any water solution with a Ph less than 7
acid deposition
the falling of acids and acid-forming compounds from the atmosphere to the earths surface (acid rain)
acidity
chemical characteristic that helps determine how a substance dissolved in water will interact with and affect its environment: based on the comparative amounts of hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions contained in a particular volume of the solution
active solar heating system
systems that uses solar collectors to capture energy from the sun and store it as heat form the sun and store it as heat for space heating and water heating. Liquid or air pumped through the collectors transfers the captured heat to a storage system such as an insulated water tank or rock bed.

adaption
any genetically controlled structural, physiological, or behavioral characteristic that helps an organism survive and reproduce under a given set of environmental conditions
aerobic respiration
complex process that occurs in the cells of most living organisms, in which nutrients organic molecules such as glucose combined with oxygen produce carbon dioxide. water and energy.
affluence
wealth that results in high levels of consumption and unnecessary waste of resources, based mostly on the assumption that buying more and more material goods will bring fulfillment and happiness
age structure
percentage of the population (or number of people of each sex) at each age level in a population.
agroforestry
planting trees and crops together
air pollution
one or more chemicals in high enough concentrations in the air to harm humans, other animals, vegetation, or materials. excess heat is also considered a form of air pollution.

such as chemicals or physical conditions are called air pollutants.

albedo
ability of a surface to reflect light
alien species
(see nonnative species)
alley cropping
planting of crops in strips with rows of trees or shrubs on each side
alpha particle
positively charged matter, consisting of two neutrons and two protons, which is emitted as radioactivity from the nuclei of some radioisotopes
altitude
height above sea level
anaerobic respiration
form of cellular respiration in which some decomposers get the energy they need through the breakdown of glucose in the absence of oxygen
ancient forests
(see old-growth forest)
animal manure
dung and urine of animals used as a form of organic fertilizer.
annual
plant that grow, sets seeds, and dies in one growing season
applied ecology
(see reconciliation ecology)
aquaculture
growing and harvesting of fish and shellfish for human use in freshwater ponds, irrigation ditches, and lakes, or in cages or fenced-in areas of coastal lagoons and estuaries or in the open ocean
aquatic
pertaining to water
aquatic life zone
marine and freshwater portions of the biosphere.
aquifer
porous, water-saturated layers of sand, gravel, or bedrock that can yield an economically significant amount of water.

arable land
land that can be cultivated to grow crops
area strip mining
type of surface mining used where the terrain is flat. an earthmover strips away the overburden, and a power shovel digs a cut to remove the mineral deposit, the trench is then filled with overburden, and a new cut is made parallel to the previous one. the process is repeated over the entire site.

arid
dry. a desert or other area with an arid climate has little precipitation.
artificial selection
process by which human select one or more desirable genetic traits in the population of a plant or animal species and then use selective breeding to produce population containing many individuals with the desired traits
asexual reproduction
reproduction in which a mother cell divides to produce two identical daughter cells that are clones of the mother cell. this type of reproduction is common in single-celled organisms.

asthenosphere
zone within the earth’s mantle made up of hot, partly melted rock that flows and can be deformed like soft plastic
atmosphere
whole mass of air surrounding the earth
atmospheric pressure
force of mass per unit area of air, caused by the bombardment of a surface by the molecules in air.
atom
minute unit made of subatomic particles that is the basic building block of all chemical elements and thus all matter; the smallest unit of and element that can exist and still have the unique characteristic of that element.
atomic number
number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
atomic theory
idea that all elements are made up of atoms; the most widely accepted scientific theory in chemistry.
artificial selection
process by which human select one or more desirable genetic traits in the population of a plant or animal species and then use selective breeding to produce population containing many individuals with the desired traits
asexual reproduction
reproduction in which a mother cell divides to produce two identical daughter cells that are clones of the mother cell. this type of reproduction is common in single-celled organisms.

asthenosphere
zone within the earth’s mantle made up of hot, partly melted rock that flows and can be deformed like soft plastic
atmosphere
whole mass of air surrounding the earth
atmospheric pressure
force of mass per unit area of air, caused by the bombardment of a surface by the molecules in air.
atom
minute unit made of subatomic particles that is the basic building block of all chemical elements and thus all matter; the smallest unit of and element that can exist and still have the unique characteristic of that element.
atomic number
number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
atomic theory
idea that all elements are made up of atoms; the most widely accepted scientific theory in chemistry.
autotroph
(see producer)
background extinction rate
normal extinction of various species as a result of changes in local environmental conditions
bacteria
prokaryotic, one-celled organisms. some transmit diseases. most act as decomposers and get the nutrients they need by breaking down complex organic compounds in the tissues of living or dead organisms into simpler inorganic nutrient compounds.
basic solution
water solution with more hydroxide ions than hydrogen ions; water solution with a pH greater than 7.
benthos
bottom-dwelling organisms.

beta particle
swiftly mobbing electron emitted by the nucleus of a radioactive isotope.
bioaccumulation
an increase in the concentration of a chemical in specific organs or tissues at a level higher than would normally be expected.
biocentric
life-centered
biodegradable
capable of being broken down by decomposer
biodegradable pollutant
materials that can be broken down into simpler substances by bacteria or other decomposers. paper and most organic wastes can take decades to biodegrade in modern landfills
biodiversity
variety of different species, genetic variability among individuals within each species, variety of ecosystems and functions such as energy flow and matter cycling needed for the survival of species and biological communities
biodiversity hotspot
an area especially rich in plant species that are found nowhere else and are in great danger of extinction. such areas suffer serious ecological disruptions, mostly because of rapid human population growth and the resulting pressure on natural resources.

biofuel
gas(such as methane) or liquid fuel(such as ethyl alcohol or biodiesel)made from plant materials.
biochemical cycle
natural processes that recycle nutrients in various chemical forms from the nonliving environment to living organisms and then back to the nonliving environment
biological amplification
(see biomagnification)
biological community
(see community)
biological diversity
(see biodiversity)
biological evolution
change in the genetic makeup of a population of a species in successive generations. if continued long enough, it can lead to the formation of a new species. NOTE that populations, not individuals, evolve.
biological extinction
complete disappearance of a species from the earth. it happens when a species cannot adapt and successfully reproduce under new environmental conditions or when a species evolves into one or more new species.

biological pest control
control of pest population by natural predators, parasites, or disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
biomagnification
increasee in concentration of DDT, PCBs, and other slowly degradable, fat-souble chemicals in organisms at succesively higher trophic levels of a food chain or web
biomass
organic matter produced by plants and other photosynthetic prducers; total dry weight of all living organisms that can be supported at each trophic level in a food chain or web; dry weight of all organic matter in plants and animals in an ecosystem; plant materials and animal wates used as fuel
biome
terrestrial regions inhabited by certain types of like, especially vegetation.
biomimicry
process of observing certain changes in nature, studying how natural systems have responded to such changing conditions over many millions of years, and applying what is learned to dealing with some environmental challenge.
bioshpere
zone of the earth where life is found. it consists of parts of the atmosphere ,hydrosphere, and lithosphere where life is found
biotic
living organisms
biotic pollution
the effect of invasive species that can reproduce or wipe out populations of many native species and trigger ecological disruption.
biotic potential
maximum rate at which the population of a given species can increase when there are no limits on its rate of growth.

birth rate
(see crude birth rate)
bitumen
gooey, black, high-sulfur, heavy oil extracted from tar sand and then upgraded to synthetic fuel oil
broadleaf deciduous plants
plants such as oak and maple trees that survive drought and cold by shedding their leaves and becoming dormant
broadleaf evergreen plants
plants that keep most of their broad leaves year-round.
buffer
substance that can react with hydrogen ions in a solution and thus hold the acidity or pH of a solution fairly constant.
calorie
unit of energy; amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree celcius
cancer
group of more than 120 different diseases, one for each type pf cell in the human body.

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Each type of cancer produces a tumor in which cells multiply uncontrollably and invade surrounding tissue.

carbon capture and storage (ccs)
process of removing carbon dioxide gas fromm coal-burning power and industrial plants and storing it somewhere(usually underground or under the seabed) so that it is not releasesd into the atmosphere, essentially forever.
carbon cycle
cyclic movement of carbon in different chemical forms from the environment to organisms and then back to the environment
carcinogen
chemicals, ionizing radiation, and viruses that cause or promote the developmentn of cancer.

carnivore
animal that feeds on other animals
carrying capacity (K)
maximum population of a particular species tht a given habitat can support over a given priod
CCS
(see carbon capture and storage)
cell
smallest living unit of an organism. each cell is encased in an outer membrane or wall and contain s genetic material (DNA) and other parts to perform its life function.. Organisms such a bacteria consists of only one cell, but most organisms contain many cells.
cell theory
the idea that all living things are composed of cells; the most widely accepted scintific theory in biology
CFCs
(see cholofluorocarbons)
chain reaction
multiple nuclear fissions, taking place within a certain mass of a fissionable isotope, which release and enormous amount of energy in a short time.
chemical
one of the millions of different elements and compunds found naturally and synthesized by humans
chemical change
interaction between chemicals in which the chemical composition of the elements or compounds involved changes.
chemical formula
shorthand way to show the number of atoms in the basic structural unit of a compound.
chemical reaction
(see chemical change)
chemosynthesis
process in wich certain organisms(mostly specialized bacteria) extract inorganic compunds from their environment and convert them into organic nutrient compounds without the presence of sunlight.

chlorinated hydrocarbon
organic compound made up of atoms of carbon , hydrogen, and chlorine
chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs)
organic compounds made up pf atoms of carbon, cholrine, and fluorine,
CHP (combined heat and power)
(see cogeneration)
chromosome
a grouping of genes and associated proteins in plants and animal cells that carry certain types of gentic information
chronic malnutrition
faulty nutrition, caused by a deit that does not supply an individual with enough protein, essential fats, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for good health.
chronic undernutrtion
conditions suffered by people who cannot grow of buy enough food to meet their basic energy needs. most chronically undernourished childeren live in developing countries and are likely to suffer from mental retardation and stunted growth and to die from infectious diseases.
civil suit
court case brought to settle disputes of damages between one party and another
clear-cutting
method of timber harvesting in which all trees in a forested area are removed in a single cutting
climate
physical properties of the troposphere of an area based on analysis of its weather records over a long period (at least 30 years). the two main factors determining an area’s climate are its average temperature, with its seasonal variations, and the average amount and distribution
climate tipping point
point at which an environmental problem reaches a threshold level where scientists fear it could cause irreversible climate disruption.
climax community
(see mature community)
closed-loop recycling
(see primary recycling)
coal
solid, combustible mixture of organic compounds with 30-98% carbon by weight, mixed with various amounts of water and small amounts of sulfur and nitrogen compounds. it forms in several stages as the remains of plants are subjected to heat and pressure over millions of years.

coal gasification
conversion of solid coal to synthetic natural gas (SNG)
coal liquefaction
conversion of solid coal to a liquid hydrocarbon fuel such as synthetic gasoline or methanol.
coastal wetland
land along a coastline,extending inland from an estuary that is covered with salt water all or part of the year.
coastal zone
warm, nutrient-rich, shallow part of the ocean that extends from the hightide mark on land to the edge of a shelflike extension of continental shelf.
coevolution
evolution in which two or more species interact and exert selective pressures on each other that can lead each species to undergo adaption.

cogeneration
production of two useful forms of energy, such as high-temerature heat or steam and electricity, from the same fuel source.
cold front
leading edge of an advancing mass of cols air
combined heat and power(chp) production
(see congeneration)
commensalism
an interaction between organisms of different species in ehich one type of organism benefits and the other type is neither helped nor harmed to any great degree.
commercial extinction
deletion of the population of a wild species used as a resource to a level at which it is no longer profitanle to harvest the species.
commercial inorganic fertillizer
comp=mercially prepared mixture of inorganic plant nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates, and potassium spplied to the soil to restore fertility and increase crop yields.

commercial forest
(see tree plantation)
common law
a body of unwritten rules and principles derived from court decisions along with commonly accepted practices, or norms, within a society.
common-property resouce
resource that is owned jointly by a large group of individuals.
community
population of all species living and interacting in an area at a paticular time.
competition
two or more individual organisms of a single species(interaspecific competition)or two or more individuals of different species(interspefic competition) attempting to use the same scarce resources in the same ecosystem.
compost
partially decomposed organic plant and animal matter used as a soil conditioner or feritlizer
compound
combination of atoms, or oppositelu charged ions, of two or more elements held together by attractive forces called chemical bonds.
concetration
amount of a chemical in a particular volume or weight of air, water, soil, or other medium
coniferous evergreen plants
cone-bearing plants(such as spruces, pines, and firs) that keep some of their narrow, pointed leaves(needles) all year.

coniferous trees
cone-bearing trees, mostly evergreens, that have needles-shaped or scalelike leaves. they produce wood known commercially as softwood.
conservation
sensible and careful use of natural resources by humans.

people with this view are called conversationists.

conversation biology
multidisciplinary science created to deal with the crisisof maintaining the genes, species, communities, and ecosystems that make up earth’s biological diversity. its goals are to invesitgate human inpacts on biodiversity and to develop practical approaches to preserving biodiversity.
conservationist
person cnocerned with using natural areas and wildlife in ways that sustain them for current and future generations of humans and other forms of life.
consumer
organisms that cannot synthesize the organic nutrients it needs and get its organic nutrients by feeding on the tissues of producers or of other consumers; generally divided into primary consumers(herbivores), secondary(carnivores), tertiary(higher-level)consumers, omnivores and detrivores(decomposers and detrius feeders). in economics, one who uses economic goods.
contour farming
plowing and planting across the changing slope of land, rather than in straight lines, to help retain water and reduce soil erosion
contour strip mining
formm of surface mining used on hilly or mountainous terrian. a power shovel cuts a series of terraces into the side of a hill.

an earthmover removes the overburden, and a power shovel extracts the coal. the overbruden from each new terrace is dumped onto the one below.

controlled burning
plowing and planting across the changing slope of land, rather than in straight lines, to help retain water and reduce soil erosion.
conventional burning
deliberately set, carefully controlled surface fires that reduces flammanle litter and decrease the chance of damage.

conventional-tillage farming
crop cultivation method in which a planting surface is made by plowing land, breaking up the exposed soil, and then smoothing the surface.
convergent plate boundary
area where the earth’s lithospheric plates are pused together.
coral reef
formation produces by massive colonies containing billions of tiny coral animals, called polyps, that secrete a stony substance(calcium carbonate) around themselves for protecrion. when the corals die, their empty outer skeleton form layers and cause the reef to grow. coral reefs are found in coastal zones of warm tropical and subtropical oceans.

core
inner zone of earth. it consists of a soild inner core and a liquid outer core
corrective feedback loop
(see negative feedback loop)`
cost-benefit analysis
a comparison of estimated cost and benefits of action such as implementing a pollution control regulation, building a dam over a river, or preserving an area of forest.
critical mass
amount of fissionable nuclei needed to sustain a nuclear fission chain reaction
crop rotation
planting a field, or an area of a field, with different crops from year to year to reduce soil nutreint depletion. a plant such as corn, tabacco, or cotton, which removes large amounts of nitrogen from the soil, is planted one year.

the next year a legume such as soybeans, ehich adds nitrogen to the soil, is planted.

crown fire
extremely hot forest fire that burns ground vegetation and treetops.
crude birth rate
annual number of live births per 1,000 people in the population of a geographic area at the midpoint of a given year.
crude death rate
annual number of deaths per 1,000 people in the population of a geographic area at the midpoint of a given year.

crude oil
gooey liquid consistiono mostly of hydrocarbon compounds and small amounts of compounds containing oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen. extracted from underground accumulations, it is sent to planet to sustain future generations.
crust
solid outer zone of the earth. it consists of oceanic crust and continental crust
cultural carrying capacity
the limit on population frowth that would allow most people in an area or the world to live in reasonable comfort and freedom without impairing the ability of the planet to sustain future generations.