My Smore Flyer

1. What is sustainable living? How could someone achieve sustainable living? Do you personally think you can achieve sustainable living?

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources and personal resources. Someone could achieve sustainable living by using alternative energy sources as well as preserve personal resources. I personally believe that I can achieve sustainable living.

2. Fossil Fuels vs Renewable Energy - Compare and contrast the two forms of energy. Look at the cost financially to humans and environmentally to the Earth. Convince someone to conserve energy.

Fossil fuels can not be made again whereas renewable energy sources can be made again. Fossil fuels are becoming more expensive to people because of the limited supply and the great demand. Renewable energy sources however, may cost what seems like a lot at the beginning but eventually pays itself off. Environmentally, fossil fuels have a great cost on the Earth as they start to disappear and hurt the environment but renewable energy sources could help the Earth environmentally.

3. Recycle - What does it mean to recycle? Why should someone recycle? How long does it take for these to decompose?

Recycle means to convert waste into reusable material. People should recycle to help preserve fossil fuels and to also help save our environment.

It takes a:

a. tin can 50 years to decompose.

b. glass bottle 1,000,000 years to decompose.

c. disposable diaper 500-800 years to decompose.

d. wood 1-3 years to decompose.

e. paper 2-4 weeks to decompose.

f. plastic grocery bag 500-1,000 years to decompose.

g. styrofoam cup 50 years to decompose.

h. aluminum can 200 years to decompose.

i. cotton t-shirt 1-12 years to decompose.

j. apple core 2 months to decompose.

k. I was surprised by how long the glass bottle takes to decompose.

4. What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? What can we do here in Iowa to help decrease it, is it even possible?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a popular name for concentrations of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. It is a mass of plastic twice the size of Texas that floats halfway between the west coast of the United States and Japan. It is a swirling mass of plastic waste caused by 80% land run off and 20% ship dumping. In Iowa, we can stop using plastic shopping bags, stop buying bottled water, and recycle our plastics.

5. Define two biomes of the the world, define an ecosystem found in each and explain the biotic and abiotic factors involved.

1. Arctic Tundra - The Arctic tundra is a cold, vast, treeless area of low, swampy plains in the far north around the Arctic Ocean.

- Ecosystem: Plains - biotic factors include polar bears, musk oxen, and caribou - abiotic factors include an average minus 54 degrees, little sunlight, and little precipitation


2. Rainforest - Tropical rain forests are found in Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, and on many of the Pacific Islands. They are often found along the equator.

- Ecosystem: River - biotic factors include bamboo trees, sloths, anteaters, and poison dart frogs - abiotic factors include soil, water, rocks, light, and climate.

6. Choose any biome; create a food chain defining the primary producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer, quaternary consumer, herbivore, omnivore, carnivore, scavenger, and decomposer.

Rainforests -> Kapok Tree (primary producer), sloth (primary consumer), anteater (secondary consumer), small snakes (tertiary consumers), tigers (quaternary consumer), howler monkeys (herbivores), poison dart frog (omnivore), anteater (herbivore), tucan (scavenger), earthworms (decomposers).
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7. What are Dead Zones in the Gulf of Mexico? What causes this situation? What can be done to help stop them?

The Dead Zones in the Gulf of Mexico are an area of 5,052 square miles of low oxygen water off much of Louisiana's coast and part of Texas. Dead Zones are caused by excessive nutrient pollution from human activities coupled with other factors that deplete the oxygen required to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom water. We can reduce the amounts of nutrients that enter the gulf from the Mississippi River to help reduce the Dead Zones.

8. Define Keystone Species, give 2 examples; one a top predator and one not a top predator. Explain how their absence would affect the ecosystem.

A keystone species is a plant or animal that plays a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions. One example is a sea otter and another is a sea star. If the sea otter was gone and wasn't able to eat the urchins, the urchins would eat up the habitats kelp. If the sea star was gone it wouldn't be able to eat bacteria in the ocean and keep it clean.

9. Competitive Exclusion - define it and give 2 examples.

Competitive exclusion is the inevitable elimination from a habitat of one of two different species with identical needs for resources. One example is the two species of finches found on the Galapagos Islands. Another example is the two barnacle species in the Chthamalus.

10. Define the following terms and give 2 examples of each.

a. Coexistence means to exist together, at the same time, or in the same place. Two examples include an elephant and a duck living in a rain forest. Another example is a tiger and a vulture living in a forest.

b. Parasites are organisms that live in or on another organism and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense. One example is a tapeworm and another is fleas.

c. Mimicry is the action or art of imitating someone or something, typically in order to entertain or ridicule. One example is a Fork-Tailed Drongo who mimics the sound of meerkats to steal their food. Another example is a Robber Fly that mimics large bumblebees to warn off potential predators.

d. Mutualism is when two organisms of different species work together each benefiting from the relationship. One example is an oxpecker and a rhinoceros. Another example is digestive bacteria and humans.

e. Commensalism is an association between two organisms in which one benefits and the other derives neither benefit nor harm. One example is anemone fishes that live in anemones to protect the from predators which poisons predators. Another example is the Atlantic Puffin which use burrows for nesting that were made by rabbits.

11. Explain the Carbon Cycle and how do humans affect this cycle?

Carbon is attached to oxygen making the gas carbon dioxide. Plants use carbon dioxide and sunlight to make their own food and grow. The carbon becomes part of the plant. Plants that dies and are buried may turn into fossil fuels made of carbon like coal and oil over millions of years. When humans burn fossil fuels, most of the carbon quickly enters the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Humans are burning fossil fuels and using deforestation which is increasing the carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere and changing global climate.
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12. What is global dimming? Where does it usually affect and why is it a problem?

Global dimming is the decrease in the amounts of solar radiation reaching the surface of the Earth. It affects Earth's surface. Global dimming is a problem because it leads to acid rain, smog, and respiratory disease in humans as well as heat waves and runaway fires.

13. Explain the Greenhouse Effect. How do the carbon cycle and the greenhouse effect go together?

The Greenhouse Effect occurs when Earth's atmosphere traps solar radiation of the presence of certain gases. The carbon cycle and the greenhouse both have to do with releasing carbon into the atmosphere. The more carbon monoxide that comes from the carbon cycle, the greater the Greenhouse Effect gets.

14. Define endangered species and give an example. How does a species become endangered? What if this species was a keystone species? What would happen to the current ecosystem? Why should humans care about the endangered species?

Endangered species is a species of animal or plant that is seriously at risk of extinction. An example of an endangered species is a turtle. A species can become extinct when it is killed by a predator and can not reproduce fast enough. If turtles were a keystone species, the ecosystem around them would be dramatically different or cease to exist at all. Humans should care about endangered species to preserve ecosystems.
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15. Invasive Species - define invasive specie; give 2 examples how do they affect the ecosystem they are now invasive to. How did the invasive species arrive to their new ecosystem?

Invasive species are plants, animals, or pathogens that are non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm. Rabbits are invasive species in Australia that cause millions of dollars of damage to crops. They were introduced to Australia with the First Fleet. The grey squirrel is invasive in Europe because of their presence contributing to the displacement of the red squirrels. Grey squirrels found their way to Europe and created large populations.

16. At one time rainforest covered 14% of the Earth's land surface; today rainforest only cover 6% today; why should a person care about the lost rainforest ground? Why are the rainforest being cut down? What would happen if they all disappeared?

People should care about the lost rainforest ground because they are home to many species as well as many natural elements. We are cutting down rain forests for fires, agriculture, homes, and paper along with many other countless things. The available oxygen would decrease and many species would die and we wouldn't be able to construct anything if these rain forests all disappeared.

17. Why is human overpopulation a major concern? Explain all the resources needed for a human to sustain life.

Human overpopulation is a major concern because there is a depletion of natural resources, a degradation of the environment, conflicts and wars, a rise in unemployment, and a high cost of living. Humans need food and water to sustain life.

18. Pesticides - what are they, how do they adversely affect the environment, and how does this create problems with a genetic diversity in crop production.

A pesticide is any substance used to kill, repel or control certain forms of plant or animal life that are considered to be pests. Pesticides accumulate in water systems, pollute the air, damaging agricultural land, and reducing concentrations of essential plant nutrients in the soil.

19. Interpret this quote. "If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have 4 years left to live." Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee.

This quote means that humans wouldn't be able to survive very long without the help of other organisms and species in the world. Humans are dependent on other species.

20. It is the year 2070 and you are having a conversation with your grandchildren about how the environment has changed since you were young - give a prediction of how the Earth would look to them.

The earth looks brown, smoggy, and old. It smells of bad pollutants and there are plastic items laying all around.