Journal Questions

By Angela Brooks for Environmental Biology

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

Ditch the plastic; Boycott products that endanger wildlife; drive less, drive green; reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Question 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 are man made fuels that hurt the environmental. But Renewable energy is a man made fuel that is very good for the environment. Energy is 85% of current US fuel use. Health problems caused by air pollution from the burning of coal and oil. Environmental degradation caused by global warming. Acid rain and Water pollution.
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Question 3 Recycle- what does it mean to recycle? Why should someone recycle? How long does it take for these to decompose?

To convert (waste) into resuable material.

a. Tin Can: 50 years

b. Glass Bottle: 1 million years

c. Disposable Diaper: about 250-500 years

d. Wood: 200-300 years

e. Paper: 2-5 months

f. Plastic Grocery Bag: 20-1000 years

g. Styrofoam Cup: 500 years

h. Aluminum Can: 80-100 years

i. Cotton T-shirt: 6 months

j. Apple Core: 2 months

k. Did any if these surprise you? yes all of them did. all but the apple core and natural made things.

Question 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 Garage Patch is a popular name for concentrations of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. No it is not possible.
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Question 5 Define 2 Biomes of the world, define an ecosystem found in each and explain the Biotic and Abiotic factors involved.

There are 5 different biomes: desert; aquatic; forest; grassland; tundra.

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

Deciduous Forest:

Primary Producers: grasses trees, and other plants

Primary Consumers: squirrels, mice, little insects, deer, rabbits, small birds

Secondary Consumers: frogs, bigger insects, bigger birds, raccoons, weasels shrews

Tertiary Consumers: owls, hawks, cougar, bears, wolves

Quaternary Consumers: mountain lions

Herbivore: squirrels, rabbits

Omnivore: chickadee, cardinal, turtle

Carnivore: bobcat, bear, woodpecker

Scavenger: turkey vulture, coyote, bald eagle, american crow, common raven

Decomposer: lichen, springtail, fungi

Question 7 What are the Dead Zones in the Gulf of Mexico? What causes this situation? What can be done to help stop them?

The dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans and large lakes, 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. Voluntarily stop fertilizer and waster runoff into lakes, rivers, and streams. Enact laws to prevent fertilizer and water runoff from entering the Mississippi River basin. Build water treatment plants to prevent human and animal waste from entering our waters.
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Question 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 species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would change drastically.

sea otter prairie dogs

jaguar

sea star

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Question 9 Competitive Exclusion- define it and give 2 examples

The inevitable elimination from a habitat of one of two different species with identical needs for resources.


Red squirrel

Grey squirrel

Question 10 Define the following and give 2 examples of each:

a. Coexistence: to live with or close to another usually in peace

b. Parasites: an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense

c. Mimicry: the action or art of imitating someone or something, typically in order to entertain or ridicule

d. Mutualism: the doctrine that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being

e. Commensalism: an association between organisms in which one benefits and the other derives neither benefit nor harm

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

1. Carbon enters the atmosphere as carbon dioxide from respiration and combustion.

2. Carbon Dioxide is absorbed by producers to make carbohydrates in photosynthesis

3. Animals feed on the plant passing the carbon compounds along the food chain. Most of the carbon they consume is exhaled as carbon dioxide formed during respiration. The animals and plants eventually die.

4. The dead organisms are eaten by decomposers and the carbon in their bodies is returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. In some conditions decomposition is blocked. The plant and animal material may then be available as fossil fuel in the future for combustion.

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Question 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.

•Various regions observe different levels of global dimming. Till now, the Southern Hemisphere has seen very small amounts of global dimming while the Northern Hemisphere has witnessed more significant reductions, to the tune of 4-8%. Regions such as parts of Europe and North America has observed partial recovery from dimming while parts of China and India experienced increase in global dimming.

•Aerosols have been found to be the major cause of global dimming. The burning of fossil fuels by industry and internal combustion engines emits by-products such as sulfur dioxide, soot and ash. These together form particulate pollution - primarily called aerosols acts as precursor to global dimming in the following two ways:

1. These particle matters enter the atmosphere and directly absorb solar energy and reflect radiation back into the space, before it reaches the planet's surface.

2. Water droplets containing these air-borne particles form polluted clouds. These polluted clouds have heavier and larger number of droplets. These changed properties of the cloud - such clouds are called 'brown clouds' - makes them more reflective.

Vapors emitted from the planes flying high in the sky called contrails are another cause of heat reflection and related global dimming.

Both global dimming and global warming have been happening all over the world and together they have caused severe changes in the rainfall patterns. It is also believed that it was global dimming behind the 1984 Saharan drought that killed millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Scientists believe that despite the cooling than 1 degree in the last century. If global dimming wouldn't have happened, the temperature of this planet would be much higher and could have posed a serious effect on the lives of humans, plants and animals.

Due to increase in the burning of fossil fuels and pollution from various other sources, the heat is getting trapped into the Earth's atmosphere. This heat has resulted in a marginal increase in Earth's temperature. This is due to the fact that warming from greenhouse gases is getting offset by cooling effect from global dimming.

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

The Greenhouse Effect is the trapping of the sun's warmth in a planet's lower atmosphere due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun that to infrared radiation emitted from the planet's surface.

Carbon is a building block of life and a form of stored energy. When fossil fuels are burned for energy (combustion), carbon is released. Carbon compounds move though plants and animals, the air, the ocean, and the earth. Carbon present in the air as carbon dioxide contributes to the "Greenhouse Effect" and related global warming. "Carbon sequestration" describe both natural and manmade processes for capture and long-term storage of carbon that are being employed to combat global warming.

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Question 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?

A species of animal or plant that is seriously at risk of extinction such as the Beluga whale, the Narwal, Indochinese Tiger, the Polar Bear, the Giant Panda.

Humans destroy precious habitat - the natural environment of a living thing - when they fill swamps and marshes, dam rivers and cut down tree to build homes, roads and other developments. Oil spills, acid rain, and water pollution have been devastating for many species of fish and birds. Many animals are over-hunted because their meat, fur and other parts are very valuable.

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Question 15 Invasive Species- define invasive specie; give 2 examples how do they affect the ecosystem they are now invasive too. How did the invasive species arrive to their new ecosystem?

An invasive species is a plant, fungus, or animal species that is not native to a specific location, and which has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or human health.

Question 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 cutdown? What would happen if they all disappeared?

Destruction of tropical forests dramatically reduces the amount of rain that falls in these areas, researches have discovered. Leeds researches found that if current rates of deforestation continues rain could drop by 21 in the Amazon basin's dry season by 2050. Their analysis found that air passing over vegetation produces about twice as much rain as that blowing across sparsely covered ground. In some cases these forests increases rainfall thousands of kilometers away. Scientists say their findings published in nature suggest current rates of deforestation of the Amazon will lead to large reductions in regional rainfall.
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Question 17 Why is human overpopulation a major concern? Explain all the resources needed for a human to sustain life.

Because of loss with the following: Loss of fresh water; Species extinction; Lower life expectancy in the fastest growing countries; Depletion of natural selection; Increased emergence of new epidemics and pandemics; Less freedom, more restrictions; More intensive farming practices; Increased habitat loss; Increased global warming and climate change; Elevated crime rate.

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

A substance used for destroying insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants or to animals.

Pesticides are the only toxic substances released intentionally into our environment to kill living things. This includes substance that kills weeds (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungus (fungicides), rodents (rodenitcides), and others.

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Question 19 Interpet 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 means that if bees disappeared there wouldn't be any insects to pollinate plants that we eat/use to make food.

Question 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.

It would look like this: more trees everywhere, the earth is healthier. Everything is a lot better there is no air pollution, water pollution, no endangered animals.

Citations:

•http://www.loudoun.k12.va.us/cms/lib4/VA01000195/Centricity/Domain/3317/Biome%20chart%20completed.pdf

•https://prezi.com/j9h6lfo8yap7/deciduous-forest

•http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/coal-and-other-fossil-fuels/the-hidden-cost-of-fossil.html#.VyIQ2CMrIy6

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.

3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..

0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=pesticides&imgrc=XtU8Bue7BZKB-M%3A

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=greenhouse+effect

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=global+dimming+diagram&imgrc=khMQlXF5TEG-vM%3A

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/add_gateway_pre_2011/greenworld/recyclingrev1.shtml

•http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-and-effects-of-global-dimming.php

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=invasive+species

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=endangered+species&imgrc=Itzyo0hx8DdpOM%3A

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=keystone+species&imgrc=_

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=endangered+species&imgrc=Itzyo0hx8DdpOM%3A

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=keystone+species&imgrc=vUMLE7VOAIECnM%3A

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=dead+zone+gulf+of+mexico

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=fossil+fuels+vs+renewable+energy

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#tbm=isch&q=global+dimming+diagram&imgrc=zt9HlAgktj82UM%3A

•https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=679&q=carbon+cycle&oq=carbon+cycle&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4221.6962.0.7116.12.9.0.3.3.0.90.543.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.12.553.ZdEvRavRNeU#imgrc=GnY5JaK1FxmX_M%3A

•http://thankyouocean.org/threats/marine-debris/

•https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+the+great+pacific+garbage+patch&oq=What+is+the+Great+Pacific+Garbage+Patch&aqs=chrome.0.0l6.1903j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

•http://wildlife-odisha.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-long-does-it-take-to-decompose.html

•http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/sustainability/live_more_sustainably.html

•http://education.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/keystone-species/

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=keystone%20species%20definition

•https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_(ecology)

•http://www.gulfpreserve.org/deadzone.htm

•https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_species#Predators

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=competitive%20exclusion%20definition

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=coexistence%20definition

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=parasites+definition

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=mimicry+definition

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=mutualism+definition

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=commensalism+definition

•http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-and-effects-of-global-dimming.php

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=explain+the+greenhouse+effect

•http://teeic.indianaffairs.gov/er/carbon/carboninfo/

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=define%20endangered%20species

•http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/directory?sort=extinction_status

•https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&q=what+is+an+invasive+species

•http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2198809/Cutting-rainforests-dramatically-impact-rainfall-researchers-find.html

•http://www.everythingconnects.org/overpopulation-effects.html

•https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=what+are+pesticides+

•http://www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/pesticides