Expert Answer:I have questions about the environment needs to be

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enviromental_questions.docx

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Introduction to Environmental Science, ENSS 140P
Water Resources, Distribution and Conservation







Water Cycle—list the POOLS of water on the planet (in order of highest
abundance), and describe how water moves from one pool to another.
What is a watershed? What is a springshed?
What causes a stream to meander? Or to straighten?
Describe the features of groundwater systems and how water gets into,
moves through, and gets out of the ground.
What are the major categories of human water use or consumption? List
them in order from the activity with the greatest volume used to the least.
Where in the state, the nation, and across the world are fresh water
resources severely stressed, or the are at the root of political conflict? What
are the consequences of that?
What are the costs and benefits of reservoirs? (and why are they not built as
often now as they used to be?)
Marine Systems and Conservation issues





According to Sylvia Earle, what are some major threats to the ocean, both
physically and biologically?
Why does Sylvia Earle mean when she says that the oceans are the Earth’s
“life support system?”
What are the sources of plastics in the oceans? What impacts are plastics
having on marine life?
Explain why overfishing happens and what impacts it has on the ocean.
What are the alternatives?
Why is the pH of the ocean changing? How is this related to changing
atmospheric chemistry? (Explain this in the context of the Carbon Cycle.)
What impact is it having on marine life? How will this impact humans?
Climate Change







What is the global greenhouse effect?
What are the primary greenhouse gases?
What are some human activities that generate greenhouse gas emissions?
What physical, biological and human health effects are emerging as
consequences of increased CO2 in the atmosphere and increase global
atmospheric and oceanic temperatures?
What “natural” positive feedbacks are being set in motion that exacerbate
anthropogenic global warming?
Explain the difference between mitigation and adaptaion.
What is the BIG problem that Bill McKibben points out in his article, “Global
Warming’s Terrifying New Math”? What does he recommend doing about it?
How that working out so far?
Carbon Cycle (review), Fossil Fuels, and Renewable Energy



















What are the major pools of carbon on the planet?
What are the processes that move carbon from one pool to another?
What are the chemical equations (in words) for photosynthesis and for
respiration/decomposition/combustion?
When organic matter (e.g., wood, oil, gasoline, Twinkies) is combusted,
decomposed or respired, where does the bulk of that MASS go?
What are the 3 categories of fossil fuels?
How is fossil fuel extraction and combustion altering the carbon cycle?
Coal is extracted from what kinds of mines?
What is the connection among coal mining, water quality and human health?
In what parts of the U.S. are coal, oil and natural gas extracted? Explain the
potential environmental impacts of that extraction and transport process.
What is the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy?
What are the main categories of renewable energy?
What forms of renewable energy ultimately rely on the sun?
Where in the country are most of the large-scale wind farms? Solar arrays?
Hydroelectric plants? Why are they where they are?
How does a hydroelectric plant work?
What is the difference between ethanol and biodiesel as biofuels? What are
their sources? How are they used?
What are some sources of solid biomass that can be used for electricity or
heat production? What are the pros and cons of that?
What are the various ways to capture energy from water moving through
tides and currents?
What is nuclear energy, and what are some pros and cons of nuclear energy
for electricity production?
How can energy efficiency solve a lot of the problems of energy demand?
How does energy efficiency influence the amount of renewable energy
production that a building will require?
Mining and Solid Waste






Describe the “linear through-put model” described by Annie Leonard (takemake-waste). What alternatives does she propose? What do we mean by the
“circular economy?”
Explain the relationship between mining, energy and water.
What are the pros and cons of landfills vs. incinerators? (Which one would
you rather have in your own backyard?)
How is waste converted to energy in landfills and in incinerators? (The two
are different processes.)
Discuss the value of converting waste to new products vs. waste to energy.
How are the environmental issues with mining solved through more
sustainable solutions in consuming and waste management?

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