practice questions unit 4

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What percentage of Earth’s water is available for drinking and irrigation?


The region of a lake where plants are able to attach to the bottom and still reach above the surface is known as the __________.

littoral zone

A freshwater wetland located in a forested area where the rooted plants are able to grow above the water’s surface throughout the entire wetland is called a _______.


Ocean currents can affect climate. One major downwelling specifically responsible for keeping Europe warmer than it would otherwise be is known as ________________.

North Atlantic Deep Water

Which of the following statements about ocean water is true?

Oceans have a high heat capacity and change temperature slowly.

When a water-bearing porous layer of rock, sand, or gravel is trapped between upper and lower layers of less permeable substances, it is _______.

an aquifer

What percentage of Earth’s surface is ocean?


Marine ecosystems that occur on the ocean floor are termed _______.


How have the oceans helped to reduce the effects of human atmospheric pollution to this point?

The oceans have been soaking up the excess carbon that humans release into the atmosphere.

Ocean areas of high productivity are often found __________.

where nutrient-rich water from the ocean depths wells up along coasts

Areas that are located in tropical areas have warmer water than areas located in colder areas because _____________.

tropical areas receive the greatest amount of solar radiation

Most of the productivity of the ocean occurs in or on the _____________.

uppermost layer of the ocean called the photic zone

Ocean water is 96.5% water by mass. Most of the remainder consists of _____________.

ions from dissolved salts

What type of farming has led to the destruction of mangroves?

shrimp farming

Which coastal habitat is a mixing place of fresh and saltwater?


Why are coral considered mutualistically symbiotic organisms?

Because coral reefs are a combination of an animal and an algae.

What is our primary consumptive (as opposed to nonconsumptive) use of water?


Dams create a _________ from which we can get water for human use.


Maria wakes up in the morning and takes a shower, drinks a glass of water, washes her clothes in the laundry machine, and then goes to work. Which of the following describes Maria’s water use appropriately?

Maria’s water use is consumptive

A factory in a rural part of the United States has just been implicated for releasing toxic substances into the same water source that is used for drinking water in the area. Which of the following statements is true regarding this factory?

The factory is a point source of water pollution

A marine protected area is _______.

a term to describe any portion of the ocean that is protected from some human activities but may be open to some fishing

Which ocean pollutant can enter the tissues of marine organisms and make fish and shellfish unsafe for us to eat?


Wastewater is __________.

water generated by industry that is flushed down pipes

_________ pollution occurs when human activities raise water temperatures.


________ is water that has been used and then treated before releasing back into the environment?


What is the direct cause of death for the aquatic animals during eutrophication?

a loss of dissolved oxygen in the water

Which of the following statements about drinking water is true?

Most bottled water is just purified tap water

Which of the following types of water pollution causes eutrophication?

nutrient pollution

The levels of dissolved oxygen at the surface of water can decrease dramatically and kill marine organisms when which of the following are out of balance in the ocean?

nitrogen and phosphorus

If oil accumulates in a body of water in small amounts over time as a result of leaks from boats and runoff from land, then this oil pollution is from _____________.

non-point sources

Which of the following fishing methods involves dragging weighted nets across the ocean floor in an attempt to catch bottommost fish?


Populations in ocean fisheries have been dropping for decades throughout the world’s oceans. What is the main reason for this?


Which of the following fishing methods would be most appropriate if a fisherman wants to catch benthic fish?


Which of the following is true regarding marine reserves?

They tend to increase species diversity.

Which of the following is NOT a bycatch of longline fishing?

benthic organisms

Which of the following layers of the atmosphere is responsible for providing the air that we breathe on Earth?

the troposphere

Weather is best described as ______.

atmospheric conditions within small geographic areas over a short period of time

_____ are types of convective cells that produce global climate patterns.

Hadley, Ferrel, and polar

What percent of solar energy is reflected back into space?


Why is carbon dioxide not considered a permanent gas in Earth’s atmosphere?

Since the amount of carbon dioxide is changing because of human activity, it is not considered a permanent gas in Earth’s atmosphere.

Earth’s ozone layer that limits damaging solar radiation striking the planet is found in the _______.


The pattern of atmospheric conditions found across a relatively large geographic region over a long period of time is _______.


In the troposphere, temperature decreases as altitude increases. How can you explain the opposite effect in the stratosphere?

Stratospheric temperature increases with altitude because the ozone and oxygen in the stratosphere absorb the sun’s UV radiation.

Which gas makes up 78% of the molecules in the atmosphere?

N2 – nitrogen

Convective circulation directly influences both __________.

weather and climate

Which contains the most water? Air at ________.

30°C and 80% relative humidity

This layer of the atmosphere contains 75% of the atmosphere’s molecules, is closest to the planet’s surface, is constantly mixing, and gives us our weather.


Which of the following organisms was responsible for change in the gases that compose our atmosphere?

photoautotrophic microbes

Which of the following can trap pollutants at ground level and cause dangerous smog?

thermal inversions

Which of the following is a source of natural air pollution?

volcanic eruptions

A _____ pollutant interacts with a part of the atmosphere and becomes a _____ pollutant.

primary; secondary

Which piece of legislation set strict standards for air quality and pollution control?

the Clean Air Act

_____ convert or remove airborne pollutants from smokestacks.


Which of the following is an unhealthy mixture of pollutants that forms over cities?


Which of the following damaging pollutants is NOT closely tracked by the U.S. EPA?


A secondary pollutant is _______.

a new pollutant formed from a chemical reaction between a primary pollutant and a substance normally present in the atmosphere

Which of these is most associated with sulfur dioxide (SO2)?

SO2 can readily form sulfuric acid and ammonium sulfate in addition to other chemicals that make up the majority of industrial smog

Fill in the blanks: ozone is made of _________ and is broken down by ____________.

oxygen; chlorine

The EPA tracks six "criteria" air pollutants. Which of these is true of the criteria air pollutants?

Total emissions of the six have declined by over 60% since 1970

How has acid deposition affected the northeastern U.S. terrestrial and aquatic systems?

by accelerating the rate of eutrophication

The ozone hole is largely a consequence of the use of _______.

chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants

A substance like a CFC that remains in the atmosphere for a long period of time ______.

has a long residence time

Which of the following is an air pollutant?

tropospheric ozone

When sulfur reacts with oxygen it forms sulfur dioxide, a type of air pollution. Therefore, sulfur dioxide is ______.

a secondary pollutant

Most of the indoor air pollution in the homes of people in developing countries comes from ______.

burning fuel wood

Which of the following substances is NOT considered a health risk, specifically because it releases volatile organic compound?

tobacco smoke

Most indoor air pollution in developing nations is due in large part to ______.

soot and carbon monoxide

Which two pollutants are the top two responsible for lung pollution in the United States?

cigarette smoke and radon gas

Which of the following have the ability to absorb energy from Earth’s surface and then emit infrared radiation in all directions?

greenhouse gases

In addition to atmospheric composition, climate is influenced by cyclic changes such as ______.

ocean absorption

Since the onset of the industrial revolution, global atmospheric concentrations of which of the following gas(es) have shown a great increase?

methane and nitrous oxide

The greenhouse effect is defined as _______.

a warming of Earth’s surface by gases that reflect heat to back down to the planet rather than allowing it to escape into space

A substance that contributes to atmospheric cooling is _______.

sulfate aerosols

Why is the global warming potential of carbon dioxide so high when its relative heat-trapping ability is so low?

because CO2 is more abundant in the atmosphere and therefore contributes more to the greenhouse effect

How are the citizens of the Maldives in trouble?

Climate change is a real issue that is affecting the Maldives and its people

If the scientific community is convinced of the evidence for global climate change, why is there still debate?

The debate is not whether climate change is real but rather how to address climate change in political and economic arenas.

How long have we been making direct measurements of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere?

since hourly air samples were recorded from a monitoring station in Hawaii in 1958

_________ is a type of indirect evidence that can give clues about environmental conditions of the past.

proxy indicator

The concentrations of greenhouse gases present in past atmospheres have been studied by analyzing _______.

gas bubbles trapped in ice

Reports from the _____ are the most widely accepted information published on climate change.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Which of the following events is NOT a consequence of continued global warming?

The average surface temperature on Earth will continue to rise an estimated 10 °F over the next 20 years.

Why are over 1/6 of the world’s people at risk for running out of drinking water?

Mountaintop snow and ice are melting because of global warming, and this is reducing water supply.

Why are warming temperatures causing a vicious cycle that leads to more warming?

Ice and snow reflect light and as they melt Earth absorbs more of the sun’s rays.

The main reason that sea levels has risen recently is ______.

thermal expansion

How is global warming most significantly affecting coral reefs and sea life?

Increased concentrations of carbon dioxide are being absorbed by the oceans. This acidifies the oceans

If, as a global community, we lessen the severity of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we are using the strategy called ______.


The Kyoto Protocol sought to limit ______.

greenhouse gas emissions

Why has the U.S. government been opposed to passing legislation targeting emission reductions in the past?

Because the U.S. Senate has opposed emissions reductions as much of the economy depends on fossil fuels.

The first document that called for voluntary reductions of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 was _______.

the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC)

What is the justification that the proponents of the Kyoto Protocol offer for developing countries having different requirements than developed countries?

Developed countries created the current problems, so they should take the lead toward resolution.

Why does protecting the environment often require international legislation?

Global circulation patterns mean that chemicals released into air or water are the problem of all nations.

Which of these would be an example of mitigation rather than adaptation for global climate change?

building more wind turbines to generate energy from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels

According to Pacala and Sokolow, which strategy will be enough to stabilize carbon emissions?

promoting a combination of strategies would be more effective and allow us to enact changes more immediately

Which of the following is an example of mitigation?

introducing legislation to reduce our use of fossil fuels

Which of the following statements about the United States is correct regarding the Kyoto Protocol?

The United States is the only industrialized nation to refuse to ratify the Protocol

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