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Fracking

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699 Terms

1

Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, a method of oil and gas extraction that uses high-pressure fluids to force open cracks in rocks deep underground

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Environment

the sum of all the conditions surrounding us that influence life

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Environmental science

The field of study that looks at interactions among human systems and those found in nature

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Ecosystem

A particular location on Earth with interacting biotic and abiotic components

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Biotic

Living

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Abiotic

Non-living

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Environmentalist

A person who participates in environmentalism, a social movement that seeks to protect the environment through lobbying, activism, and education

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Environmental studies

The field of study that includes environmental science and additional subjects such as environmental policy, economics, literature, and ethics

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Ecosystem services

The processes by which life-supporting resources such as clean water, timber, fisheries, and agricultural crops are produced

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Environmental indicator

An indicator that describes the current state of the environmental system.

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Biodiversity

The diversity of life forms in an environment

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Genetic diversity

A measure of the genetic variation among individuals in a population

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Species

a group of organisms that is distinct from other groups in its morphology, behavior, or biochemical properties

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Species diversity

The number of species in a region or in a particular type of habitat

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Speciation

The evolution of new species

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Background extinction rate

The average rate at which species become extinct over the long term

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Greenhouse gasses

Gasses in Earth's atmosphere that trap heat near the surface

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Anthropogenic

Derived from human activities

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Development

Improvement in human well-being through economic advancement

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Sustainability

Living on Earth in a way that allows humans to use its resources without depriving future generations of those resources

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Sustainable development

Development that balances current human well-being and economic advancement with resource management for the benefit of future generations

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Biophilia

Love of life

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Ecological footprint

A measure of how much an individual consumes, expressed in area of land

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Scientific method

An objective method to explore the natural world, draw inferences from it, and predict the outcome of certain events, processes, or changes

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Hypothesis

A testable conjecture about how something works

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Null hypothesis

A prediction that there is no difference between groups or conditions, or a statement or an idea that can be falsified, or proved wrong.

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Replication

The data collection procedure of taking repeated measurements

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Sample size

The number of times a measurement is replicated in data collection

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Accuracy

How close a measured value is to the actual or true value

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Percision

How close the repeated measurements of a sample are to one another

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Uncertainty

An estimate of how much a measured or calculated value differs from a true value

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Theory

A hypothesis that has been repeatedly tested and confirmed by multiple groups of researchers and has reached wide acceptance

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Control group

In a scientific investigation, a group that experiences exactly the same conditions as the experimental group, except for the single variable under study.

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Natural experiment

A natural event that acts as an experimental treatment in an ecosystem

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Matter

Anything that occupies space and has mass

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Mass

A measurement of the amount of matter an object contains

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Atom

The smallest particle that can contain the chemical properties of an element

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Element

A substance composed of atoms that cannot be broken down into smaller, simpler components

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Periodic table

A chart of all chemical elements currently known, organized by their properties

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Molecule

A particle that contains more than one atom

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Compound

A molecule containing more than one element

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Atomic number

The number of protons in the nucleus of a particular element

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Mass number

A measurement of the total number of protons and neutrons in an element

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Isotopes

Atoms of the same element with different numbers of neutrons

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Radioactive decay

The spontaneous release of material from the nucleus of radioactive isotopes

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Half-life

The time it takes for one-half of an original radioactive parent atom to decay

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Covalent bond

The bond formed when elements share electrons

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Ionic bond

A chemical bond between two ions of opposite charges

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Hydrogen bond

A weak chemical bond that forms when hydrogen atoms that are covalently bonded to one atom are attracted to another atom on another molecule

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Polar molecule

A molecule in which one side is more positive and the other side is more negative

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Surface tension

A property of water that results from the cohesion of water molecules at the surface of a body of water and that creates a sort of skin on the water's surface

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Capillary action

A property of water that occurs when adhesion of water molecules to a surface is stronger than cohesion between the molecules

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Acid

A substance that contributes hydrogen ions to a solution

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Base

A substance that contributes hydroxide ions to a solution

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pH

The number that indicates the relative strength of acids and bases in a substance

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Chemical reaction

A reaction that occurs when atoms separate from molecules or recombine with other molecules

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Law of conservation of matter

A law of nature stating that matter cannot be created or destroyed; it can only change form

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Inorganic compound

A compound that does not contain the element carbon or contains carbon bound to elements other than hydrogen

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Organic compound

A compound that contains carbon-carbon and carbon-hydrogen bonds

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Carbohydrate

A compound composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms

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Protein

A critical component of living organisms made up of a long chain of nitrogen-containing organic molecules known as amino acids

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Nucleic acid

Organic compounds found in all living cells

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DNA

A nucleic acid, the genetic material that contains the code for reproducing the components of the next generation, and which organisms pass on to their offspring.

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RNA

A nucleic acid that translates the code stored in DNA and allows for the synthesis of proteins.

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Lipid

A smaller organic biological molecule that does not mix with water

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Cell

A highly organized living entity that consists of the four types of macromolecules and other substances in a watery solution, surrounded by a membrane

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Energy

The ability to do work or transfer heat

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Joule

The amount of energy used when a 1-watt electrical device is turned on for 1 second

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Power

The rate at which work is done

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Electromagnetic radiation

A form of energy emitted by the sun that includes, but is not limited to, visible light, ultraviolet light, and infrared energy

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Photon

A massless packet of energy that carries electromagnetic radiation at the speed of light

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Potential energy

Stored energy that has not been released

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Chemical energy

Potential energy stored in chemical bonds

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Kinetic energy

The energy of motion

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Temperature

A measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a substance

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First law of thermodynamics

A physical law which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can change from one form to another

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Second law of thermodynamics

The physical law stating that when energy is transformed, the quantity of energy remains the same, but its ability to do work diminishes

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Energy efficiency

The ratio of the amount of energy expended in the form you want to the total amount of energy that is introduced into the system

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Energy quality

The ease with which an energy source can be used for work

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Entropy

Randomness in a system

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Open system

a system in which exchanges of matter or energy occur across system boundaries

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Closed system

A system in which matter and energy exchanges do not occur across boundaries

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Input

An addition to a system

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Output

A loss from a system

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Systems analysis

An analysis to determine inputs, outputs, and changes in a system under various conditions

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Steady state

A state in which inputs equal outputs, so that the system in not changing over time

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Negative feedback loop

A feedback loop in which a system responds to a change by returning to its original state, or by decreasing the rate at which the change is occurring

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Positive feedback loop

A feedback loop in which change in a system is amplified

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Transform fault boundary

An area where tectonic plates move sideways passed each other

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Acid Precipitation

Precipitation high in sulfuric acid and nitric acid from reactions between water vapor and sulfur and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere

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Biosphere

The region of our planet where life resides, the combination of all ecosystems on Earth (from the bottom of the ocean to the highest peak)

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Producer

An organism that uses the energy of the Sun to produce usable forms of energy (also known as autotroph)

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Photosynthesis

The process by which producers use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose

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Cellular respiration

The process by which cells unlock the energy of chemical compounds

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Aerobic respiration

The process by which cells convert glucose and oxygen into energy, carbon dioxide, and water

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Anaerobic respiration

The process by which cells convert glucose into energy in the absence of oxygen

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Consumer

An organism that is incapable of photosynthesis and must obtain its energy by consuming other organisms (also known as heterotroph)

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Primary consumers

A consumer that eats producers (herbivore)

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Secondary consumers

A consumer that eats other consumers (carnivore)

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Tertiary consumers

A carnivore that eats secondary consumers

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