Ecology Study Guide Answers

Ecology Study Guide
What is a renewable resource
and give 3 examples?
A renewable resource is a natural
resource that can be replaced at the
same rate at which the resource is
Examples include: wind, water, trees,
What is a nonrenewable
resource and give 3 examples?
A nonrenewable resource is a resource
that forms at a rate that is much slower
than the rate at which it is consumed.
Examples: coal, oil, natural gas, minerals
What are fossil fuels and what
are they used for?
Fossil fuels are nonrenewable energy
resources that are formed from the
remains of organisms that lived long
Fossil fuels are used to make energy.
What ways do we obtain fossil
To obtain fossil fuels we must either
Surface mining
Subsurface mining
Drilling wells
What problems occur from
using fossil fuels?
Problems that occur when using fossil
fuels include:
POLLUTION – including smog and acid
Fossil fuels will become hard to find
Describe three ways that
humans can conserve natural
Three ways humans can conserve
natural resources:
Use less fossil fuels
Recycle when possible
Keep water and soil clean
Briefly explain how coal, petroleum,
and natural gas are formed.
Coal forms when plants die (usually in swampy
areas) and over millions of years are buried by dirt
and water. Then heat and pressure turn the plants
into coal.
Petroleum and natural gas form when sea plants
and animals die and are buried on the ocean floor.
Over time the remains are buried by sand and silt
and are pushed deeper into the Earth’s crust. Heat
and pressure are applied and oil and gas are
Describe the following
alternative energy forms.
Give one advantage and
one disadvantage for each.
Biomass is when organic matter is used as a source of
energy. Biomass gets its energy from the sun and stores it
for later use.
The most common way biomass is used is to be burned.
One advantages could be biomass is renewable and can
be inexpensive.
Disadvantages include the fact that it requires land to
grow, and it does not produce enough energy to keep up
with our needs.
Hydroelectric energy is electrical energy produced from falling
Advantages of hydroelectric power include:
Causes little pollution
Gives off significant amounts of energy
Could reduce the amount of fossil fuels used
Disadvantages of hydroelectric power include:
You must be near a water source
You must build dams and they create erosion problems and
decrease water quality
Large numbers of fish die due to dams as well as destroys
forests and wildlife habitats
Geothermal energy is energy produced by the
heat within the earth.
Advantages of geothermal energy include:
Can be used to heat buildings
Produces a great deal of energy
Disadvantages include:
Expensive to set up
Available only in certain areas
Wind energy is an indirect form of solar energy
through unequal heating of air. To harness
wind energy you need windmills.
can generate significant amounts of energy
Doesn’t cause pollution
Unreliable due to wind that isn’t strong enough
or frequent enough to depend on
Solar energy is energy from the sun in the form of
Can be used directly for heat
Doesn’t produce pollution
Expensive to set up
We do not have the correct technology to produce
enough electrical energy that we need
Nuclear energy is the energy released by a
fission or fusion reaction between atoms.
Very powerful
Produce dangerous radioactive wastes
Needs special environments to be safe
The energy contained in fossil
fuels comes from where?
The energy contained in fossil fuels
comes from energy absorbed by the
original organisms from the sun.
What is uniformitarianism?
Principle that states geologic
processes that occurred in the
past occur today and happen
What is recycling? Reusing?
And Reducing?
Recycling is the process of recovering
valuable or useful materials from waste or
Reusing is using a material more than once
to save the amount of materials you have
Reducing is cutting down on the amount of
materials used for certain things.
Where is geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is found deep
within the earth. Geothermal energy
usually comes to the surface of the
earth as geysers, natural vents, or
wells drilled in rocks.
What environmental problems
are caused by burning
Smog is a photochemical haze that
forms when sunlight acts on industrial
pollutants and burning fossil fuels.
What is the difference between
renewable and nonrenewable
Renewable – resource that can
replenish itself at a rate equal to or
fast than it is used.
Nonrenewable – resources that
humans use fast than they can be
Explain the role of the sun as a major
source of energy. List all energy
sources that originate from the sun.
The sun is the major source of energy
for almost all types of energy we use.
For example, the energy we get from
water, wind, fossil fuels, and biomass.

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