Glossary of AP Environmental

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Study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their nonliving environment of matter and energy; study of the structure and functions of nature
agricultural revolution
Gradual shift from small, mobile hunting and gathering bands to settled agricultural communities in which people survived by learning how to breed and raise wild animals and to cultivate wild plants near where they lived. It began 10,000-12,000 years ago.--
developed country
Country that is highly industrialized and has a high per capita GNP
nonpoint source
Large or dispersed land areas such as cropfields, streets, and lawns that discharge pollutants into the environment over a large area
doubling time
The time it takes (usually in years) for the quantity of something growing exponentially to double. It can be calculated by dividing the annual percentage growth rate into 70
nonrenewable resource
Resource that exists in a fixed amount (stock) in various places in the earthUs crust and has the potential for renewal only by geological, physical, and chemical processes taking place over hundreds of millions to billions of years. Examples are copper, aluminum, coal, and oil. We classify these resources as exhaustible because we are extracting and using them at a much faster rate than they were formed
developing country
Country that has low to moderate industrialization and low to moderate per capita GNP. Most are located in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
rule of 70
Doubling time (in years) = 70/percentage growth rate
All external conditions and factors, living and nonliving (chemicals and energy), that affect an organism or other specified system during its lifetime
sustainable economic development
Increasing the quality of goods and services without depleting or degrading the quality of natural resources to unsustainable levels for current and future generations (qualitative growth
environmental movement
Efforts by citizens at the grassroots level to demand that political leaders enact laws and develop policies to (1) curtail pollution, (2) clean up polluted environments, and (3) protect pristine areas from environmental degradation
point source
Single identifiable source that discharges pollutants into the environment. Examples are the (1) smokestack of a power plant or an industrial plant, (2) drainpipe of a meatpacking plant, (3) chimney of a house, or (4) exhaust pipe of an automob
slash-and-burn cultivation
Cutting down trees and other vegetation in a patch of forest, leaving the cut vegetation on the ground to dry, and then burning it. The ashes that are left add nutrients to the nutrient-poor soils found in most tropical forest areas. Crops are planted between tree stumps. Plots must be abandoned after a few years (typically 2-5 years) because of loss of soil fertility or invasion of vegetation from the surrounding forest

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