Environmental issues

Environmental issues: Answer each of the 21 questions as specified. Answer each question completely, yet concisely. Note: this written “test” is not just a completion assignment, but will be graded accordingly for accuracy and completeness of your answers. Note: words like “explain”, “define”, “describe”, and “summarize” require some explanation versus the word “list”.

You may research these questions using various sources, but be aware of plagiarism. Any direct quotes from sources must be referenced and cited, just like any research paper, and the extent of direct quoting needs to be limited. Your best source of information is your textbook, as the information and questions directly address topics covered for this course.

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You must do your own work, no copying from anyone else. You will submit this assignment to a drop box, just like your out of class assignments, and SafeAssign will be enabled to check for plagiarism and copying.


1. Describe 3 issues that have occurred/may occur by alteration of the Kissimmee River/Lake Okeechobee/Everglades system.

2. Describe 3 issues that have occurred/may occur by usage and alteration of the Floridan and Biscayne Aquifer.

3. Contrast the benefits and drawbacks of dams and reservoirs.

Soil Resources

4. List, from top to bottom, all the layers (horizons) of soil and describe what comprises each layer.

5. Summarize how conservation tillage, crop rotation, contour plowing, strip cropping, terracing, cover crops, shelterbelts, and agroforestry minimize erosion and mineral depletion of the soil.

6. Explain the ecological significance of each of the four components of the soil system.

Mineral Resources

7. Describe how mineral deposits are discovered, extracted, and processed.

8. Explain the environmental impacts of mining and refining minerals, including a description of acid mine drainage.

9. Summarize the conservation of minerals by reuse, recycling, and changing our mineral requirements.

Food Resources

10. Contrast industrialized agriculture with three kinds of subsistence agriculture.

11. Describe the environmental impacts of industrialized agriculture, including land degradation and habitat fragmentation.

12. Describe at least three environmental challenges of both industrialized/commercial fishing and aquaculture.

Air Pollution

13. List the seven major classes of air pollutants, including ozone and hazardous air pollutants, describing their effects.

14. Describe stratospheric ozone thinning, the harmful effects of ozone depletion, and explaining how chlorofluorocarbons and other chemicals reduce stratospheric ozone.

15. Describe at least 6 sources of indoor air pollution.

Global Climate Change

16. Explain radiative forcing, greenhouse gases, and the enhanced greenhouse effect.

17. Differentiate/distinguish between sea-level rise due to melting ice and that due to thermal expansion of water.

18. Describe at least 3 ways how climate change impacts the physical environment.

Water Pollution

19. Describe the eight categories of water pollutants.

20. Describe what is eutrophication and explain why it is often bad for waterways. What are three sources/causes of eutrophication?

21. Describe the steps of sewage treatment within a municipal sewage treatment plant, particularly distinguish what occurs as a part of primary treatment and secondary treatment.

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