Environmental Science

A:

A lily pad is the green, floating leaf of a water lily. Lily pads have a round shape after they open up under the sunlight. They are common in still waters such as ponds or lakes. Some lily pads produce flowers that range in color from white to red.

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  • What Causes the Greenhouse Effect?

    Q: What Causes the Greenhouse Effect?

    A: Heat energy comes to the Earth as sunlight and leaves in the form of infrared radiation, but greenhouses gases trap some of the radiation before it can escape the atmosphere again, leading to the "greenhouse effect." This gives the atmosphere a great deal of its ambient warmth. However, as greenhouse gases have increased their presence in the environment, the temperature of the Earth has risen as a result.
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  • What Is the Structure of the Tropical Rainforest?

    Q: What Is the Structure of the Tropical Rainforest?

    A: The layered structure of a tropical rainforest includes the forest floor, understory, canopy and emergent layer. Each layer contains different flora and fauna unique to its environment. The fundamental difference between these layers is the amount of sunlight they receive. According to the BBC, the upper layers are bathed in sunlight, but the forest floor is almost completely dark.
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  • How Do Forest Fires Affect the Environment?

    Q: How Do Forest Fires Affect the Environment?

    A: According to the U.S. Forest Service, forest fires have a damaging effect on the environment, but they also cause a resurgence of nutrients in the areas they burn. Although fire can tear down acres and acres of trees, it can also enrich the soil to let new vegetation grow.
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  • What Is the Desert Ecosystem Like?

    Q: What Is the Desert Ecosystem Like?

    A: There are two types of deserts: temperate, or cold, and subtropical, or hot, which gives deserts more than one type of ecosystem. There are similarities as both get less than 10 inches of rain a year, and the air is generally dry in both types of biomes. The lack of water in either type of desert makes them harsh for people or creatures living there.
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  • What Is Carbon Dioxide?

    Q: What Is Carbon Dioxide?

    A: Carbon dioxide is a colorless, non-organic compound that is a gas at room temperature and comprises about 0.03 percent of Earth's atmosphere. It is produced when materials that contain carbon are combusted, and it is one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases that trap heat within the Earth's atmosphere.
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  • What Are Tropical Rainforest Landforms?

    Q: What Are Tropical Rainforest Landforms?

    A: Tropical rainforest landforms are areas that lie between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, are covered in forest and experience a high level of rain. While many small tropical rainforests persist on Earth, the three primary tropical rainforest landforms occur in the Amazon basin of South America, equatorial Africa and the Southeast Asian peninsula and archipelago.
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  • What Is the Belt of Calm Air Near the Equator?

    Q: What Is the Belt of Calm Air Near the Equator?

    A: The intertropical convergence zone is a belt of low pressure that circles the Earth with calm air, especially over the oceans. Scientists call the ITCZ various names, including the doldrums or the equatorial calms. When sail-powered ships reached these dreaded zones, they faced the potential of stalling for days or weeks without enough wind to proceed, according to Reference.com.
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  • What Is the Difference Between Male and Female Pine Cones?

    Q: What Is the Difference Between Male and Female Pine Cones?

    A: The pine cones typically thought of as pine cones are actually the bigger female pine cones; male pine cones are not as woody and are much smaller in size. Female pine cones hold the seeds whereas male pine cones contain the pollen. Most conifers, or cone-bearing trees, have female and male pine cones on the same tree.
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  • What Are Alternative Fuels?

    Q: What Are Alternative Fuels?

    A: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes alternative fuels as those that are used in place of gasoline or diesel. Dozens of alternative fuels exist and new ideas are constantly explored, but the U.S. Department of Energy lists six types of alternative fuel that are already in production or in development as of 2014: biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas and propane.
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  • What Are Pelagic Zone Animals?

    Q: What Are Pelagic Zone Animals?

    A: According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the pelagic zone, or open ocean, includes animals classified as either zooplankton or nekton. Zooplankton are small organisms that drift in the ocean currents and make up an enormous portion of the ocean's food supply. Nekton are larger animals that swim independently of current.
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  • What Does the "Green Revolution" Mean?

    Q: What Does the "Green Revolution" Mean?

    A: The Green Revolution refers to a movement started in Mexico in the 1940s whereby agricultural practices and technology created higher crop yields, according to About.com. Dr. Norman Borlaug is credited with starting the Green Revolution when his work with higher-yield wheat combined with new farming technology led to better overall agricultural processes throughout the world.
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  • What Are Advantages of Solar Energy?

    Q: What Are Advantages of Solar Energy?

    A: Some of the benefits of solar energy include the fact that it is entirely renewable and unlimited, produces low emissions, is economical and provides jobs. Like all forms of energy, it has benefits and drawbacks.
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  • Why Do We Need Rain?

    Q: Why Do We Need Rain?

    A: Rain is needed as a source of fresh water, which is essential for the survival of humans, plants and animals. Rain fills aquifers, lakes and rivers, maintaining the lives of living organisms. Rain maintains natural features, such as forests.
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  • What Is an Example of a Terrestrial Food Chain?

    Q: What Is an Example of a Terrestrial Food Chain?

    A: An example of a terrestrial food chain is grass-grasshopper-snake-hawk. A food chain is a series of interconnected feeding relationships among different species in an ecosystem.
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  • Where Do Dust Storms Occur?

    Q: Where Do Dust Storms Occur?

    A: According to NASA, dust storms can occur in any location where wind and exposed dirt is present. The most common location for dust storms are dry, arid regions.
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  • What Are the Main Parts of an Ecosystem?

    Q: What Are the Main Parts of an Ecosystem?

    A: The main parts of an ecosystem are soil, water, heat from the sun, sunlight, the atmosphere and living organisms. An ecosystem is a community of non-living and living things that work together.
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  • What Is the Hottest Country on Earth?

    Q: What Is the Hottest Country on Earth?

    A: The hottest country in the world is Libya, where temperatures higher than 136 degrees Fahrenheit are recorded. The country's terrain is almost completely desert, with little rainfall and very hot temperatures year round.
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  • What Causes Deforestation?

    Q: What Causes Deforestation?

    A: According to the Earth Observatory, the single most direct cause of deforestation is conversion of forestry to cropland and pasture. Other causes include urbanization and infrastructure expansion.
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  • What Caused the Hole in the Ozone Layer?

    Q: What Caused the Hole in the Ozone Layer?

    A: The gaping hole in the ozone layer of the atmosphere over the Antarctic was caused primarily by high concentrations of ozone-depleting chemicals called CFCs. The vast hole in the ozone was discovered by scientists in the 1980s, who upon discovering the dramatic loss in ozone cover, set to work determining a primary cause. They found excessive concentrations of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the area of concern; CFCs were frequently used as additives in spray cans and refrigerants, but are now banned in most areas of the world.
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  • What Is the Definition of Environmental Ethics?

    Q: What Is the Definition of Environmental Ethics?

    A: Environmental ethics is a form of philosophy that considers the ways humans interact with their natural environment and with nonhuman animals. This includes a moral consideration of the human approach to natural resources.
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  • What Is Solar Energy?

    Q: What Is Solar Energy?

    A: According to the Environment Protection Agency, solar energy is defined as energy derived from the sun's radiation. Solar energy sustains life on earth. It is also becoming increasingly common that this energy is converted and used as an alternative to fossil fuels.
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