Environmental Science

A:

There are two recognized types of smog, which are sulfurous smog and photochemical smog. Sulfurous smog is a high concentration of sulfur oxides in the air. Photochemical smog is nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbon vapors emitted by automobiles and other sources, which then undergo photochemical reactions in the lower atmosphere.

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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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy?

    Q: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy?

    A: Wind energy is praised for being a renewable, nonpolluting source of electricity, but it can also produce intermittent streams of energy, and wind-generating equipment may be costly and troublesome to repair and maintain. One of the primary benefits of wind energy is that, unlike coal, oil and other fossil fuels, it does not emit toxic byproducts into the air and water.
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  • What Are the Causes of Environmental Degradation in India?

    Q: What Are the Causes of Environmental Degradation in India?

    A: According to the Foundation for Sustainable Development, India's high population, coupled with its comparatively small geographic size, has resulted in major environmental degradation, including the loss of forests and the depletion of water and other natural resources. Air pollution, water pollution and an abundance of solid waste are major problems on the Indian subcontinent.
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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 Are the Types and Functions of Primary Rain Forest Consumers?

    Q: What Are the Types and Functions of Primary Rain Forest Consumers?

    A: In the rain forest, primary consumers are generally the smallest on the food chain and include insects and small mammals, such as chipmunks, mice and squirrels. Primary consumers are found in terrestrial areas and in aquatic habitats, and they are generally located on the forest floor or in low levels of the canopy. In rivers, streams and other bodies of water running through the rain forest, primary consumers include fish such as salmon that feed on water organisms and insects.
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  • What Damage Do Avalanches Cause?

    Q: What Damage Do Avalanches Cause?

    A: Avalanches can cause catastrophic damage to homes, habitat and property, as well as cause human deaths. Avalanches can cause flash floods if the debris reaches rivers or lakes and causes the water level to rise. Additionally, avalanches cause economic problems, as communities must spend considerable resources to rectify the damage caused by the falling snow and ice.
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  • Why Are Landfills Good?

    Q: Why Are Landfills Good?

    A: One reason that landfills are good is because they allow the government to monitor waste disposal. Although the thought of a landfill of garbage and waste does not sound appealing, they're quite beneficial to society.
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  • Why Are Coral Reefs Endangered?

    Q: Why Are Coral Reefs Endangered?

    A: Coral reefs are endangered due to rising global temperatures, pollution and overfishing. It is estimated that about 1/5 of all coral reefs on the planet have been destroyed. The remaining ones could potentially vanish by 2050.
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  • What Is the Original Source of Almost All the Energy in Most Ecosystems?

    Q: What Is the Original Source of Almost All the Energy in Most Ecosystems?

    A: The sun is the ultimate source of energy in most terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The major exceptions are deep sea communities that depend on heat from hydrothermal vents as well as lithotrophic archaebacteria that derive energy directly from rocks.
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  • What Are the Ecological and Environmental Concerns of the Tundra Biome?

    Q: What Are the Ecological and Environmental Concerns of the Tundra Biome?

    A: According to the Seattle P-I, the environmental and ecological concerns of the tundra biome include climate change, air pollution, human development and ecological imbalances. Recently, humans have been increasingly impacting the tundra both directly and indirectly. In the past, the tundra has not been able to support much human life and therefore remained free of human disturbance.
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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 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 Is Oceanography Important?

    Q: Why Is Oceanography Important?

    A: Oceanography is a very important discipline for understanding the oceans, which are essential for all life on Earth and cover the majority of the Earth's surface. Oceanography is extremely multidisciplinary, covering the physics, chemistry, geology and biology of the world's oceans. No understanding of Earth's climate or the chemical cycles essential to life is complete without the insights of oceanography.
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  • Are Humans Destroying the Planet?

    Q: Are Humans Destroying the Planet?

    A: Although human beings may not be capable of fully destroying the earth, their daily activities are causing enough harm to the planet that it may become uninhabitable for humans for a long while. Human beings have also developed destructive technology such as nuclear weapons that, if used in their full capacity, may also make the earth uninhabitable for a long time for many creatures, including humans.
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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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  • How Long Does It Take for Leather to Decompose?

    Q: How Long Does It Take for Leather to Decompose?

    A: It takes leather between 25 and 50 years to completely decompose. Leather that has been tanned can take significantly longer to decompose because of the chemicals used to tan it.
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