Environmental Science

A:

Woods and forests both have natural areas filled with trees, but woods are smaller and have fewer kinds of plants and animals. Forests have lots of shade because trees grow closely together in an area with a high density of trees. On the other hand, woods have plenty of sunlight because they have less vegetation.

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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 Effects of Desertification?

    Q: What Are the Effects of Desertification?

    A: Desertification causes a high-risk of crop failure, low economic returns on crops, a build-up of salt in the soil and the accidental burning of semiarid vegetation. This process turns usable desert land into unusable land due to poor land management.
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  • How Does Acid Rain Affect Buildings?

    Q: How Does Acid Rain Affect Buildings?

    A: The Virtual Chembook of Elmhurst College explains that acid rain considerably increases the rate of corrosion on marble, sandstone and limestone buildings. Sulfur dioxide and water forms sulfurous acid, and sulfur trioxide and water creates sulfuric acid, which reacts with limestone in a neutralization reaction. Limestone dissolves and crumbles as calcium sulfate is soluble in water.
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  • What Does an Ecologist Study?

    Q: What Does an Ecologist Study?

    A: Ecologists study environmental systems. These systems are biotic factors, which are the living parts of an ecosystem, and abiotic factors, which are the nonliving parts. The items that consumers eat depends upon whether they are herbivores, carnivores or omnivores.
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  • What Are the Effects of Ozone Depletion?

    Q: What Are the Effects of Ozone Depletion?

    A: The main consequence of a depleted ozone layer is a reduction in the protection it affords against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVB) emanating from the sun. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), increased UVB radiation damages human health, plant life, marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles.
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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 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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  • 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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  • What Causes Acid Rain?

    Q: What Causes Acid Rain?

    A: Acid rain is caused by the mixing of moisture in the atmosphere with sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides, forming sulfuric acid and nitric acid in the precipitation that falls to the earth. In the Northern Hemisphere, the most common source of these chemicals in the atmosphere is air pollution from industry, generation of electricity and automobiles.
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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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  • 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 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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  • How Many Plastic Bottles Are Thrown Away Each Year?

    Q: How Many Plastic Bottles Are Thrown Away Each Year?

    A: According to a 2009 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 632,655 to 999,001 tons of plastic water bottles were discarded in 2006. This analysis calculated the total as 76.5 percent of the plastic bottles produced in the United States.
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  • What Are the Pros of Nuclear Energy?

    Q: What Are the Pros of Nuclear Energy?

    A: Nuclear energy generates electricity more efficiently than other energy sources such as coal, according to About.com. Nuclear power plants are not heavy polluters in the same manner as coal or oil.
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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 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 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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  • 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 Okapi Endangered?

    Q: Why Are Okapi Endangered?

    A: The okapi is endangered due to illegal hunting and the destruction of its habitat, explains Animal Diversity. It was also endangered by the civil war in the Congo, where it lives as a native to the Ituri Rainforest.
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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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