Environmental Science

A:

A windmill's function is to harness the power of the wind to generate useful energy for humans. In the past, people used this energy to grind grain or pump water. More modern windmills turn wind energy into electrical power.

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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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  • 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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  • 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 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 factors affect soil fertility?

    Q: What factors affect soil fertility?

    A: The presence of nutrients, minerals, organic matter, microorganisms, and the texture and structure of the soil affect soil fertility. Fertility refers to the ability of soil to provide plants with the nutrients they require to grow and fight disease.
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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 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 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 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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  • 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 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 world's most dangerous tree?

    Q: What is the world's most dangerous tree?

    A: The manchineel tree offers a notorious three-pronged self-defense strategy: it can choke you with its fruit, poison you with its sap, and blind you with its smoke. Literally every part of the tree is poisonous. Native to Florida, the Caribbean and Central America, the manchineel has gained an infamous reputation, and throughout history it has been both vital and deadly to humans.
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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 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 the difference between an environment and an ecosystem?

    Q: What is the difference between an environment and an ecosystem?

    A: An environment generally refers to the surroundings of various living residents, while an ecosystem is a community consisting of both living and non-living things that work together. In general, an ecosystem is defined by its environment, and all organisms within the ecosystem must work in tandem to create a successful living space.
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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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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 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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