Environmental Science

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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 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 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 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 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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  • 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 Is Maximum Sustainable Yield?

    Q: What Is Maximum Sustainable Yield?

    A: Maximum sustainable yield is the maximum level at which a resource can be exploited without depleting it. According to the National Estuarine Research Reserve, such a stock must remain at above half of its full carrying capacity in order to maintain maximum exploitation.
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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 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 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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  • 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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  • How Does Reforestation Help the Environment?

    Q: How Does Reforestation Help the Environment?

    A: Global reforestation in an important issue of growing concern. Forests are a natural carbon sink and absorb much of the emissions from burning fossil fuels.
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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 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 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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  • 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 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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  • How Do Homologous Structures Support Evolution?

    Q: How Do Homologous Structures Support Evolution?

    A: Homologous structures, such as the fins of whales and the hands of monkeys, demonstrate that while a species may use structures for different purposes, the species shared a common ancestor. By definition, homologous structures refer to those that were derived from ancestrally similar structures. The natural world is full of examples of homologous structures, which the theory of natural selection predicts should be the case.
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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 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 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 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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