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EVR2001 Week 1

by: Carly Minsky

EVR2001 Week 1 EVR2001

Carly Minsky

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About this Document

These are from the first week of Introduction to Environmental Science.
Intro to Environmental Science
Dr. Coenan
Class Notes
environmental science
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carly Minsky on Thursday February 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EVR2001 at University of Florida taught by Dr. Coenan in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 58 views. For similar materials see Intro to Environmental Science in Environmental Science at University of Florida.


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Date Created: 02/25/16
EVR 1/14/16  ENERGY FROM THE SUN o 99.97% of the Earth’s energy budget o Sunlight drives biological, chemical, and physical processes  Bio: photosynthesis  Physical: Atmospheric and ocean circulation  Chemical: provides energy for some reactions (i.e. giving you a sunburn) o Most sunlight arrives at our planet as visible light o The earth radiates primarily infrared light back out into space  BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES o Complete path an element takes through the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere as it is converted from one form to others o Bio=involves life o Geo=involves earth  Elements are cycled throughout the cycles and eventually wind up in us  NITROGEN CYCLE o Essential for synthesis of proteins and DNA o N2 (a relatively inert gas) makes up 78% of Earth’s atmosphere o Most organisms need N as organic compounds, nitrate(NO3-) or ammonium(NH4+) o Nitrogen fixation; converting molecular nitrogen in the atmosphere to useful forms o Mutualistic bacteria do this, commonly in root nodules of legumes Dinitrogen: most common form of nitrogen, inert, 78% of the atmosphere Ammonia/ammonium:(NH3- or NH4+), ionic form present in acidic soil conditions, unionized form present under alkaline conditions Nitrite:(NO2-), relatively short lived form of nitrogen, converted to nitrate by Nitrobacter spp. Nitrate:(NO3-), together with ammonium, it is the form of nitrogen used by plants, microbes and other biota as nutrient Nitrous Oxide:(N20)  PHOSPHORUS CYCLE o No gaseous phase o Essential for all life, often the limiting factor for plant production o Fast terrestrial cycle o Fast aquatic cycle o Slow geologic cycle o In excess, can often cause ecological alterations-not for good 2  CARBON CYCLE o Carbon is an essential building block of all life and the basis for most complex molecules o Carbon dioxide is an important greenhouse gas, which affects Earth’s climate 3 o Fossil fuels are fossilized biomass, mostly in the form of hydrocarbons  HYDROLIC CYCLES o Transfers water between the oceans, ground water, surface water, ice, etc.  MATTER CYCLING o A healthy ecosystem cycles most of its matter through the food web  HUMAN IMPACT ON CYCLES o Biogeochemical cycles are crucial to life but are being greatly disturbed by human activity  Mining of rock phosphate in MUCH more rapid than natural weathering of phosphate-bearing rocks  The magnitude of Nitrogen fixation by industrial processes(primarily via the Haber- 4 Bosch process, developed in 1909) no exceeds natural N2-fixation o Most of the cycles are being accelerated, causing both depletion of resources and pollution  Depletion of rock phosphate sources  Eutrophication of water bodies 5


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