AP Environmental Science : Greenhouse Effect

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect is responsible for many beneficial aspects of the earth's atmosphere. Which of these is NOT provided directly by the greenhouse effect?

Possible Answers:

All of the choices are created by the greenhouse effect

Trapping some infrared radiation from the earth within the atmosphere

Blocking some harmful radiation from penetrating through the atmosphere

Keeping the surface of the earth at a homogeneous temperature

Correct answer:

All of the choices are created by the greenhouse effect

Explanation:

The greenhouse effect plays a role in all of the options because of the interaction between the layer of gasses surrounding the earth and the solar radiation that approaches the earth. An easy way to remember this is to follow the path of solar radiation traveling from the sun to the earth and think of all the possible ways in which this radiation can travel. The radiation can bounce off and not enter, it can enter and be absorbed in the surface, or it can enter and both bounce off the earth's surface and then be absorbed.

Example Question #11 : Global Warming

Choose the scientist that was not involved in studying the early existence of the greenhouse effect. 

Possible Answers:

Claude Pouillet

John Tyndall

Joseph Fourier

Norman Borlaug

Correct answer:

Norman Borlaug

Explanation:

Every scientist listed but Norman Burlaug are responsible for the early studies of the greenhouse effect. Joseph Fourier spoke about the effect in 1824. Claude Pouillet studied its existence further in 1827 and 1838. John Tyndall conducted experimental observations in 1859. 

Example Question #2 : Greenhouse Effect

The term "greenhouse effect" was first coined by whom? 

Possible Answers:

Alexander Graham Bell 

Nils Gustaf Ekholm

Svante Arrhenius

John Tyndall

Correct answer:

Nils Gustaf Ekholm

Explanation:

This term was first used by Nils Gustaf Ekholm in 1901. Ekholm was an early adopter of climate control. His early studies included how the burning of coal could add unnecessary levels of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Example Question #3 : Greenhouse Effect

__________ the largest contributor to greenhouse effect.

Possible Answers:

Methane 

Carbon dioxide

Water vapor

Ozone

Correct answer:

Water vapor

Explanation:

Water vapor is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases at 36-70%. Carbon dioxide is second with 9-26%, then methane with 4-9%, and finally ozone with 3-7%.

Example Question #14 : Global Warming

Which of the following statements regarding the greenhouse effect is true?

Possible Answers:

The average temperature of the Earth has declined due to the greenhouse effect.

The greenhouse effect is only observed on Earth. 

The greenhouse effect is also observed on other planets such as Mars and Venus.

None of these

Correct answer:

The greenhouse effect is also observed on other planets such as Mars and Venus.

Explanation:

The greenhouse effect can also be found on Mars, Venus, and Saturn's largest moon, Titan. The effect on Venus is large because of its dense atmosphere of made of carbon dioxide.

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