AP Environmental Science : Global Effects and Dynamics

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Ozone Formation

Where in the atmosphere does the ozone layer reside?

Possible Answers:

Troposphere

Thermosphere

Stratosphere

Mesosphere

Correct answer:

Stratosphere

Explanation:

The ozone layer is far enough from organisms not to harm them, but also is close enough to the Earth's surface to maintain the proper temperature and hold its layer rigidity. The stratosphere is the correct answer.

Example Question #1 : Ozone

The ozone layer blocks harmful UV light from reaching Earth's surface. Which of the following best describes the location of the ozone layer? 

Possible Answers:

Mesosphere

Troposphere

Thermosphere

Stratosphere

Correct answer:

Stratosphere

Explanation:

The ozone layer is located in the stratosphere, which is one layer above the troposphere (i.e. where we live).

Example Question #1 : Causes And Effects Of Ozone Loss

Ozone depletion is caused by the presence of halogen containing compounds in the atmosphere. Which of the following is NOT a halogen?

Possible Answers:

iodine

chlorine

bromine

fluorine

neon

Correct answer:

neon

Explanation:

Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine are all halogens. Neon on the other hand is an inert noble gas.

Example Question #2 : Causes And Effects Of Ozone Loss

In Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, and Chile, cases of __________ are increasing due to ozone depletion.

Possible Answers:

cataracts

insect-borne disease

species extinctions

birth defects

Correct answer:

cataracts

Explanation:

Cataracts, skin cancer, and high-intensity sunburns are all on the rise in these countries due to ozone depletion and therefore higher exposure to harmful UV rays.

Example Question #1 : Politics And Ozone

Which environmental issue did the 1989 Montreal Protocol address?

Possible Answers:

Worldwide loss of biodiversity

Cimate change

Deforestation

Depletion of the ozone layer

Biological warfare

Correct answer:

Depletion of the ozone layer

Explanation:

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty to phase out production of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer, including CFCs and halocarbons.

Example Question #1 : Greenhouse Gases

What is the primary source of the greenhouse gas Nitrous Oxide ()?

Possible Answers:

Deforestation

Wood-burning stoves

Livestock feedlots and synthetic fertilizers

Halocarbon gases

Natural gas

Correct answer:

Livestock feedlots and synthetic fertilizers

Explanation:

Chemical fertilizers are produced to fix nitrogen for farmers' fields, and while fields naturally lose nitrogen to the atmosphere in the form of , increased abundance of fixed nitrogen results in more  being released. Feedlots produce large quantities of nitrogen-rich animal waste, which also decays and enters the atmosphere in massive quantities.

Example Question #1 : Greenhouse Gases

The most abundant greenhouse gas in the Earth's atmosphere is __________.

Possible Answers:

chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's)

hydrogen

water vapor

aerosols

ozone

Correct answer:

water vapor

Explanation:

Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the Earth's atmosphere. Infrared radiation that gets absorbed and reflected by the Earth's surface gets trapped and reflected back to the Earth's surface by greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere in a process known as the "greenhouse effect."

Example Question #2 : Greenhouse Gases

Which of the following greenhouse gasses is produced only by anthropogenic means?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The only gas in these selections that is made only by man is , which is a CFC or Chlorofluorocarbon. , methane, can be produced by many other organisms; a key example of this are cows. , or water vapor, has many natural origins such as bodies of water, and finally  also has natural sources like volcanoes.

Example Question #3 : Greenhouse Gases

Which of the following accounts for the oscillating levels of  in the atmosphere each year? Choose the MOST correct answer.

Possible Answers:

Both the tilt of the Earth on its axis and the Earth's revolution around the sun

The rotation of the Earth around its axis

The tilt of the earth on its axis

The revolution of the Earth around the sun

Correct answer:

Both the tilt of the Earth on its axis and the Earth's revolution around the sun

Explanation:

The variance of annual  levels can be accounted for by a combination of both the  tilt of the Earth on its axis by as well as the revolution of the Earth around the sun. These two factors in conjunction with one another create the seasons. Since the Northern Hemisphere has vastly more plant coverage compared to the Southern Hemisphere, the Earth can uptake more carbon dioxide during the summer and spring seasons due to high levels of photosynthesis; however, when the Northern Hemisphere is in fall and winter, many of its plants cannot photosynthesize, leading to a spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Example Question #2 : Global Warming

Each year  levels reach a peak near the same time. In a global context, what happens annually that accounts for such a predictable repeating pattern of these peaks in carbon dioxide?

Possible Answers:

Peak industrial manufacturing occurs

The Earth is at its closest distance to the sun in its orbit

The transportation industry experiences high volume at that time

The Northern Hemisphere experiences winter

Correct answer:

The Northern Hemisphere experiences winter

Explanation:

The Northern hemisphere has a much larger basal area comparatively to that of the Southern hemisphere. When the Northern hemisphere is in winter, many of its plants are not able to photosynthesize, therefore the global  levels rise due to much fewer plants actively uptaking that  for their photosynthetic processes. By the same token, when the Northern hemisphere is experiencing spring and summer, the carbon dioxide levels fall due to higher photosynthetic activity.

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