Environmental Issues Computer Lab

Ozone Depletion

Go to http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/missoz/ and click on the title “On the Trail of the Missing Ozone”

Click on illustrated panels and as you go through the comic, answer the following questions.

1. Define the ozone layer and give its function.

2. What is the ozone layer’s biggest enemy?

3. In what types of products or materials is the enemy found?

4. What can you do to reduce the hole in the ozone layer?

The Greenhouse Effect

Go to http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/whatis.htm and answer the following:

1. What is global warming?

2. What causes global warming?

3. Draw the picture of the Greenhouse Effect and label the image you draw.

Go to http://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/unit/text.php?unit=2&secNum=4

4. Draw the picture showing the different greenhouse gases and what happens to the heat from the sun as it is trapped on the earth.

5. Which greenhouse gas is biggest contributor to global warming?

6. How might cows contribute to global warming?

7. Using your notes, draw a simplified version of the carbon cycle, using the following terms, carbon dioxide gas, photosynthesis, respiration, and decomposition.

Go to https://koshland-science-museum.org/explore-the-science/earth-lab.

Now click on “Causes” in the left hand menu. As you read through the panel, answer the following questions.

1. What is the biggest U.S. carbon dioxide contributor? What is the second largest contributor?

Now click on “Impacts” and read through the consequences of rising greenhouse gas levels.

2. Describe four ways your world might be affected.





Acid Rain

Go to http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/ and answer the following questions.

1. How is acid rain formed?

2. Provide the pH of most acid rain compared to the pH of normal rain water.

3. Give four major reasons why acid rain is harmful.





4. What can you do to prevent acid rain?

Biological Magnification

Go to http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson112.shtml and answer the following.

1. What is DDT?

2. Why was DDT harmful to the Peregrine falcon and the pelican?

3. What allowed the falcon and the pelican to make a comeback?

4. Draw a food chain in pyramid form and explain how the DDT was “magnified as it moved up the food chain from algae to fish to falcons. You may need to do additional research for this.

Invasive species

Go to http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/unitedstates/nc.shtml and answer the following:

1. Give two invasive plants and two invasive animals in North Carolina. Provide both the common name and scientific name of each.

2. Research ONE of the invasive species listed above and answer the following:

a. How did your invasive species exploit a new niche, free of predators or competitors?

b. What negative effects is your invasive species having on the native species in the area?

3. Go back to the homepage listed above and look at the green box in the center of the page entitled “Items of Interest.”

Describe one of the current threats to animals or plants in North Carolina and identify the area of the State facing this threat. Finally, describe what wildlife managers are encouraging people to do to stop the spread of the invasive species.

4. Research why Dutch elm disease is such a threat to plant life. In your research, identify the following:

a. how the disease reached the U.S.

b. what is the target of the disease

c. how is the disease transmitted from plant to plant

d. how does it affect the native plant species

e. what has been done to control the spread

Geological/Meterological Impacts

How has each of the following impacted ecosystem distribution?

a. El Nino

b. Continental Drift

c. Meteor impact on dinosaurs

Importance of Diversity

1. Identify an example of a keystone species and why it is considered a keystone species.

2. Predict what would happen if this keystone species was removed from the ecosystem.

3. Find an example of how an ecosystem with little diversity is less resilient to changes in the environment. You may want to consider the case study we did on natural selection and use one of the following:

· California condors

• Black-footed ferrets

• Prairie chickens

• Potato blight causing the potato famine

• Corn rust affects on agricultural crops

More Human Impact

“Human activities impact ecosystems on local, regional and global scales. As human populations have increased in numbers, their impact on habitats for other species have been magnified. In turn, this has often reduced the population size of the affected species and resulted in habitat destruction and, in some cases, the extinction of species.”

Do a search for the following topics. Cut and paste an image of each topic and explain, below the image, how it supports statement above.

a. Desertification

b. Deforestation

c. Algal Blooms and Eutrophication

d. Habitat loss and loss of biodiversity