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Foundations of ESS Part 2 (Topics 1.3 and 1.4)

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What is the first law of thermodynamics?

That energy can be transformed, but not created or destroyed.

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31 questions
What is the first law of thermodynamics?
That energy can be transformed, but not created or destroyed.
What is the second law of thermodynamics?
That the entropy of a system increases over time.
What is entropy?
A measure of the amount of disorder in a system.
What does the second law of thermodynamics explain?
The inefficiency and decrease in available energy along a food chain.
What does more entropy =
More entropy = less order
What is efficiency?
The work, energy or output produced by a process divided by the amount of energy consumed being the input to the process.
What is the equation for efficiency?
(Useful energy produced/Energy consumed) X 100
When do negative feedback loops occur?
When the output of a process inhibits or reverses the operation of the same process in such a way to reduce change.
What does a positive feedback loop do?
It amplifies change and drives the system towards a new tipping point where a new equilibrium is adopted.
What is equilibrium?
It is the tendency of a system to return to its original state following a disturbance.
What are the four types of equilibrium?
Steady-state(dynamic), static, stable and unstable.
What is a steady-state dynamic?
A characteristic of an open system where there are continuous inputs and outputs of energy and matter, but the system remains in a constant state.
What is a static equilibrium?
An equilibrium where there is no change over time.
What is a stable equilibrium?
Where a system tends to return to its original equilibrium after a disturbance.
What is an unstable equilibrium?
Where a system tends to return to a different equilibrium after a disturbance.
How is an ecological tipping point reached?
When an ecosystem experiences a shift to a new state in which there are significant changes to its biodiversity and the service it provides.
What are three examples of tipping points?
Lake eutrophication, Coral reef dying and the extinction of a keystone species.
How is the coral reef dying a tipping point?
If the acidity levels in the oceans rise then the coral reef dies and cannot regenerate.
What is sustainability?
It is the process of using materials that support the current generation but do not jeopardise future generations.
What is natural capital?
The natural resources that can be classified as a good or a service.
What is natural income?
It is the yield obtained from natural resources.
What is an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)?
Its a report prepared before a development project to change the use of land.
What is an example of a plan that needs an EIA?
Before turning a forest into a gold course.
Where did the use of EIAs come from?
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) passed by the US in 1969 which makes it necessary for any federal agency to consider the environment before a project.
What is a weakness of an EIA?
Different countries have different standards of EIAs, which makes it hard to compare them.
What is an ecological footprint (EF)?
It's a model used to estimate the demands that human populations place on the environment.
What do EFs take into account?
The area required to provide all of the resources needed by the population and the assimilation of all wastes.