Environmental Science

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How Does Water Pollution Endanger Human Health?

One of the greatest dangers to human health is water pollution. After all, people can’t survive without drinking water, and if their freshwater resources are polluted, they can become ill from drinking [more…]

What Is Nutrient Pollution of Water?

A common way that humans pollute water is through the addition of nutrients (fertilizers and sewage) to water as nonpoint source pollution. These added materials are full of nitrogen and phosphorus, two [more…]

What Are Persistent Organic Pollutants?

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are nonbiodegradable compounds, so called because they stick around for a long time, polluting the environment and causing illnesses. While many modern pesticides are [more…]

Isotopes: How Do Scientists Know that Humans Cause Global Warming?

The most common question that people ask when confronted with all the scientific data about global climate warming is how scientists can be certain that humans are responsible for the increase in greenhouse [more…]

What Are Social Justice and Microlending?

One way to reduce poverty and encourage social justice is through microlending. Social justice is the idea that the world has enough resources to meet the needs of everyone but that financial inequality [more…]

What International Agreements Exist to Protect the Environment?

Different nations have come together on their own accord to create international agreements about how to maintain, protect, and care for the earth’s natural resources. These international agreements and [more…]

What Environmental Protection Laws Exist in the United States?

At the end of the 1960s and throughout the 1970s, the U.S. passed a number of important laws on environmental issues, including pollution, species protection, and natural resource management. [more…]

Environmental Science: What Are Acids and Bases?

Many of the interactions that environmental scientists study are the result of acid and base reactions. So what are acids and bases, anyway? Empirically speaking, acids and bases have the following characteristics [more…]

Ten Careers in Environmental Science

One of the best outcomes of studying environmental science is realizing that you can play a role in creating a cleaner, more sustainable world to live in. Many students find that whatever their career [more…]

Ten Ways to Live Sustainably

Environmental science is all about finding ways to live more sustainably, which means using resources today in a way that maintains their supplies for the future. Environmental sustainability doesn’t mean [more…]

Environmental Science: How to Conserve Fresh Water

One way to meet the freshwater needs of both people and ecosystems is to practice water conservation. Water conservation is the process of using less water to begin with and recycling or reusing as much [more…]

Environmental Science: Groundwater

The fresh water that flows through rocks and open spaces below the Earth’s surface is known in environmental science as groundwater. Most of the fresh water that people access is groundwater, flowing underground [more…]

Environmental Science: How to Find Fresh Water

To effectively use freshwater resources, people must find ways to control the water flowing on the Earth’s surface or access the groundwater below. There are various ways to access the Earth’s fresh water [more…]

Environmental Science: How Forests are Harvested

The world’s forests are one of the most valuable and most endangered resources. Removal of trees, or the destruction of forests, is called deforestation. [more…]

Environmental Science: Fire Management

Environmental science informs decisions about fire management in some ecosystmes. In both forested ecosystems and grasslands, land managers face difficult decisions about fire management. Wildfires are [more…]

How to Recognize Good Environmental Science Using Information Literacy

In today’s culture of fast-paced media, blog posts, blurbs, sound bites, and talking heads, knowing how to spot good environmental science when you see it is more important than ever. The ability to distinguish [more…]

Environmental Science: What Is Hydrogen Bonding?

When studying environmental science, one type of atomic bond you need to be familiar with is the hydrogen bond. A hydrogen bond results when some of the atoms in a covalently bonded molecule pull the shared [more…]

What Are Prevailing Winds and the Coriolis Effect?

All around the earth, environmental scientists observe fairly steady patterns of wind (or directions of airflow). These prevailing winds, as they’re often called, are the result of the air being moved [more…]

The Environmental Science of Population Growth Models

Environmental scientists use two models to describe how populations grow over time: the exponential growth model and the logistic growth model. Two important concepts underlie both models of population [more…]

Creating Effective Conservation Plans: Preserving Entire Ecosystems

One approach that environmental scientists take to conservation — called ecosystem-based or habitat-centered conservation — looks beyond single species and seeks to protect entire ecosystems. Preserving [more…]

Ecological Effects of Subsurface Mining

Surface mining techniques don’t work for extracting all valuable geologic resources. Diamonds and most metal ores, including gold, require extensive subsurface mines to access the rocks with these resources [more…]

The Debate Over Nuclear Energy

As environmental scientists and the industrial world look for ways to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, nuclear energy seems to provide a potential solution. As with any fuel source, though, using [more…]

What Are Air Pollution, Smog, and Acid Rain?

Air pollution, which can lead to smog and acid rain, is the result of adding compounds or particles to the air that are harmful to human health or the environment. The most obvious danger of air pollution [more…]

What Is Bioremediation?

One of the most innovative ways to tackle environmental damage by toxins and pollution is to let nature do the dirty work of cleaning up the mess. Certain [more…]

Ten Real-Life Examples of the Tragedy of the Commons

The phrase tragedy of the commons, first described by biologist Garrett Hardin in 1968, describes how shared environmental resources are overused and eventually depleted. He compared shared resources to [more…]

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