Environmental Studies Unit 3 Definitions

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a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty
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an artificial barrier across a river or estuary to prevent flooding, aid irrigation or navigation, or to generate electricity by tidal power
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Coppiced Woodland
cutting trees at the stump on a regular basis to improve structural diversity- can be used as timber
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use up the supply or resources of
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the process by which ionic substances are broken down into smaller substances using electricity
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Energy Density
amount of energy that can be stored in a given mass of a substance or system
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Finite Resource (Non- renewable resource)
a resource that is formed at a rate very much slower than its rate of consumption
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Fissile Fuel
fuel capable of sustaining a chain reaction with neutrons of any energy
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Fuel Cell
a device that converts chemical potential energy into electrical energy
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Half- life
the time taken for the radioactivity of a specified isotope to fall its original value
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an apparatus containing a movable mirror, used to reflect sunlight in a fixed direction
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occurring at irregular intervals, unreliable
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atoms with the same number of protons and electrons, bu different number of neutrons
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Kinetic Energy
energy which a body possesses by virtue of being in motion
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Parabolic Reflector
a device that collects light, sound, radio waves and reflects them
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Peak Shaving
technique that is used to reduce electrical power consumption during periods of maximum demand on the power utility
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of or relating to both light and heat
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Photovoltaic/ Photoelectric
relating to the production of electric current at the junction of 2 substances exposed to light
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Potential Gravitational Energy
energy and object possesses because of its position in a gravitational field
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Primary Fuel
an energy source that can be harnessed from the environment
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occurring at regular intervals
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Secondary Fuel
an energy source produced from converting primary fuels
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the property of a fluid that resists the force tending to cause the fluid to flow
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having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid
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Acid Mine Drainage
the outflow of acidic water from a mining site
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the way air moves around things
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the state of having a good deal of money; wealth
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Catalytic Converter
a device incorporated into the exhaust system of a motor vehicle, containing a catalyst for converting pollutant gases into less harmful ones
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Combined Heat + Power
a highly efficient process that captures and utilises the heat that is a by- product of the electricity generation process
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in a very poor condition as a result of disuse and neglect
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the process of causing a material or object to melt with intense heat so as to join with another
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Gasification of Coal
the conversion of solid coal to synthetic natural gas that can be burned as a fuel
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Heat Recovery
collection and re- use of heat arising from any process that would otherwise be lost
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Hydrogen Economy
the vision of using hydrogen as a low- carbon energy source- replacing, for example natural gas as a heating fuel
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In- steam turbines
a turbine in which a high- velocity jet of steam rotates a bladed disc or drum
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the act of covering something to stop heat, sound, or electricity from escaping or entering, for example loft insulation
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Integrated Manufacture
the use of computer- controlled machines and automation systems in manufacturing products
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emitting or relating to the emission of ionizing radiation or particles
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Secondary Oil Recovery
involves maintaining or enhancing reservoir pressure beyond oil by injecting water, gas, CO2, etc.
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Tertiary Oil Recovery
the implementation of various techniques for increasing the amount of crude oil that can be extracted from an oil field- thermal methods, gas injection, chemical flooding
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Space Heating
heating of spaces especially for human comfort with the heater either within the space or external to it
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the gradual caving in or sinking of an area of land
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cloudy, opaque or thick with suspended matter
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when toxins build up in a food chain
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decomposition of organic matter/ material by microorganisms
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the process by which a compound/ toxin increases its concentration in the tissues of organisms as it travels up the food chain
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chemical, physical, biological, or any substances that are agents in causing cancer
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Critical Group Monitoring
a method of measuring radioactive discharges. If the members of the public that are most at risk are safe, then so is everyone else
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Critical Pathway Analysis
the prediction of the routes that an effluent will take in the environment, to assess pollution risk- used to predict the movement of pollutants + to plan monitoring programmes
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the breakdown of a material
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Diffuse Sources
effluent emissions that come from many sources with combined impacts
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soluble in fats or fat solvents
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ability or capacity to move
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anything that causes a mutation (change in DNA), which may harm cells and cause certain diseases, such as cancer
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the continued or prolonged existence of a chemical in the environment
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Point Source
a localized or stationary source of pollution
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Primary Pollutant
air pollutant emitted directly from a source e.g carbon monoxide
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Secondary Pollutant
air pollutant not directly emitted, but forms when other pollutants react in the atmosphere e.g. hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide
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measurement of how much a substance will dissolve in a given volume of liquid
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the interaction or cooperation of 2 or more organisations, substances, or other agents to produce the combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects
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an agent or factor that causes malformation of an embryo
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the quality of being toxic or poisonous
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CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon)
organic compound that contains carbon, chlorine and fluorine which is found in aerosols and produced a hole in the ozone layer
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Clean Air Act 1956
Act of Parliament passed in response to London's Great Smog of 1952
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Cyclone Separator
separation devices that use the principle of inertia to remove particulate matter from flue gases
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Electrostatic Precipitator
a filtration device that removes fine particles, like dust and smoke, from a flowing gas using the force of and induced electrostatic charge
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Flue Gas Desulfurisation
the technology used for removing sulfur dioxide from the exhaust combustion flue gases of power plants that burn coal or oil
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HCFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbon)
fairly stable and unreactive compound, used to replace CFCs as they have a very similar structure
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HFC (Hydrofluorocarbon)
fairly stable and unreactive compound, used to replace CFCs as they have a very similar structure
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Kyoto Protocol
an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
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Lapse Rate Diagram
diagram that shows the links between the change in atmospheric temperature and altitude
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Montreal Protocol
an international agreement to reduce substances that deplete the ozone layer
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Photochemical Smog
haze in the atmosphere accompanied by high levels of ozone and nitrogen oxides, caused by the action of sunlight on pollutants
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a toxic effect by a compound on plant growth
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an apparatus for purifying a gas
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air pollution that reduces visibility, which is common in a lot of cities
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Smoke Control Order
parts of the UK can't emit smoke from a chimney unless you're burning an authorised fuel or using burners or stoves
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Smokeless Zone
a district in which it is illegal to create smoke and where only smokeless fuel is allowed to be used
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a layer of the atmosphere, between the troposphere and the mesosphere, which contains the ozone layer
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Temperature Inversion
a reversal of the normal behaviour of the temperature in the troposphere in which a layer of cool air at the surface is overlain by a layer of warmer air
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a layer of the atmosphere, closest to the surface of the earth
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Urea Spray
controls air pollution by reducing oxides of nitrogen emissions
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Activated Sludge
type of wastewater treatment process for treating sewage or industrial wastewaters using aeration and floculation
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involving or requiring oxygen
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doesn't involve or require oxygen
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Biochemical Oxygen Demand
amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic biological organisms to break down organic material present in water
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Biotic Index
a scale for showing the quality of the environment by indicating the types of organisms present in it
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De- Oxygenation
a chemical reaction involving the removal of oxygen atoms from a molecule
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being rich in nutrients and minerals and therefore causing an excessive growth of algae and diminished oxygen content
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when a water body is rich in nutrients, it causes algal blooms and reduces the oxygen content of the water
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Inorganic Nutrients
non- carbon chemicals needed for plant growth
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being able to live in an environment with very low levels of nutrients
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Organo- chlorides
a group of insecticides based on chlorinated hydrocarbons, includes DDT
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Organo- phosphates
a group of insecticides containing phosphates
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how acidic or alkaline a substance is
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Primary Sewage Treatment
basic process to remove suspended solid waste and reduce its biological oxygen demand
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Secondary Sewage Treatment
process that uses biological processes to catch the dissolved organic matter missed in primary treatment
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Tertiary Sewage Treatment
process that goes beyond previous steps and uses sophisticated technology to further remove contaminants or specific pollutants
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a group of insecticides similar to the natural pyretherins produced by the flowers of pyrethams (Chrysanthenum)
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Systemic Pesticide
pesticides which are taken up by the plant and transported to all tissues (leaves, flowers, roots, stems)
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Acoustic Fatigue
the tendency of a material, such as a metal, to lose strength after acoustic stress
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Decibel (dB)
the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound
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dB (A) scale
the scale of how loud a sound is
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L10 18h
UK traffic noise index
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NNI (Noise and Number Index)
a quantity used in evaluating aircraft noise in terms of its intensity and frequency of occurrence
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Resonant Frequency
a frequency capable of exciting a resonance maximum in a given body or system
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TNI (Traffic Noise Index)
a method devised in the UK to measure annoyance responses to motor vehicle noise
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Inverse Square Law
any physical law stating that a specified physical quantity or intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source
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the transformation of a substance into glass
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packing of hazardous waste into containers made of non- reactive material and sealing it
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a waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials
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the condition of being no longer useful
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Resource Substitution
using a more sustainable resource instead of using a less sustainable resource
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the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects
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recycling, the conversion of waste materials into new materials and objects
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Card 2


an artificial barrier across a river or estuary to prevent flooding, aid irrigation or navigation, or to generate electricity by tidal power



Card 3


cutting trees at the stump on a regular basis to improve structural diversity- can be used as timber


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Card 4


use up the supply or resources of


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Card 5


the process by which ionic substances are broken down into smaller substances using electricity


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