All Lecture Notes for Exam 1

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Agricultural and Biological Engineering
ABE 2062
Yiider Tseng

oxygen to the air. Both the organism and the environment are affected by the interactions between them.  On a global scale, plants and other photosynthetic organisms have generated all the oxygen in the air.  Interactions between organisms ultimately result in the cycling of nutrients in ecosystems.  Humans also interact with out environment, but sometimes our interactions have drastic consequences.  The burning of fossil fuels has been increasing at an ever-accelerating pace, and this practice releases gaseous compounds into the atmosphere, including CO2.  This global warming, a major aspect of global climate change, has already had dire effects on life-forms and their habitats all over planet Earth.  Scientists predict that even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, it would take several centuries to return to preindustrial CO2 levels.  Theme: Life requires energy transfer and transformation o The input of energy from the sun makes life possible: A fundamental characteristic of living organisms is their use of energy to carry out life’s activities. o In the business of living, organisms often transform one form of energy to another.  Examples:  Chlorophyll molecules within the tree’s leaves harness the energy of sunlight and use it to drive photosynthesis, converting CO2 and water to sugar and oxygen. The chemical energy in sugar is then passed along by plants and other photosynthetic organisms (producers) to consumers.  An animal’s muscle cells use sugar as fuel to power movements, converting chemical energy to kinetic energy, the energy of motion. The cells in
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