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Environmental Science
Environmental Science 1021F/G
Geoff Stewart

Environmental Science – Chapter 2: Science Literacy and the Process of Science SCIENCE GIVES US TOOLS TO OBSERVE THE NATURAL WORLD -since the 1970s, the ozone layers had thinned by a third during the Antarctic spring OBSERVATIONS: information detected with the senses – or with equipment that extends our senses -use observations to draw conclusions or make inference INFERENCES: conclusions we draw based on observations -CFCs produce atmospheric Chlorine – these chemicals increased at the same rate as the depleting ozone -replication within a study and between studies increase the reliability of the data -ozone depletion connected to the increase chlorine compounds in the atmosphere ATMOSPHERE: blanket of gases that surrounds Earth and other planets TROPOSPHERE: region of the atmosphere that starts at the ground level and extends upward about 11 km (lowest level of the atmosphere) – where weather occurs STRATOSPHERE: region of the atmosphere that starts at the top of troposphere and extends up to about 50 km – contains the ozone layer – much less dense than the troposphere OZONE: molecule with 3 oxygen atoms that absorbs UV radiation in the stratosphere -see page 24 for diagram of the atmosphere -three forms of ultra-violet radiation enters the atmosphere every day: UV-A, UV-B, UV-C ULTRA-VIOLET RADIATION: short-wavelength electromagnetic energy emitted by the Sun -the ozone absorbs much of the UV-B – which is good because this radiation damages cells and biological molecules like DNA (cause of cancer and many other diseases) -ground level ozone is a component of smog SCIENCE: a body of knowledge (facts and explanations) about the natural world, and the process used to get that knowledge EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE: information gathered via observation of physical phenomena THE SCIENTIFIC VIEW OF CFCs DID NOT CHANGE OVERNIGHT -CFC molecules would be exposed to UV light once in the stratosphere which would break them apart – this process would cause single chlorine atoms could chemically react to destroy the ozone THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD SYSTEMATICALLY RULES OUT EXPLANATIONS CORRELATION: two things occur together – but it doesn’t necessarily mean that one caused the other CAUSE-AND-EFFECT RELATIONSHIP: an association between two variables that identifies one (the effect) occurring as a result of or in response to the other (the cause) SCIENTIFIC METHOD: procedure scientists use to empirically test a hypothesis HYPOTHESIS: a possible explanation for what we have observed that is based on some previous knowledge POLAR VORTEX: cyclone of air in the atmosphere in Antarctica in October spring TESTABLE: a possible explanation that generates predictions for which empirical evidence can be collected to verify or refute the hypothesis PREDICTION: a statement that ide
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