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## What does anthropogenic mean in terms of climate change?

Sanjay
Featured 7 months ago

Anthropogenic in terms of climate change refers to the impact humans have had on climate change, primarily through emissions of greenhouse gasses.

#### Explanation:

Greenhouses gasses such as carbon dioxide $\left({\text{CO}}_{2}\right)$ or methane $\left({\text{CH}}_{4}\right)$ can be produced naturally in the environment through things like volcanoes or other geothermal sources. Throughout history, greenhouse gas concentrations have risen and fallen significantly over long periods of time.

The difference nowadays is that greenhouse gas emissions are increasing at a rate far beyond any sort of natural fluctuations. We know this by observing historical proxy data through things like ice core sampling, which allows us to compare historical data such as ${\text{CO}}_{2}$ concentrations with modern ${\text{CO}}_{2}$ levels.

So "anthropogenic climate change" would refer to climate change induced or at least significantly enhanced by human activity, such as industrialization.

## Explain four different ways to protect against soil degradation?

ChemCrazy
Featured 5 months ago

Crop rotation, contour farming, terracing, and shelter belt.

#### Explanation:

Crop rotation is a huge benefit when fighting against soil degradation. Annually or so, the crop on one patch of land is rotated, so one year is wheat, the next soybeans, etc. The diversity of plants help to maintain soil quality.

Contour farming is also a great way to battle soil degradation. This is pretty much plowing ridges in the soil to prevent run-off of water and nutrients, etc to minimize soil erosion.

Terracing is most commonly seen in rice fields. And since rice needs lots of water, terracing, or forming of stair-like steps will minimize the water loss in fields, and will maintain soil and prevent erosion.

Finally, the shelter belt is also a great way to maintain soil health. In fields, trees are planted in a line or a belt, to block the wind to prevent top soil being blown away.

## Do living organisms defy the second law of thermodynamics?

David Drayer
Featured 4 months ago

No The Second Law of thermodynamics applies in the truest sense to closed systems. Living systems can not be closed systems or they are not living.

#### Explanation:

The second law says that everything goes from order to disorder, that is an increase in entropy. Living things die when the disorder in the system of the living organisms increases to the point where the system can no longer function.

A living organism contains information in the DNA that allows the system to obtain energy from outside the system. This makes a living organism an open system. The energy from outside the system is used to overcome entropy, the spontaneous breakdown of organization within the cells and systems within the living organism.

Shannon's Laws of information show that information transfer is subject to the second law of thermodynamics. That is information is lost whenever information is transferred. Over time the information in the cell's and organism's DNA is damaged and lost. When the information is damaged to the point that the organism can not longer overcome the forces of entropy the organism dies.

All closed systems are subject to the second law of thermodynamics that everything goes from order to disorder. While living things have the informational capability to maintain an open system the living things are not subject to law of entropy.

## How does energy efficiency affect the environment?

Ry
Featured 2 months ago

It influences greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has direct environmental impacts as well.

#### Explanation:

One of the biggest pollution problems right now is that in developing countries, their population is exploding, but they don't have the money for efficient (expensive) energy and technology. Many of these countries end up using inefficient methods of producing energy and heat, such as burning wood in large open fires, which is extremely inefficient.

There are a whole bunch of ways this affects the environment, so I'll focus on the impacts in countries that can't afford more efficient energy.

First: going back to my example of people cutting down trees, this has a plethera of environmental impacts. The trees are sinks for carbon dioxide, so burning them releases this into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. Additionally, less trees means less habitat and food for wildlife and a weakened ecosystem, increased erosion (because of a lack of root systems and unhealthy soil) and less rainfall (the reason for this is somewhat complicated, but essentially trees both need rain and attract it).

Second: countries that burn a lot of fossil fuels or wood inefficiently are going to experience an increase in numerous water and air pollutants. For example, excessive coal burning releases nitrous oxide, a major greenhouse gas, so it contributes to climate change, and releases many other pollutants that directly impact the surrounding environment, most notably mercury. Mercury is toxic to many aquatic species if it makes its way into the water supply, and makes its way up the food chain, and thus weakens ecosystems on all trophic levels.

In less efficient energy production, there's much more wasted energy production potential, so you end up releasing more pollutants compared to how much fuel was used.

David Drayer
Featured 2 months ago

Nuclear power plants do not produce air pollution or use limited fossil fuel reserves and are less expensive. The problem is the nuclear waste.

#### Explanation:

Limiting the answer to nuclear power plants

1. Nuclear power plants do not produce air pollution.
Coal or oil fired plants produce Carbon Dioxide, ( climate change) Sulfur Oxides (Acid Rain) and particle immersions. ( asthma)

2. Nuclear power plants do not use up precious oil and coal reserves, or food produces for fuel.
gasohol,removes corn from food production to energy production.
oil removes petroleum from plastic production to energy production

3. Nuclear power plants are less expensive to operate than traditional power plants using other energy sources. ( Hydroelectric is cheaper but places to build dams are limited)

4. Nuclear power is a somewhat unlimited energy source. Uranium 238 is changed in a nuclear power plant into Plutonium 238, Plutonium 238 can be used in turn to power new power plants.

A. The nuclear waste produced by power plants is a very dangerous substance. Uranium 238 has a half life of 4.5 billion years. The waste will remain dangerous for as long as it thought the earth has existed. No adequate solutions have been found for the safe storage of the nuclear waste produced by nuclear power plants.

B. The Plutonium 238 is a source not only for power but for atomic bombs. Uranium 235 was used to make the first atomic bomb. Uranium 235 is a rare substance. Plutonium 238 was used to make the second atomic bomb, it was produced from the "waste" in making the Uranium 235 bomb. Nuclear power plants contribute greatly to nuclear proliferation and possibly a nuclear war.

## Why is the ozone layer thinning?

Ry
Featured 1 month ago

It isn't actually anymore, but I'll elaborate.

#### Explanation:

Until about a year or two ago, you're right, the ozone layer was thinning. Due to some monumental actions to ban CFC's and other compounds that destroy ozone, it's actually repairing itself. It might take 50-100 years to go back to pre-damaged levels, but it'll get there.

CFC's are the main thing that deplete ozone so I'll focus on them. CFC's are/were released primarily from AC's (CFC's are good coolants), refrigerators (same reason), and computer parts. They rise up into the atmosphere where UV rays strike them, breaking off a chlorine atom. The chlorine breaks Ozone into O and O2, and then binds to the oxygen atom. The cycle will repeatedly let ozone reform and then get broken by chlorine, but there will be perpetually less ozone blocking UV-B rays.

One more thing: in the winter, the temperature drops in the south pole (and sometimes the north) to the point where ice crystals can form in the stratosphere to form polar stratospheric clouds. These trap CFC's and other chemicals, but when the sun emerges in the spring, a motherlode of ozone-destroying chemicals are released, leading to a huge increase in ozone depletion. See the graphic:

The ozone hole is being measured, and you'll notice (by the way, the seasons are switched so spring is actually in about september), that once spring arrives, the area of the ozone hole goes way up, and then gradually goes down. The stratospheric clouds aren't exactly what you're asking for, but they do have an impact on ozone depletion by CFC's and other compounds.

Bottom line: the ozone layer was thinning because of our releasing of CFC's, and other halogen-containing compounds such as methyl bromide and HNO3.

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