- (a) Which are the fossil fuels? (b) Where do we use them? (c) Why is their daily consumption a problem for the environment?
- Make a diagram showing how the greenhouse effect is produced.
- Why are plants important at alleviating the problem of the global warming?
- Methane has a greater heat-trapping power than CO2. How is it produced?
- Make a diagram showing how acid rain is produced.
- What are the main harmful effects of the acid rain?
- What are the main sources of water pollution?
- How can a lot of organic waste reduce the numbers of animal life in a river?
- How can phosphates or nitrates accumulate in your body?
- What is eutrophication and why is it a problem for both aquatic plants and animals?
- How can pests be controlled naturally? What risk do this techniques pose?
- Why is manure more eco-friendly than chemical fertilisers?
- Name five reasons by which the fish populations may be declining in many areas of the planet.
- Why is deforestation produced?
- Name six adverse effects of deforestation.
- Which three measures to conserve natural ecosystems do you find more necessary in your region?
- Why are fungi and bacteria so important for ecosystems?
- How would you slow down the rate of decay of dead organic matter?
- Why is carbon essential for all living beings?
- Make a diagram of the carbon cycle.
- Why is nitrogen essential for all living beings?
- Why do plants depend on soil's bacteria and algae for their nitrogen supply?
- Why is it good for farmers to grow a crop of leguminous plants from time to time?
- Make a diagram of the nitrogen cycle.
- Ecosystems: concept, components. The Ecosphere.
- Ecological factors; conditions and resources. Limiting factors. Tolerance curves. Ecological niche. Habitat.
- Ecological factors in land ecosystems.
- Ecological factors in aquatic ecosystems.
- Ecological succession.
- Biotic interactions: intraspecific and interspecific interactions.
- Population growth. Positive and negative feedback in the interspecific interactions. Plagues and their control.
- Feeding interactions: flow of energy and matter in the ecosystems; producers, consumers and decomposers; food chains and food webs; trophic pyramids.
- Biogeochemical cycles.
- Atmospheric pollution: the greenhouse effect and the global warming; the slimming of the ozone layer; acid precipitations.
- Water consumption: water treatment and sewage treatment.
- Water pollution: fertilisers, industrial pollutants, thermal pollution.
- Other major human influences in the ecosystems.
Environmental health student portal.Learn about chemicals in the environment, water pollution, air pollution and climate change through this website full of links and resources.
Biosphere.Very comprehensive article at Encyclopaedia Britannica online on the concept of biosphere, the diversity of Life, resources of the biosphere and environmental conditions.
BBC - Climate change.BBC guide to Climate Change: lots of resources that include reviews, analysis, news and more.
How global warming works.Learn what global warming is, what causes it, what its current effects are and what the future effects could be.
Global warming.Very comprehensive article at Encyclopaedia Britannica online on the concept of global warming, its causes and potential effects, climate research and climate policy.
Climate hot map.Know the global warming effects around the globe, understand how these impacts are produced and learn which actions can be taken to stop them.
Climate change map.This map by New Scientist shows the worlwide rise in temperatures over the last hundred years. A heat map layer displays temperature rises just in the last 20 years. However users can click anywhere on the map to view a graph of recorded temperatures from the nineteenth century.
Earth's changing climate.Two maps from NationalGeographic.com that show how temperatures are rising and how precipitations are dropping out.
Climate change in our world.Google Earth file showing how climate change and global temperature rises could affect our world over the next 100 years.
Climate challenge.A game where you are president of the European Nations. You must tackle climate change and stay popular enough with the voters to remain in office.
Clim'Way.Another game about helping the community reach some specific climate goals. You have to create a climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a certain percentage in a certain time frame. Your plans can include setting up alternative energy sources, reducing human consumption etc.
Global warming: Reasons why it might not actually exist.Sceptics have long argued that there are other explanations for climate change other than man-made CO2 and here we look at some of the arguments put forward by those who believe that global warming is all a hoax.
What happened to global warming?This title may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might the fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true.
Climate scepticism: the top 10.What are some of the reasons why "climate sceptics" dispute the evidence that human activities are bringing potentially dangerous changes to the Earth's climate, ant their counter-arguments?
The Slimming of the Ozone Layer
Ozone hole watch.Where you can check on the latest status of the ozone layer over the South Pole.
Black tides: the worst oil spills in history.Google Earth file showing information about the 50 worst oil spills, from tanker accidents and drilling operations, as well as a number of other notable spills.
Other Human Influences on the Ecosystems
Global Warming is a hot topic. This video looks at the evidence and focuses on these two questions: "is the Earth getting warmer?" and "what are the effects of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere?"
The truth about global warming
A simple and effective way to see how human activity relates to global warming.
Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis
The IPCC has produced a video on its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The first part on the Working Group I contribution to AR5 is now available.
Ask for a better world
Global warming: when you feel it, it's already too late.
Teens, frogs and climate change
With frogs and other amphibians already dying in large numbers, a group of teenagers is joining other amateur scientists to gather information on the problem.
Early birds and springtime
A growing body of evidence shows that birds are nesting earlier due to global warming, with potentially harmful consequences.
Coal combustion and acid rain
Watch how sulphur-rich coal is a major source of acid rain and what can be done to mitigate its damage.
Analysing acid rain
Visit this research station in the Black Forest, Germany, to watch rainwater being tested for acidity.
Other Human Influences on the Ecosystems
Questions: Ecology[Source lesson]
Questions: Populations[Source lesson]
- What is the difference between an habitat and an ecosystem?
- What is the definition of population in Ecology?
- Name four factors that have contributed to the human population explosion in the past two centuries.
- What is the difference between measuring and estimating the size of a population?
- How would you use quadrats to estimate the amount of daisies in the school gardens?
- Quadrats can be used to estimate the size of the populations of which type of species?
- What are transects used for?
- How could you identify which animal species live in the foliage of a tree?
- How could you identify which animal species live crawling on the ground?
- How could you identify which animal species live in leaf litter?
- What technique could be used to estimate the size of an animal population in an area?
- What pattern does the growth of a population that arrives to an unoccupied area follow?
- There are two types of ecological factors: conditions (e.g. temperature) and resources (e.g. heat). Which are the ones likely to provoke competition among the living beings? Why?
- Which resources could trigger competition among plant species?
- Of all the resources necessary for photosynthesis, which one is the least likely to produce competition among plant species?
- What is a community or biocenosis?
- Give four examples of interactions between species of a same community and tell the balance of advantage of each one.
- Name two adaptations of polar bears to their environment.
- Name three adaptations of cacti to their environment.
- Write a land food chain of 3-4 links, naming the position of each species in the chain.
- Write an aquatic food chain of 3-4 links, naming the position of each species in the chain.
- How are primary consumers also called? Why?
- How are secondary and forth consumers also called? Why?
- Which are the decomposers? What do they feed on? What do they produce?
- How do the populations of herbivores in a savannah control the number of small birds? Why? Which type of birds are favoured with this situation? Why?
- How are pyramids of numbers useful?
- What do pyramids of biomass account for? Why are they always a pyramidal shape?
- Why food chains have rarely more than 4 levels?
- Why is a vegetarian diet more likely to feed a greater amount of people?