Environment HIGH-INTEREST STEAM
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Environment HIGH-INTEREST STEAM
MASON CREST PH I LADELPH I A | MI AMI
Mason Crest PO Box 221876 Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free) • www.masoncrest.com
Copyright © 2022 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ISBN (hardback) 978-1-4222-4520-0 ISBN (series) 978-1-4222-4516-3 ISBN (ebook) 978-1-4222-7289-3 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Anduri, Stefanie, author. Title: Environment / Stefanie Anduri. Description: Hollywood, FL : Mason Crest,  | Series:
High-interest STEAM | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019053160 | ISBN 9781422245200 (hardback) | ISBN 9781422272893 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Environmental sciences–Juvenile literature.
Classification: LCC GE115 .A53 2022 | DDC 550–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019053160 Developed and Produced by National Highlights, Inc. Editor: Andrew Luke Production: Crafted Content, LLC
CONTENTS Chapter 1: SCIENCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT �������������������� 7 Chapter 2: TECHNOLOGY IN THE ENVIRONMENT ����������� 21 Chapter 3: ENGINEERING IN THE ENVIRONMENT ����������� 37 Chapter 4: ART IN THE ENVIRONMENT ���������������������������� 51 Chapter 5: MATH IN THE ENVIRONMENT ������������������������� 65 Further Reading ������������������������������������������������������������������ 76 Internet Resources & Educational Video Links �������������� 77 Index ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 78 Author Biography & Photo Credits ����������������������������������� 80
KEY ICONS TO LOOK FOR
Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the readers’ understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis.
WORDS TO UNDERSTAND
ecosystem— a community of living, interacting organisms and the environment in which they live greenhouse effect— the process by which heat from the sun gets trapped in the planet’s lower atmosphere, which increases surface temperatures hydroclimatologist— a scientist who studies the impact of changing climate patterns on water systems such as lakes, rivers, and oceans
SCIENCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT
It may seem like Environmental Science is its own field of study separate from other scientific disciplines, but in fact, it is made up of numerous scientific fields. Climatology, meteorology, biology, ecology, botany, geology, zoology, physics, agriculture, and chemistry are all important components of the scientific study of the environment. Whether they are studying the way animals interact in their natural habitats, the formation of rocks, the elements found in the earth, or the effects of climate change on our planet, scientists are crucial in shaping our understanding of the world. CLIMATOLOGY Climatologists study the long-term patterns of the earth’s climate. They research high- and low-pressure systems, pollutants and allergens in the air, and the causes and effects of climate change. They measure trade winds and trade wind patterns, such as El Niño and La Niña. These patterns cause shifts in global precipitation,
wind, and temperature. Climatologists’ research gives insight into regional fish populations during any given season. Climatologists measure global weather events based on trends and patterns observed over time. This allows them to predict future events, such as polar-ice melt, future global temperatures, and the effects of global warming. Climatologists measure the activity of the sun, and its impact on Earth. They research greenhouse gas emission and the greenhouse effect , which occurs when certain gasses are released into the atmosphere. These gasses trap heat by making the atmosphere denser so less heat can escape it. Bioclimatologists research the impact of the climate on living species all around the world. Paleoclimatologists study the history of the earth’s climate. And hydroclimatologists study the impact of the changing climate on global oceans, rainfall, and drought patterns. Climatology is
Trees play a key part in regulating the atmosphere by releasing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide (CO 2 ).
crucial to the future health and survival of our planet and all the species that reside on it. For years, climatologists have agreed that human activity is a contributing factor to global climate change. These experts fear the negative contributions of human habits, such as industrialization. Scientists have seen a quickly rising trend of increased global warming. Emissions from cars and factories, widespread drilling, overflowing landfills, and the large-scale use of dangerous chemicals are damaging to our planet. These activities release excess gasses into the air that make the atmosphere denser. As a result, heat is unable to escape and temperatures rise. Widespread deforestation is another factor that contributes significantly to global warming. Humans appreciate trees for their beauty, for the shade they offer, and for the wood they provide. What tends to be forgotten is that they are necessary for the health of our planet. Trees produce oxygen, and they absorb the carbon dioxide in the air. With fewer trees, more carbon dioxide is reabsorbed into the atmosphere, and earth’s temperatures continue to rise. METEOROLOGY While climatologists are concerned with long-term, global weather events, meteorologists focus on short-term, local, and regional weather events. They are able to forecast temperatures, storm systems, and air quality. Meteorologists read instruments and computer models that help people plan their everyday lives. They help people decide whether to wear shorts and flip-flops or long pants and a coat. By predicting the weather, meteorologists can even save lives. They can warn about approaching weather events such as hurricanes and tsunamis. When an approaching storm looks
SCIENCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT
Meteorologists study atmospheric conditions to help them determine likely weather patterns.
dangerous enough, they can advise residents to evacuate an area. Meteorologists can warn people when atmospheric conditions are right for a tornado by sounding loud sirens and broadcasting information over the news and weather radios. This is why meteorologists play an important role in modern society. BIOLOGY Biology is the study of living things. It is divided into several branches, including ecology, botany, zoology, and agriculture. Since biology is a critical part of most environmental studies, it is difficult to completely separate it from other scientific fields such as chemistry and physics. When scientists examine the intersection between these fields, they use the terms biochemistry and biophysics. ECOLOGY Ecology is the study of how organisms respond to their surroundings and to other organisms in their natural habitats. Ecologists research
Climate vs. weather—watch this crash course that spells out the difference.
relationships between organisms as tiny as microscopic bugs, or as big as entire forests, and everywhere in between. Their research helps them determine why certain bacteria are vital to the survival of plants or animals. They are also responsible for identifying dangerous particles in the water we drink and finding solutions to purify that water before humans consume it. Ecologists play a large part in the medical field, as they identify plants or poisonous and venomous animals with medicinal properties. They have brought many species back from the brink of extinction through their research. These scientists study various ecosystems to keep them balanced. This is important for the survival of species because plants and animals depend on each other for survival. Ecologists locate and research natural resources in the earth. Their goal is to keep all species on the planet co-existing in harmony.
SCIENCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT
Botanists study all kinds of plant life, even algae.
BOTANY Botany is the study of plants, big and small. Botanists research trees, flowers, bushes, algae, fungi, and even lichens. They discover and research new plant species. They carefully examine the structure and chemical makeup of each specimen. Botanists study the ideal conditions required for a plant species to thrive. They assess any possible human health benefits a plant might provide. They consider whether a plant might be useful for fabric, paper, building material, or any other industrial uses. Botany is important for nature lovers and conservationists, who use their knowledge of plants to preserve nature areas all over the world. Global tribal communities have studied and used native plants for ages. Often these tribes use local plants for food, medicine, housing materials, clothing, and spiritual practices. Their knowledge of nearby plants is thorough and detailed. Since some poisonous plants can look nearly identical to other beneficial plants, tribe members (and botanists) must be extremely careful and very knowledgeable. Making the wrong selection can be deadly.
AGRICULTURE Agriculture is the science and process of raising livestock and cultivating plants, primarily for human consumption. Agriculture is responsible for successful farming practices. Without it, humans would still be hunter-gatherers. Thanks to agriculture, many Americans have easy access to meat, dairy, grains, and produce. All they have to do is head to the closest grocery store, farmer’s market, or family farm store, and a wide variety of tasty, nutritious foods are available every day. Depending on whom you ask, however, the convenience of easy-to-find food may come at a price. The more food consumers buy, the more food stores order. The more food stores order, the more food farmers must produce. In order to keep up with growing demand, agriculturists create methods of genetically In some plant–animal relationships, the survival of each species is dependent on the other. For example, bees help the survival of flower species by collecting pollen all over their bodies when they swoop in for some sweet nectar. When they move on to the next flower, they leave the pollen from the first flower behind, creating pollination between male and female plants. This process is necessary for the plants to thrive. In fact, humans enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the bacteria that lives in the intestines. The human host provides nourishment and a place for them to live, and in turn, bacteria help with the digestive processes. Scientists have learned that they can even have a big impact on personality. Bugs come in handy after all! SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIPS
SCIENCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT
Raising and cultivating plants for human consumption is one facet of agriculture.
modifying food so it grows more easily and wards off disease. Some farms spray pesticides on crops to prevent the food from getting eaten by pests. Some industrial meat farms inject animals with growth hormones and antibiotics to help them grow faster and stay healthier. These practices raise concern among critics, who fear the effects that these chemicals have on the humans who later eat these foods and on the soil and water the food is grown in and with. As the cruel treatment of living animals on some of these farms has been exposed over recent years, more and more people have voiced concern about certain practices within the agricultural industry. In answer to those concerns, farms that promote a cage-free lifestyle for livestock have emerged. They provide meat, dairy, produce, and grain that have not been modified or sprayed with often-feared pesticides. Agriculture continues to evolve to meet the needs and demands of a public that is becoming more educated and aware with regard to what they are eating and how it is produced. ZOOLOGY Zoology is the study of animals. Though their titles may look similar (the Greek word for animal is zoo), zoologists are not the same as zookeepers. While zookeepers care for animals in zoos, zoologists research animals in their natural habitats. Zoologists may help zoos
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