Environmental Science

GED 108 Environmental Science

Multiple Choice Questions (Enter your answers on the enclosed answer sheet)

1) Most of the world population growth in the near future will be in:

A) Europe B) North America C) developing countries D) developed countries

2) If the Millennium Development Goals are achieved by 2015:

A) at least 30 developing countries will move into the developed category. B) more than 400 million people will be lifted out of extreme poverty. C) the population of the world will stop increasing. D) people in the developing world will all have basic medical coverage.

3) The economic gap between developing and industrialized countries may best be narrowed by:

A) the adoption of democratic forms of government in developing countries B) industrialized countries increasing shipments of food supplies to developing countries C) industrialized countries harvesting more natural resources in developing countries D) stabilizing population growth in developing countries

4) Which of the following ecosystem service degradations is not a major environmental concern for sustainable development?

A) overfishing the oceans B) degrading agricultural soils C) depleting supplies of coal D) cutting forests faster than they can regrow

5) Ecosystem capital includes:

A) erosion control B) decreased in the amount of crops grown C) increase in the number of cars traveling in a particular region D) All of the above.

6) The “Environmentalist’s Paradox” is:

A) As human population decreases, ecosystem health also decreases. B) As human well-being increases, natural ecosystem decreases. C) The more non-renewable resources we use, the more new resources we discover. D) As biodiversity decreases, ecosystem health increases.



Unit 1 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

7) World population growth over the past 500 years has most resembled the letter:

A) M B) U C) S D) J

8) Which one of the following ecosystem services has been enhanced most by human use?

A) capture fisheries B) pollination C) crops D) wood fuel

9) Centrally planned and free-market economies both:

A) function best without government regulations B) rely upon the self-interests of individuals C) represent ideals not found in pure form in any country D) depend upon free access to the market

10) In a free-market society:

A) the needs of the poor are best met by the interests of business. B) the interests of the poor, labor and business are the same C) governments ensure the free flow of goods and services in international trade D) the needs of the poor are often not met by business interests but by government programs

11) The World Trade Organization:

A) mainly regulates the use of global environmental resources B) guards human rights and the environmental resources of the world C) is widely recognized as the leader of global trade regulation D) has steadily lost the power to regulate international trade

12) The best hope for the future global economy and environmental policy depends upon: A) sustainability B) economic growth C) consumption D) productivity



Unit 1 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

13) Sustainable economic and environmental policies will shift the focus from:

A) sustainability to productivity B) growth to the well-being of humans C) productivity to growth D) productivity to profits

14) If current energy consumption trends continue and the per capita income of the world increased dramatically, we would expect that:

A) global climate change will be a greater problem B) literacy levels to decease C) respiratory diseases in cities will increase D) land and labor will no longer be economic factors

15) In comparing green to brown economies:

A) green economies will embrace technologies that reduce pollutants and increase efficiency B) brown economies will favor sustainable systems and reverse damage to ecosystem services C) both will continue with the race to develop more and more fossil fuel resources D) green economies will stress rapid growth, while brown economies will stress human well-being

16) Which of the following represents an abiotic component of a forest community?

A) the oak and hickory trees B) the mushrooms growing on and around rotting logs C) water trickling in a small stream D) bacteria in the soil

17) Most organisms native to a desert community are:

A) well adapted to the heat and dry environment B) well adapted to the heat but probably not the dry environment C) well adapted to the dry environment but probably not the heat D) not well adapted to the heat or dry environment

18) Within a community, species of:

A) plants rarely interact with fungi or bacteria B) bacteria, plants, animals, and fungi all interact C) plants and animals interact, but not with bacteria or fungi D) bacteria and fungi interact with plants but not animals



Unit 1 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

19) A single ecosystem will include:

A) an interactive complex of communities but not the abiotic environment B) the abiotic environment but not an interactive complex of communities C) many species of living organisms and may include humans D) either a plant community or an animal community, but not both

20) Most ecosystems:

A) are sharply divided from other ecosystems B) consist of two or more distinct landscapes C) grade into other ecosystems in regions called ecotones D) are clustered with other ecosystems to form communities

21) Ecotones:

A) contain only species found in the bordering ecosystems B) have the same abiotic characteristics as the bordering ecosystems C) consist of many distinct landscapes D) are transitional regions between ecosystems

22) Which one of the following are much larger than landscapes?

A) landscape B) ecotone C) ecosystem D) biome

23) Newly formed species typically have experienced different:

A) numbers of offspring B) lifespans C) dietary habits D) selective pressures

24) In short, different selective pressures in closely related species will produce:

A) similar migration patterns B) similar reproductive strategies C) different adaptations D) new mutations

25) The different Galápagos finch species:

A) evolved in South America and flew to the Galápagos Islands. B) evolved from a single ancestral species that flew to the Galápagos Islands. C) all feed on the same diet in the Galápagos Islands. D) are primarily different because of variations in the structure of their feet.



Unit 2 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

Multiple Choice Questions (Enter your answers on the enclosed answer sheet)

1) ________ play a crucial role in releasing nutrients essential for plant growth to the soil.

A) Decomposers B) Herbivores C) Parasites D) Producers

Deep in the ocean off the shore of Japan are communities nestled around hydrothermal vents where super-heated water springs from the bottom of the ocean. No sunlight ever penetrates to these deep regions. In these communities, bacteria have special enzymes that allow them to form organic matter by chemosynthesis. These communities frequently have worms, clams, shrimp, and many other organisms clustered together.

2) In such a system, fish feed on shrimp that feed on the bacteria. This food chain represents a:

A) tertiary consumer eating a secondary consumer eating a primary consumer B) primary consumer eating a secondary consumer eating a tertiary consumer C) consumer eating a producer which then consumes chemoautotrophic bacteria D) secondary consumer eating a primary consumer which then eats a producer

3) Chemosynthesis is:

A) a consumer that eats a producer. B) a producer exists using the energy from inorganic chemicals. C) a green pigment. D) not producers in the ecosystem.

4) In a forest, deer, raccoons, squirrels, and other animals eat and find shelter. A detrital food web occurs as their wastes accumulate on the forest floor. In this detrital web:

A) decomposers function as consumers. B) fungi and earthworms function as producers. C) deer and raccoons function as the producers. D) the deer and raccoons represent decomposers.

5) In rare ecosystems, we would not expect to find:

A) carbon compounds B) chemosynthesis C) chlorophyll D) producers



Unit 2 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

6) A raccoon spends its week eating raspberries, grain, eggs, and grasshoppers. Raccoons are therefore:

A) carnivores B) omnivores C) herbivores D) producers

7) The ability to feed the growing world population was addressed by the:

A) Green Revolution. B) Medical Revolution. C) Industrial Revolution. D) Environmental Revolution.

8) Which problem today is primarily the result of the Industrial Revolution?

A) extensive air and water pollution B) increased transmission of disease between people living in close proximity C) decline in quality of agricultural soil D) erosion from deforestation as more fuel wood is harvested

9) Which revolution may have the greatest impact on the future quality of life for people on Earth?

A) Industrial Revolution B) Medical Revolution C) Green Revolution D) Environmental Revolution

10) According to demographer Joel Cohen, the human carrying capacity:

A) depends upon a standard of living. B) can be calculated in the same way it is determined for other animal species. C) can clearly be determined. D) largely depends upon the availability of fresh water.

11) Better sanitation and nutrition generally resulted from the:

A) Industrial Revolution B) Medical Revolution C) Green Revolution D) Environmental Revolution



Unit 2 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

12) A declining dependency ratio:

A) requires immediate and permanent increased spending on education and old-age medical expenses B) requires increased spending on education but decreased costs associated with old-age medical expenses C) requires permanently decreased spending on education but temporarily increased costs associated with old-age medical expenses D) permits temporarily decreased spending on education and old-age medical expenses

13) The window of opportunity presented by the demographic dividend generally ends as:

A) people start having larger families B) people live longer C) economic pressures require more people to work D) rural populations increase

14) In general, fertility rates:

A) decrease as per capita income increases B) decrease as per capita income decreases C) increase as per capita income increases D) are unrelated to per capita income

15) Large families in poor countries:

A) are rare because having many children is expensive B) are common, due largely because of low infant and childhood mortality C) are common, in part because more children means more labor D) is becoming more common as the use of modern agriculture increases

16) Increased availability of contraceptives in very poor nations is unlikely to decrease family size because:

A) families depend upon children for labor and support when the parents become old B) infant and childhood mortality rates are already keeping family size low C) the increased use of industry and technology has already decreased family size D) poor families are already small because parents cannot afford to feed and house more than one or two children

17) In general, as countries become more industrialized and developed:

A) use of contraception decreases B) the cost of raising children decreases C) people marry at an earlier age D) support of the elderly increases



Unit 2 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

18) Which of the following involves blue water?

A) percolation of water through soil B) transpiration of water from leaves on a bright sunny day C) evaporation of water from a lake on a windy day D) the formation of a dense layer of fog on a cold fall day

19) Water is naturally purified by

A) evaporation and condensation. B) transpiration and evaporation. C) precipitation and infiltration. D) condensation and transpiration.

20) The kinetic energy of water is at its lowest when:

A) rain forms B) water evaporates C) ice forms D) water percolates through soil

21) Which of the following would we expect on the leeward sides of high mountain ranges?

A) deserts B) rainforests C) wetlands D) deciduous forests

22) Which of the following contributes the most as a greenhouse gas?

A) oxygen levels in the air B) water vapor levels in the air C) nitrogen levels in the air D) the amount of pollutants in ocean water

23) We expect the highest relative humidity on a soccer field during the summer on a:

A) hot afternoon during a drought B) cool evening during a drought C) hot afternoon following a heavy rain D) cool evening after a heavy rain



Unit 2 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

24) About 99% of all liquid fresh water is found in:

A) underground aquifers. B) rivers such as the Amazon, Nile, and Mississippi watersheds. C) lakes, including the Great Lakes of North America. D) the upper few meters of topsoil.

25) The greatest worldwide use of water is for

A) human consumption. B) industry. C) irrigation. D) washing and flushing toilets



Unit 3 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

Multiple Choice Questions (Enter your answers on the enclosed answer sheet)

1) One at a time, you test how quickly each of the following substances will settle out of water. To measure this property, you separately test each of the following by placing 100 grams of the substance and 500 milliliters of water into a 1 liter jar and screw on the lid tightly. Then you shake the jar violently for 1 minute and set the jar down. Which one of the following would settle the fastest, creating the clearest water in the fastest amount of time?

A) gravel B) clay C) silt D) sand

2) A soil is found to have 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay. This soil would be referred to as:

A) silty B) sandy C) clayey D) loamy

3) Soils with the greatest water-holding capacity tend to have:

A) poor aeration and lowest workability B) poor nutrient-holding capacity and good workability C) good water infiltration and workability D) good aeration and poor workability

4) Which one of the following soil horizons is least likely to be interacting directly with living organisms?

A) A horizon B) O horizon C) E horizon D) C horizon

5) Detritus feeders and decomposers are most likely found in the:

A) E and B horizon B) A and O horizon C) B and C horizon D) C and E horizon



Unit 3 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

6) Severe wildfires followed by heavy rains have significantly eroded the soil of a formerly forested region. Which one of the following horizons is most likely intact with little disturbance?

A) A horizon B) O horizon C) E horizon D) C horizon

7) Compared to inorganic fertilizers, organic fertilizers such as

A) cow manure applied to a field increase the chances of nutrient leaching. B) cow manure applied to a field reduce the chances of nutrient leaching. C) liquid ammonia sprayed on a field decrease the chances of nutrient leaching. D) liquid ammonia sprayed on a field increase the formation of humus.

8) The future worldwide use of irrigation:

A) is expected to double in the next 20 years due to increasing demands for food B) is limited by the availability of freshwater, waterlogging, and salinization of soils C) depends on new technologies to extract more groundwater D) will require increased reliance on new hydrogen technologies to produce freshwater

9) The development of new varieties of grain crops increased productivity by increasing the:

A) surface area of the leaves of the plants B) size of the roots and ability to absorb water C) strength of the stems to support more grains D) size and number of seeds

10) In the last 50 years, the greatest progress in addressing worldwide hunger and malnutrition came from the:

A) use of better transportation methods to export grain more efficiently B) development and use of new varieties of high-yielding wheat and rice C) reduced reliance on pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers D) widespread use of sustainable irrigation methods

11) Although the Green Revolution has greatly reduced world hunger and malnutrition, it has:

A) doubled the amount of land used to raise crops B) not significantly increased the productivity of modern agriculture C) required high levels of increasingly expensive fertilizer and pesticides D) contributed significantly to the destruction of the ozone layer



Unit 3 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

12) The Hubbert peak accurately predicted

A) maximum U.S. oil consumption in 1972. B) maximum U.S. oil consumption continuing to climb through today. C) maximum U.S. oil production about 1995. D) maximum U.S. oil production about 1970.

13) Although considerable variation exists around the world, globally, the percent of fossil fuels that are used for the primary energy supply is more than:

A) 85% B) 60% C) 50% D) 35%

14) The most cleanly burning fossil fuel available that produces the least pollutants is:

A) coal, usually found in deposits deep within the Earth B) kerosene, found in deposits associated with oil wells C) natural gas, usually found in deposits associated with oil D) nuclear energy, produced from rocks and minerals within the Earth

15) More oil can be expected from a P50 of a 100 million barrel field than from an oil field with a:

A) P70 for a 100 million barrel field. B) P10 for a 150 million barrel field. C) P40 for a 200 million barrel field. D) P95 for a 90 million barrel field.

16) Because of the challenges associated with removing oil from the ground:

A) the first oil removed from a well is the most expensive to extract. B) enhanced recovery of oil is more expensive than secondary recovery. C) primary recovery of oil is more expensive than secondary recovery. D) only about 60% of the oil in a well can be removed by just pumping.

17) Radiation exposure immediately around a properly functioning nuclear power plant is about

A) less than 1% of natural background exposure. B) double normal environmental background exposure. C) 10 times higher than normal environmental background exposure. D) 100 times higher than normal environmental background exposure.



Unit 3 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

18) Which of the following statements is true?

A) Fission begins with one reactant and yields two atomic products and a release of energy. B) Fission begins with two reactants and yields one atomic product and a release of energy. C) Fusion combines three reactants and yields one atomic product and a release of energy. D) Fusion begins with one reactant and yields two atomic products and a release of energy.

19) Carbon-12 and carbon-14 are isotopes of carbon. These isotopes differ in the number of:

A) protons B) neutrons C) electrons D) protons, neutrons, or electrons

20) Nuclear bombs rely upon:

A) a domino effect that causes the nuclear fission of uranium-235 in less than a second B) a domino effect that causes the nuclear fusion of uranium-235 in less than a second C) an instantaneous fission of uranium-235 under extreme pressures D) an instantaneous fusion of uranium-235 under extreme pressures

21) Enrichment of nuclear fuel:

A) increases the relative concentration of uranium-235 to only 3-5% to avoid any possibility of nuclear explosion at higher percentages B) increases the relative concentration of uranium-235 to 30-50% to avoid a nuclear explosion at higher percentages C) decreases the relative concentration of uranium-235 from 60% to only 3-5% to avoid a nuclear explosion at higher percentages D) decreases the relative concentration of uranium-235 from 100% to 30-50% to avoid a nuclear explosion at higher percentages

22) The actual fission reactions that release energy in a nuclear power plant are about:

A) two-thirds from uranium-235 and one-third from uranium-239 B) one-third from uranium-235 and two-thirds from uranium-239 C) two-thirds from uranium-235 and one-third from plutonium-239 D) one-third from uranium-235 and two-thirds from plutonium-239

23) A self-amplifying reaction and a nuclear explosion in a nuclear power plant are prevented in large part by:

A) the regular addition of uranium-239 to the fuel B) control rods that absorb extra neutrons C) the production of plutonium-239 D) fuel rods that absorb tremendous amounts of heat



Unit 3 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

24) Compared to a nuclear plant, a coal-fired plant:

A) releases more than 100 times more radioactivity because of radioactive elements in coal. B) requires much less mining and results in fewer mining deaths. C) contributes to acid rain, and a nuclear plant does not. D) emits much less carbon dioxide.

25) Radioactive wastes consist of:

A) the direct products of fission. B) the indirect products of fission. C) the direct and indirect products of fusion. D) the direct and indirect products of fission.



Unit 4 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

Multiple Choice Questions (Enter your answers on the enclosed answer sheet)

1) About how much of the sun’s radiation would strike the Earth if the Earth did not have its atmosphere?

A) about 10 times more B) about twice as much C) it would be about the same D) about half as much

2) With all of the sun’s energy striking the Earth every second of every day, why doesn’t the Earth overheat and kill us all?

A) The Earth is so large and dense that it absorbs all of this heat. B) The Earth is overheating regionally, melting rocks into the lava of volcanoes. C) The Earth maintains a balance by radiating this heat back into space. D) The atmosphere of the Earth prevents the solar radiation from reaching the Earth’s surface.

3) New buildings that receive the energy star rating are recognized for:

A) using solar or geothermal for at least 30% of the building’s energy needs. B) using solar power for at least 50% of the building’s energy needs. C) using wind power for at least 20% of the building’s energy needs. D) using 40% less energy than other buildings in their class.

4) Photovoltaic cells are commonly used to power:

A) calculators. B) lighthouses. C) lawn mowers. D) industrial manufacturing.

5) Solar trough technology converts

A) the ultraviolet light in sunlight directly into electricity. B) the heat of the sun into steam to drive a turbogenerator. C) sunlight into electricity which then produces steam heat. D) the direct current generated by photovoltaic cells into alternating current.

6) As sun shines on its leaves, a bean plant uses the light in photosynthesis to make beans. This entire process represents, in this sequence, the:

A) generation, collection, and conversion of energy B) storage of energy, collection, and conversion C) conversion, collection, and storage of energy D) collection, conversion, and storage of energy



Unit 4 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

7) Which one of the following does not represent indirect solar energy?

A) nuclear fission B) dams C) firewood D) windmills

8) In passive solar units that heat water, the water moves because:

A) flat-plate collectors are facing the sun B) heated water rises up from low-positioned flat-plate collectors to the water tank C) wind-powered pumps move the water through the system D) an electric water pump moves the water through the system

9) Risk in environmental health is most related to:

A) hazards B) vulnerability C) hazards multiplied by vulnerability D) hazards or vulnerability

10) Hazard is anything that can cause any of the following EXCEPT:

A) injury or death to humans B) probability of suffering C) damage to personal or public property D) deterioration or destruction of environmental components

11) The ratio of weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters is the:

A) body mass index. B) body height matrix. C) morbidity rate. D) none of the above

12) The Centers for Disease Control employs many people who study epidemiology. These people might be interested in:

A) identifying new types of infectious disease B) the prevention of infectious disease C) the worldwide distribution of infectious disease D) identifying, tracking the spread of, and preventing infectious disease



Unit 4 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

13) What has overtaken tuberculosis as the disease that causes the most adult deaths worldwide?

A) Malaria B) Measles C) Syphilis D) AIDS

14) The WHO has stated that _____________ is the world’s biggest killer.

A) obesity B) poverty C) high cholesterol D) high blood pressure

15) Over the past 50 years, global life expectancy has:

A) decreased by about 5 years, due primarily to increases in viral infections B) stayed about the same, due to new diseases spread by global climate change C) risen about 5 years due to the development of many poor nations D) risen more than 20 years due to better health care and nutrition worldwide

16) Risk management involves:

A) a thorough review of the information available pertaining to the hazard in question and the risk characterization of that hazard. B) a decision to as to whether the weight of the evidence justifies a regulatory action. C) none of the above D) both A and B.

17) Which of the following is a good example of a cultural hazard to public health?

A) During an earthquake in Japan, people are killed by falling pieces of a building. B) Air pollution near an oil refinery releases known carcinogens into the air. C) People living in southern Africa face some of the highest risks of developing tuberculosis. D) Eating a high-fat diet and engaging in little exercise, a man increasingly becomes obese.

18) The thinning of the troposphere away from the equator is primarily a result of:

A) land masses moving towards the poles B) shifting of the continental plates due to plate tectonics C) differences in solar energy striking the Earth D) the number of clouds in the mesosphere and thermosphere



Unit 4 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

19) In a Hadley cell:

A) warm air rises and cool air falls B) cool air rises and warm air falls C) warm water rises and cool water falls D) cool water rises and warm water falls

20) __________________ are alternative chemical configurations of a given compound.

A) Mitigations B) Adaptations C) Convections D) Isotopes

21) The third-most important GHG is:

A) water vapor. B) nitrous oxide. C) methane. D) chlorofluorocarbons.

22) Examining your flight plans for a trip from Atlanta, Georgia, to Seattle, Washington, and back, you notice that the total time in the air for the flight to Seattle is much longer than the flight back to Atlanta. Then it occurs to you that this is probably because of the impact of:

A) the jet stream B) several weather fronts along the way C) the mixing of the troposphere and stratosphere D) changes in time zones as you fly between the east and the west

23) The effect of the 2008 recession has

A) speeded up the flight from inner cities to suburbs. B) made existing properties more valuable. C) greatly slowed the suburban building boom and the purchase of new houses. D) reversed the movement to suburbs, increasing the pressure to find housing in the inner city.



Unit 4 Examination


GED 108 Environmental Science

24) Over the past 60 years, as people moved from U.S. cities to suburbs, the people that were left behind in the cities were primarily

A) older, poor people representing ethnic minorities. B) younger, wealthy people representing ethnic minorities. C) older and wealthy Caucasians. D) younger Caucasians.

25) _________________ ranges from supporting and voting for particular candidates to expressing your support for particular legislation through letters or phone calls.

A) Lifestyle choices B) Membership in nongovernmental organizations C) Political involvement D) None of the above

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