Global Warming Flash Cards (3 pages)

On this page, you can familiarize yourself with the glossary to our site, if you want to learn more about a separate lexicological element, custom papers online and continue reading the texts on our resource.




layer of atmosphere (stratosphere) made up of O3 molecules -- filters out most of harmful ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun

incandescent light bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs work on the principle of resistance to electricity. A filament is stretched between two poles. Because the filament "resists" the flow of electricity, it glows. The problem here is that the filament also gives off a LOT of HEAT; thus, an incandescent light bulb is very wasteful of energy since most of the electricity goes into producing heat and not light.

fluorescent light bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs produce light by using electricity to "excite" gases inside the tube. Very little heat is given off and so fluorescent bulbs are much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs.

3 greenhouse gases

(1) Carbon dioxide -- CO2; (2) chlorofluorocarbons -- CFCs; (3) methane -- CH4

ultraviolet radiation

Ultraviolet radiation comes from the sun and in strong doses can produce skin cancer and eye cataracts. The ozone layer filters out most of the harmful ultraviolet radiation reaching our planet from the sun.


Chlorine (Cl) is an efficient destroyer of ozone in the high atmosphere over the Arctic and Antarctic. It is created by the breakdown of CFCs at the poles due to the cold temperatures.


Bromine (Br) is an efficient destroyer of ozone in the high atmosphere over the Arctic and Antarctic. It is created by the breakdown of CFCs at the poles due to the cold temperatures.


Better known as CFCs (Cl2F2C), these compounds are a danger in the environment because they contribute to the breakdown of high atmosphere ozone. CFCs are used as propellants in spray cans, blowing agents in foam, cleaning agents for microchips, and cooling fluids in air conditioners and refrigerators.


Combustion is the process of burning. It is accompanied by the production of heat and often flame. When a material undergoes "combustion," it burns.

3 major fossil fuels

coal, oil, and natural gas


A factory where raw oil is cleaned up and purified (that is, "refined") and turned into gasoline.

nonrenewable resources

A nonrenewable resource is one that cannot be restored once it is used up. Coal, oil, and natural gas are examples of "nonrenewable" resources because when there is no more to be found -- the supply is gone forever. We cannot make more coal, more oil, or more natural gas.

renewable resource

Renewable resources are ones that can be restored and reused -- examples include solar power, plant power, wind power, and geothermal power.

4-5 energy conservation measures

1. Use low flow shower heads; 2. Turn down the water heater to 115-120 degrees; 3. Insulate your water heater; 4. Drive an energy efficient car (4 cylinders or even electric!); 5. Turn the lights off when you leave a room; 6. Carpool; 7. Insulate your house; 8. Replace single pane windows with more energy efficient double or triple pane windows

efficiency of machines

Energy efficiency refers to the energy that goes INTO a machine versus the work that comes OUT of the machine. No machine is 100% efficient because some efficiency is lost due to friction of moving parts and heat generation.


Insulation is a building material used on walls, floors, and ceilings. Its purpose is to keep heat IN and cold OUT or..... keep cold IN and heat OUT.

energy efficient devices

1. low flow shower heads; 2. efficient electric motors; 3. fluorescent lights; 4. 4 cylinder cars (the fewer the number of cylinders the better); 5. energy efficient electrical appliances such as refrigerators, water heaters, motors

Converting Celsius to Fahrenheit

F = C * 1.8 + 32

global warming

Term used to describe the heating up of the atmosphere due to the presence of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, CFCs, and methane


chlorofluorocarbons -- a greenhouse gas used in spray cans, as a blowing agent for foam, as a cleaning agent for microchips, and as a fluid in refrigeration and air conditioning units.

Projected temperature increases for POLAR, TEMPERATE, and TROPICAL climate zones

POLAR = 10-12 degrees F; TEMPERATE = 6 degrees F; TROPICAL = 2-4 degrees F


Carbon dioxide -- a greenhouse gas. Produced by all vehicles using a fossil fuel for power -- gasoline or diesel. CO2 is also produced when wood is burned.


Chlorofluorocarbon -- CFC -- a greenhouse gas

winter vortex

A swirling wind at the South Pole (Antarctica) that moves the ozone hole into an "S" shape that can then extend the ozone hole over Australia.


Hydrocarbons are a product of burning fossil fuels -- gasoline in particular. It is the hydrocarbons that give gasoline its great energy potential as a fuel.

oxides of nitrogen

An ingredient in photochemical smog. Oxides of nitrogen are produced by diesel engines and include NO and NO2.

FORMULA for photochemical smog

hydrocarbons + oxides of nitrogen + sunlight --> photochemical smog


Part of the light spectrum that shows the presence of HEAT. In the Osage, Iowa video segment the power company took infrared pictures of houses at night in the winter to show homeowners how much HEAT was escaping their houses. Cold areas of the houses (insulated) were dark and warm areas (showing heat coming out through the windows and around doors) were white.

methane hydrate

"Ice that burns." Methane hydrate looks like regular "ice," but when you put a match next to it the methane catches fire and it burns.

Volvo LCP

Volvo, a Swedish car company, created the "Light Component Project" in response to the oil crisis of the 1970s. The prototype (only 4 were made) could achieve 100 mpg at highway speeds.

5 facts about the Volvo LCP

1. adjustable steering wheel and pedals; 2. 0-60 in 11 sec.; 3. 65 mpg average; 4. 100 mpg at highway speeds; 5. keypad entry system; 6. light weight materials; 7. 1 driver + 3 passengers; 8. only four were made; 9. you can't buy one now


Parts per million --- used to measure the amount of ozone in the air. The worst ozone day on record for Los Angeles registered 0.390 parts per million ozone concentration. This same amount of ozone caused an athlete to STOP exercising one hour short of his 3 hour test because of shortness of breath, chest pains, coughing, eye irritation, and runny nose.

effects of ozone on plants, people, and materials

PLANTS --- cracking and wrinkling of leaves; PEOPLE --- eye irritation, coughing, shortness of breath, headaches, runny nose, nausea; MATERIALS -- cracking of rubber

catalytic converter

A box attached to the exhaust pipes of all cars and trucks. It "filters out" harmful pollutants coming out of the tail pipe.


Term for "photochemical smog" -- ground level ozone


protected environmental area in the North Sea along the shore of the Netherlands close to the mouth of the Rhine River. This is where the North Sea Seals were getting sick from PCBs

indicator species

An animal species that responds FIRST to environmental pollution by getting sick or suffering deformities or dying.

Rhine River

River in Europe that starts in Switzerland and winds its way to Rotterdam in Denmark. This is the river that carried bentazone from the BASF plant down river to Amsterdam. This is the river that carried PCBs down river to end up in fish that the North Sea Seals ate.


a pesticide that was found in the water supply of Amsterdam

4-5 sea level rise flooding areas

Florida Keys, NC Outer Banks, Long Island, Cape Cod, Bangladesh, Maldives, Indonesia -- ANY country or state with a coastline!


A global warming gas produced by cattle during digestion, by rice paddies, and by coal mines


This is the country that global warming scientists used to verify the computer climate models. They predicted that this country was wet with lots of huge lakes 10,000 years ago --- and --- they found out it was true.


a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) when it is released into the atmosphere as tiny metal particles


a cancer-causing substance


polychlorinated biphenols -- compounds used by the electrical industry in the production of electrical transformers. When released by mistake into the environment PCBs interfere with the immune system (animals get sick more easily) and reproductive system.