Regents Living Environment Test Preparation Practice

    Human Influences On The Environment


    Base your answer to question 12-15 on the information and graph below and on your knowledge of biology.

    At an observatory in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, scientists have been measuring and collecting data related to changes in the atmosphere since the 1950s. The remote location of the observatory makes it ideal for studying atmospheric conditions that can cause climate change. One specific measurement taken is the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Information for a 7-year period is shown in the graph below.

    human influences on the environment, human influences on the Earth's resources, human influences on the environment, human influences on basic processes of natural ecosystems, human influences on the environment, human influences on global stabilities of ecosystems, human influences on the environment, human efforts on reverse of the damage to ecosystems fig: lenv12013-exam_g27.png


    Base your answers to questions 17 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    New York State relies on natural gas for 24% of its energy supply. It is estimated that large deposits of natural gas are located in New York State. It is possible to extract the gas via high-volume hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking). Hydrofracking involves freeing the natural gas by using a large amount of water treated with chemicals, which produces large quantities of waste products. Some people are in favor of hydrofracking, while others are against it. One side is concerned about the negative effect it will have on the environment. The other side points out the potential benefits it might provide.


    Base your answers to questions 18 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Green Algae Could Help Clean up Radioactive Nuclear Waste

    Recent studies have shown that the uses of green algae are boundless. First, scientists at R.I.T. used algae to synthesize biofuel, and recently scientists at Northwestern University and Argonne National have found that freshwater algae can remove strontium 90 from radioactive wastewater. These developments can significantly aid the future effort to clean up radioactive waste at the Fukushima Daichi Plant [a nuclear power plant in Japan]. Scientists discovered that the process begins when the green algae first absorb strontium, calcium and barium from water. The strontium and barium form crystals inside each algae cell. The crystals remain inside the cells, but the algae filters out and excretes calcium and other minerals that may be present. The strontium is then isolated, and thus able to be treated.

    Researchers are still figuring the best way to harness the algae’s capabilities. Since algae doesn’t differentiate between radioactive and inactive strontium (they are chemically identical), it is not known how the algae would hold up in a highly radioactive environment. But the good news is that they have been able to manipulate the algae’s process to be more strontium-selective, thus removing as much as possible.…