Honors Earth Science Unit 1 2009-2010 Earth’s Systems/Cycles Objectives

Honors Earth Science Unit 1 2009-2010
Earth’s Systems/Cycles Objectives
State Benchmarks for this unit:
III.A.1. The student will identify internal and external sources of energy for the Earth.
III.A.2. The student will apply the laws of thermodynamics to explain the cycling and transfer of
energy in the Earth system.
III.A.3. The student will illustrate how biological processes have played significant roles in determining
the character of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere over time.
III.B.2. The student will trace the cyclical movement of carbon and water through the lithosphere,
hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere.
III.B.4. The student will identify, predict and investigate the factors that influence the quality of
water and how it can be reused, recycled and conserved.
Systems and Cycles Unit Objectives:
1. Describe the Earth as a closed system.
Reference: class notes
2. Define and label the water cycle.
Key terms: evaporation, precipitation, condensation, transpiration, runoff, infiltration
3. Describe factors affecting the water cycle such as vegetation, rates of precipitation, soil composition,
slope, impervious surfaces and land use practices.
Reference: Fig 9-1, pp 211-13 and class notes
4. Describe and label the processes that absorb and release carbon. (The carbon cycle)
Key terms: photosynthesis, respiration, combustion, deforestation, decomposition, fossil fuels
Reference: class notes
5. Explain how humans affect the carbon cycle.
Reference: class notes
6. Trace the path of nitrogen through the nitrogen cycle.
Why is nitrogen an essential nutrient?
Where is most nitrogen stored?
Where else if nitrogen found?
How do plants get their nitrogen? Animals?
What organism converts atmospheric nitrogen to nitrates and other forms?
How are humans affecting the nitrogen cycle and how does this affect water and air quality?
7. State and use the first and second laws of thermodynamics.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed from one form to another. (By ordinary chemical
Energy becomes less and less useful as it changes form.
8. Be able to describe examples of energy transformations.
Reference: p. 69 Law of Conservation of matter and energy and class notes
9. Identify internal and external sources of energy for Earth.
Key terms: solar, geothermal and tidal energy
Reference: class notes