Basics of Energy and Environment | ESE General Studies
Environment is everything that is present in our surroundings – the place, things and everything around us; Everything runs on energy - this includes our body to the buildings we live, industries etc.
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The environment is everything that is present in our surroundings – the place, things and everything around us.
Environment is of two types natural environment and human environment.
What are the important topics in Energy and Environment ?
Basics of Environment
Ecosystem: the relation between the living organisms, their food habits, and their surroundings, etc.
Importance of biodiversity: Why are there so many species? How do they come to a place?
Environmental pollution and degradation
Climate change: Greenhouse gases and Ozone depletion
EIA – environmental impact assessment
Energy; solar, nuclear, and other renewable and non-renewable energy and energy conservation.
The relation between the living organisms, as well as the relation between the organisms and their surroundings, form an ecosystem. Large rain forest, grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, and even a small pond is an ecosystem.
Definition: An ecosystem is a functional unit that relies on the living and non-living aspects of the environment. Or, a community which is defined by the virtue of its environment.
The ecosystem is a community and it has a balance and lives in a harmonious stage.
Any extinction or imbalance causes disturbance (internal or external) in the ecosystem and it leads to the destruction of the ecosystem.
Balance is required for the smooth functioning of the ecosystem. But now there are many human interferences which disturbs the functioning of the ecosystem.
Study of organisms in relation to the surroundings in which they live. There should be no confusion between ecology and ecosystem as an ecosystem is a community and ecology is the study of it
Earth has different components or parts
Hydrosphere: the water available on the earth or the water components make up the hydrosphere.
Atmosphere: thin layers of air due to which it is possible to live on earth.
Lithosphere: the layer of earth, including rocks, minerals, soil, etc.
Biosphere: the hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere combine to form the biosphere where life is possible.
Atmosphere has five different layers;
Troposphere: where we live and it is here in this layer that all the weather phenomena such as rain, thunder, etc. occurs. The average height of this layer is 13kms. The temperature here decreases with height.
Tropopause: it is the layer that separates the troposphere and stratosphere. The temperature here is constant.
Stratosphere: it is the layer in which the ozone layer which protects us from the harmful rays of the sun is present. And because all the weather phenomena happen in the troposphere there is no cloud in this layer. The temperature in this layer is constant up to a height and then increases after it.
There is no disturbance in this layer and thus the wind blows horizontally and because of this factor this layer is best suitable for flying aircraft. This layer extends up to 50kms.
Stratopause: a thin layer that separates or eliminates the stratosphere and mesosphere.
Mesosphere: it is in this layer that the meteors which come into earth get burn. The temperature here is constant up to a certain height and then it decreases after it. The average distance here is 80kms.
Mesopause: a thin layer that separates the mesosphere from the thermosphere.
Thermosphere: it is in this layer that radio communications occur. This layer contains electrically charged ions and thus it is also called the ionosphere. The distance of this layer is 400kms. After this layer, the atmosphere becomes very less.
Exosphere: in this layer, the gravitational pull is very negligible as we have gone away from earth and because of that the air density is also very low. This is the last layer of the atmosphere.
Biodiversity is what we have on the earth, the collection of living and non-living things around us and the variety and variability of life on earth. Biodiversity is typically a measure of variation at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels. We have a warm climate and high primary productivity at the equator because the terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near the equator.
Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, and the biodiversity is very rich at the tropics.
Though these tropical forest ecosystems cover only less than 10 percent of the earth’s surface, they contain about 90 percent of the world’s species, that’s a lot.
This means most of the species population is located in the tropic forests.
Environmental impact assessment (EIA)
EIA or environmental impact assessment is the assessment of the likely human environmental health impact, the risk to ecological health, and changes that a new project may cause to nature or environment. We mostly use EIA to ensure that the decision-makers consider environmental issues and impacts before deciding whether or not with the new projects
Everything runs on energy - this includes our body to the buildings we live, industries etc. Energy comes in different forms and can be converted from one form to another.
Example: Drop a steel cup from a height - it hits the ground => Potential energy is converted to sound energy
It is classified at source as renewable and non-renewable energy
Renewable - can be replenished naturally - examples are solar energy, geothermal energy and tidal energy
Non-renewable - takes million of years to replenish these resources - examples are fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas.
APSEd ESE General Studies Package
Generally speaking from the last year patterns, questions are of two types.
1. General understanding of topics
For example, they ask questions like - Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is aimed to help ________.
If you have understood EIA, this question can be answered easily.
2. Specific questions/ terms
For example, they ask questions like - The ‘Minamata Tragedy’ was caused by the eating of fish growing in the Minamata Bay contaminated with _________.
This kind of questions needs extra reading after understanding the topics.
Our study package for ESE General Studies is designed as per this latest question pattern.