Area 1 Envirothon

Envirothon 2006

Lucas County

Aquatics Eco-station

  1. Global climate change, sometimes referred to as global warming may cause which of the following:
    1. Warmer winters
    2. Colder winters
    3. Increased frequency of extreme weather
    4. Flooding
    5. All of the above


  1. What is a possible benefit of global climate change?
    1. Some areas may experience longer growing seasons
    2. The gulf coast states will experience more hurricanes
    3. Pollutants will become more concentrated in water
    4. Glacial ice will start to melt


  1. How much of the EARTH’s fresh water is located in the Great Lakes?
    1. 0.5%
    2. 10%
    3. 20%
    4. 50%


  1. A “dead zone” forms in Lake Erie nearly every year. A “dead zone” is an area of anoxia (no oxygen) that forms beneath the thermocline when a lake or pond stratifies. Research shows that Lake Erie’s “dead zone” has increased in severity over the past 20 years. What is the connection between Lake Erie’s “dead zone” and global climate change?
    1. There is no connection between the “dead zone” and global climate change
    2. Global climate change may be causing the average air temperature of the Great Lakes area to increase. This increases evaporation from the lakes, making them shallower. A decrease in water volume would mean that pollutants, like fertilizers, would become concentrated in the lakes and cause more damage (i.e. increased algal blooms).
    3. Global climate change is causing the Great Lakes average air temperature to be colder. This decreases evaporation from the lakes, making them deeper, thereby allowing the anoxic areas to spread farther into other locations.
    4. Global climate change is causing the Great Lakes to receive increased amounts of rainfall. This should increase water levels in the Great Lakes, which should actually help with the “dead zone” problem. Higher water levels will help to disperse any incoming pollutants, like fertilizers, that may cause excess algal growth. 


  1. What is currently the most damaging pollutant in the Great Lakes?
    1. Invasive species
    2. Toxic substances like mercury
    3. Sedimentation
    4. Acid rain


  1. When you visited a beach on Lake Erie, you found that it was closed due to health concerns. You found a thick, green mat of algae floating on top of the water. Scientists at a local university tell you that it’s a blue-green algae called Microcystis. They also tell you that because of global climate change, you should expect to see more of these harmful blooms. Why is Microcystis such a big deal?
    1. Microcystis releases a toxin called Microcystin when digested. This toxin is potentially fatal to humans and animals.
    2. Microcystis gets into drinking water treatment facilities and causes taste and odor problems in municipal drinking water supplies.
    3. When major blooms of Microcystis die off and sink to the bottom, they can magnify the “dead zone” problem.
    4. All of the above.


  1. You farm 500 acres of land. Your primary crops are soybeans and corn. Lately, you have heard a lot about how farming negatively impacts local water bodies, including the Great Lakes, by adding excess phosphorus to the system. How might you reduce phosphorus run-off?
    1. Add buffer strips along your farm fields to catch sediment being washed away by rain
    2. Reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides
    3. Practice no-till farming
    4. All of the above


  1. How can wetlands help reduce the amount of pollutants going into water?
    1. Wetlands do not help reduce pollutants.
    2. Wetlands can be drained so that the water flows directly into the lake and leaves all of the mud in the wetland.
    3. Wetlands act like a sponge that will allow water to pass through slowly, but will hold onto sediment and other pollutants.
    4. Scientists have not done enough research to understand if wetlands reduce pollutants.


  1. Aquatic invasive species are causing heavy impacts to our native plants and animals. How might a warmer climate affect invasive species spread?
    1. Warmer climates may make it easier for species to move in and survive that normally couldn’t live in these areas.
    2. Warmer climates will kill all of the invasive species, thus making things better for native species.
    3. Warmer climates will not have any effect on invasive species.


  1. What uses the most freshwater in the United States?
    1. Washing our cars
    2. Taking a shower
    3. Drinking water
    4. Irrigation of crops


  1. Which word below defines a vast variety of life in all its forms, levels, and combinations within an area?
    1. Speciation
    2. Biodiversity
    3. Evolution
    4. Zoology


  1. The federal government may decide to allow Great Lakes water to be diverted to the arid southwest states because they are having a water crisis. The proposed plan could allow those states to skim almost an inch of water off the top of the Great Lakes over the next 30 years. What, if any, impact would skimming an inch of water off the top of the Great Lakes have?
    1. There will be no impact
    2. The impact will be catastrophic
    3. People will never notice if an inch of water is missing off the surface of the Great Lakes
    4. Lack of research does not allow us to answer this question yet


  1. Lake Erie is home to a very popular sport fish called the walleye. Walleye fishing brings millions of dollars into the economy of Ohio every year. Global climate change is predicted to negatively impact walleye and other economically important Great Lakes fish species. How might climate change do this?
    1. Rotifers, a type of zooplankton that baby walleye feed on, may not hatch at the same time the baby walleye hatch and the young walleye would starve to death.
    2. Because global climate change will likely make the water in the Great Lakes warmer, this should help the walleye because they are a warm water species.
    3. Because of temperature fluctuations in the water, walleye and other game fish may exhibit more extreme migrations. Most walleye only migrate into the central basin of Lake Erie. Temperature fluctuations may make them travel farther east, or even into another lake altogether.
    4. a. and c.
    5. b. and c.


  1. You are the mayor of a small community in Arizona, where you have seen drought after drought the past few years with no end in sight. Water reserves are running low. You have several options, some of which are expensive or unpleasant. Which one would you choose?
    1. Drill deeper wells because there is an un-limited supply of groundwater available and this will sustain the community for at least a few years.
    2. Though it is expensive, building a treatment plant that will clean human waste-water will extend the amount of water the community currently has.
    3. Having water pumped in is an expensive alternative, but that is the only option this community has.
    4. Put water restrictions into place. This is the cheapest option, but hard to control. This entails forcing people to take fewer showers, no washing cars, and no watering lawns.
    5. A combination of b, c, and d.


  1. Where does most of Lake Erie’s water come from?
    1. The upper Great Lakes
    2. Rivers, streams and wetlands that flow directly into the lake
    3. The ocean
    4. Rainfall on land near the lake


  1. What is NOT a major cause of the decline in Lake Erie’s water levels?
    1. Less snow pack in the upper Great Lakes
    2. Warmer temperatures are causing more evaporation
    3. Too little rain during the summer months
    4. Weather pattern changes in the Great Lakes watershed associated with global climate change


  1. Global climate change impacts ectotherms more than endotherms. An ectotherm is an animal that cannot control its body temperature so it relies on its environment to do it. Given this information, which animal below might be most affected by global climate change?
    1. Killer whale
    2. Human
    3. Beaver
    4. Rainbow trout


  1. Aquatic ecosystems are actually quite good at absorbing human impact. However, human impacts begin to add up and overload a system. Global climate change is a concern because many of our aquatic ecosystems are already under stress. What are some of stresses that our aquatic ecosystems are already experiencing?
    1. Invasion of non-native species
    2. Habitat destruction
    3. Fragmentation of water, forests, and other natural habitat
    4. Fertilizers, sewage, pesticides, and other chemical inputs
    5. All of the above are currently impacting our aquatic ecosystems


  1. What is causing global climate change?
    1. Emissions of carbon dioxide from burning of coal, oil, and gas
    2. Too much sunlight
    3. The glaciers melting and making the ocean too cold
    4. None of the above


  1. If global climate change is causing lower water levels in the Great Lakes due to increased evaporation, why are water levels in the oceans rising?
    1. All of the water from the Great Lakes is draining into the ocean and making its level rise
    2. The polar ice caps are melting and this is helping to increase sea level
    3. Most rain is falling over the ocean and not on land
    4. As water warms, it expands, thus it takes up more space
    5. b. and d.


  1. Carbon dioxide is a naturally-occurring gas, which our atmosphere will eventually absorb. How many long does carbon dioxide remain in the atmosphere?
    1. 20 days
    2. 1 year
    3. 50 years
    4. 120 years


  1. Which of these is an example of a climate?
    1. A sunny day
    2. A windy day
    3. A hot summer
    4. A rainy day


  1. How long has earth’s climate been changing?
    1. One hundred years
    2. One million years
    3. One billion years
    4. Five billion years


  1. At what point in time did humans begin adding a lot of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?
    1. The ice age
    2. The great depression
    3. The industrial revolution
    4. 5 years ago


  1. Why have plants and animals been able to adapt to changes in climate in the past?
    1. Humans protected them from changing climate
    2. Most past climate changes occurred slowly enough for plants and animals to adapt
    3. The climate has not changed in the past, so plants and animals did not have to adapt to a new environment
    4. Plants and animals always benefit from changes in climate