Directions: The following questions will be the frqs of your first unit test. Subsequent tests will be preceded by several possible frqs (I will choose two to appear on the actual test). Each of the frqs are weighted equally



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Possible FRQs: Unit 1 test (chapters 1,2,3,4)


Directions: The following questions will be the FRQs of your first unit test. Subsequent tests will be preceded by several possible FRQs (I will choose two to appear on the actual test). Each of the FRQs are weighted equally; the suggested time is about 15 minutes for answering each question. Where calculations are required, clearly show how you arrived at your answer. Where explanation or discussion is required, support your answers with relevant information and/or specific examples.


  1. Read the following article from NPR news (September 13th, 2013) and answer the questions that follow.

'Rivers On Rolaids': How Acid Rain Is Changing Waterways

Something peculiar is happening to rivers and streams in large parts of the United States — the water's chemistry is changing. Scientists have found dozens of waterways that are becoming more alkaline. Alkaline is the opposite of acidic — think baking soda or Rolaids. Research published in the current issue of Environmental Science and Technology shows this trend to be surprisingly widespread, with possibly harmful consequences. What's especially odd about the finding is its cause: It seems that acid rain actually has been causing waterways to grow more alkaline.

The story started back in 1963 in a New Hampshire forest. A young scientist named Gene Likens found a stream there that was as acidic as tomato juice. Likens eventually found the culprit: acid rain. Industrial air pollution was acidifying water that rained down from the sky, killing trees and the ecosystems of streams in the East.

Now — 50 years later — there's less acid rain. But rivers aren't neutral, they're alkaline, and that seems to be the trend in lots of places. "The real shocker to me," Likens says, "was [that] we found it from New Hampshire to Florida, and in rivers and streams that drained agricultural land, forest land and urban land."

"We couldn't explain it," Kaushal says. Initially the scientists thought maybe the concrete and cement of pavement, highway overpasses or other structures were to blame. "One of the key ingredients of concrete is actually limestone," he says, and the mix of water and limestone release bicarbonate — essentially the same stuff that remedies acid indigestion.


But when Kaushal and Likens looked at waterways outside cities — running through forests, for example, or farmland — they found that these rural rivers and streams have been growing more alkaline over the past 25 years, too. Acid rain is largely behind the phenomenon, the scientists say. It's been eating away chunks of rock, especially limestone rock, and the runoff produces carbonates that flow into rivers. "We're basically dissolving the surface of the Earth," says Kaushal. "It's ending up in our water. It's like rivers on Rolaids. There's a natural antacid in these watersheds."



  1. The article above states that U.S. rivers and streams have become more alkaline. Explain how the pH values of these U.S. waterways have changed over the past 25 years.

  2. Acid rain is caused by industrial air pollution from sources such as factories and coal power plants. Explain how the issue described in the article could be an illustration of Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons.”

  3. Describe ONE ecosystem service that rivers and streams provide.

  4. Acid rain is a widespread phenomenon that is of great concern.

  1. Identify and describe ONE U.S. federal law that regulates acid rain-causing atmospheric pollution.

  2. Identify ONE U.S. agency responsible for the law identified in your answer to question 1 (d) (i).

  3. Identify and describe TWO economic tools that could be used to decrease industrial air pollution that causes acid rain.

  1. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), “Tuna and tuna-like species are very important economically and a significant source of food. They include approximately forty species occurring in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and in the Mediterranean Sea. “




    1. Use the assumptions below to answer the questions that follow. For each calculation, show all work.

4.0 x 106 tonnes (metric ton) of tuna were caught globally in 2010

The average tuna is 250 kg in mass

There are 1000 kg in one tonne

One tonne of tuna sold for $2000 (U.S.) in 2010



      1. Calculate the number of tuna in a metric ton (tonne).

      2. Calculate the number of tuna caught in 2010, based on your answer from 2 (a)(i).

      3. Calculate the total value of the 2010 global tuna catch, in U.S. dollars.

    1. List and describe ONE positive impact and ONE negative impact of such a robust tuna harvest in 2010.

    2. In 2011 NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) formally designated both the western Atlantic and eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stocks of bluefin tuna as “species of concern”, but deemed protected status unwarranted based on their studies.

      1. Identify and describe ONE U.S. federal law related to the protection of imperiled species.

      2. Identify and describe ONE international treaty related to the protection of imperiled species.






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