Test Your Eco-Knowledge: Top GK Questions and Answers on Environment & Ecology

Environment & Ecology

Understanding the Environment & Ecology is crucial for sustaining life on Earth. Key concepts include the greenhouse effect, global warming, and renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. Conservation efforts like reforestation and the establishment of marine protected areas are essential in preserving biodiversity. The Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement are significant international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ecosystems, which consist of biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components, require balance and face threats from pollution, deforestation, and invasive species. Sustainable development aims to meet current needs without compromising future generations, and practices such as organic farming and renewable energy usage are steps toward this goal.

Critical ecological processes like the carbon and nitrogen cycles, photosynthesis, and ecological succession maintain the health of our planet. Environmental ethics and eco-friendly practices like green building and zero-waste policies contribute to a healthier, more sustainable world.

Here are 100 General Knowledge Questions and Answers on Environment & Ecology:

Environment & Ecology

1. What is the greenhouse effect?

Answer: The greenhouse effect is the process by which certain gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, keeping the planet warmer than it would be otherwise.

2. What is global warming?

Answer: Global warming refers to the long-term increase in Earth’s average surface temperature due to human activities, primarily the emission of greenhouse gases.

3. What is the Kyoto Protocol?

Answer: The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and human-made CO2 emissions are driving it.

4. What are fossil fuels?

Answer: Fossil fuels are energy resources like coal, oil, and natural gas formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals over millions of years.

5. What is deforestation?

Answer: Deforestation is the clearing or thinning of forests by humans to make the land available for other uses.

6. What is biodiversity?

Answer: Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth, including the variety of species, ecosystems, and genetic diversity within species.

7. What is an ecosystem?

Answer: An ecosystem is a community of living organisms interacting with their physical environment.

8. What is sustainable development?

Answer: Sustainable development is the practice of meeting current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

9. What is the Paris Agreement?

Answer: The Paris Agreement is an international treaty aimed at reducing carbon emissions and limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

10. What is acid rain?

Answer: Acid rain is rain that is acidic due to the presence of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the atmosphere, which combine with water vapor.

11. What is an endangered species?

Answer: An endangered species is a species at risk of extinction due to loss of habitat, changes in climate, overhunting, or other factors.

12. What are renewable energy sources?

Answer: Renewable energy sources are energy sources that are replenished naturally, such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power.

13. What is the ozone layer?

Answer: The ozone layer is a layer in the Earth’s stratosphere that contains a high concentration of ozone (O3) and protects life by blocking most of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.

14. What causes ocean acidification?

Answer: Ocean acidification is caused by the absorption of excess atmospheric CO2 by the oceans, leading to a decrease in pH levels.

15. What is the carbon cycle?

Answer: The carbon cycle is the process through which carbon is exchanged between the atmosphere, oceans, soil, and living organisms.

16. What is desertification?

Answer: Desertification is the process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture.

17. What are wetlands?

Answer: Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil, either permanently or seasonally, and include marshes, swamps, and bogs.

18. What is a carbon footprint?

Answer: A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted directly and indirectly by human activities, typically measured in equivalent tons of CO2.

19. What is reforestation?

Answer: Reforestation is the process of planting trees in an area where the forest has been depleted.

20. What is environmental pollution?

Answer: Environmental pollution is the contamination of the natural environment, which can cause adverse changes and affect ecosystems.

21. What is conservation?

Answer: Conservation is the sustainable management of natural resources to prevent exploitation, destruction, or degradation.

22. What is an invasive species?

Answer: An invasive species is a non-native species that spreads rapidly in a new environment and can cause harm to native species, ecosystems, and economies.

23. What is ecological footprint?

Answer: An ecological footprint measures the human demand on Earth’s ecosystems and the amount of natural capital used each year.

24. What is an environmental impact assessment (EIA)?

Answer: An EIA is a process that evaluates the environmental effects of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural, and human-health impacts.

25. What is noise pollution?

Answer: Noise pollution is unwanted or harmful noise that disrupts the natural balance and can have adverse health effects on humans and wildlife.

26. What are biotic factors?

Answer: Biotic factors are the living components of an ecosystem, such as plants, animals, and microorganisms.

27. What are abiotic factors?

Answer: Abiotic factors are the non-living components of an ecosystem, such as sunlight, temperature, and soil.

28. What is an ecological niche?

Answer: An ecological niche is the role and position a species has in its environment, including all its interactions with the biotic and abiotic factors.

29. What is habitat fragmentation?

Answer: Habitat fragmentation occurs when a large, continuous habitat is divided into smaller, isolated sections due to human activities.

30. What is a keystone species?

Answer: A keystone species is a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend; if it were removed, the ecosystem would change drastically.

31. What is the water cycle?

Answer: The water cycle is the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth through processes like evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and runoff.

32. What is a food web?

Answer: A food web is a complex network of feeding relationships between organisms in an ecosystem.

33. What is primary succession?

Answer: Primary succession is the process of community development on newly formed or exposed geological substrates, such as lava flows or areas left by retreating glaciers.

34. What is secondary succession?

Answer: Secondary succession is the process of community redevelopment in an area where a disturbance has destroyed a previously existing community but left the soil intact.

35. What is a biome?

Answer: A biome is a large, naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, such as a forest or tundra.

36. What is the nitrogen cycle?

Answer: The nitrogen cycle is the series of processes by which nitrogen and its compounds are interconverted in the environment and in living organisms, including nitrogen fixation and decomposition.

37. What is eutrophication?

Answer: Eutrophication is the process by which a body of water becomes overly enriched with nutrients, leading to excessive growth of algae and depletion of oxygen.

38. What is ecological balance?

Answer: Ecological balance is a state of dynamic equilibrium within a community of organisms in which genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity remain relatively stable.

39. What is the significance of mangroves?

Answer: Mangroves are coastal forests that provide critical habitat for marine life, protect shorelines from erosion, and act as buffers against storm surges and tsunamis.

40. What is urban sprawl?

Answer: Urban sprawl refers to the uncontrolled expansion of urban areas into the surrounding rural land, leading to habitat destruction and increased pollution.

41. What is a carbon sink?

Answer: A carbon sink is a natural or artificial reservoir that absorbs and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, such as forests, oceans, and soil.

42. What is photosynthesis?

Answer: Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water.

43. What is ecological restoration?

Answer: Ecological restoration is the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.

44. What is a trophic level?

Answer: A trophic level is a step in the food chain of an ecosystem, representing the flow of energy and nutrients from primary producers to apex predators.

45. What is climate change?

Answer: Climate change refers to significant changes in global temperatures and weather patterns over time, primarily due to human activities like burning fossil fuels.

46. What is a wildlife corridor?

Answer: A wildlife corridor is a strip of natural habitat connecting populations of wildlife separated by human activities or structures.

47. What is bioremediation?

Answer: Bioremediation is the process of using microorganisms or plants to detoxify and restore polluted and contaminated environments.

48. What is an ecological reserve?

Answer: An ecological reserve is a protected area set aside for the purpose of preserving a particular ecosystem and its biodiversity.

49. What is renewable energy?

Answer: Renewable energy is energy derived from resources that are replenished naturally, such as solar, wind, and hydro power.

50. What is the role of the IPCC?

Answer: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assesses scientific information related to climate change to inform policymakers and the public.

51. What are greenhouse gases?

Answer: Greenhouse gases are gases in Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor.

52. What is overfishing?

Answer: Overfishing is the depletion of fish stocks due to excessive fishing, which disrupts marine ecosystems and economies.

53. What is a habitat?

Answer: A habitat is the natural environment in which a species lives and grows.

54. What is the hydrological cycle?

Answer: The hydrological cycle is another term for the water cycle, describing the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth.

55. What is a carbon credit?

Answer: A carbon credit is a permit allowing the holder to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases, used to incentivize the reduction of emissions.

56. What is an ecological hotspot?

Answer: An ecological hotspot is a region with significant biodiversity that is under threat from human activities.

57. What is sustainable agriculture?

Answer: Sustainable agriculture is farming that meets current food needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs, focusing on environmental health, economic profitability, and social equity.

58. What is a bioindicator?

Answer: A bioindicator is a species or group of species used to assess the health of an environment or ecosystem.

59. What is integrated pest management (IPM)?

Answer: IPM is an approach to controlling pests using a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, and the use of resistant varieties.

60. What is a transboundary pollution?

Answer: Transboundary pollution is pollution that originates in one country but can cause damage in another country’s environment, crossing borders through air, water, or soil.

61. What is a marine protected area (MPA)?

Answer: An MPA is a region of the ocean designated for conservation and managed for the protection of natural and cultural resources.

62. What is climate adaptation?

Answer: Climate adaptation refers to the process of adjusting to actual or expected climate changes and its effects to reduce harm or exploit beneficial opportunities.

63. What is agroforestry?

Answer: Agroforestry is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and livestock.

64. What is a watershed?

Answer: A watershed is an area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet such as the outflow of a reservoir, mouth of a bay, or any point along a stream channel.

65. What is biomagnification?

Answer: Biomagnification is the process by which the concentration of toxic substances increases in each successive link in the food chain.

66. What is the role of wetlands in the environment?

Answer: Wetlands provide critical ecosystem services such as water filtration, flood control, carbon storage, and habitat for a wide range of species.

67. What is afforestation?

Answer: Afforestation is the process of planting trees in a barren land or converting a non-forest land into a forest.

68. What is the precautionary principle?

Answer: The precautionary principle is the approach of taking preventive action in the face of uncertainty, to avoid harm to the environment or human health.

69. What is methane?

Answer: Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential many times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

70. What is an environmental audit?

Answer: An environmental audit is a systematic evaluation of how well an organization is performing in terms of environmental management.

71. What is carbon sequestration?

Answer: Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide to mitigate or defer global warming.

72. What is a symbiotic relationship?

Answer: A symbiotic relationship is an interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.

73. What is eco-efficiency?

Answer: Eco-efficiency is the practice of creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution.

74. What is the role of bees in the ecosystem?

Answer: Bees are crucial pollinators for many plants and crops, playing a key role in food production and biodiversity.

75. What is an environmental management system (EMS)?

Answer: An EMS is a framework that helps an organization achieve its environmental goals through consistent review, evaluation, and improvement of its environmental performance.

76. What is a biodegradable substance?

Answer: A biodegradable substance is one that can be broken down by natural processes into harmless substances.

77. What is thermal pollution?

Answer: Thermal pollution is the degradation of water quality by any process that changes ambient water temperature, often due to industrial processes.

78. What is a food chain?

Answer: A food chain is a linear sequence of organisms through which nutrients and energy pass as one organism eats another.

79. What is ecological resilience?

Answer: Ecological resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly.

80. What is environmental justice?

Answer: Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people in environmental policies and practices, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income.

81. What is a carbon offset?

Answer: A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere.

82. What is a rainwater harvesting system?

Answer: A rainwater harvesting system collects and stores rainwater for later use, typically for irrigation or domestic use, reducing demand on municipal water supplies.

83. What is overgrazing?

Answer: Overgrazing occurs when plants are exposed to intensive grazing for extended periods of time, or without sufficient recovery periods, leading to land degradation.

84. What is an ecosystem service?

Answer: Ecosystem services are benefits provided by ecosystems to humans, including food, water, flood control, soil stabilization, and pollination.

85. What is an energy audit?

Answer: An energy audit is an assessment that shows how much energy a home or building consumes and identifies ways to make it more energy-efficient.

86. What is green building?

Answer: Green building refers to the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle.

87. What is environmental ethics?

Answer: Environmental ethics is a branch of philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings to the environment and its non-human contents.

88. What is a zero-waste policy?

Answer: A zero-waste policy aims to minimize waste production by promoting the use of reusable and recyclable materials and reducing overall consumption.

89. What is a natural reserve?

Answer: A natural reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna, or other aspects of the natural environment, which is managed for conservation and to provide opportunities for study or research.

90. What is organic farming?

Answer: Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, and growth hormones.

91. What is a coral reef?

Answer: A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate.

92. What is energy conservation?

Answer: Energy conservation is the effort made to reduce the consumption of energy by using less of an energy service.

93. What is ecological succession?

Answer: Ecological succession is the process of change in the species structure of an ecological community over time.

94. What is an energy star rating?

Answer: An Energy Star rating is a certification given to products that meet certain standards of energy efficiency, established by the EPA and the Department of Energy.

95. What is fracking?

Answer: Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a technique used to extract oil and natural gas from deep underground by injecting high-pressure fluid into rocks to crack them open.

96. What is genetic diversity?

Answer: Genetic diversity is the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species, providing variation within species.

97. What is an endangered ecosystem?

Answer: An endangered ecosystem is one that is at risk of being damaged or destroyed, leading to the loss of species and biodiversity.

98. What is the role of algae in ecosystems?

Answer: Algae play a crucial role in ecosystems as primary producers, forming the base of the food web in aquatic environments and producing oxygen through photosynthesis.

99. What is a landfill?

Answer: A landfill is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial, often the principal method of waste management.

100. What is eco-tourism?

Answer: Eco-tourism is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.


Conclusion

The intricate balance of our planet’s ecosystems and the sustainability of natural resources are vital to the health of the environment and humanity. By understanding and addressing environmental issues such as climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, we can implement effective conservation and sustainability practices. International agreements, sustainable development, and individual actions all play a role in fostering a healthier planet. Through education and proactive measures, we can work towards a sustainable future that benefits both current and future generations.

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