CTET 2016: Environmental Studies notes

Feb 9, 2016 15:10 IST

Environmental Studies notes for CTET 2016

After the notification of CTET exam to be conducted in February 2016 by Central board of secondary Education, aspirants will be busy for giving the final touch to their preparations. Paper I of CTET exam carries 150 multiple choice questions (MCQs). The major contents are, Child Development and Pedagogy, Language I, Language II, Mathematics and Environmental Studies each having same weightage (20 %). Environmental Studies may be an interesting subject having 30 questions. It is advised is to study the NCERT books from class 1 to 8 of to prepare well for CTET Exam. The current article will give few introductory points on Environmental Studies followed by interesting facts of the same.
The Environment studies is a multi-disciplinary science comprising of various branches of studies like chemistry, physical science, life science, agriculture, health, sanitary engineering etc.  Environment means surrounding around us which includes all those things on which we depend directly or indirectly, whether living things like animals, plants or non-living components like air, soil, water etc. Douglas and Holland have defined the environmental studies as‘The term environment is used to describe, in theaggregate, all the external forces, influences and conditions, which affect thelife, nature, behaviour and the growth, development and maturity of living organisms’. The main importance of environmental studies is to be aware and educate human beings regarding environmental issues at local, national and international levels and to know the more sustainable ways of living.


The Environment may be both physical and biological, including both living and non-living components.

(i) Physical Environment

The Physical Environment is classified into three broad categories viz.
(i) Solid,
(ii) Liquid
(iii) Gas.

These represent the following spheres:

(i) Atmosphere: It is the protective shell of gases surrounding our earth. The troposphere is the lowest layer and is only Illustration of the atmosphere around earth 12 kms thick. It is the only part warm enough for us to survive in. The stratosphere is 50 km thick and contains a layer of sulphates which is important for the formation of rain. It also contains a layer of ozone, which absorbs ultra-violet light’ known to cause cancer.

(ii) Hydrosphere: It is composed of various water bodies on the earth. It includes the oceans, lakes, rivers, etc.

(iii) Lithosphere: It contains various types of soils and rocks on the earth.

(iv) Biosphere: It is composed of all living organisms and their interactions with the environment, viz. atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere.
Processes in the biosphere include life and death, evolution and extinction. Within the biosphere the basic unit of analysis or study is the ecosystem. Thus, the biosphere is the global sum of all ecosystems.

(ii) Biological Environment

The biological of the environment consists of:
(i) Plants
(ii) Animals

Thus, the biotic environment further is divided into floral environment and faunal environment. All the organisms work to form their social groups and organizations at several levels. Thus, the social environment is formed. In this social environment the organism swork to derive matter from the physical environment for their sustenance and development.This process gives birth to economic environment. Man claims to be most skilled and civilized of all the organisms. This is the reason why his social organisation is most systematic. The three aspects of man, e.g. physical, social and economic, function in the biotic environment.
Need for public awareness

The study of an environment is necessary because it is essential to make the public aware of the formidable consequences of the degradation of environment. The world has to take reformative measures to face various environmental challenges (Growing Population, Poverty, Agricultural Growth, ground water, forest, land, genetic diversity, air and water pollution etc.) to be eco-friendly.

Few important points on environmental science:

•The World Environment day is observed on June 05.
•Separating Mesosphere from the stratosphere is transition zone called the stratopause.
•A zone with constant temperature in the atmosphere is called an Isothermal layer.
•The ionosphere zone of atmosphere extends approximately from 100 km 400 Km.
•The Temperature in thermosphere layer can be as high as 12000°C.
•The study of the reciprocal relationship between organisms and their environment is called Ecology.
•The ecological factors related to soil and substratum is called Edaphic factor.
•The floating aquatic plants are termed as Phytoplankton.
•Herbivores are Primary consumers.
•Autotrophic planktons are called Phytoplanktons
•Dead plant parts and animal remains are called detritus.
•Each step in a food chain represents a tropic level.
•Every food chain starts with a Producer.
•The pyramid of energy is always upright.
•Stepped cut-hill slope ecosystem is an example of Artificial biome.
•Undernourishment means Lack of sufficient calories in food.
•Coral reefs have the most diversity of all ecosystems on Earth.
•On land, areas near the equator tend to be more diverse because of the pleasant climate.
•Disasters tend to ruin an ecosystem but if biodiversity is high, the ecosystem will be able to recover quickly.
•Preserving a species and its habitat is one way to ensure an increase in biodiversity.
•The increase in global warming is a huge factor that decreases biodiversity by destroying habitats of certain organisms.
•Changes in ocean temperature, the length of seasons, and the amount of precipitation are all factors that affect the level of biodiversity.
•Planting certain types of trees outside your home or school is one way to combat the decrease in biodiversity because it helps control climate.
•A biodiversity hotspot is an area that contains organisms (both plants and animals) that do not live in any other part of the world.
•Madagascar is an example of a biodiversity hotspot because roughly 98% of its living organisms cannot survive anywhere else on Earth.
•About .1% of species are lost each year. Pollution and the introduction of foreign species are factors that contribute to the decrease in biodiversity by hindering the proper development of ecosystems.
•Some objects can store carbon for many years and are known as carbon sinks.
•Plants use carbon dioxide in the air to make their own food through a process called photosynthesis.
•When plants die and decompose, they could eventually become a fossil fuel and be burned to return as carbon dioxide in the air.
•Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is helpful because it helps keep our planet at a livable temperature.
•The ocean takes up quite a bit of carbon dioxide to provide nutrients for its plants.
•Living substances that contain carbon are known as organic.
•Carbon is the second most abundant substance in living organisms behind water.
•Humans can obtain carbon in the carbon cycle by eating plants or eating animals that eat plants.
•Roughly 99% of carbon is stored deep within the Earth’s surface.
•Carbon is so important that there is an entire branch of chemistry dedicated to it called organic chemistry.
•Carbon is very versatile in that it can combine with up to four other elements at the same time and can exist as a solid, liquid, or a gas.
•Carbon-14 dating is a technique used to determine the age of ancient artifacts and fossils.
•Carbon is number 4 on the most abundant elements in the universe list.
•Around 1.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere worldwide every day.
•Because of melting ice caps due to global warming, ships have recently been able to travel parts of the Artic that were never travelable before.
•Scientists suggest that by the year 2040 the Artic will have no ice during its summer season.
•There are five main greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, ozone, and nitrous oxide.
•The increased usage of fossil fuels is one reason why the greenhouse gases are increasing in the atmosphere.
•An increase in global warming has a direct effect on climate. This includes having much warmer summers and rainier winters.
•The meat industry contributes to the increase in global warming more than any other industry.
•Deforestation is also a big contributor of global warming.
•Because of the increase in temperature, ice caps have begun melting causing the sea level to rise.
•An increase in temperature and sea level causes algae to be stressed due to the decrease in sunlight.
•Global warming has caused an increase in health risk and 30 new infectious diseases have been introduced in the last 20 years.
•Many animals are unique to living in the tundra biome and if global warming continues to be a problem, these animals might become endangered or extinct.
•About 16% of our total energy comes from a renewable source.
•More than half of the renewable energy we use comes from biomass.
•A wind turbine converts wind into electricity and the largest one is 20 stories tall.
•Water is the most commonly used source of renewable energy.
•The sun, another source of renewable energy, provides enough energy every hour to provide power for the whole world for an entire year.
•The silicon in sand can be used to produce forms of electricity.
•Biodiesel is a type of fuel made from biomass such as vegetable oil and animal fats.
•Geothermal energy comes from heat stored deep within the Earth.
•The majority of renewable energy is used as a source of electricity.
•Renewable energy is also called clean energy because it does not produce pollution.
•Solar energy is taken from the light from the Sun's rays that hit the Earth.
•Thermal energy from the sun was first used by British astronomer John Herschel as he used a thermal box to cook food.
•Solar cells can directly use sunlight to generate electricity.
•Solar energy can sometimes be difficult because the amount of sunlight an area receives varies.
•Solar energy is the most plentiful form of energy found on Earth because it is found anywhere the Sun hits.
•The world's largest solar energy power plant is located in the United States in the state of California.
•Passive solar energy does not require any machinery because solar energy is used directly.
•With active solar energy, a device is needed that collects solar energy so that it may be pumped into an area.
•It takes less than 8 minutes for the light from the Sun to reach Earth.
•In order to use the wind to create electricity, it must be harnessed. The growing method around the world to harvest the wind for energy is through wind turbines. These wind turbines are as high as 20 stories and have three, 60-meter-long blades. As the wind blows the giant blades they transfer motion which is converted by a generator into power.
As this part is directly related to general awareness, so this may be interesting and scoring.  The Analysis shows that 80% of total questions from this part are of moderate level and only few may be towards tough side. I hope the short notes/points provided above will be helpful to candidates for last minute revision. I wish you all best of luck for your examination.

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