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Chemistry - Earth's Atmosphere
The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased dramatically due to the development of the motor car.

Chemistry - Earth's Atmosphere

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One topic looked at in high school Science is the changes which have and do occur on the Earth and in its atmosphere. This quiz focusses specifically on the Earth's atmosphere and the gasses found there.

1.
What natural process is thought to have created the early atmosphere and which was the main gas?
Volcanic action created the early atmosphere and carbon dioxide was the main gas
Photosynthesis created the early atmosphere and oxygen was the main gas
Cosmic rays created the early atmosphere and nitrogen was the main gas
Global warming created the early atmosphere and carbon dioxide was the main gas
The early Earth was a much more volcanically active place than it is now
2.
About how much oxygen is there in the atmosphere?
78%
62%
43%
21%
Only about a fifth of the atmosphere is life-sustaining oxygen
3.
The first green algae-like plants evolved about 2,000 million years ago. How would this have affected the early atmosphere?
It reduced the carbon dioxide levels and increased the amount of oxygen
It started to fix nitrogen into the soil
It converted methane into ammonia which was then converted to oxygen by animals
It would not have caused any changes to the early atmosphere
Photosynthesis by the earliest plants is thought to have converted a lot of the carbon dioxide into oxygen
4.
Argon is a noble gas and is inert (does not react with other substances). For that reason it is used in light bulbs but how is it obtained from the air?
The air is solidified and argon is collected as the solid air sublimes
The air is liquified and argon can be collected by fractional distillation
It can be filtered out from the air by using a special filter
It is made from other chemicals
Air is a mixture of gasses so if you cool it down enough, it will turn into a mixture of liquids that can be separated by fractional distillation
5.
One theory is that life on Earth started from chemicals in the early atmosphere. According to that theory, which chemicals are thought to have been involved?
Methane and carbon dioxide
Ammonia and oxygen
Ammonia and hydrocarbons
Hydrocarbons and oxygen
It has been suggested that lightning provided the energy for the chemical reactions to take place
6.
What may have happened to the rest of the carbon dioxide from the early atmosphere?
It has been lost into space
It has been changed into other gasses by radiation from the Sun
It was absorbed by the oceans and then has been locked into rocks like limestone
It has been absorbed by lava from volcanoes
Limestone is made under the sea from the mineral calcium carbonate and its formation required carbon dioxide. Carbonate containing rocks form on the sea bed
7.
As well as the main gasses, which of the following are found in the atmosphere in small proportions?
Argon
Carbon dioxide
Water vapor
All of the above
About 0.9% of the air you breathe is argon
8.
About how much of the atmosphere is nitrogen?
78%
62%
43%
21%
You are expected to know the proportions of the gasses in the atmosphere for the exam
9.
Why is nitrogen used in food packaging?
It makes the food lighter and easier to transport
It is cheaper than using all of the air
It makes food taste a lot better
It is unreactive and helps to keep the food fresher
Food goes off because it is exposed to oxygen and microorganisms. If nitrogen is used instead of air, there is no oxygen so the food is less likely to spoil before it reaches you since the bacteria can't thrive
10.
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has remained almost the same for 200 million years. Since the start of the twentieth century it has increased dramatically. What is thought to have caused this?
The increase in population
The development of the motor car
Nuclear power stations
The steel making industry
The curve showing the increase of carbon dioxide seems to have followed the development of the motor car. As cars have become more affordable, millions more have appeared on the roads, burning huge amounts of fossil fuels and releasing carbon dioxide that has been locked away for millions of years
Author:  Kev Woodward

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