Test your knowledge of planetary threats


Take our quiz to test your knowledge of some of the threats facing our planet!

Marine animals are impacted by ocean plastic because:

It traps them, and when they eat it, it can starve them. Some animals, like seabirds, get entangled in the mess or mistake the brightly colored plastic bits for food. Plastic makes them feel full when they're not, so they starve to death.

Approximately how long are fossil fuels going to last (at the present level of consumption)?

Scientists estimate that we've consumed about 40% of the world's oil. According to present estimates, at this rate, we'll run out of oil and gas in 50 years or so, and in about a century for coal. However, there are other forms of renewable energy we could draw from, such as hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomasses.

What is the biggest cause of deforestation?

The biggest cause of deforestation is the production of food, with meat, soy, and palm oil production some of the biggest drivers of forest loss.

What may cause a species to become less genetically diverse?

Both of the answers are actually correct. Species that lack genetic diversity due to isolation or low population numbers are much more vulnerable to fluctuations caused by climate change, disease or habitat fragmentation.

How might smartphones be linked to climate change?

Phone production requires petroleum - also sometimes referred to as crude oil - one of the main drivers of climate change. The ingredients we mine to make our phones aren’t infinite. One day, they’ll simply run out, and we haven’t yet discovered effective replacements for some.

Melting ice causes Earth to warm even further.

The more polar ice caps melt, the less sunlight they're able to reflect, making the oceans warm even faster. Sea levels rise, coastal populations are threatened with flooding, natural ecosystems are disrupted, and the weather becomes more extreme over time.

How long does plastic take to break down?

Plastic takes between 500 and 1,000 years to break down. Plastic is made from polymers - long repeating chains of molecule groups. In nature, polymers exist everywhere–the walls of cells, silk, hair, insect carapaces, DNA. However, it's also possible to create them - and since since synthetic polymers are so durable, it takes a long time for them to break down.

Evidence of human influence is found in what part of the ocean?

All of the above are true. With roughly 50% of the world's population living within 100 kilometers of the coastline and with most of the remainder living close enough to lakes, rivers, or swamps - all of which ultimately lead to the ocean - virtually every single person on the planet has the opportunity to influence the general health and nature of the world ocean. Evidence of human influence is seen in every part of the ocean, no matter how deep, no matter how distant.

The mass restoration of the natural world is widely known as:

All over the world, new movements are trying to catalyze the restoration of nature in a process called rewilding. This means undoing some of the damage we've caused and reestablishing species which have been driven out.

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Posted on 01 July 2020


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