Green Generation

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Green Generation
Life Science & Study Event
Forum Threads 2015 2014 2013
Tests 2015 2014
Test Exchange Archive
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Question Marathons 2015
Division B Champion Solon Middle School
Division C Champion Fayetteville-Manlius High School

Green Generation is a new event in 2015 that is running for both divisions B and C. In 2015, its views are focused on aquatic issues, air quality issues and climate change. In 2016, it will focus on terrestrial issues and population growth issues.


Event Overview

According to the most recent rules released by the national committee, in Green Generation, "students will demonstrate an understanding of general ecological principles, the history and consequences of human impact on our environment, solutions to reversing trends and sustainability concepts ." It contains elements of Ecology, Water Quality, and Wind Power, as well as other topics.

Teams are only allowed one two-sided note sheet, a writing implement, and a non-graphing calculator.

General Principles of Ecology

Please see the main Ecology page for more information.

Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with one another and with their environment. Environment can be split into two components; the living portion, termed the biotic component (e.g., organisms), and the nonliving portion, termed the abiotic component (e.g., air, soil, water, etc.).

Human Impacts

There are many visible human impacts on the environment. However, not all of them are easy to see, and there are many different ways that humans can negatively affect the world around them.

Aquatic Environment

About 40% of all humans live within 100 km of a coastline, so humans have a large impact on aquatic environments.

Aquatic Pollutants

Dead Zones

A "dead zone" occurs when the aquatic environment is very low on dissolved oxygen. Many aquatic organisms depend on oxygen to survive, so with low concentrations of oxygen, organisms will die out or leave for other areas with higher oxygen levels. This creates a dead zone with very little aquatic life.

The state of having low oxygen levels is also known as hypoxia. The state of almost no dissolved oxygen is known as anoxia.

Air Quality

The release of greenhouse gases into the air affects the quality of the air we breathe, since certain particulates can cause discomfort or even diseases.

Atmospheric Pollutants

Acid Rain

Also see Ecology#Acid Rain.

Acid rain is the effect that occurs when greenhouse gases, primarily sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides, are dissolved into water droplets in the air. This leads to a high concentration of hydrogen ions in the rain, which in turn results in an acidic solution (ph below 7).

Climate Change

Please see Ecology#Global Warming and Meteorology/Climate#Greenhouse Gases for more information.

Climate Change is defined as the change in weather patterns over an extended period of time. Factors that can determine and affect climate are called forcing mechanisms. Forcing mechanisms can be further classified as either internal or external. In Green Generation, the greatest emphasis is on external forcing mechanisms, primarily human influences.

2016 Topics

Population Growth and Terrestrial Issues (Not part of 2015 event)

Solutions and Sustainability


Bioremediation is the use of biological organisms to clean up an environment. Generally the term refers to the use of microbes to decontaminate a polluted area, but the term can apply to plants and fungi as well.

Renewable Energy

Please see Physical Science Lab#Renewable Energy for more information.

Everyday Solutions

See Also

Water Quality
Wind Power
Ecology section of Remote Sensing

External Links

Most recent National rules (1/7/14)
New York State trial rules

2013 National Tournament Trial Events

Division B: Green Generation · Invasive Species | Division C: Geologic Mapping · Green Generation