Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet (9th Edition)

Published by Wiley
ISBN 10: 1118427327
ISBN 13: 978-1-11842-732-3

Chapter 6 - Ecosystems: Concepts and Fundamentals - Critical Thinking Issue: 1

Answer

The second law of thermodynamics states that energy is transformed from a more useful state to a less useful state. This implies that there is no such thing as 100% efficient transfer of energy from one organism to another or from producers to consumers just like in the food chain. As a rule of thumb, less than 10% of the energy is transferred each time the energy goes up a level in the food chain. The energy lost is dissipated to the environment in the form of heat.

Work Step by Step

The second law of thermodynamics states that energy is transformed from a more useful state to a less useful state. This implies that there is no such thing as 100% efficient transfer of energy from one organism to another or from producers to consumers just like in the food chain. As a rule of thumb, less than 10% of the energy is transferred each time the energy goes up a level in the food chain. The energy lost is dissipated to the environment in the form of heat.
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