Portal:Environment source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Environment


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Land management has preserved the natural characteristics of Hopetoun Falls, Australia while allowing ample access for visitors.

The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally, meaning in this case not artificial. The term is most often applied to the Earth or some parts of Earth. This environment encompasses the interaction of all living species, climate, weather and natural resources that affect human survival and economic activity. The concept of the natural environment can be distinguished as components:

In contrast to the natural environment is the built environment. In such areas where humans have fundamentally transformed landscapes such as urban settings and agricultural land conversion, the natural environment is greatly modified into a simplified human environment. Even acts which seem less extreme, such as building a mud hut or a photovoltaic system in the desert, the modified environment becomes an artificial one. Though many animals build things to provide a better environment for themselves, they are not human, hence beaver dams, and the works of mound-building termites, are thought of as natural.

People seldom find absolutely natural environments on Earth, and naturalness usually varies in a continuum, from 100% natural in one extreme to 0% natural in the other. More precisely, we can consider the different aspects or components of an environment, and see that their degree of naturalness is not uniform. If, for instance, in an agricultural field, the mineralogic composition and the structure of its soil are similar to those of an undisturbed forest soil, but the structure is quite different.

Natural environment is often used as a synonym for habitat, for instance, when we say that the natural environment of giraffes is the savanna. Read more...

A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development, and evolution. A biophysical environment can vary in scale from microscopic to global in extent. It can also be subdivided according to its attributes. Examples include the marine environment, the atmospheric environment and the terrestrial environment. The number of biophysical environments is countless, given that each living organism has its own environment.

The term environment can refer to a singular global environment in relation to humanity, or a local biophysical environment, e.g. the UK's Environment Agency. Read more...

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The indirect land use change impacts of biofuels, also known as ILUC or iLUC (pronounced as i-luck), relates to the unintended consequence of releasing more carbon emissions due to land-use changes around the world induced by the expansion of croplands for ethanol or biodiesel production in response to the increased global demand for biofuels. As farmers worldwide respond to higher crop prices in order to maintain the global food supply-and-demand balance, pristine lands are cleared to replace the food crops that were diverted elsewhere to biofuels' production. Because natural lands, such as rainforests and grasslands, store carbon in their soil and biomass as plants grow each year, clearance of wilderness for new farms translates to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Due to this change in the carbon stock of the soil and the biomass, indirect land use change has consequences in the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of a biofuel. Read more...
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Chemical structure of carbon dioxide

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Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.
Credit: United States military

The detonation of nuclear weapons leads to the release of radioactive material into the environment. This radioactive material affects human health and the natural environment.

Current events

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David Suzuki in December 2009

David Takayoshi Suzuki CC OBC FRSC (born March 24, 1936) is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001. Since the mid-1970s, Suzuki has been known for his television and radio series, documentaries and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science program The Nature of Things, seen in over 40 countries. He is also well known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment.

A longtime activist to reverse global climate change, Suzuki co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation in 1990, to work "to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that does sustain us". The Foundation's priorities are: oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, sustainability, and Suzuki's Nature Challenge. The Foundation also works on ways to help protect the oceans from large oil spills such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Suzuki has also served as a director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association from 1982 to 1987. Read more...

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Emblem of the United Nations.svg

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations that is dedicated to providing the world with objective, scientific information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of the risk of human-induced climate change, its natural, political, and economic impacts and risks, and possible response options.

The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and was later endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly. Membership is open to all members of the WMO and UN.

The IPCC produces reports that contribute to the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the main international treaty on climate change. The objective of the UNFCCC is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human-induced) interference with the climate system". The IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report was a critical scientific input into the UNFCCC's Paris Agreement in 2015. Read more...

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Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

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