Open main menu

Wikipedia β

PleuroziumPiceaBorealForest.JPG


Welcome to the Environment Portal
(image link)

Environment

Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall, New Zealand.
The natural environment comprises all naturally occurring surroundings and conditions in which living things grow and interact on Earth. These include complete landscape units that function as natural systems without major human intervention, as well as plants, animals, rocks, and natural phenomena occurring within their boundaries. They also include non-local or universal natural resources that lack clear-cut boundaries, such as air, water and climate.

The concept of the natural environment can be distinguished by components:

As human population numbers increase and as humans continue to evolve, human activity modifies the natural environment at a rapidly increasing rate, producing what is referred to as the built environment. The potential of the natural environment to sustain these anthropogenic changes while continuing to function as an ecosystem is an issue of major worldwide concern. Key environmental areas of interest include climate change, water supply and waste water, air pollution, waste management and hazardous waste, and land use issues such as deforestation, desertification, and urban sprawl.

More about the environment...

Selected article

Thick particles in the atmosphere can reflect back the sunlight. Photo taken by NASA's Aqua satellite
Global dimming is the gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface that was observed for several decades after the start of systematic measurements in the 1950s. The effect varies by location, but worldwide it has been estimated to be of the order of a 4% reduction over the three decades from 1960–1990. However, after discounting an anomaly caused by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, a very slight reversal in the overall trend has been observed.

It is thought to have been caused by an increase in particulates such as sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere due to human action. The switch from a "global dimming" trend to a "brightening" trend in 1990 happened just as global aerosol levels started to decline.

Global dimming has interfered with the hydrological cycle by reducing evaporation and may have reduced rainfall in some areas. Global dimming also creates a cooling effect that may have partially masked the effect of greenhouse gases on global warming. Deliberate manipulation of this dimming effect is now being considered as a geoengineering technique to reduce the impact of climate change.

Did you know...

London Smog
Incandescent light bulb

Current events

Selected biography

Apron diagram.png
Arne Dekke Eide Næss (born January 27, 1912) is widely regarded as the foremost Norwegian philosopher of the 20th century, and is the founder of deep ecology. His philosophical work focused on Spinoza, Buddhism and Gandhi. Næss combined his ecological vision with Gandhian nonviolence and on several occasions participated in direct action. In 1970, together with a large number of demonstrators, he chained himself to rocks in front of Mardalsfossen, a waterfall in a Norwegian fjord, and refused to descend until plans to build a dam were dropped. Though the demonstrators were carried away by police and the dam was eventually built, the demonstration launched a more activist phase of Norwegian environmentalism.

Næss had been a minor political candidate for the Norwegian Green Party and in 1939 he was the youngest person to be appointed full professor at the University of Oslo and the only professor of philosophy in the country at the time. In 1996, he won the Swedish Academy Nordic Prize, known as the 'little Nobel'. In 2005 he was decorated as a Commander with Star of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for socially useful work.

Selected picture

Bolivia-Deforestation-EO.JPG
Credit: NASA
Deforestation in Tierras Bajas, Bolivia.
Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland. Generally, the removal or destruction of significant areas of forest cover has resulted in a degraded environment with reduced biodiversity.

Selected organization

The Wildlife Trusts partnership, or simply The Wildlife Trusts, is a partnership of 47 local wildlife trusts in the United Kingdom plus the Isle of Man and Alderney.

Wildlife Trusts are local organisations of differing size, history and origins, and can vary greatly in their constitution, activities and membership. However, all wildlife trusts share a common interest in wildlife and biodiversity, rooted in a practical tradition of land management and conservation. Almost all county wildlife trusts are significant landowners, with many nature reserves. Collectively they are the third largest voluntary sector landowners in the UK. The partnership's member trusts, between them, look after 2,200 nature reserves covering 80,000 square hectares.

Wildlife Trusts are local organisations of differing size, history and origins, and can vary greatly in their constitution, activities and membership. However, all wildlife trusts share a common interest in wildlife and biodiversity, rooted in a practical tradition of land management and conservation. Almost all county wildlife trusts are significant landowners, with many nature reserves. Collectively they are the third largest voluntary sector landowners in the UK. They often have extensive educational activities, and programmes of public events and education. The Wildlife Trusts centrally and locally also lobby for better protection of the UK's natural heritage, by becoming involved in planning matters and by national campaigning through the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. The trusts rely heavily upon volunteer labour for many of their activities, but nevertheless employ significant numbers of staff in countryside management and education. Thanks to their work promoting the personal and social development of young people, the Wildlife Trusts is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS).

Selected quote

Elizabeth I of England
The use of sea and air is common to all; neither can a title to the ocean belong to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither nature nor public use and custom permit any possession therof.

Main topics

Things you can do

  • This list is transcluded from the tasks list page. To edit the list, click here

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

Related categories

Related articles

Related portals

WikiProjects

Associated Wikimedia