Portal:Environment

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Welcome to the Environment Portal
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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...
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Selected article

Global glacial mass balance in the last fifty years. The increasing downward trend in the late 1980s is symptomatic of the increased rate and number of retreating glaciers.
The retreat of glaciers since 1850, worldwide and rapid, affects the availability of fresh water for irrigation and domestic use, mountain recreation, animals and plants that depend on glacier-melt, and in the longer term, the level of the oceans. Studied by glaciologists, the temporal coincidence of glacier retreat with the measured increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases is often cited as an evidentiary underpinning of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming. Mid-latitude mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, Alps, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Range, and the southern Andes, as well as isolated tropical summits such as Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, are showing some of the largest proportionate glacial loss.

The Little Ice Age was a period from about 1550 to 1850 when the world experienced relatively cooler temperatures compared to the present. Subsequently, until about 1940, glaciers around the world retreated as the climate warmed. Glacial retreat slowed and even reversed, in many cases, between 1950 and 1980 as a slight global cooling occurred. However, since 1980 a significant global warming has led to glacier retreat becoming increasingly rapid and ubiquitous, so much so that some glaciers have disappeared altogether, and the existence of a great number of the remaining glaciers of the world is threatened. In locations such as the Andes of South America and Himalayas in Asia, the demise of glaciers in these regions will have potential impact on water supplies. The retreat of mountain glaciers, notably in western North America, Asia, the Alps, Indonesia and Africa, and tropical and subtropical regions of South America, has been used to provide qualitative evidence for the rise in global temperatures since the late 19th century. The recent substantial retreat and an acceleration of the rate of retreat since 1995 of a number of key outlet glaciers of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, may foreshadow a rise in sea level, having a potentially dramatic effect on coastal regions worldwide.

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London Smog
  • ... that the concept of reduce, re-use, and recycle as three equal options, but they are instead meant to be a hierarchy, in order of importance?
  • ... that each year in 22,500 cemeteries across the United States approximately 30 million board feet (70,000 m³) of hardwoods are buried as caskets?
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Selected picture

Credit: Bruno de Giusti

Coral bleaching refers to the loss of color of corals due to stress-induced expulsion of symbiotic unicellular algae. It can be caused by sedimentation, change in pH, change in water temperature, or pathogen infections. When coral bleaching occurs, the productivity of the coral reefs are lost.

Selected organization

Logo for Green Peace
Greenpeace, originally known as the Greenpeace Foundation, is an international environmental organization founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1971. It is best known for its campaigns against nuclear weapons and campaigning against whaling. In later years, the focus of the organization turned to other environmental issues, including bottom trawling, global warming, ancient forest destruction, nuclear power, and genetic engineering. Greenpeace uses direct action, lobbying and research to achieve its goals. Greenpeace has national and regional offices in 46 countries worldwide, all of which are affiliated to the Amsterdam-based Greenpeace International.

The global organization receives its income through the individual contributions of an estimated 3 million financial supporters, as well as from grants from charitable foundations, but does not accept funding from governments or corporations. It is often the subject of criticism and ridicule for supposedly over-the-top protesting.

On its official website, Greenpeace defines its mission as the following:

Selected quote

Franklin Roosevelt
A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.

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Natural environment
Acid rain • Biodiversity • Climate change • Conservation • Deforestation • Desertification • Ecosystem • Environmental economics • Environmental law • Environmental policy • Environmental science • Environmentalism • Environmental technology • Global warming • Greenhouse gas • Green Politics • Lists (Books, Dates, Issues) • Ozone depletion • Recycling • Renewable energy • Soil retrogression and degradation • Sustainable development • Waste management A sunflower.
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Environment

Conservation • Environmentalism • Environmental awareness days • Environmental economics • Environmental media • Environmental history • Environmental humanities • Environmental law • Environmental indices • Environmental issues with population • Environmental science • Environmental social science • Environmental songs • Environmental topics • Environmental technology • Environment by country • Human overpopulation • Pollution • Renewable energy • Sustainability • Waste management

The Earth as seen from Apollo 17.
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WikiProjects

Agriculture • Climate change • Disaster management • Ecology • Energy • Energy development • Environment • Forestry • International development • Protected areas • Superfunds • Systems • Urban studies and planning • WaterSanitation

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Environment portal on Wikinews     Environment on Wikiquote     Environment on Wikibooks     Environment category on Wikisource     Environment category on Wikicommons     Environment on Wiktionary     Environment on Wikiversity
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