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

Wind power turbines in Germany
Renewable energy commercialization involves the deployment of three generations of renewable energy technologies dating back more than 100 years. First-generation technologies, which are already mature and economically competitive, include biomass, hydroelectricity, geothermal power and heat. Second-generation technologies are market-ready and are being deployed at the present time; they include solar heating, photovoltaics, wind power, solar thermal power stations, and modern forms of bioenergy. Third-generation technologies require continued R&D efforts in order to make large contributions on a global scale and include advanced biomass gasification, biorefinery technologies, hot-dry-rock geothermal power, and ocean energy.

There are some non-technical barriers to the widespread use of renewables, and it is often public policy and political leadership that drive the widespread acceptance of renewable energy technologies. Over 100 countries now have targets for their own renewable energy futures, and have enacted wide-ranging public policies to promote renewables. Climate change concerns are driving increasing growth in the renewable energy industries. Leading renewable energy companies include First Solar, Gamesa, GE Energy, Q-Cells, Sharp Solar, Siemens, SunOpta, Suntech, and Vestas.

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Chemical structure of carbon dioxide
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News
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Selected biography

Wangari Maathai.jpg
Wangari Muta Maathai (1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011) was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. She was educated in the United States at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. In the 1970s, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women's rights. In 1986, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, and in 2004 became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace." Maathai was an elected member of the National Assembly of Kenya and served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki, from 2003 through 2005. She was an Honorary Councillor of the World Future Council.

Selected picture

Future ozone layer concentrations.gif
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fallschirmjäger

An animated image showing projections of stratospheric ozone concentrations if chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) had not been banned. CFCs and other halogenated ozone-depleting substances are mainly responsible for man-made chemical ozone depletion. Since the ozone layer absorbs UVB ultraviolet light, its depletion is expected to increase surface UVB levels, which could lead to damage, including increase in skin cancer.

Selected organization

The Brundtland Commission, formally the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), known by the name of its Chair Gro Harlem Brundtland, was convened by the United Nations in 1983. The commission was created to address growing concern "about the accelerating deterioration of the human environment and natural resources and the consequences of that deterioration for economic and social development." In establishing the commission, the UN General Assembly recognized that environmental problems were global in nature and determined that it was in the common interest of all nations to establish policies for sustainable development.

The Report of the Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, was published in 1987. It was welcomed by the General Assembly in its resolution 42/187. The report deals with sustainable development and the change of politics needed for achieving that. The definition of this term in the report is quite well known and often cited:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
  • the concept of 'needs', in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
  • the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

Selected quote

Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.

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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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