Glossary of Green Terms

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Glossary of Green Terms

Glossary of Green Terms Glossary of Green Terms


Global Warming
Global warming is a scientific reality.
The earth as an ecosystem is changing because more carbon dioxide is now in the atmosphere than has been in the past 650,000 years. This carbon stays in the atmosphere, acts like a warm blanket, and holds in the heat - this is where the term Global Warming comes from.
Under normal circumstances the earth naturally traps just enough heat in the atmosphere to keep the temperature within a very narrow range. This gives us breathable air, clean water and the weather we depend on to survive.
But human beings have tipped that balance. We've now overloaded the earth with heat-trapping gasses from our cars and factories and power plants that the atmosphere is now warmer than ever before. This will cause extreme temperatures, rises in sea levels and storms of unimaginable fury.
This is what is known as global warming.

Climate Change
Climate Change (also referred to as 'global climate change'): The term 'climate change' is sometimes used to refer to all forms of climatic inconsistency, but because the Earth's climate is never static, the term is more properly used to imply a significant change from one climatic condition to another. In some cases, 'climate change' has been used synonymously with the term, 'global warming'; scientists however, tend to use the term in the wider sense to also include natural changes in climate.

Renewable Resources
Resources such as trees, fish, oxygen and fresh water that can be continually reproduced without being depleted.

Renewable energy
Energy resources such as windpower or solar energy that can keep producing indefinitely without being depleted.

Sustainable Resources
Resources capable of maintaining their present level of growth without damaging effects.

System of collecting, sorting, and reprocessing old material into usable raw materials.

Waste material composed primarily of naturally-occurring constituent parts, able to be broken down and absorbed into the ecosystem. Wood, for example, is biodegradable, for example, while plastics are not.

Environmental Destruction
Such as melting ice glaciers which are causing the oceans to rise. Environmental destruction is caused by greenhouse gas emissions that have caused climate change and global warming.

Large number and wide range of species of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms. Ecologically, wide biodiversity is conducive to the development of all species.

An interconnected and symbiotic grouping of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms

A branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environment.

pollution prevention
techniques that eliminate waste prior to treatment, such as by changing ingredients in a chemical reaction.

polluted runoff
precipitation that captures pollution from agricultural lands, urban streets, parking lots and suburban lawns, and transports it to rivers, lakes or oceans

chemical agents used to destroy pests

greenhouse effect
The process that raises the temperature of air in the lower atmosphere due to heat trapped by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone.

greenhouse gases
Gases involved in the greenhouse effect such as carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, methane from landfills and wetlands, nitrous oxide from oceans and soil as well as various industrial processes and CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) which are human made chemicals such as those used for refrigeration. CFCs are often found in aerosol cans.

Fossil Fuels
A fuel, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, produced by the decomposition of ancient (fossilized) plants and animals; compare to alternative energy.

Environmentally Friendly
See Green below

An item or way of live that conforms to environmentally sound principles including materials and energy. A green building, for example, might make use of solar panels, skylights, and recycled building materials or a Green toy will make use of renewable resources.

See Green above

Trees naturally consume carbon dioxide (one of the greenhouse gases whose accumulation in the atmosphere contributes to global warming). Massive destruction of trees and forests by humans removes these "carbon sinks," and tree burning and decomposition cause even more carbon dioxide to be emitted into the atmosphere, along with methane, another major greenhouse gas.
Deforestation is the erasing of whole forests by logging, fires and land clearing. It may have catastrophic worldwide effects.
Deforestation by Clearcutting is the removal of all trees, destruction of the natural habitat and sustainable ecosystem.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
A naturally occurring greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, concentrations of which have increased (from 280 parts per million in preindustrial times to over 350 parts per million today) as a result of humans' burning of coal, oil, natural gas and organic matter (e.g., wood and crop wastes).

Wind Power
Power or energy derived from the wind (via windmills, sails, etc.).

Solar Energy
Energy derived from sunlight

Energy efficiency
Technologies and measures that reduce the amount of electricity and/or fuel required to do the same work, such as powering homes, offices and industries.

Energy conservation
Using energy efficiently or prudently; saving energy

Low-emission vehicles
Vehicles which emit little air pollution compared to conventional internal combustion engines

A dense, discolored radiation fog containing large quanities of soot, ash, and gaseous pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, responsible for human respiratory ailments. Most industrialized nations have implemented legislation to promote the use of smokeless fuel and reduce emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere.

Disposal area where garbage is piled up and eventually covered with dirt and topsoil

Arctic Ice Sheets/Glaciers
These are massive glaciers or ice sheets that are melting at an alarming rate. The melting of these massive ice glaciers is causing the oceans to rise. That's how big these ice sheets are!! Melting ice glaciers causing rising ocean levels by an estimated 100 feet over the next 100 years or sooner will cause massive devastation and economic catastrophe to population centres worldwide.
Bear in mind that most of the world's population lives on or near the coast!

Renewable Energy Sources
energy resources such as windpower or solar energy that can keep producing indefinitely without being depleted

Energy Efficiency
Technologies and measures that reduce the amount of electricity and/or fuel required to do the same work, such as powering homes, offices and industries.

b>Clean fuel
Fuels which have lower emissions than conventional gasoline and diesel. Refers to alternative fuels as well as to reformulated gasoline and diesel

Acid rain
The precipitation of dilute solutions of strong mineral acids, formed by the mixing in the atmosphere of various industrial pollutants -- primarily sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides -- with naturally occurring oxygen and water vapor

Air pollution
Toxic or radioactive gases or particulate matter introduced into the atmosphere, usually as a result of human activity

Alternative energy
Energy that is not popularly used and is usually environmentally sound, such as solar or wind energy (as opposed to fossil fuels).

(1) the part of the earth and its atmosphere in which living organisms exist or that is capable of supporting life; (2) the living organisms and their environment composing the biosphere

A logging technique in which all trees are removed from an area, typically 20 acres or larger, with little regard for long-term forest health

Literally, heat from the earth; energy obtained from the hot areas under the surface of the earth

Relating to electric energy produced by moving water

Energy or power produced by moving water.

Industrialized Countries
Nations whose economies are based on industrial production and the conversion of raw materials into products and services, mainly with the use of machinery and artificial energy (fossil fuels and nuclear fission); generally located in the northern and western hemispheres (e.g., U.S., Japan, the countries of Europe).

Cutting down trees for commodity use

Managed growth
Growth or expansion that is controlled so as not to be harmful

Expansion or development of land to the point of damage.

A naturally occurring, highly reactive gas comprising triatomic oxygen formed by recombination of oxygen in the presence of ultraviolet radiation. This naturally occurring gas builds up in the lower atmosphere as smog pollution, while in the upper atmosphere it forms a protective layer which shields the earth and its inhabitants from excessive exposure to damaging ultraviolet radiation

Ozone depletion
The reduction of the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere by chemical pollution

Ozone hole
A hole or gap in the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere.

A large, dense forest in a hot, humid region (tropical or subtropical). Rainforests have an abundance of diverse plant and animal life, much of which is still uncatalogued by the scientific community

Toxic emissions
Poisonous chemicals discharged to air, water, or land

Zero emission vehicles
Vehicles (usually powered by electricity) with no direct emissions from tailpipes or fuel evaporation

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Glossary of Green Terms

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