English Words for Environmental Issues

Climate Change: This term refers to long-term shifts and alterations in temperature and weather patterns. Typically, climate change is caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial processes which increase greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere.

Many scientists agree that climate change is responsible for the increase in severe weather events.

Global Warming: A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants.

Global warming has led to melting ice caps and rising sea levels.

Greenhouse Gases: These gases trap heat in the atmosphere, which can lead to global warming. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ozone (O3).

Reducing the emission of greenhouse gases is essential to combat global warming.

Sustainability: The use of Earth’s natural resources in a way that they can replenish themselves and be available for future generations without causing environmental degradation.

Sustainability initiatives include promoting renewable energy sources and encouraging green building practices.

Renewable Energy: Energy from sources that do not deplete or can be replenished within a human’s lifetime, such as solar, wind, or hydroelectric power.

Many countries are investing in renewable energy projects to reduce their carbon footprint.

Deforestation: The clearing or thinning of forests by humans to make the land available for other uses, such as agriculture or urban development, which results in a decrease in the number of trees.

Deforestation in tropical areas is particularly concerning because it affects biodiversity and the Earth’s climate.

Carbon Footprint: The total amount of greenhouse gases emitted by an individual, organization, event, or product, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Many people are trying to reduce their carbon footprint by traveling less or recycling more.

Ecosystem: A community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system.

Protecting the ecosystem is vital for maintaining biodiversity and the natural balance of the planet.

Biodiversity: The variety and variability of life on Earth, typically measured as the variety within species, between species, and the variety of ecosystems.

The Amazon Rainforest is known for its incredible biodiversity.

Recycling: The process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects, which can reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing energy usage, air pollution, and water pollution.

Recycling paper and plastics can significantly reduce waste and environmental impact.

Conservation: The prevention of wasteful use of a resource, or the preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife.

Wildlife conservation efforts are crucial to save many species from extinction.

Organic: Pertaining to or derived from living matter; organic farming, for instance, utilizes natural materials and methods, avoiding synthetic substances to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance.

Buying organic food supports sustainable farming practices.

Pollution: The introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change, often as a result of human activities.

Air pollution is a serious health risk in many urban areas.

Non-Renewable Resources: Natural resources that cannot be readily replaced by natural means at a pace quick enough to keep up with consumption. Examples include fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

The overuse of non-renewable resources can lead to severe environmental problems.

Ecological Footprint: A measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems, it represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area necessary to supply the resources a human population consumes, and to assimilate associated waste.

Nations are being urged to reduce their ecological footprints to halt overconsumption.

Solar Power: Power obtained by harnessing the energy of the sun’s rays, considered a clean and renewable energy source.

Solar power is becoming more popular as it becomes more cost-effective.

Wind Power: Power obtained by harnessing the energy of the wind, another clean and renewable energy source used in various parts of the world.

Wind power is helping to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in many countries.

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