Environment Terminology - Green Olympiad Study Material

Here is a list selected terminology related to environment to help in the preparation of competitions like Green Olympiad. Special attention is given to climate change and global warming. This is NOT a comprehensive list. Please feel free to post the terms left out in this list as comments and it will be added to this list.

Adaptive Capacity :The ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences.

Aerosols : Small particles or liquid droplets in the atmosphere that can absorb or reflect sunlight depending on their composition.

Air quality index (AQI):  is a number used by government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become. The AQI measures five criteria air pollutants (particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone)

Albedo : The amount of solar radiation reflected from an object or surface, often expressed as a percentage.

Anthropogenic : Made by people or resulting from human activities. Usually used in the context of emissions that are produced as a result of human activities.

Atmospheric Lifetime : Atmospheric lifetime is the average time that a molecule resides in the atmosphere before it is removed by chemical reaction or deposition. 

Autopoiesis: The term "autopoiesis refers to a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself

Biofuels :Gas or liquid fuel made from plant material (biomass).? Includes wood, wood waste, wood liquors, peat, railroad ties, wood sludge, spent sulfite liquors, agricultural waste, straw, tires, fish oils, tall oil, sludge waste, waste alcohol, municipal solid waste, landfill gases, other waste, and ethanol blended into motor gasoline.

Biogas: Biogas typically refers to a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced by anaerobic digestion with anaerobic organisms, which digest material inside a closed system, or fermentation of biodegradable materials.

Borehole : Any exploratory hole drilled into the Earth or ice to gather geophysical data

Bubble: An option in the Kyoto Protocol that allows a group of countries to meet their targets jointly by aggregating their total emissions. 

Carbon diet: A carbon diet refers to reducing the impact on climate change by reducing greenhouse gas production specifically, CO2 production.

Carbon Footprint : The total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, family, building, organization, or company. 

Carbon lock-in : It refers to the self-perpetuating inertia created by large fossil fuel-based energy systems that inhibits public and private efforts to introduce alternative energy technologies. 

Carbon Offsets: Carbon offsets are used to reduce the amount of carbon that an individual or institution emits into the atmosphere.

Climate footprint :The term climate footprint has emerged from the field of carbon footprinting, and refers to a measure of the full set of greenhouse gases (GHGs) controlled under the Kyoto Protocol.

Coral Bleaching : The process in which a coral colony, under environmental stress expels the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) that live in symbiosis with their host organisms (polyps). 

Ecological footprint : The ecological footprint measures human demand on nature, i.e., the quantity of nature it takes to support people or an economy.

Ecosharing: Ecosharing is an environmental ethic for people to live by: that their own impact on the Earth’s biosphere be limited to no more than their own fair ecoshare. 

Eutrophication: Eutrophication is a condition in an aquatic ecosystem where high nutrient concentrations stimulate blooms of algae (algal bloom)

Evapotranspiration : The combined process of evaporation from the Earth's surface and transpiration from vegetation.

Fair trade : Fair trade is a social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainable farming. 

Food miles : Food miles is a term which refers to the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer.

Fuel Switching : In general, this is substituting one type of fuel for another. In the climate-change discussion it is implicit that the substituted fuel produces lower carbon emissions per unit energy produced than the original fuel, e.g., natural gas for coal.

Gray Water: Domestic wastewater composed of wash water from kitchen, bathroom, and laundry sinks, tubs, and washers.

Greenhouse Effect: Trapping and build-up of heat in the atmosphere (troposphere) near the Earth’s surface. 

Heat Island Effect: The Heat Island Effect occurs when dark surfaces absorb the Sun’s energy and re-radiate it throughout the day and night raising the ambient air temperature.

Greenwashing or Green sheen: A form of propaganda in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization's products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly

Inundation : The submergence of land by water, particularly in a coastal setting

Land footprint : Land footprint is the real amount of land, wherever it is in the world, that is needed to produce a product, or used by an organisation or by a nation.

Particulate matter(PM) : Very small pieces of solid or liquid matter such as particles of soot, dust, fumes, mists or aerosols. 

Phantom Load: A phantom load is the electricity consumed by an appliance or electrical device when it is not actively being used or is in the “off” mode. Also called Standby power, vampire power, vampire draw,  ghost load or leaking electricity

Phenology : The timing of natural events, such as flower blooms and animal migration, which is influenced by changes in climate. 

Residence Time :The average time spent in a reservoir by an individual atom or molecule. With respect to greenhouse gases, residence time refers to how long on average a particular molecule remains in the atmosphere. 

Runoff footprint :A runoff footprint is the total surface runoff that a site produces over the course of a year

Storm Surge : An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, whose height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone.

Streamflow : The volume of water that moves over a designated point over a fixed period of time. It is often expressed as cubic feet per second (ft3/sec).

1 Response to "Environment Terminology - Green Olympiad Study Material"

  1. ya it is good but the problem is we cant take a printout


Competition Books

Books for You