Portal:Environment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
  Portal   WikiProject Environment   Talk page  
NullPleuroziumPiceaBorealForest.JPG
Welcome to the Environment Portal
(image link)

Environment

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...

Selected article

Diagrammatic cross-section of an oceanic basin, showing the relationship of the abyssal plain to a continental rise and an oceanic trench
An abyssal plain is an underwater plain on the deep ocean floor, usually found at depths between 3000 and 6000 meters. Lying generally between the foot of a continental rise and a mid-ocean ridge, abyssal plains cover more than 50% of the Earth’s surface. Abyssal plains were not recognized as distinct physiographic features of the sea floor until the late 1940s and until very recently, few have been systematically studied. They are poorly preserved in the sedimentary record because they tend to be consumed by the subduction process. The abyssal plain is formed when the lower oceanic crust is melted and forced upwards by the asthenosphere layer of the upper mantle. As this basaltic material reaches the surface at mid-ocean ridges, it forms new oceanic crust. Abyssal plains result from the blanketing of an originally uneven surface of oceanic crust by fine-grained sediments, mainly clay and silt. Much of this sediment is deposited from turbidity currents that have been channeled from the continental margins along submarine canyons down into deeper water. The remainder of the sediment is composed chiefly of pelagic sediments.

Due in part to their vast size, abyssal plains are currently believed to be a major reservoir of biodiversity. The abyss also exerts significant influence upon ocean carbon cycling, dissolution of calcium carbonate and atmospheric CO2 concentrations over timescales of 100–1000 years. The structure and function of abyssal ecosystems are strongly influenced by the rate and composition of food flux to the seafloor. Factors such as climate change, fishing practices, and ocean fertilization are expected to substantially alter primary production patterns in the euphotic zone.

Did you know...

Chemical structure of carbon dioxide
  • ... 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?

Current events

Selected biography

Francisco Alves Mendes Filho (December 15, 1944 – December 22, 1988), also known as Chico Mendes, was a Brazilian rubber tapper, unionist and environmental activist. He fought to stop the logging of the Amazon Rainforest to clear land for cattle ranching, and founded a national union of rubber tappers in an attempt to preserve their profession and the rainforest that it relied upon. He was murdered in 1988 by ranchers opposed to his activism.

On 22 December 1988, Mendes was assassinated by gunshot at his Xapuri home. In December, 1990 rancher Darcy Alves Pereira and his son Darli Alves were sentenced to 19 years in prison for their part in Mendes' assassination.

Selected picture

Aralship2.jpg
Credit: Staecker

The diversion of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers for irrigation has shrunk the Aral Sea dramatically. The sea's surface area shrank by approximately 60%, and its volume by 80%. In 1960, the Aral Sea was the world's fourth-largest lake, with an area of approximately 68,000 km² and a volume of 1100 km³; by 1998, it had dropped to 28,687 km², and eighth-largest. Over the same time period its salinity has increased from about 10 g/l to about 45 g/l. As of 2004, the Aral Sea's surface area was only 17,160 km², 25% of its original size, and still contracting.

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

Margaret Thatcher
When you've spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment, it's exciting to have a real crisis on your hands.

Main topics

Things you can do

  • This list is transcluded from the tasks list page. To edit the list, click here

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  1. ^ Barnes, Bart (2014-02-16). "Eric O. Stork, former EPA official who oversaw auto emissions compliance, dies at 87". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  2. ^ "Eric O. Stork". Microsoft Academic Search. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 

Related categories

Related articles

Related portals

WikiProjects

Associated Wikimedia