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
, and natural phenomena
occurring within their boundaries. They also include non-local or universal natural resources
that lack clear-cut boundaries, such as air
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.
A Tropical cyclone
is a storm system
characterized by a large low pressure
center and numerous thunderstorms
that produce strong winds and flooding rain
. Tropical cyclones feed on heat released when moist air
rises, resulting in condensation
of water vapor
contained in the moist air. They are fueled by a different heat mechanism than other cyclonic windstorms such as nor'easters
, European windstorms
, and polar lows
, leading to their classification as "warm core" storm systems. Studies have shown that global warming
may have increased the sea surface temperatures
, which intensify the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclone.
The term "tropical" refers to both the geographic origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively in tropical regions of the globe, and their formation in Maritime Tropical air masses. The term "cyclone" refers to such storms' cyclonic nature, with counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by many other names, such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.
Coral bleaching refers to the loss of color of corals due to stress-induced expulsion of symbiotic unicellular algae. It can be caused by sedimentation, change in pH, change in water temperature, or pathogen infections. When coral bleaching occurs, the productivity of the coral reefs are lost.
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."
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