The natural environment or natural world encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally, meaning in this case not artificial. The term is most often applied to the Earth or some parts of Earth. This environment encompasses the interaction of all living species, climate, weather and natural resources that affect human survival and economic activity.
The concept of the natural environment can be distinguished as components:
In contrast to the natural environment is the built environment. Built environments are where humans have fundamentally transformed landscapes such as urban settings and agricultural land conversion, the natural environment is greatly changed into a simplified human environment. Even acts which seem less extreme, such as building a mud hut or a photovoltaic system in the desert, the modified environment becomes an artificial one. Though many animals build things to provide a better environment for themselves, they are not human, hence beaver dams, and the works of mound-building termites, are thought of as natural. (Full article...)
The 1966 New York City smog was a major air-pollution episode and environmental disaster, coinciding with that year's Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Smog covered the city and its surrounding area from November23 to 26, filling the city's air with damaging levels of several toxic pollutants. It was the third major smog in New York City, following events of similar scale in 1953 and 1963.
On November 23, a large mass of stagnant air over the East Coast trapped pollutants in the city's air. For three days, New York City was engulfed in dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, smoke, and haze. Pockets of air pollution pervaded the greater New York metropolitan area, including parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. By November 25, the smog became severe enough that regional leaders announced a "first-stage alert". During the alert, leaders of local and state governments asked residents and industry to take voluntary steps to minimize emissions. Health officials advised people with respiratory or heart conditions to remain indoors. The city shut off garbage incinerators, requiring massive hauling of garbage to landfills. A cold front dispersed the smog on November 26, and the alert ended. (Full article...)
Mauricio González-Gordon y Díez, Marquis of Bonanza (18 October 1923 – 27 September 2013) was a Spanish sherry maker and a conservationist. Most of his life he worked for the family company, González Byass, where he increased its exports to a worldwide level. His family estate was located in the wetland region called Doñana in southern Spain and was threatened by drainage efforts in the early 1950s. González-Gordon with the help of researchers and international support managed to preserve the site, while at the same time donating some of his family land to the conservation effort. Afterward, González-Gordon became one of the founders of the Spanish Ornithological Society in 1954. His conservation efforts for Doñana culminated in the creation of the Doñana National Park in 1969. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. (Full article...)
Image 5Few creatures make the ice shelves of Antarctica their habitat, but water beneath the ice can provide habitat for multiple species. Animals such as penguins have adapted to live in very cold conditions. (from Habitat)
Image 15Dense mass of white crabs at a hydrothermal vent, with stalked barnacles on right (from Habitat)
Image 16Global oceanic and terrestrial phototroph abundance, from September 1997 to August 2000. As an estimate of autotroph biomass, it is only a rough indicator of primary production potential and not an actual estimate of it. (from Ecosystem)
Image 17Wetland habitat types in Borneo (from Habitat)
Image 27Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World (Olson et al. 2001, BioScience) (from Ecoregion)
Image 28Proportion of forest area by forest area density class and global ecological zone, 2015, from Food and Agriculture Organization publication The State of the World's Forests 2020. Forests, biodiversity and people – In brief (from Ecoregion)
"The Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System will provide the platform for our enforcement agencies to collect and share information on the trends and patterns of wildlife crime. Moreover, the cross-border nature of wild life crime underscores the need to enhance cooperation among our governments and to pool financial and human resources. I am confident that these measures will go a long way in enhancing our capacity to protect our wildlife resources."