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Portal:Environment

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Welcome to the Environment Portal
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Introduction

Land management has preserved the natural characteristics of Hopetoun Falls, Australia while allowing ample access for visitors.

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...)

A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development, and evolution. A biophysical environment can vary in scale from microscopic to global in extent. It can also be subdivided according to its attributes. Examples include the marine environment, the atmospheric environment and the terrestrial environment. The number of biophysical environments is countless, given that each living organism has its own environment.

The term environment can refer to a singular global environment in relation to humanity, or a local biophysical environment, e.g. the UK's Environment Agency. (Full article...)

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Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change is a 2010 non-fiction book by Australian academic Clive Hamilton which explores climate change denial and its implications. It argues that climate change will bring about large-scale, harmful consequences for habitability for life on Earth including humans, which it is too late to prevent. Hamilton explores why politicians, corporations and the public deny or refuse to act on this reality. He invokes a variety of explanations, including wishful thinking, ideology, consumer culture and active lobbying by the fossil fuel industry. The book builds on the author's fifteen-year prior history of writing about these subjects, with previous books including Growth Fetish and Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change.

Requiem for a Species has been reviewed in Resurgence magazine, Socialist Review, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Common Review, and Times Higher Education, which named it "Book of the Week". Extracts of the book have appeared in The Guardian and Geographical magazine. The book won a 2010 Queensland Premier's Literary Award. (Full article...)
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Seawifs global biosphere.jpg
Credit: SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and ORBIMAGE.

A false-color composite of global oceanic and terrestrial photoautotroph abundance, from September 1997 to August 2000. The picture shows the activity of photosynthesizing organisms in the biosphere. Many of these are used for ecosystem services which are natural processes relied upon by humans.

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Suzuki in December 2009

David Takayoshi Suzuki CC OBC FRSC (born March 24, 1936) is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster, and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001. Since the mid-1970s, Suzuki has been known for his television and radio series, documentaries and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host and narrator of the popular and long-running CBC Television science program The Nature of Things, seen in over 40 countries. He is also well known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment.

A longtime activist to reverse global climate change, Suzuki co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation in 1990, to work "to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that does sustain us." The Foundation's priorities are: oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, sustainability, and Suzuki's Nature Challenge. The Foundation also works on ways to help protect the oceans from large oil spills such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Suzuki has also served as a director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association from 1982 to 1987. (Full article...)

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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Logo.svg

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations responsible for advancing knowledge on human-induced climate change. It was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and later endorsed by United Nations General Assembly. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and is composed of 195 member states. The IPCC is governed by its member states, which elect a bureau of scientists to serve for the duration of an assessment cycle (usually six to seven years); the bureau selects experts nominated by governments and observer organisations to prepare IPCC reports. The IPCC is supported by a secretariat and various "Technical Support Units" from specialised working groups and task forces.

The IPCC provides objective and comprehensive scientific information on anthropogenic climate change, including the natural, political, and economic impacts and risks, and possible response options. It does not conduct original research nor monitor climate change, but rather undertakes a periodic, systematic review of all relevant published literature. Thousands of scientists and other experts volunteer to review the data and compile key findings into "Assessment Reports" for policymakers and the general public; this has been described as the biggest peer review process in the scientific community. (Full article...)
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The following are images from various environment-related articles on Wikipedia.

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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.

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Incandescent light bulb
  • ... that Summer Rayne Oakes has been called "the world's first eco-model" because she only models clothes made from organic or recycled materials?

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