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Environment Vocabulary
from:  'desalination'   to:  'ground water'

Words and phrases relating to the environment, climate and ecology, with their meaning.

Word Meaning
Desalination Desalination is the removal of salts from saline water to obtain fresh water suitable for animal and human consumption or for irrigation.
Desertification The change from once fertile land into desert as a result of factors including climatic variations and human activities (overgrazing by animals, deforestation, poor irrigation practices).
Disposable Refers to material designed to be thrown away after use.
Drought A prolonged period of abnormal dryness, with little or no rainfall.
Dump Location where garbage, rubbish or waste is taken and just dumped without environmental controls. Problems associated with dumps include multiplication of disease-carrying organisms together with air and water pollution.
Ecology The study of the relationship of living things (plants, animals and humans) with each other and with their environment.
Ecosystem A community of plants, animals and other organisms living in an area which provides what they need in order to survive. The different species depend on the environment and the environment depends on them. An ecosystem can be as small as a tiny pool or as large as a huge desert.
Emission The release or discharge into the air of pollutant substances such as gas or smoke.
Endangered species Animals and plants in danger of becoming extinct.
Environment The surroundings and external conditions that affect the growth and development of living things.
Food chain A representation of the relationship between plants and animals showing what eats what (for example: grass, mouse, snake). Energy is passed from one organism to another through the food chain.
Fossil fuels Fuels that are formed in the ground from the remains of dead plants and animals. Oil, natural gas and coal are all fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are not a renewable resource.  Once consumed they are gone forever. When burned, they are a major cause of greenhouse gases and global warming.
fungi (plural of fungus) Plantlike organisms, without leaves or roots, that lack chlorophyll, so they must obtain their nutrients from their environment. Mildew, yeast and mushrooms are fungi.
Fungicide A pesticide used to control or destroy fungi on food or grain crops.
Genetic engineering (GE) Technology used to modify the genetic material of a cell or organism in order to produce desired effects or traits, and to eliminate undesirable ones.
Genetic modification
Genetically modified
Modification of the characteristics or an organism by inserting genes from another organism into its DNA. (also called genetic engineering).
Global warming A gradual warming of the earth's surface temperature reportedly caused by the emission of gases that trap the heat of the sun in the earth's atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases form a blanket around the earth (similar to the walls of a greenhouse), holding heat and raising temperatures on the ground. Climate change is believed to be linked to global warming.
Greenhouse gases Greenhouse gases are gases that trap the heat of the sun in the earth's atmosphere, producing the greenhouse effect. The result is an increase in the temperature of the earth's surface. Greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone.
Ground water Water found below the surface of the land, usually in porous rock formations. Ground water is the source of water found in wells and springs and is frequently used for drinking.

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