Copy of `Think energy - Environmental glossary`

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Think energy - Environmental glossary
Category: Earth and Environment
Date & country: 25/11/2007, UK
Words: 29


Biodegradable
The ability to biodegrade, that is for organic compounds to be converted to inorganic compounds, leaving no toxic or synthetic residues

Biomass
The use of crops and crop residues as a fuel source for the generation of heat and electricity

Carbon dioxide (CO2)
A colourless gas that is a natural part of the atmosphere. However, the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere as a result of industrial processes is leading to global warming.

Congestion charge
A charge that is paid by motorists who drive within a specific town or city area. London has the UK`s first congestion charge.

Earth Summit
An international meeting held to discuss the world`s environmental problems, particularly global warming. Meetings were held at Rio de Janiero in 1992, Kyoto in 1997, and South Africa in 2002.

Economic recession
A temporary slow-down in economic growth

Ecosystem
A collection of plants and animals integrated as a result of the exchange of energy and nutrients between them

Emissions trading
The buying and selling of permits for a certain level of pollutant emissions

Environmental audit
A systematic review of an organization`s environmental performance, measured against a set of agreed criteria

Fuel cell
An energy conversion device that converts hydrogen and oxygen into water, producing energy and heat in the process

Geothermal energy
Power generated by harnessing the heat beneath the Earth`s surface. Wells are used to pipe steam and hot water from deep within the Earth up to the surface. The hot water is the used to drive turbines and generate electricity.

Global warming
The gradual raising of the temperature of the Earth and its atmosphere

Greenhouse effect
The increasing temperature of the Earth`s surface caused by gases in the atmosphere. These gases allow solar radiation to penetrate, but they absorb the infrared (heat) radiation instead of allowing it to be radiated into space.

Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted at the Third Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. It contains legally binding commitments, in addition to those included in the UNFCCC. Countries included in Annex B of the Protocol (most OECD countries and EITs) agreed to red…

Landfill
A way of disposing of solid waste by burying it

NIMBY
Not In My Back Yard – a way of describing people who aren`t necessarily against a development, but don`t want it to affect them directly

Non-renewable resources
Resources of which there is a fixed supply, such as metal ores and fossil fuels, and which will eventually be exhausted

OPEC
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an international group made up of Iraq, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Algeria, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. The principle aim of the organization is to safeguard their interests; devise ways of ensuring the stabilization of prices in …

Ozone layer
A part of the Earth`s atmosphere that absorbs a proportion of ultraviolet light in incoming radiation, thus protecting the earth from its harmful effects. However, the ozone layer is being depleted by certain chemicals, so more ultraviolet light is reaching the Earth`s surface, contributing to global warming and to an increase in cataracts and skin…

Photovoltaics (PV)
The use of photosensitive semiconductor elements to generate electricity from solar radiation

Pollution
The contamination of an environment by artificially produced contaminants with the result that organisms are harmed

Recycling
Re-use of a product as a raw material for use in the same or another product

Renewable energy
An energy resource that can be replaced and will not run out

Rising sea levels
As temperatures rise as a result of global warming, the sea absorbs heat from the atmosphere, causing both the sea itself to expand and ice at the poles to melt, thus making sea levels rise.

Small hydro power
The use of small turbines in flowing water (usually rivers) to generate electricity

Smog
A mixture of smoke and fog associated with urban and industrial areas

Solar thermal energy
Solar energy absorbed by building elements for direct space or water heating

Tidal energy
Harnessing the energy in tides using devices such as tidal barrages

Wind energy
Harnessing the power of the wind using wind turbines to generate electricity