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 GCC dissolved in 2001 after membership declined in the face of improved understanding of the role of greenhouse gases in climate change and of public criticism. The GCC declared that its primary objective had been achieved: U.S. President George W. Bush withdrew the U.S., which alone accounted for nearly a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, from the Kyoto Protocol process, and thus mandatory global reductions were rendered unreachable. (Full article...)
The diversion of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers for irrigation has shrunk the Aral Sea dramatically. The sea's surface area shrank by approximately 60%, and its volume by 80%. In 1960, the Aral Sea was the world's fourth-largest lake, with an area of approximately 68,000 km² and a volume of 1100 km³; by 1998, it had dropped to 28,687 km², and eighth-largest. Over the same time period its salinity has increased from about 10 g/l to about 45 g/l. As of 2004, the Aral Sea's surface area was only 17,160 km², 25% of its original size, and still contracting.
Traditionally associated with the progressive movement, the club was one of the first large-scale environmental preservation organizations in the world, and currently engages in lobbying politicians to promote environmentalist policies. Recent focuses of the club include promoting sustainable energy and mitigating global warming, as well as opposition to the use of coal, hydropower and nuclear power. The organization takes strong positions on issues that sometimes creates controversy, criticism, or opposition either internally or externally or both. The club is known for its political endorsements, which are often sought after by candidates in local elections; it generally supports liberal and progressive candidates in elections. (Full article...)
Image 5Compartments established by C&SF projects that separated the historic Everglades into Water Conservation Areas and the Everglades Agricultural Area. Twenty-five percent of the original Everglades are preserved in Everglades National Park. (from Restoration of the Everglades)
Image 10Proportion 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)
Image 18Few 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 36A false color composite of the greater Boston area, created using remote sensing technology, reveals otherwise not visible characteristics about the land cover and the health of the surrounding ecosystems. (from Environmental science)
Image 39A map of the bioregions of Canada and the US. (from Ecoregion)
Image 40Global 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 41Aerial view of stormwater treatment areas in the northern Everglades bordered by sugarcane fields on the right (from Restoration of the Everglades)
Image 56The Paris Agreement (formerly the Kyoto Protocol) is adopted in 2016. Nearly every country in the United Nations has signed the treaty, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (from Environmental science)