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Encyclopedia > Natural environment
Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall, New Zealand.

The natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, is a term that comprises all living and non-living things that occur naturally on Earth or some part of it (e.g. the natural environment in a country). This term includes a few key components: Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1944x2592, 2310 KB) Summary This photograph was created by Alan Liefting. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1944x2592, 2310 KB) Summary This photograph was created by Alan Liefting. ... “Natural” redirects here. ...

  1. Complete landscape units that function as natural systems without massive human intervention, including all plants, animals, rocks, etc. and natural phenomena that occur within their boundaries.
  2. Universal natural resources and physical phenomena that lack clear-cut boundaries, such as air, water, and climate, as well as energy, radiation, electric charge, and magnetism, not originating from human activity.

The natural environment is contrasted with the built environment, which comprises the areas and components that are heavily influenced by man. A geographical area is regarded as a natural environment (with an indefinite article), if the human impact on it is kept under a certain limited level (similar to section 1 above). This level depends on the specific context, and changes in different areas and contexts. The term wilderness, on the other hand, refers to areas without any human intervention whatsoever (or almost so). A natural phenomenon is a non-artificial event in the physical sense, and therefore not produced by humans, although it may affect humans (e. ... Rainforest on Fatu-Hiva, Marquesas Islands Natural resources are naturally occurring substances that are considered valuable in their relatively unmodified (natural) form. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Phenomenon. ... Radiation as used in physics, is energy in the form of waves or moving subatomic particles. ... Electric charge is a fundamental conserved property of some subatomic particles, which determines their electromagnetic interaction. ... For other senses of this word, see magnetism (disambiguation). ... The phrase refers to the manmade surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging from the large-scale civic surroundings to the personal places. ... An article is a word that is put next to a noun to indicate the type of reference being made to the noun. ... For other uses, see Wilderness (disambiguation). ...


It is the common understanding of natural environment that underlies environmentalism — a broad political, social, and philosophical movement that advocates various actions and policies in the interest of protecting what nature remains in the natural environment, or restoring or expanding the role of nature in this environment. While true wilderness is increasingly rare, wild nature (e.g., unmanaged forests, uncultivated grasslands, wildlife, wildflowers) can be found in many locations previously inhabited by humans. For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... This article is about forests as a massing of trees. ... An Inner Mongolia Grassland. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Wildflower (disambiguation). ...

Goals commonly expressed by environmentalists include reduction and clean up of man-made pollution, with future goals of zero pollution; reducing societal consumption of non-renewable fuels; development of alternative, green, low-carbon or renewable energy sources; conservation and sustainable use of scarce resources such as water, land, and air; protection of representative or unique or pristine ecosystems; preservation and expansion of threatened or endangered species or ecosystems from extinction; the establishment of nature and biosphere reserves under various types of protection; and, most generally, the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems upon which all human and other life on earth depends. For the psychology topic, see Environmental psychology. ... Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ... Fossil fuels are hydrocarbon-containing natural resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. ... Renewable energy effectively utilizes natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished. ... For the physical concepts, see conservation of energy and energy efficiency. ... Sustainable use is the use of dickresources at a rate which will meet the needs of the present without impairing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... The Siberian Tiger is a subspecies of tiger that are critically endangered. ... It has been suggested that Reserve design be merged into this article or section. ...

More recently, there has been a strong concern about climate change such as global warming caused by anthropogenic releases of greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide, and their interactions with humans and the natural environment. Efforts here have focused on the mitigation of greenhouse gases that are causing climatic changes (e.g. through the Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol), and on developing adaptative strategies to assist species, ecosystems, humans, regions and nations in adjusting to the Effects of global warming. Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 450,000 years For current global climate change, see Global warming. ... Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. ... Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. ... Global carbon dioxide emissions 1800–2000 Global average surface temperature 1850 to 2006 Mitigation of global warming involves taking actions aimed at reducing the extent of global warming. ... The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. ... Kyoto Protocol Opened for signature December 11, 1997 in Kyoto, Japan Entered into force February 16, 2005. ... Adaptation to global warming covers all actions aimed at reducing the negative effects of global warming. ... The net impact of global warming so far has been modest, but near-future effects are likely to become significantly negative, with large-scale extreme impacts possible by the end of the century. ...

A more profound challenge, however, is to identify the natural environmental dynamics in contrast to environmental changes not within natural variances. A common solution is to adapt a static view neglecting natural variances to exist. Methodologically this view could be defended when looking at processes which change slowly and short time series, while the problem arrives when fast processes turns essential in the object of the study.

See also

Environment Portal
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  Results from FactBites:
Natural environment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (357 words)
In its purest sense, it is thus an environment that is not the result of human activity or intervention.
For some, there is a difficulty with the term "natural environment" in that nearly all environments have been directly or indirectly influenced by humans at some point in time.
It is the common understanding of natural environment that underlies environmentalism—a broad political, social, and philosophical movement that advocates various actions and policies in the interest of protecting what nature remains in the natural environment, or restoring or expanding the role of nature in this environment.
  More results at FactBites »



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