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Home What is Environment?

ENVIRONMENT

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ENVIRONMENT

The natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, is a term that encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof.
  
The concept of the natural environment can be distinguished by components:
  • Complete ecological units that function as natural systems without massive human intervention, including all vegetation, animals, microorganisms, soil, rocks, atmosphere and natural phenomena that occur within their boundaries.
  • 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 strongly influenced by humans. 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). 

Much attention has been given to preserving the natural characteristics of Hopetoun Falls, Australia, while allowing ample access for visitors.
 
Bachalpsee in the Swiss Alps; generally mountainous areas are less affected by human activity.
 
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12 Innovations to Combat Drought, Improve Food Security, and Stabilize Food Prices

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Soaring temperatures and low precipitation could not occur at a worse time for many farmers in the United States. Intensifying drought conditions are affecting corn and soybean crops throughout the Midwest, raising grain prices as well as concerns about future food prices. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 88 percent of this year’s corn crop and 77 percent of the soybean crop are now affected by the most severe drought since 1988. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing drought assistance to 1,584 counties across 32 states and warns of increased food prices in 2013 as a result of corn and soybean yield losses.

droughtCorn is currently selling at around $9 a bushel, a 50 percent increase from June, while soybeans are selling at a record high of $17 a bushel as a result of drought-related losses in crop yields. The increased prices may benefit farmers in the short run, but consumers will experience the aftermath of price increases in the form of more money spent on poultry, beef, pork, and dairy products.

Nearly half of all domestic corn production is used as livestock feed, a trend that is now encouraging larger livestock producers to import corn from Brazil while smaller farmers must reduce herd sizes by sending more animals to the market. Most immediately, poultry prices are expected to rise 3.5 to 4.5 percent due to the animals’ more rapid growth and therefore more sudden response to higher feed prices. The price of beef is projected to rise the highest—4 to 5 percent by November—but at a slower rate, reflecting the longer growth period and higher feed requirements of beef cattle.

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World Environment Day 2012: “Green Economy: Does it include you?”

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World Environment Day 2012: “Green Economy: Does it include you?”

World Environment Day 2012: “Green Economy: Does it include you?”

The 2012 theme for World Environment Day is Green Economy: Does it include you? Evidently, there are two parts to this theme and the first tackles the subject of the Green Economy. This is where some people shut off their minds because they find the concept of the Green Economy a little too complex to understand. On the contrary, the Green Economy is really something that is applicable all around you and it is easy to imagine how one can fit in it.

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Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms

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What are Genetically Modified (GM) Foods?

Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms Although "biotechnology" and "genetic modification" commonly are used interchangeably, GM is a special set of technologies that alter the genetic makeup of organisms such as animals, plants, or bacteria. Biotechnology, a more general term, refers to using organisms or their components, such as enzymes, to make products that include wine, cheese, beer, and yogurt.

Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology, and the resulting organism is said to be "genetically modified," "genetically engineered," or "transgenic." GM products (current or those in development) include medicines and vaccines, foods and food ingredients, feeds, and fibers.

Locating genes for important traits—such as those conferring insect resistance or desired nutrients—is one of the most limiting steps in the process. However, genome sequencing and discovery programs for hundreds of organisms are generating detailed maps along with data-analyzing technologies to understand and use them.

In 2006, 252 million acres of transgenic crops were planted in 22 countries by 10.3 million farmers. The majority of these crops were herbicide- and insect-resistant soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, and alfalfa. Other crops grown commercially or field-tested are a sweet potato resistant to a virus that could decimate most of the African harvest, rice with increased iron and vitamins that may alleviate chronic malnutrition in Asian countries, and a variety of plants able to survive weather extremes.

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The GLOBE Program

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The GLOBE ProgramGLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science and education program. GLOBE's vision promotes and supports students, teachers and scientists to collaborate on inquiry-based investigations of the environment and the Earth system working in close partnership with NASA and NSF Earth System Science Projects (ESSPs) in study and research about the dynamics of Earth's environment.

Who is involved in GLOBE?

Announced in 1994, GLOBE began operations on Earth Day 1995. Today, the international GLOBE network has grown to include representatives from 111 participating countries and 140 U.S. Partners coordinating GLOBE activities that are integrated into their local and regional communities. Due to their efforts, there are more than 50000 GLOBE-trained teachers representing over 20000 schools around the world. GLOBE students have contributed more than 20 million measurements to the GLOBE database for use in their inquiry-based science projects.

GLOBE brings together students, teachers and scientists through the GLOBE Schools Network in support of student learning and research. Parents and other community members often work with teachers to help students obtain data on days when schools are not open.

Further information about GLOBE is available at these links:

GLOBE Vision

Value of GLOBE

How to Join

Management