The Environment

English Vocabulary

The following is a list of vocabulary about the environment with the definition of each word or expression:

Acid rain: acidic precipitation (rainfall) that causes harm to the environment. It is formed in the atmosphere when industrial waste gases combine with water.

Activists: people who show their strong support of a cause through action, especially political action.

Animal rights: the natural rights of animals to live free of human dangers and exploitation.

Aqueduct: an artificial channel for transporting water, often in the form of a bridge.

Biodegradable: generally referring to packaging, it means something than can be decomposed by bacteria or other organisms.

Breeding in captivity: the reproduction of animals in confinement, not in their natural habitats.

CFC gases: (Chlorofluorocarbon) gases that are harmful to the ozone layer in the Earth's atmosphere.

Condensation: water that has been transformed from a gas to a liquid and appears on a cold surface.

Conservation: the protection and preservation of the natural environment.

Conservation program: a formalized action plan for protecting or restoring a natural area.

Conserve: to care for, preserve and protect.

Contaminated: polluted, usually by toxic waste

Decay: to rot or decompose; also, to decline in quality, energy, etc.

Drought: the continuous absence of rain, thus causing the land to dry up.

Ecosystem: the natural organisms and flora and fauna that constitute and sustain a particular area.

Emissions: toxic gases from factories and machinery that are then leaked into the atmosphere.

Endangered species: a species of plant or animal that are in danger of becoming extinct.

Environmentalist: a person who actively works to promote the protection of the environment.

Erosion: the process of the wearing away of land due to there being little to no vegetation.

Erupt: when a volcano becomes active and begins to eject lava.

Evaporation: the process of a liquid heating up and turning into a gas or vapor.

Extinct: when a plant or animal species ceases to exist entirely.

Fault line: a fissure in the Earth's crust where the tectonic plates move against each other causing an earthquake.

Flood: when a body of water, such as a river, becomes too full and water overflows beyond its normal confines.

Fossil fuels: fuel formed naturally over many years from the remains of animals, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

Fumes: gases and vapor (usually harmful).

Genetically modified: normally related to food, it's when an object's genetic makeup has been altered.

Global warming: an increase in the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere, which is due to the greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse effect: the trapping of the sun's heat in the atmosphere caused by greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse gases: any gas, especially carbon dioxide, which contributes to the greenhouse effect.

Landfills: large areas of land where waste and garbage are disposed.

Landslide: when a large amount of land slides down from a mountain or cliff.

Natural resources: materials found in nature which are often exploited for economic gains.

Ocean: a large body of salt water spanning between continents.

Organic: without chemicals (such as sprays) or other man-made additives.

Organic farming: producing crops without the use of chemical pesticides or herbicides.

Ozone layer: the lower part of the atmosphere which contains a high level of ozone that absorbs the majority of the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Poaching: the illegal hunting of animals.

Pollute: to contaminate a natural area

Pollution: contamination or toxic bi-products from factories

Power Lines: they're used to conduct electricity to houses and buildings, and are often supported high above the ground by wooden poles or large metal structures.

Preserve: to not develop something so as to be maintained in its existing state.

Rainforest: a type of forest found in tropical climates with heavy rainfall.

Recycle: to convert or reprocess materials so that they can be used again.

Research: (verb) to investigate data, sources, material, or facts.

Research: (noun) the information and data gathered during an investigation.

Solar power: harnessing the Sun's energy to generate electrical power.

Species: a group of living organisms that are of the same type and can breed with each other.

Sustainability: maintaining an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural resources.

Tectonic plates: the different sections of the Earth's crust that shift on the underlying mantle.

Tidal energy: using the energy produced by the changes in ocean tides to generate electrical power.

Toxic waste: poisonous byproducts of industrial manufacturing.

Underground aquifers: layers of rock or soil that can absorb and retain water.

Unleaded fuel: petrol that doesn't contain lead additives.

Untapped resources: materials that could be useful (i.e. for energy, for building, etc.) but have not yet been explored.

Wetlands: damp areas of land.

Wildlife: untamed animals (in their natural habitat).

Wipe out: to completely remove something from a place.


the root cause: the main reason for something

to stem from: to be caused by

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