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...)
A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development, and evolution. A biophysical environment can vary in scale from microscopic to global in extent. It can also be subdivided according to its attributes. Examples include the marine environment, the atmospheric environment and the terrestrial environment. The number of biophysical environments is countless, given that each living organism has its own environment.
The term environment can refer to a singular global environment in relation to humanity, or a local biophysical environment, e.g. the UK's Environment Agency. (Full article...)
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A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain and squalls. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane (/ˈhʌrɪkən, -keɪn/), typhoon (/taɪˈfuːn/), tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, or simply cyclone. A hurricane is a strong tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean or northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. In the Indian Ocean, South Pacific, or (rarely) South Atlantic, comparable storms are referred to as "tropical cyclones", and such storms in the Indian Ocean can also be called "severe cyclonic storms"."Tropical" refers to the geographical origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively over tropical seas. "Cyclone" refers to their winds moving in a circle, whirling round their central clear eye, with their surface winds blowing counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The opposite direction of circulation is due to the Coriolis effect. Tropical cyclones typically form over large bodies of relatively warm water. They derive their energy through the evaporation of water from the ocean surface, which ultimately condenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises and cools to saturation. This energy source differs from that of mid-latitude cyclonic storms, such as nor'easters and European windstorms, which are powered primarily by horizontal temperature contrasts. Tropical cyclones are typically between 100 and 2,000 km (62 and 1,243 mi) in diameter. Every year tropical cyclones affect various regions of the globe including the Gulf Coast of North America, Australia, India, and Bangladesh. (Full article...)
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Credit: Orthogenetic Evolution in the Pigeons
The passenger pigeon was a species of pigeon that was once the most common bird in North America. It is estimated that there were as many as five billion passenger pigeons in the United States at the time Europeans colonized North America. They lived in enormous flocks, and during migration, one could see flocks of them a mile (1.6 km) wide and 300 miles (500 km) long, taking several days to pass and probably containing two billion birds. The species had not been common in the Pre-Columbian period, until the devastation of the American Indian population by European diseases.
Over the 19th century, the species went from being one of the most abundant birds in the world to extinction. At the time, passenger pigeons had one of the largest groups or flocks of any animal, second to only the desert locust.
Some decimation in numbers occurred as a result of loss of habitat, when the Europeans started settling further inland. However, the primary factor emerged when pigeon meat was commercialized as a cheap food for slaves and the poor in the 19th century, resulting in hunting on a massive scale. There was a slow decline in their numbers between about 1800 and 1870, followed by a catastrophic decline between 1870 and 1890, at the end of which they were rare and beyond the point of recovery. 'Martha', thought to be the world's last passenger pigeon, died on September 1, 1914 in Cincinnati.
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Lester Russel Brown (born March 28, 1934) is an American environmental analyst, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and former president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. BBC Radio commentator Peter Day referred to him as "one of the great pioneer environmentalists."Brown is the author or co-author of over 50 books on global environmental issues and his works have been translated into more than forty languages. His most recent book is The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy (2015), in which he explains that the global economy is now undergoing a transition from fossil and nuclear energy to clean power from solar, wind, and other renewable sources. His previous book was Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity (2012). (Full article...)
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Global Footprint Network was founded in 2003 and is an independent think tank originally based in the United States, Belgium and Switzerland. It was established as a charitable not-for-profit organization in each of those three countries. Its aim is to develop and promote tools for advancing sustainability, including the ecological footprint and biocapacity, which measure the amount of resources we use and how much we have. These tools aim at bringing ecological limits to the center of decision-making. (Full article...)
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The following are images from various environment-related articles on Wikipedia.
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I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you humans are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. — Agent Smith
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