Algae are primitive plants that evolutionarily fall between photosynthetic bacteria and plants. They are capable of utilising sunlight, dissolved oxygen and basic nutrients to grow and survive. They serve as the bottom rung of the food chain in an aquatic environment. They deterioriate water quality adversely by reducing dissolved oxygen and making the water uninhabitable for other living organisms.
Sudden and excessive algal growth due to the presence of excessive nitrates and phosphate in natural and artificial waterbodies is known as an algal bloom. They can occur in freshwater and marine water as well. The biggest negative impact is the depletion in dissolved oxygen which cause destruction of aquatic life. They are also capable of producing hazardous toxins that can poison humans as well. To know more, read here.
It is an abbreviation for the term ‘biological diversity’. It refers to the variety of living organisms on the planet and is often used in conjunction to the study of our harbitat and eco-systems. It encompasses all microbes, plants, fish and animals in the air, on land and in water.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
It is a naturally occuring gas that is produced a result of respiration living organisms. It is also a by-product of the combustion of fossil fuels in vehicles and other industrial processes. This gas is trapped in our atmosphere and on excess accumulation causes global temperature rise also known as global warming.
The carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide released by the combustion of fossil fuels, wood, agricultural waste is known as carbon emissions and is often used in the context of associated global warming.
It is used to express the impact of anthropogenic activities on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. It is expressed as units of tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide produced over a given period of time.
Carbon monoxide is one of the most toxic gases can cause illness and even death when inhaled at high concentrations. It is a by-product of combustion or burning of various materials and is a major green house gas.
In an answer to global warming, countering the emission of carbon dioxide by devising strategies that can help consume carbon dioxide and negate the impact of carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon neutrality is a key strategy towards curbing global warming.
The pattern of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, rainfall patterns and sun exposure a region experiences over a particular time interval.
A shift in the normal climactic pattern of a region over a period attributed to heightened anthropogenic activity, excessive natural resource utilisation, accumulation of greenhouse gases and depletion of the ozone layer.
The active protection of natural resources, both living or non-living is known as conservation or environmental conservation.
The breakdown of trees for commercial activities is known as deforestation. The loss of green cover is known to have caused the destruction of natural habitat and global warming.
A community of living beings belonging to various species and classes that depend on each other and the environment for survival is known as an ecosystem.
Gases or particulates released into the air that contribute to air pollution and global warming are known as emissions. They could arise from fires, industries, garbage burning etc.
Fuels formed in the earth’s inner layers originating from organic debris of dead lplants and animals which undergo change (fossilization) from high temperatures and pressure over a long period of time are known as fossil fuels. They are a non renewable energy source.
The gradual increase in temperature of the Earth’s surface due to anthropogenic activities casuing high amount of greenhouse gas emissions is known as global warming. Global warming has caused a significant shift in our climate, our weather patterns and other environmental parameters.
The warming of the Earth’s atmosphere caused by increasing levels of gases, such as water vapour and carbon dioxide. These gases absorb radiation emitted naturally from the ground, so slowing down the loss of energy from Earth. The greenhouse effect has always existed; without it, Earth would be too cold for plants, animals and people to survive. But because of the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years, the greenhouse effect is a lot stronger, so leading to global warming. See also global warming, greenhouse gases and radiation.
Gases which trap heat from the Earth’s surface and prevents the heat from escaping, causing stratospheric warming are known as greenhouse gases. The major greenhouse gases range from carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (NO2).
Water that percolates from the Earth’s surface through the soil into the ground and collects underneath to form freshwater sources is known as ground water.
The area inhabited by a co-dependant community or species forming a food network is known as a habitat. A habitat evolves depending upon the flora and fauna that inhabits it, the environment and the level of disturbances cause by external factors.
Toxic gases that have debilitating effects on the environment iare known as noxious gases. They are primary causes of air pollution and are harmful to health as well.
The accidental release of oil into the environment, on water or on land is known as an oil spill. They are incredibly tough to clean up and wreak havoc on ecosystems.
The natural protective layer of gas around the Earth that behaves like a filter for solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known as the ozone layer. The ozone layer is affected adversely by accumulation of greenhouse gases.
Fine solid or liquid particles that contribute to air pollution. These include dust, smoke, exhaust, soot, pollen and soil particles.
Commercial or industrial development using natural resource without compromising on the ability of future generations to use those same resources is known as sustainable development.