Portal:Environment

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Welcome to the Environment Portal
(image link)

Introduction

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.

Selected article

Several plug-in electric vehicles recharging at San Francisco City Hall public charging station.
A plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) is any motor vehicle that can be recharged from an external source of electricity, such as wall sockets, and the electricity stored in the rechargeable battery packs drives or contributes to drive the wheels. PEV is a subset of electric vehicles that includes all-electric or battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), and electric vehicle conversions of hybrid electric vehicles and conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.

Plug-in cars have several benefits compared to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. They have lower operating and maintenance costs, and produce little or no local air pollution. They reduce dependence on petroleum and may reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the onboard source of power, depending on the fuel and technology used for electricity generation to charge the batteries. Plug-in hybrids capture most of these benefits when they are operating in all-electric mode. Despite their potential benefits, market penetration of plug-in electric vehicles has been slower than expected as adoption faces several hurdles and limitations.

Several national and local governments have established tax credits, subsidies, and other incentives to promote the introduction and adoption in the mass market of plug-in electric vehicles depending on their battery size and all-electric range. As of September 2015, there were almost 70 models of highway legal plug-in electric passenger cars and light-duty utility vans available for retail sales in the world. The Nissan Leaf is the world's all-time top selling highway-capable all-electric car, with global sales of more than 200,000 units by early December 2015.

Over one million highway-capable plug-in electric passenger cars and light utility vehicles have been sold worldwide, with the United States as the market leader with a stock of over 363,000 plug-in electric cars delivered since 2008 through August 2015, representing 36.3% of global sales. As of August 2015, China ranked second with over 157,000 units sold since 2011 (15.7%), followed by Japan with more than 121,000 plug-in units sold since 2009 (12.1%). As of June 2015, over 310,000 light-duty plug-in electric vehicles have been registered in the European market since 2010. In the heavy-duty segment, China is the world's leader, with over 65,000 buses and sanitation vehicles sold through August 2015.

Did you know...

  • ... that each year in 22,500 cemeteries across the United States approximately 30 million board feet (70,000 m³) of hardwoods are buried as caskets?

Current events

Selected biography

James B. Harkin, also known as the Father of National Parks, was a Canadian-born journalist turned bureaucrat with a passion for conservation but also widely renowned for his commodification of the Canadian landscape. Harkin was able to acquire an appointment to be the first commissioner of the Dominion Parks Branch in 1911. During his career, Harkin oversaw the establishment of national parks that include Elk Island, Mount Revelstoke, Point Pelee, Kootenay, Wood Buffalo, Prince Albert, Riding Mountain, Georgian Bay Islands and Cape Breton Highlands. The creation of the Wood Buffalo National Park sparked huge debate with local indigenous groups and the rippling effects of that debate are still being dealt with today.

Selected image

Irrigation in the Heart of the Sahara.jpg
Credit: NASA
Irrigation in the Sahara Desert.

Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil usually for assisting in growing crops. In crop production it is mainly used to replace missing rainfall in periods of drought, but also to protect plants against frost. Additionally irrigation helps to suppress weed growing in rice fields. In contrast, agriculture that relies only on direct rainfall is sometimes referred to as dryland farming or as rain fed farming. Environmental problems such depletion of underground aquifers, ground subsidence, buildup of toxic salts on soil surface in areas of high evaporation, overirrigation and the possibility of water pollution.

Selected organization

The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization for the conservation, research and restoration of the natural environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in the United States and Canada. It is the world's largest independent conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 90 countries, supporting 15,000 conservation and environmental projects around the world. It is the world's largest independent conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 90 countries, supporting around 1300 conservation and environmental projects around the world. It is a charity, with approximately 60% of its funding coming from voluntary donations by private individuals. 45% of the fund's income comes from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

The group says its mission is "to halt and reverse the destruction of our environment". Currently, much of its work focuses on the conservation of three biomes that contain most of the world's biodiversity: forests, freshwater ecosystems, and oceans and coasts. Among other issues, it is also concerned with endangered species, pollution and climate change.

Selected quote

Mwai Kibaki
"The Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System will provide the platform for our enforcement agencies to collect and share information on the trends and patterns of wildlife crime. Moreover, the cross-border nature of wild life crime underscores the need to enhance cooperation among our governments and to pool financial and human resources. I am confident that these measures will go a long way in enhancing our capacity to protect our wildlife resources."

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