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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...

London Smog
Incandescent light bulb

Current events

Selected biography

Buckminster Fuller
Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) was an American visionary, designer, architect, poet, author, and inventor.

Throughout his life, Fuller was concerned with the question "Does humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, and if so, how?" Considering himself an average individual without special monetary means or academic degree, he chose to devote his life to this question, trying to find out what an individual like him could do to improve humanity's condition that large organizations, governments, or private enterprises inherently could not do.

Fuller published more than 30 books, inventing and popularizing terms such as "Spaceship Earth", ephemeralization, and synergetic. He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, the best known of which is the geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes were later named by scientists for their resemblance to geodesic spheres.

Selected image

Bolivia-Deforestation-EO.JPG
Credit: NASA
Deforestation in Tierras Bajas, Bolivia.
Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland. Generally, the removal or destruction of significant areas of forest cover has resulted in a degraded environment with reduced biodiversity.

Selected organization

Logo for Green Peace
Greenpeace, originally known as the Greenpeace Foundation, is an international environmental organization founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1971. It is best known for its campaigns against nuclear weapons and campaigning against whaling. In later years, the focus of the organization turned to other environmental issues, including bottom trawling, global warming, ancient forest destruction, nuclear power, and genetic engineering. Greenpeace uses direct action, lobbying and research to achieve its goals. Greenpeace has national and regional offices in 46 countries worldwide, all of which are affiliated to the Amsterdam-based Greenpeace International.

The global organization receives its income through the individual contributions of an estimated 3 million financial supporters, as well as from grants from charitable foundations, but does not accept funding from governments or corporations. It is often the subject of criticism and ridicule for supposedly over-the-top protesting.

On its official website, Greenpeace defines its mission as the following:

Selected quote

Mother Teresa
There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.

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