The term alcohol refers to a family of chemicals that occur widely in nature
and are mass-produced for use in antifreezes, fuels and some manufacturing
Alcohol is commonly used to refer to alcohol-containing drinks such as wine,
beer and spirits. In this case the alcohol, ethanol, has been produced by a
process called fermentation. Consumption of
excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to drunkenness and may be harmful to
Biodiversity is a contraction of biological diversity. Biodiversity reflects
the number, variety and variability of living organisms.
It includes diversity within species
(genetic diversity), between species
(species diversity), and between ecosystems
Biofuels are non-fossil fuels. They are energy carriers that
store the energy derived from organic materials (biomass), including plant
materials and animal waste.
They may be solid, such as fuelwood, charcoal and wood pellets; liquid, such
as ethanol, biodiesel and pyrolysis oils; or gaseous, such as biogas.
The total quantity or mass of organic
material produced by living organisms in a particular area, at a given time.
The principal component of cell walls of plants, composed of a long chain of
tightly bound sugar molecules.
(Source: weblife.org Humanure
- Climate change
The long-term fluctuations in temperature, precipitation, wind, and all other
aspects of the Earth's climate.
It is also defined by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change as
“change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity
that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to
natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods”
- Energy crop
A plant grown to produce biofuels, or directly exploited for its energy content.
Forests and energy glossary
Feedstock refers to the raw material that is required for some industrial
(Source: GreenFacts )
The process by which micro-organisms break down complex organic substances
generally in the absence of oxygen to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.
- Food & Agriculture Organization
"The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads
international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing
countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet
as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of
knowledge and information. We help developing countries and countries in
transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices
and ensure good nutrition for all. Since our founding in 1945, we have focused
special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's
poor and hungry people. FAO's activities comprise four main areas:
- Putting information within reach
- Sharing policy expertise.
- Providing a meeting place for nations.
- Bringing knowledge to the field. "
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines “forest” as a portion of
land bigger than half a hectare (5 000m2) with trees higher than 5 meters and a
tree canopy cover of more than 10 %, or with trees that will be able to meet
It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban
- Fossil fuel(s)
A general term for buried combustible geologic deposits of organic materials,
formed from decayed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil,
coal, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's
crust over hundreds of millions of years.
Glossary of Climate Change terms
- Greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gases are those gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both
natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and
emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation
emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere and clouds.
This property causes the greenhouse effect.
Water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2),
nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and
ozone (O3) are the primary greenhouse gases
in the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover there are a number of entirely human-made
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as the halocarbons and other
chlorine and bromine containing substances,
dealt with under the Montreal Protocol. Beside CO2, N2O and CH4, the
Kyoto Protocol deals with the greenhouse gases
sulphur hexafluoride (SF6),
hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
Water beneath the Earth's surface in the spaces between soil particles and
between rock surfaces.
The location and environmental conditions in which a particular organism normally lives.
- Land use
The human use of a piece of land for a certain purpose (such as irrigated agriculture or recreation). Influenced by, but not synonymous with, land cover.
A state of bad nourishment.
Malnutrition refers both to undernutrition and overnutrition, as well as to
conditions arising from dietary imbalances leading to diet-related
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Glossary
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is "an international organisation helping governments tackle the economic, social and governance challenges of a globalised economy(... It) groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy."
See their Environment Pages:
Complex carbohydrate used by plants as a way to store glucose (sugar). It is
found in potatoes, white rice, bread, corn, wheat and other foods
Financial assistance (often from governmental bodies) to businesses, citizens,
or institutions to encourage a desired activity deemed beneficial.
A characteristic or state whereby the needs of the present and local
population can be met without compromising
the ability of future generations or populations in other locations to meet
- Wood energy
Energy derived from wood in various forms. Woodfuel includes
solids (fuelwood and charcoal), liquids (black liquor, methanol, and pyrolitic
oil) and gases from the gasification of these fuels.
(Source: GreenFacts, based on FAO
Forests and energy glossary