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Breeding and rearing of fish, shellfish, or plants in ponds, enclosures, or other forms of confinement in fresh or marine waters for the direct harvest of the product. (Source: MA   Glossary )


The mass of air surrounding the Earth.

The atmosphere consists of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and traces of other gases such as argon, helium, carbon dioxide, and ozone.

The atmosphere plays an important role in the protection of life on Earth; it absorbs ultraviolet solar radiation and reduces temperature extremes between day and night. (Source: GreenFacts)



Boron is the element with atomic number 5. Each boron atom has five protons in its nucleus (atomic core), and five electrons. (Source: GreenFacts)


Carbon dioxide (CO2)

A colorless, odorless, non-combustible gas, present in low concentrations in the air we breathe (about three hundredths of one percent by volume).

Carbon dioxide is produced when any substance containing carbon is burned. It is also a product of breathing and fermentation. Plants absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. (Source: The Pacific Forest Trust Glossary )


Electric field

An electric field is an invisible force field created by the attraction and repulsion of electrical charges (the cause of electric flow), and is measured in Volts per meter (V/m).

The intensity of the electric field decreases with distance from the field source.

A static electric field (also referred to as electrostatic field) is an electric field that does not vary with time (frequency of 0 Hz). Static electric fields are created by electrical charges that are fixed in space. They are different from fields that change over time, such as electromagnetic fields generated by appliances using alternating current (AC) or by cell phones etc. (Source: GreenFacts )


Elemental mercury

Hg. Mercury in its elemental (pure) form, that is, as a metal; hence the synonym metallic mercury. A shiny, silver-gray metal that is a liquid at room temperature. (Source: GreenFacts)


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. (Source: US EPA Glossary of Climate Change terms  )

Geothermal energy

The word geothermal comes from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat). So, geothermal energy is heat from within the earth. We can use the steam and hot water produced inside the earth to heat buildings or generate electricity. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because the water is replenished by rainfall and the heat is continuously produced inside the earth. (Source: The U.S. Energy Information Administration, Energy Kids page   )


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). (Source: IPCC Glossary  )


Water beneath the Earth's surface in the spaces between soil particles and between rock surfaces. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )


Atoms of the same element that have the same number of protons (same atomic number) but different numbers of neutrons (different atomic masses).

Isotopes have the same chemical properties but have different physical and nuclear properties.

Examples of isotopes are plutonium-238, plutonium-239, plutonium-240, and plutonium-241. Each acts chemically like plutonium but they have 144, 145, 146, and 147 neutrons, respectively. (Source: GreenFacts)



The spontaneous emission of ionizing radiation from the nucleus of an unstable atom. Radioisotopes lose particles and energy through this process. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Energy Information Administration Glossary   )



A radioactive gas that is released by the breakdown of uranium, a substance found in some soils and rocks. It can get inside buildings by diffusing through the soil and can also be released from concrete.

Breathing in too much radon can damage lung cells and lead to lung cancer. (Source: GreenFacts )

Sedimentary rock(s)

Rocks consisting of cemented material worn away from pre-existing rock, which have been deposited in layers, by water or by air. (Source: GreenFacts )


Sewage refers to waste-water from homes and industry which is collected and carried away in sewers (pipes or tunnels). When raw waste-water is cleaned in treatment plants the waste product is sewage sludge, which can be used as a fertiliser under certain conditions or deposited in landfills. (Source: GreenFacts )


A type of soft sedimentary rock, formed by the deposition of successive layers of fine particles (such as clay, silt or mud) carried mainly by water. (Source: GreenFacts )


Compound combining sulphur with a valency of -2 (S-2) with a more electropositive element.

An example is hydrogen sulphide H2S, which is a toxic gas that smells like rotten eggs. (Source: GreenFacts )

Surface water

Water on the surface of the Earth, such as in lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and springs. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms   )


Naturally occurring heavy metal that is denser than lead.

Uranium is radioactive and is the principal fuel of nuclear reactors. (Source: GreenFacts )

World Energy Council

The World Energy Council is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all.

Formed in 1923, the Council is the UN-accredited global energy body, representing the entire energy spectrum, with more than 3000 member organisations located in over 90 countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy-related stakeholders.

The World Energy Council informs global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events, publishing authoritative studies, and working through its extensive member network to facilitate the world’s energy policy dialogue. (Source:   )

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