A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Amount of dissolved salts (especially sodium chloride) in a given volume of water.

Process in which mineral salts accumulate in the soil, killing plants; occurs when soils in dry climates are irrigated profusely.

Movement of saltwater into freshwater aquifers in coastal areas where groundwater is withdrawn faster than it is replenished.

The logging of dead or diseased trees in order to improve overall forest
health; used by timber companies as a rationalization to log otherwise
protected areas.

A landfill in which garbage and municipal waste is buried every day under enough soil or fill to eliminate odors, vermin, and litter.

A product of global warming through two main processes: expansion of sea
water as the oceans warm, and melting of ice over land.

See Also: Global Warming, Climate Change

More Info:

Oceans & Sea Level Rise

What We Can Expect & Consequences

How Sea Level Rise will vary by region

Graphs and explainations on Sea Level Rise

A solid waste disposal site lined and capped with an impermeable barrier to prevent leakage or leaching. Drain tiles, sampling wells, and vent systems provide monitoring and pollution control.

Harvesting only mature trees of certain species and size; usually more expensive than clear-cutting, but it is less disruptive for wildlife and often better for forest regeneration.

Peeling off thin layers of soil from the land surface; accomplished primarily by wind and water.

A large surface crater caused by the collapse of an underground channel or cavern; often triggered by groundwater withdrawal.

A dense, discolored radiation fog containing large quanities of soot, ash, and gaseous
pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and carbon
dioxide, responsible for human respiratory ailments. Most industrialized
nations have implemented legislation to promote the use of smokeless fuel and
reduce emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere.

See Also: Carbon Dioxide, greenhouse gases

More Info:

Standards to Reduce Toxic Power Plant Air Pollution



Solar energy technologies produce electricity from the energy of the sun. Small solar energy systems can provide electricity for homes, businesses, and remote power needs. Larger solar energy systems provide more electricity for contribution to the electric power system.

See Also: Renewable Energy, Alternative Energy, Passive Solar

The variations in solar output amplified by cloud feedback,
results in stratospheric warming (greenhouse warming produces a cooling of the

A fine, sticky powder, comprised mostly of
carbon, formed by the burning of fossil fuels.

See also: Fossil Fuels

A population of morphologically similar organisms that can reproduce sexually among themselves but that cannot produce fertile offspring when mated with other organisms.

The number and relative abundance of species present in a community.

A hen that is no longer able to function as a factory egg-producing machine –
usually about two years old. These hens, which frequently have broken bones and
badly bruised bodies, are sold cheaply for use in frozen dinners or canned
soups, or are discarded.

Unlimited outward extension of city boundaries that lowers population density, consumes open space, generates freeway congestion, and causes decay in central cities.

The zone in the atmosphere extending from the tropopause to about 50 km (30 mi) above the earth’s surface; temperatures are stable or rise slightly with altitude; has very little water vapor but is rich in ozone.

Harvesting trees in strips narrow enough to minimize edge effects and to allow natural regeneration of the forest.

Planting different kinds of crops in alternating strips along land contours; when one crop is harvested, the other crop remains to protect the soil and prevent water from running straight down a hill.

Mining technique in which the land and
vegetation covering the mineral being sought are stripped away by huge
machines, usually damaging the land severely and limiting subsequent uses.

Also known as Mountain Top Removal

More Info:

Mountaintop Removal — effects & Facts


Removing surface layers over coal seams using giant, earth-moving equipment; creates a huge open-pit from which coal is scooped by enormous surface-operated machines and transported by trucks; an alternative to deep mines.

A fund established by Congress to pay for containment, cleanup, or remediation of abandoned toxic waste sites. The fund is financed by fees paid by toxic waste generators and by cost-recovery from cleanup projects.

More Info:

Basic info

Superfund Sites Where You Live

Some minerals are also mined from surface pits. See strip mining.

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Source: Epa.gov

Farming that provides a secure living for farm families; maintains the natural
environment and resources; supports the rural community; and offers respect and
fair treatment to all involved, from farm workers to consumers to the animals
raised for food.

See also: CSA

To ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

See Also: Green Design

Wetland with trees, such as the extensive swamp forests of the southern United States.