English Vocabulary - Environment Part 1

rawozele's version from 2018-03-25 15:16


This page helps you learn English vocabulary related to the environment and environmental issues.

Environment Vocabulary

Words, phrases and terms concerning the environment and issuses connected with it. Be sure to use this as part of your daily English practice.


Question Answer
accountabilitya position where people have the right to criticize you or ask you why something happened. noun [uncount]. Example: the accountability of the government to the public
acid rainrain that contains a high level of acid that can damage the environment. The acid forms when harmful gases from industry and vehicles mix with water in the atmosphere. noun [uncount]
acidiccontaining acid (=a chemical substance with a pH value of less than 7). adjective. Example: acidic soil
acidifyto become an acid, or cause a substance to become an acid. verb [intransitive/ transitive]
affectto change or influence something. If something affects something else, it has an effect on it. verb [intransitive]. Example: Did the newspapers really affect the outcome of the election?
afforestationthe process of planting many trees on an area of land. noun [uncount]
alkalinecontaining an alkali or consisting of an alkali (=a chemical substance with a pH value of more than 7). Adjective
asthmaa medical condition that makes it difficult to breathe. noun [uncount]. Example: Her grandmother suffered from asthma.
atmospherethe air round the Earth or round another planet. noun [count]. Example: Saturn’s moon, Titan, has an atmosphere mainly made of nitrogen.
biodegradabledecaying naturally in a way that is not harmful to the environment. adjective
biodiversitythe variety of types of living thing in a particular region. noun [uncount]
biomassplant and animal substances used for fuel. Biomass fuels produce less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels such as coal and oil. noun [uncount]
biomea region that is classified by its climate and the types of animals and plants that are living in it. The rainforest and the tundra are biomes. noun [count]
biospherethe parts of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere where living things can exist. noun [singular]
breatheto take air into your lungs through your nose or mouth and let it out again. verb [intransitive/transitive]. Example: He held her so tightly she could hardly breathe.
bronchitisan illness affecting your bronchial tubes in which you cough and find breathing difficult. noun [count]
burnto damage or destroy something with fire. verb [transitive]
cancera serious illness caused by a group of cells in the body increasing in an uncontrolled way. noun [count/uncount]. Example: Some cancers are easier to treat than others.
canopythe highest leaves and branches in a forest. noun [singular]
carbon dioxidegas without colour or smell, produced when you breathe out or when substances containing carbon are burnt. noun [uncount]
carbon emissionscarbon dioxide and carbon monoxide that vehicles and factories produce and send into the atmosphere. noun [plural]
catalytic convertera piece of equipment fitted to a car that reduces the amount of poisonous gases that it sends into the air. noun [count]
causalif there is a causal connection or relationship between two events, one event causes the other. adjective. Example: They long ago established a causal link between smoking and lung cancer.
causean event, thing, or person that makes something happen. noun [count]. Example: The major cause of these accidents is drivers going too fast.
cfcchlorofluorocarbon, a gas used in refrigerators and in some aerosols. cfcs can damage the ozone layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. noun [count]
chemical dumpingthe process of getting rid of used or waste chemicals in a particular area, or the illegal activity involved in this process. noun [uncount]
climate changeimportant and possibly harmful changes that some scientists believe are taking place in the world’s weather because of increased pollution in the atmosphere. noun [uncount]
coala hard black substance that is dug from the ground and burned as fuel to provide heat. noun [uncount]. Example: Put some more coal on the fire.
concentratedconcentrated liquids or substances have been made stronger by having water removed. adjective. Example: concentrated fruit juice
consequencea result or effect of something. noun [count]. Example: She said exactly what she felt, without fear of the consequences.
conservationthe management of land and water in ways that prevent them from being damaged or destroyed. noun [uncount]. Example: a wildlife conservation project
conservationistsomeone who works to protect the environment from damage or destruction. noun [count]
contaminatedmade dirty, polluted, or poisonous by the addition of a chemical, waste, or infection. adjective. Example: contaminated food/water/blood
controversya disagreement, especially about a public policy or a moral issue that a lot of people have strong feelings about. noun [count/uncount]. Example: The election ended in controversy, with allegations of widespread vote-rigging.
criticsomeone who does not like something and states their opinion about it. noun [count]. Example: Critics say the plan is short-sighted and dangerous.
cyanidea very poisonous chemical. noun [uncount]
damagephysical harm caused to something so that it is broken, spoiled, or injured. noun [uncount]. Example: Mr Charlton surveyed the damage caused by the bulldozer.
dangerouslikely to harm or kill someone, or to damage or destroy something. adjective. Example: a dangerous dog
deadlyable or likely to kill people. adjective. Example: This is a potentially deadly disease.
debatea discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject. noun [count/uncount] Example: There has been intense debate over political union.
decommissionto stop using something such as a weapon, ship, or nuclear power station. verb [transitive]
deforestationthe process of cutting down and removing trees, especially from large areas of land. Deforestation is bad for the environment, as there are fewer trees to take in carbon dioxide and this can lead to an increase in global warming. It also involves the destruction of habitats and can cause soil erosion. noun [uncount]
degradationthe process by which the land or the environment becomes damaged or polluted. noun [uncount] Example: environmental degradation
desertificationthe process of land becoming so dry that it cannot be used for farming. This is often the result of human activities such as overgrazing and deforestation. noun [uncount]
destroyto damage something so severely that it no longer exists or can never return to its normal state. verb [transitive]. Example: Half the world’s rainforests have already been destroyed.
devastateto seriously damage or completely destroy something. verb [transitive]. Example: Western India was devastated by a huge earthquake.
dioxina poisonous chemical produced during the process of making chemicals for killing plants. noun [count]
dischargeliquid or gas that comes out of a place, or the process of coming out into water or the air. noun [count/uncount]. Example: The authorities are particularly concerned about discharges from nuclear power stations.
disposalthe process of getting rid of something. noun [uncount]. Example: the disposal of nuclear waste at sea.
dropleta very small drop of liquid. noun [count]
ecologicalrelating to the environment and the way organisms affect each other. adjective. Example: The oil that leaked from the damaged ship caused a massive ecological disaster.
ecologythe study of the environment and the way organisms affect each other. noun [uncount]. Example: the ecology of the wetlands.
ecosystemall the plants, animals, and other organisms in a particular area, considered in relation to the environment that they live in and the way they all depend on each other. noun [count]
ecotourismthe business of organizing and selling holidays that cause as little damage to the environment as possible. noun [count]. Example: Nowadays ecotourism is really popular.
effecta change that is produced in one person or thing by another. noun [count/uncount]. Example: Scientists are studying the chemical’s effect on the environment.
effluentliquid waste that a place such as a factory or farm allows to flow into a river or the sea. noun [count/uncount]
emissiona substance, especially a gas, that goes into the air. noun [count]. Example: New regulations are aimed at reducing vehicle emissions.
emitto send something out into the air, especially gas, light, or heat. verb [transitive]. Example: Pulsars emit radiation.
endangered speciesa type of animal or plant that may soon become extinct, for example because its habitat is being destroyed or because it has been hunted or gathered far too much in the past. noun [count]
energyelectricity and other forms of power used for making things work. noun [uncount]
enforcedhappening because of a situation that you cannot control or prevent. adjective. Example: Wyatt blamed injury for his enforced absence from the game.
environmentthe natural world, including the land, water, air, plants, and animals. noun [singular]. Example: Industrial development is causing widespread damage to the environment.
environmentalrelating to the natural world and the effect that human activity has on it. adjective. Example: The minister discussed environmental issues.
environmentalistsomeone who wants to protect the environment. noun [count]
environmentally friendlynot harming the natural environment. adjective
exhaustgases or steam produced by an engine as it works. noun [uncount]. Example: exhaust fumes/gases/emissions.
faminea serious lack of food that continues for a long time and causes many people in a country to become ill or die. noun [count]. Example: People in some African countries suffer from famine.
floodinga situation in which water from a river or from rain covers large areas of land. noun [uncount]. Example: Last weekend’s flooding left over 10,000 people homeless.