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Glossary


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


G

Genetic diversity

 

Total genetic information contained in the genes of all organism on earth.

 
Geomorphology

 

The study of the characteristics, origin, and development of landforms.

 
Glacier

 

A mass of land ice flowing downhill (by internal deformation and sliding at the base) and constrained by the surrounding topography (e.g., the sides of a valley or surrounding peaks); the bedrock topography is the major influence on the dynamics and surface slope of a glacier. A glacier is maintained by accumulation of snow at high altitudes, balanced by melting at low altitudes or discharge into the sea. Glacier ice is the largest reservoir of fresh water on Earth, and second only to the oceans as the largest reservoir of total water. Glaciers are found on every continent except Australia.

 
Glacial lake

 

A lake formed by glacier meltwater, located either at the front of a glacier (known as a proglacial lake), on the surface of a glacier (supraglacial lake), within the glacier (englacial lake) or at the glacier bed (subglacial lake).

 
Global competitiveness

 

The ability of an area to attract foreign and local investment and to sell goods and services internationally.

 
Growing stock

 

The sum (by number or volume) of all the trees growing/living on the forest or a specified part of it.

 
Global warming

 

Changes in the surface air temperature, referred to as the global temperature, brought about by the enhanced greenhouse effect, which is induced by emission of greenhouse gases into the air.

 
Green water

 

That fraction of rainfall that is stored in the soil and is available for the growth of plants.

 
Greenhouse gases (GHGs)

 

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. There are human-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as the halocarbons and other chlorine and bromine containing substances. Beside CO2, N2O and CH4, the Kyoto Protocol deals with sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

 
Greenhouse effect

 

The gradual increase in the temperature of the earth, caused by the sun's rays reaching the surface of the earth and being trapped by pollution in the air.

 
Greenfields

 

Sections of undeveloped land, either currently used for agriculture or just left to nature.

 
Groundwater

 

Water that flows or seeps downward and saturates soil or rock, supplying springs and wells. The upper surface of the saturate zone is called the water table.