Definitions - f

Falsifiability Rule

Science today recognizes that there is no way to prove the absolute truth of any hypothesis or model, since it is always possible that a different explanation might account for the same observation. In this sense, even the most well established physical laws are "conditional." Hence, with scientific methodology it is never possible to prove conclusively that a hypothesis is true, it is only possible to prove that it is false. (IPCC)

This definition is correct in that Falsifiability of a hypothesis disproves the hypothesis, but in order for a hypothesis to show a given cause and effect relation you still need explain the explicit relationship underpinning the hypothesis by proof; otherwise you leave yourself open to defining a hypothesis or model on the basis of co-incidence or misplace cause and effect (roosters crow every morning at Sun rise, therefore roosters cause the Sun to rise?...). Worse, you also leave falsifying the hypothesis to others to perform, which given they might not have an interest or wish to falsify your hypothesis; leads to essentially unproven conclusions and observations - a weak ground upon which to build further solid science.

See Postmodern Science

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Feed-in Tariff

A renewable energy support mechanism used in certain countries, where producers are rewarded at a nationally prescribed level for renewable electricity fed into the grid

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Firm Power

Power which is guaranteed by the supplier to be available at all times during a period covered by a commitment. That portion of a customer´s energy load for which service is assured by the utility provider.

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First Order Consumers

1st Order Consumers are animals that eat plants. They are the first step in the food chain.

For instance:

First-order Consumer - the organism that eats the producer. 

Second-order Consumer - the organism that eats or derives nutrients from the first-order consumer. 

Grass (Producer) is eaten by the zebra (1st order Consumer) who is eaten by the lion (2nd order Consumer).

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Fixed Tilt Array

 This is a photo-voltaic array set in at a fixed angle with respect to the Sun, it does not track the Sun across the sky..

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A thin layer of impermeable material (often sheet metal) used in construction to prevent water penetration and provide drainage. Often used between a roof and a wall or over exterior door and window openings.

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Flexible Solar Panels

Flexible Solar Panels are solar panels which can be bent or curved without an adverse impact on their viability as a solar panel.

This makes them suitable for portable usage as they can be rolled up easily when not in use. 

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Flexible-fuel Vehicle

A vehicle with a single fuel tank designed to run on varying blends of unleaded gasoline with either ethanol or methanol.

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Float Service

A battery operation in which the battery is normally connected to an external current source; for instance, a battery charger which supplies the battery load< under normal conditions, while also providing enough energy input to the battery to make up for its internal quiescent losses, thus keeping the battery always up to full power and ready for service.

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Process by which clumps of solids in water or sewage aggregate through biological or chemical action so they can be separated from water or sewage.

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Flood Forecasting

Prediction of the stage, discharge, time of occurrence, and duration of a flood, especially of the peak discharge at a specified point on a stream, resulting from precipitation and/or snowmelt.

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Flood Peak

The highest magnitude of the stage of discharge attained by a flood. Also called peak stage or peak discharge.

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Any normally dry land area that is susceptible to being inundated by water from any natural source. This area is usually low land adjacent to a stream or lake.

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The channel of a river or stream and those parts of the adjacent floodplain adjoining the channel that are required to carry and discharge the base flood.

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Floor Cladding

Floor cladding is the material used to construct the surface of a floor.

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Flow Battery

A flow battery, or a redox flow battery (after reduction–oxidation), is a type of rechargeable battery where rechargeability is provided by two chemical components dissolved in liquids contained within the system and separated by a membrane.

One of the biggest advantages of flow batteries is that they can be almost instantly recharged by replacing the electrolyte liquid, while simultaneously recovering the spent material for re-energization.

Different classes of flow cells (batteries) have been developed, including redox, hybrid and membraneless. The fundamental difference between conventional batteries and flow cells is that energy is stored as the electrode material in conventional batteries but as the electrolyte in flow cells.

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The addition of a chemical to increase the concentration of fluoride ions in drinking water to reduce the incidence of tooth decay.

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A halocarbon in which some hydrogen atoms have been replaced by fluorine; used in refrigerators and aerosols.

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Flush Out

To help ensure the indoor air quality, mechanical systems are operated for a minimum of two weeks using 100 percent outside air at the end of construction and prior to building occupancy.

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Fly Ash

A fine residue, left after trash is burned in an incinerator, which can be carried in the air. It can contain harmful or toxic substances such as dioxins, lead and mercury.

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The act of dumping large amounts of rubbish such as furniture, building waste or packaging, on any land or street.

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Foil Insulation

Foil insulation is a thin metallic film stretched over a surface to reduce heat transmission through a space by primarily radiated means. Often found in roof spaces. Some foils can come with a foam backing to give it extra strength and provide additional insulation against direct heat transmission.

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Food Allergy

A food allergy is an adverse immune response to a food protein. They are distinct from other adverse responses to food, such as food intolerance, pharmacological reactions, and toxin-mediated reactions.

A protein in the food is the most common allergic component. These kinds of allergies occur when the body's immune system mistakenly identifies a protein as harmful. Some proteins or fragments of proteins are resistant to digestion and those that are not broken down in the digestive process are tagged by the Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These tags fool the immune system into thinking that the protein is harmful. The immune system, thinking the organism (the individual) is under attack, triggers an allergic reaction. These reactions can range from mild to severe. Allergic responses include dermatitis, gastrointestinal and respiratory distress, including such life-threatening anaphylactic responses as biphasic anaphylaxis and vasodilation; these require immediate emergency intervention. Non-food protein allergies include latex sensitivity. Individuals with protein allergies commonly avoid contact with the problematic protein. Some medications may prevent, minimize or treat protein allergy reactions.

Original Wikipedia entry

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Food Chain

A sequence of organisms, each of which uses the next, lower member of the sequence as a food source.

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Food Intolerance

Food intolerance or non-allergic food hypersensitivity is a term used widely for varied physiological responses associated with a particular food, or compound found in a range of foods.

Food intolerance is negative reaction, often delayed, to a food, beverage, food additive, or compound found in foods that produces symptoms in one or more body organs and systems, but it is not a true food allergy. A true food allergy requires the presence of IgE antibodies against the food, and a food intolerance does not.

Original wikipedia entry

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Food Miles

This is the distance your food has travelled from 'plough to plate'.

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Food Web

The complex inter meshing of individual food chains in an ecosystem.

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Food Web

A food web is a system of interlocking and interdependent food chains.

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Forcing Mechanism

A process that alters the energy balance of the climate system, i.e. changes the relative balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared radiation from Earth. Such mechanisms include changes in solar irradiance, volcanic eruptions, and enhancement of the natural greenhouse effect by emission of carbon dioxide. See also Radiative Forcing.

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Forest Dieback

This refers to a high incidence of decline and individual tree death due to a  change in climate conditions that makes trees vulnerable to disease and insect predation.

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Forest Residues

Material not harvested or removed from logging sites in commercial hardwood and softwood stands as well as material resulting from forest management operations such as precommercial thinnings and removal of dead and dying trees.

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Fossil Fuel

A hydrocarbon deposit, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas, derived from living matter of a previous geologic time and used for fuel.

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Hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking, fracing or hydrofracking, is the process of initiating and subsequently propagating a fracture in a rock layer, employing the pressure of a fluid as the source of energy. The fracturing, known as a frack job (or frac job), is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations, in order to increase the extraction rates and ultimate recovery of oil and natural gas.

Original Wikipedia entry

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Free Convection

Convection triggered by intense solar heating of the earth's surface.

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A wind generator that is NOT connected to a Load is freewheeling, and in danger of self-destruction from over speeding.

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Fresnel Lens

An optical device that focuses light like a magnifying glass; concentric rings are faced at slightly different angles so that light falling on any ring is focused to the same point.

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Friable Asbestos

Any material containing more than one-percent asbestos, and that can be crumbled or reduced to powder by hand pressure. (May include previously non-friable material which becomes broken or damaged by mechanical force.)

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Fuel Cell

A cell producing an electric current direct from a chemical reaction.

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Wood and wood products, possibly including coppices, scrubs, branches, etc., bought or gathered, and used by direct combustion.

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Fugitive Emissions

Emissions from leaks in the mining, exploration or transport of fossil fuels, such as gas pipeline leaks.

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Functional Diversity

The characteristic of a place where a variety of different activities (economic, political, social) occur; most often associated with urban places.

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A chemical that keeps fungi from growing.

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A method of preventing damage to horizontal-axis wind turbines by automatically turning them out of the wind using a spring loaded tail or other device.

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Furling Tail

A wind generator protection mechanism where the rotor shaft axis is offset horizontally from the yaw axis, and the tail boom is both offset horizontally and hinged diagonally, thus allowing the tail to fold up and in during high winds. This causes the blades to turn out of the wind, protecting the machine.

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