Definitions - g


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Gassing Current

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General Circulation Model

A global, three-dimensional computer model of the climate system; GCM's are highly complex and they represent the effects of such factors as reflective and absorptive properties of atmospheric water vapor, greenhouse gas concentrations, clouds, annual and daily solar heating, ocean temperatures and ice boundaries. The most recent GCM's include global representations of the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface.

They are often used to model the effects of human induced climate change into the future; but the accuracy of the models are highly dependent upon:

  • The accuracy of the initial starting conditions;
  • The accuracy of how the climatic processes are modeled, and;
  • The accuracy of the assumptions made in the model construction.
Like all modeling systems that attempt to predict the future the further they attempt to 'look' into the future the more inaccurate they become with respect to reality.

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Genetically Modified Organism

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GeoExchange System

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Geostrophic Wind

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Geothermal Energy

Heat energy from within the earth. Often extracted as steam to either produce electricity or heat buildings.

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Geothermal Heat Pump

A Geothermal heat pump is the pump system used in a ground heat transfer system to heat a property using the latent heat in the earth.

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Ghost Acres

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Goddard Institute of Space Studies – a US NASA unit.

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A multi-year surplus accumulation of snowfall in excess of snowmelt on land and resulting in a very large mass of ice.

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Glass Recycling

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Glazing Factor

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Global Carbon Budget

The balance of the exchanges (incomes and losses) of carbon between the carbon reservoirs or between one specific loop (e.g., atmosphere biosphere) of the carbon cycle. An examination of the carbon budget of a pool or reservoir can provide information about whether the pool or reservoir is functioning as a source or sink for CO2.

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Global Radiation Balance

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Global Surface Temperature

The average of the sea temperature in the first few meters of the oceans and the temperature 1.5 m above ground on land surfaces.

Note: This is very subjective, the method of calculation and extrapolation to synthesis temperature for regions where there is scant direct temperature measurement (such as at the Poles), varies a lot.

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Global Warming

A multi-year surplus accumulation of snowfall in excess of snowmelt on land and resulting in a very large mass of ice.

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Global Warming Potential

The GWP is the ratio of the warming caused by a substance to the warming caused by a similar mass of carbon dioxide. Thus, the GWP of CO2 is defined to be 1.0 . CFC-12 has a GWP of 8,500, while CFC-11 has a GWP of 5,000.

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See definition of e-waste.

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Gluten Free

Gluten Free refers to food or a diet which has a greatly reduced amount of Gluten in it. It may indeed be totally gluten free but it practice this is usually very hard to achieve as gluten is found in so many off the shelf foods and ingredients - often not directly referred to in the labeling.

The exact level at which gluten is harmless is uncertain and controversial. A recent systematic review tentatively concluded that consumption of less than 10 mg of gluten per day is unlikely to cause histological abnormalities, although it noted that few reliable studies had been done.

Also exactly what the label gluten-free actually means on food varies markedly by country.

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Gluten Free Diet

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Gluten Intolerance

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Going Green

Going green refers to action that can be taken to consciously curb harmful effects on the environment through consumer habits, behavior, and lifestyle.

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Government Solar Rebates

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Granular Activated Carbon Treatment

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Gray Water

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Green Advertising

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Green Architecture

Green Architecture refers to the process of designing a building to have a reduced environmental impact either by reusing existing materials or using new materials in a lower impact way. Green architecture also focuses on reducing the ongoing energy consumption of the building.

Note: This does not mean than an existing building cannot be made more Green, rather it encompasses making sensible use of what is preexisting in a way that is more Green. Often reusing a building than completely removing it can have a dramatic positive impact on reducing environmental impact over the longer term.

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Green Building

Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and final deconstruction.

This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.

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Green Christmas

A green Christmas is where the celebration of Christmas is done in such a way that the presents & gifts, the party, the dinner, food and venue are all chosen to minimize environmental impact.

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Green Clothing

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Green Collar Worker

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Green Fatigue

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Green Finance

Green Finance is money that is provided to fund Green Projects and is often supplied by a dedicated Green Fund or business. The idea being that the money is put to good use on Green causes and any profit made is then further spent on other Green Projects.

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Green Graffiti

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Green Graffiti Removal

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Green House

A 'green house' used to just refer to a building with lots of glass designed to trap heat for the purpose of growing plants. Nowadays it also refers to a home that has been specially designed to follow 'green' design principals by reducing energy consumption and damage to the environment.

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Green Investment

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Green Manure

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Green Marketing

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Green Pesticides

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Green Procurement

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Green Roof

A green roof is a conventional roof covered with a layer of vegetation, also known as “living roofs”. Green roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a wildlife habitat and helping to lower urban air temperatures and combat the urban heat island effect. There are two types of green roofs: intensive roofs, which are thicker and can support a wider variety of plants but heavy and require ongoing maintenance, and extensive roofs, which are covered in a light layer of vegetation and are lighter than an intensive green roof.

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Green Search

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Green Technology

Green Technology is Technology which is either itself considered green by its design or its intended purpose.

Technology that is Green in of itself has been designed to not pollute the environment during its manufacturer or final decommissioning, Technology that is Green by purpose is technology which is used to implement a service or process which in of itself is considered Green.

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Greenhouse Gas

A multi-year surplus accumulation of snowfall in excess of snowmelt on land and resulting in a very large mass of ice.

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Greenwashing is a superficial nod to the environment that marketers and businesses that historically were not interested in sustainable concerns, are doing in order to improve their public relation standings with the consumer or public. Analogous to brainwashing. Don't be fooled by dishonest companies employing greenwashing techniques.

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Grey Water System

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Grid Connected

Grid connected refers to a solar panel electrical system which is connected to the mains power grid, so any excess power it generates can be fed back into the mains power grid. The owner of the solar panel system can often earn 'credits' for feeding in such power.

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Grid-tie Inverters

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Grime Writing

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Ground Source Heat Pump

These heat pumps are underground coils to transfer heat from the ground to the inside of a building.

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Ground Water

  • The description and scientific study of climate.
  • A quantitative description of climate showing the characteristic values of climate variables over a region.

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Ground-Water Discharge

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Guerrilla Gardening

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Gulf Stream

A current of warm ocean water that flows from the Gulf of Mexico to the coasts of Europe, providing heat that keeps Europe warmer in winter than regions of North America at the same latitude.

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Click on a letter to see all the terms and definitions that begin with that letter.

A free Android app containing all these definitions is now available, called the Green Dictionary. Click here to see the entry on the Android market; or click here if on an Android phone.