Any organism, esp a fungus or bacterium, that lives and feeds on dead organic matter.Search the Web for Saprotroph
A land which is without trees but with much grass either tall or short (such as the African savannah).Search the Web for Savannah
A type of vertical axis wind turbine that uses half-drum shaped blades to catch the wind and turn a shaft. These generally produce high torque but at low speed, so good for water pumping but they are occasionally used for producing electricity.Search the Web for Savonius Rotor
Local coastal wind that blows from the ocean to land. Sea breezes usually occur during the day because the heating differences of land and sea cause pressure differences. Cooler heavier air from the sea moves in to replace rising warm air on the coastline. See land breeze.Search the Web for Sea Breeze
Wastewater tanks in which floating wastes are skimmed off and settled solids are removed for disposal.Search the Web for Sedimentation Tanks
Underground tank for treatment of wastewater from a home in rural and suburban areas. Bacteria in the tank decompose organic wastes and the sludge settles to the bottom of the tank. The effluent flows out of the tank into the ground through a field of drainpipes.
Settled Science is a phrase often encountered in newspapers and press reports, usually associated with climate change articles and reports. Settled Science is used to indicate that the science of climate change is 'settled' and therefore further discussion on the point is pointless as the underlying science is so strong as to not require any more discussion.
The real problem is that proper science is never 'settled' rather it moves and advances as new findings are made, even when what was effected was considered solid fact (like the Earth being flat and the center of the universe). Therefore to say any science is settled is a gross misrepresentation of the process, rather the results of current science can be said to at best to be in 'general agreement' for a theory or law that has been around for many years (i.e. it has survived many competing theories or ideas). In this regard, given the relative infancy of climate science compared to the other science fields, it is hard to say anything is in long term general agreement; rather there are several competing theories or mind sets in play that come and go as more research is done.
Carbon Pollution refers to the human produce Co2 that is meant to be harming the environment.Search the Web for Shale Gas
Oil obtained from bituminous shale, most often by a technique called fracking.Search the Web for Shale Oil
Building whose occupants experience acute health and/or comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent therein, but where no specific illness or cause can be identified. Complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may spread throughout the building.Search the Web for Sick Building Syndrome
Slow Food describes a movement created “to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world,” as defined on the movement’s website. More broadly, it places an emphasis on local and seasonal produce and an adherence to regional cultures. Its goals also include lobbying against the use of pesticides and genetic engineering of food.Search the Web for Slow Food
Sea Level Pressure.Search the Web for SLP
Smart Eco refers to the usage of computerization and ecologically focused system design to create locally controlled environments that have a reduced impact on the global environment. Examples of this include: computer controlled irrigation systems that monitor weather conditions to minimize water usage; consumer appliances that are aware of power availability and adjust accordingly, and environmental controls that use passive design techniques to maintain a stable temperature.
Gas or liquid fuel made from plant material (biomass). Includes wood, wood waste, wood liquors, peat, railroad ties, wood sludge, spent sulfite liquors, agricultural waste, straw, tires, fish oils, tall oil, sludge waste, waste alcohol, municipal solid waste, landfill gases, other waste, and ethanol blended into motor gasoline.Search the Web for Smart Grid
A smart meter is a form of electricity consumption meter that is able to measure your electricity usage in multiple time bands and is computer based. Also they will usually support 'feed in' measurement of locally generated electricity back into the electrical supply grid; i.e. any spare electricity generated by solar panels.Search the Web for Smart Meter
Air pollution typically associated with oxidants.Search the Web for Smog
Used widely as a major ingredient in cosmetics, skin care products, toothpaste, shampoos and other foaming products. Industrial uses of SLS include garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and car wash soaps. SLS is also used in testing-labs as the standard skin irritant to compare the healing properties of other ingredients.
According to the American College of Toxicology, both SLS and SLES can cause malformation in children's eyes. Other research has indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system and may cause potentially carcinogenic nitrates and dioxins to form in the bottles of shampoos and cleansers by reacting with commonly used ingredients found in many products. Also, large amounts of these nitrates may enter the blood system from just one shampooing. Studies have indicated that SLS easily penetrates through the skin and enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain.Search the Web for Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
Sodium perborate is a white odorless crystalline compound soluble in water.
Its chemical formula is NaBO3.
It is an important ingredient of many laundry detergent powders, laundry bleach additive products and automatic machine dishwash powders. Sodium perborate is also used as a tooth whitener in toothpastes, as an antiseptic, as a deodorant, and as a reactive agent (reagent) in industral processes.
An indicator of a soil's susceptibility to raindrop impact, runoff, and other erosive processes.Search the Web for Soil Erodibility
A solar chimney — often referred to as a thermal chimney —
is a way of improving the natural ventilation of buildings
by using convection of air
heated by passive solar energy. A
simple description of a solar chimney is that of a vertical shaft
utilizing solar energy to enhance the natural stack ventilation through a building.
In its simplest form, the solar chimney consists of a black-painted chimney. During the day solar energy heats the chimney and the air within it, creating an updraft of air in the chimney. The suction created at the chimney's base can be used to ventilate and cool the building below.
The average amount of solar radiation that reaches the earth's upper atmosphere on a surface perpendicular to the sun's rays; equal to 1353 Watts per square meter or 492 Btu per square foot.Search the Web for Solar Constant
A Solar Conversation is basically the act of fitting Solar system to a property to utilize the Sun directly, such as fittings Solar Panels and Solar water heating. In addition this could cover fitting indirect solar systems, such as roof space heat recovery systems.Search the Web for Solar Conversion
The use of solar thermal energy or solar electricity to power a cooling appliance. Photovoltaic systems can power evaporative coolers ("swamp" coolers), heat-pumps, and air conditioners.Search the Web for Solar Cooling
Solar gain (known also as solar heat gain or passive solar gain) refers to the temperature increase in a space, object, or structure caused by solar radiation. The amount of solar gain increases with the strength of the Sun, and with the ability of any intervening material to transmit or resist the radiation.
Objects struck by Sunlight absorb the short-wave radiation from the light and re-radiate the heat at longer infrared wavelengths. Where there is a material or substance between the Sun and the objects struck that is more transparent to the shorter wavelengths than the longer, then when the Sun is shining the net result is an increase in temperature - hence solar gain.
Solar gain is also a problem for Solar Panels, as when they increase in temperature they progressively lose their ability to convert solar light into electrical power. So Solar Panels need to be kept cool to operate at peak performance.
A solar grove is basically a set of solar panel arrays so installed as to allow the ground under them to be used as shade. For instance with an open car park this allows electricity to be generated whilst keeping the cars below cool, so saving on air conditioning costs for each car.Search the Web for Solar Grove
A solar home refers to a house that has been designed specially to benefit from passive solar design principals; i.e. using the Sun to provide heat in winter, whilst avoiding it heating up the house excessively in Summer.Search the Web for Solar Home
This refers to the act of using solar energy to heat water. Usually by means of putting a solar panel on a roof through which runs the water to be heated, which is then fed in a circuit to some form of insulated water storage for later use.Search the Web for Solar Hot Water
A solar hot water system consists of a collector, heat transfer circuit and hot water storage system. These can either be combined into one system or into 3 separate components depending on your exact needs. There are many different commercial suppliers.
See Solar Water heating, how it works and the options available article for more information.
Solar Orientation refers to the solar alignment of a structure. Usually this used as one measure to determine the structures ability to harness solar energy. Most often used with respect to solar panels or buildings.Search the Web for Solar Orientation
Solar Panel Efficiency is a percentage measure of how Solar Energy from the Sun hitting a solar panel is ideally converted into useful electrical power. This is often given assuming perfect conditions; i.e. no shade, maximum sun and cool. In practice the actual rate of conversion can be somewhat different due to:
Solar Power Generation is the act of using a system that is powered by the Sun to produce typically electrical power.
Describes an object which is either solely or completely powered from the Sun. It may require direct Sun light to work or stores the solar energy in a battery to use later, such as solar powered garden lights.Search the Web for Solar Powered
A Solar Roof Tile is a roof tile engineered to function as a roof tile and also as a solar panel at the same time. This way the 'look' of the roof is not adversely impacted by a separate set of solar panels and existing roofing structures can be used to support the new tiles.
Solar Shades are movable semi-transparent coverings to windows that block out most of the Sun without obstructing the view. They have several benefits:
A device designed to receive solar radiation and convert it into thermal energy. Normally, a solar thermal collector includes a frame, glazing, and an absorber, together with the appropriate insulation. The heat collected by the solar thermal collector may be used immediately or stored for later use.Search the Web for Solar Thermal Collector
A Solar Water Pump is a water pump which is solely powered by Solar Panels, so as a result only runs during the day. This typically used for raising water into a holding tank to then allow water to distributed by gravity as needed, such as water from a well or river.Search the Web for Solar Water Pump
A method of separation used to purify vegetable oils.Search the Web for Solvent Extraction
Refers to products that result in a net reduction in the generation of waste compared to their previous or alternate version and includes durable, reusable and re-manufactured products; products with no, or reduced, toxic constituents; and products marketed with no, or reduced packaging.Search the Web for Source Reduction
Items such as household hazardous waste, bulky wastes (refrigerators, pieces of furniture, etc.) tires, and used oil.Search the Web for Special Waste
Dirt or rock removed from its original location, destroying the composition of the soil in the process; as in strip-mining, dredging, or construction.Search the Web for Spoil
Flow of air resulting from warm air rising, creating a positive pressure area at the top of a building and negative pressure area at the bottom. This effect can overpower the mechanical system and disrupt building ventilation and air circulation.Search the Web for Stack Effect
Energy generated by a stand-alone system is stored in batteries and then subsequently used. Also known as “off-grid,” these systems are not connected to the utility grid.Search the Web for Stand-alone System
The removal or destruction of all microorganisms, including pathogenic and other bacteria, vegetative forms, and spores.Search the Web for Sterilization
The capacity of a battery, in amp-hours, compared to its weight or volume. Measured in watt-hours per kilogram or watt-hours per litre.Search the Web for Storage Density
Second layer of the atmosphere, extending from about 19 to 48 kilometers (12 to 30 miles) above the earth's surface. It contains small amounts of gaseous ozone (O3), which filters out about 99 percent of the incoming harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Most commercial airline flights operate at a cruising
altitude in the lower stratosphere.
The volume of water that moves over a designated point over a fixed period of time.Search the Web for Streamflow
Term coined by World-changing writer Alex Steffen to refer to those who believe the way to achieve sustainability is through technological innovation. As opposed to dark greens and light greens.Search the Web for Strip Mining
Minimum food and shelter necessary to support life.Search the Web for Subsistence
Area on the surface of the earth between tropic and temperate regions, approximately between 40 degrees N. and S.Search the Web for Subtropical
Particulate matter that consists of compounds of sulfur formed by the interaction of sulfur dioxide and sulfur trioxide with other compounds in the atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols are injected into the atmosphere from the combustion of fossil fuels and the eruption of volcanoes like Mt. Pinatubo. Recent theory suggests that sulfate aerosols may lower the Earth's temperature by reflecting away solar radiation (negative radiative forcing). General Circulation Models which incorporate the effects of sulfate aerosols more accurately predict global temperature variations.Search the Web for Sulfate Aerosols
Cyclic movement of sulfur in different chemical forms from the environment, to organisms, and then back to the environment.Search the Web for Sulfur Cycle
A compound composed of one sulfur and two oxygen molecules. Sulfur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere through natural and anthropogenic processes is changed in a complex series of chemical reactions in the atmosphere to sulfate aerosols. These aerosols are believed to result in negative radiative forcing (i.e., tending to cool the Earth's surface) and do result in acid deposition (e.g., acid rain).Search the Web for Sulfur Dioxide
Sun Orientation refers to the alignment of a building or structure with respect to the transit of the Sun across the sky. The orientation determines which walls or windows receive light during the day. This is an important factor in passive solar building design.
You can read more about passive solar and Sun orientation in this article .
Super Grid is a term referring to continent-wide energy grids that link far flung renewable energy sources with population centers.
Proposals for a European Super Grid, for example, would see solar farms in North Africa, wind farms in the North Sea and Russia, hydro electric facilities in Scandinavia, and geothermal power plants in Iceland all transmit energy to Europe.
Supporters of the proposals argue that spreading the energy grid across such a wide area and sourcing energy from a variety of different renewable sources would overcome concerns over reliability that can undermine efforts to increase renewable energy capacity.Search the Web for Super Grid
Insulating a building to minimize the amount of heat that can escape from (or, in a hot climate, enter) a building.Search the Web for Superinsulation
One of the new generation of glazing technologies, superwindows are double or triple-glazed window sandwiches which contain a center sheet of coated mylar "low-emissivity' film and are filled with argon or krypton gas. This construction and the coatings on the film allows short-wave radiation (visible light) to pass through, but reflects long-wavelength radiation (infrared or heat) so heat can- not pass through. R-values of 4.5 or more are achieved.Search the Web for Superwindow
A general term that describes environmentally-conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world. In the broad context, sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space. Most simply, the idea of sustainability, or ecological design, is to ensure that our actions and decisions today do not inhibit the opportunities of future generations.
This term can be used to describe an energy and ecologically conscious approach to the design of the built environment.
Sustainable development is the act of development (as in industrial development, be it farming, manufacturing, commerce, etc) performed in such a way it is:
Sustainable energy refers to energy sources which are in themselves sustainable; e.g. they are not considered finite.
Typically these consist of: Hydro, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and tidal.
Note: it is important when considering the technologies that utilize sustainable energy sources that the total lifetime cost is fully considered (e.g. from manufacturer, deployment, ongoing maintenance, to final disposal). Although the energy source many not be finite, the lifetime of operation of the technology to access them is finite and this should be considered. Basically there is no point in picking a sustainable energy source using a technology which requires constant maintenance or replacement, there is no net benefit to the environment or the consumer of the energy (higher costs and less reliable).
Sustainable tourism is where the operator and resort or service provider have made steps to ensure the act of tourism has minimal impact on the local environment and society.
This is often a bit of mixed blessing as sustainable tourism and 'eco tourism' has often been applied to businesses which are not really all that eco at the end of day. So therefore do make the effort to double check all claims and validate any recommendations.
The amount of a naturally self-reproducing community, such as trees or fish, that can be harvested without diminishing the ability of the community to sustain itself.Search the Web for Sustainable Yield
A swale is a low tract of land, especially one that is moist or marshy. The term can refer to a natural landscape feature or a human-created one. Artificial swales are often designed to manage water runoff, filter pollutants, and increase rainwater infiltration.
See Wikipedia entry
Synthetic crude oil made from coal of from oil shale.Search the Web for Syncrude
Synthetic gas or synthetic oil. Fuel that is artificially made as contrasted to that which is found in nature. Synthetic gas made from coal is considered to be more economical and easier to produce than synthetic oil. When natural gas supplies in the earth are being depleted, it is expected that synthetic gas will be able to be used widely as a substitute fuel.Search the Web for Synfuel
A chemical absorbed by an organism that interacts with the organism and makes the organism toxic to pests.Search the Web for Systemic Pesticide