Depletion or degradation of a potentially renewable resource to which people have free and unmanaged access. An example is the depletion of commercially desirable fish species in the open ocean beyond areas controlled by coastal countries. See common-property resource.
Chapter 1 - Environmental Issues, Their Causes, & Sustainability
Highest rate at which a potentially renewable resource can be used without reducing its available supply throughout the world or in a particular area. See also environmental degradation.
A society that manages its economy and population size without doing irreparable environmental harm by overloading the planet's ability to absorb environmental insults, replenish its resources, and sustain human and other forms of life over a specified period, usually hundreds to thousands of years. During this period, it satisfies the needs of its people without depleting natural resources and thereby jeopardizing the prospects of current and future generations of humans and other species.
Taking no more potentially renewable resources from the natural world than can be replenished naturally and not overloading the capacity of the environment to cleanse and renew itself by natural processes.
See environmentally sustainable economic development.
Ability of a system to survive for some specified (finite) time.
Direct radiant energy from the sun and a number of indirect forms of energy produced by the direct input. Principal indirect forms of solar energy include wind, falling and flowing water (hydropower), and biomass (solar energy converted into chemical energy stored in the chemical bonds of organic compounds in trees and other plants).
Solar energy from the sun reaching the earth. Compare natural resources.
Second step in most waste treatment systems in which aerobic bacteria break down up to 90% of degradable, oxygen-demanding organic wastes in wastewater. This usually involves bringing sewage and bacteria together in trickling filters or in the activated sludge process. Compare advanced sewage treatment, primary sewage treatment.
Doubling time (in years) = 70/percentage growth rate. See doubling time, exponential growth.
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