Taxonomy - Search Results

The Taxonomy Search Results page displays the taxonomy results in a hierarchical view. The user has the option to export the results into a variety of different formats.

Descriptive Information
Long Name
Web Taxonomy-Environmental Media Topics
Short Name
WBT - Env Media Topics
Display Name
Web Taxonomy-Environmental Media Topics
"Extensible list of topics related to environmental media--air
Air, Information Management/Systems, Land, Waste, & Cleanup
Publishing Organization
Office of Environmental Information, Office of Information Analysis and Access
Last Update
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Expand Air - The mixture of gases that surrounds the earth and forms its atmosphere, composed of, by volume, 21 percent oxygen, 78 percent nitrogen. 
Bullet Acid Rain - Rain having a pH less than 5.6. The acidity results from chemical reactions occurring when water, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides, generally released by industrial processes, are chemically transformed into sulphuric and nitric acids. [GEMET-US] 
Bullet Air Quality - The degree to which air is polluted; the type and maximum concentration of man-produced pollutants that should be permitted in the atmosphere. [GEMET-US] 
Expand Atmospheric Pollution - The presence of contaminants in the air in concentrations that prevent the normal dispersive ability of the air, and that interfere with biological processes and human economics. 
Bullet Mobile Sources of Air Pollution  
Bullet Stationary Sources of Air Pollution  
Bullet Climate Change - A term used to describe short and long-term affects on the Earth's climate as a result of human activities such as fossil fuel combustion and vegetation clearing and burning. [EERE: Glossary of Energy Related Terms] 
Bullet Indoor Air Pollution - Chemical, physical, or biological contaminants in indoor air. [Terms of Env] 
Expand Soils & Land - The top layer of the land surface of the earth that is composed of disintegrated rock particles, humus, water and air. [GEMET-US] 
Bullet Agroecosystems - Land used for crops, pasture, and livestock; the adjacent uncultivated land that supports other vegetation and wildlife; and the associated atmosphere, the underlying soils, groundwater, and drainage networks. [Terms of Env] 
Bullet Erosion - The general process or the group of processes whereby the materials of Earth's crust are loosened , dissolved, or worn away and simultaneously moved from one place to another, by natural agencies, which include weathering, solution, corrosion, and transportation, but usually exclude mass wasting. [GEMET-US] 
Expand Species - A reproductively isolated aggregate of interbreeding organisms having common attributes and usually designated by a common name. [Terms of Env] 
Bullet Endangered Species - Animals, birds, fish, plants, or other living organisms threatened with extinction by anthropogenic (man-caused) or other natural changes in their environment. Requirements for declaring a species endangered are contained in the Endangered Species Act. [Terms of Env] 
Bullet Exotic Species - Plants, animals or microorganisms which are introduced by humans into areas where they are not native. Exotics are often associated with negative ecological consequences for native species and the ecosystems. [GEMET-US] 
Expand Water - The liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas; and is a major constituent of all living matter and that is an odorless, tasteless, very slightly compressible liquid oxide of hydrogen H2O which appears bluish in thick layers, freezes at 0 degrees Celcius ( 32 degrees F) and boils at 100 degrees Celcius (212 degrees F). 
Expand Drinking Water - Water that is agreeable to drink, does not present health hazards and whose quality is normally regulated by legislation. [GEMET-US] 
Bullet Private Wells  
Bullet Ground Water - The supply of fresh water found beneath the Earth's surface, usually in aquifers, which supply wells and springs. Because ground water is a major source of drinking water, there is growing concern over contamination from leaching agricultural or industrial pollutants or leaking underground storage tanks. [Terms of Env] 
Bullet Storm Water - Stormwater runoff, snow melt runoff, and surface runoff and drainage; rainfall that does not infiltrate the ground or evaporate because of impervious land surfaces but instead flows onto adjacent land or watercourses or is routed into drain/sewer systems. [Wet Weather Flow Glossary] 
Expand Surface Water - All water naturally open to the atmosphere (rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, streams, impoundments, seas, estuaries, etc.) [Terms of Env] 
Bullet Estuaries - Region of interaction between rivers and near-shore ocean waters, where tidal action and river flow mix fresh and salt water. Such areas include bays, mouths of rivers, salt marshes, and lagoons. These brackish water ecosystems shelter and feed marine life, birds, and wildlife. [Terms of Env] 
Bullet Lakes - An enclosed body of water, usually but not necessarily fresh water, from which the sea is excluded. [GEMET-US] 
Expand Oceans - The mass of water occupying all of the Earth's surface not occupied by land, but excluding all lakes and inland seas.[GEMET-US] 
Bullet Coastal Environments - Marine environments bounded by the coastal land margin (seashore) and the continental shelf 100-200 m below sea level. Ecologically, the coastal and nearshore zones grade from shallow water depths, influenced by the adjacent landmass and input from coastal rivers and estuaries, to the continental shelf break, where oceanic processes predominate. Among the unique marine ecosystems associated with coastal and nearshore waterbodies are seaweed-dominated communities, coral reefs and upwellings. [GEMET-US] 
Bullet Coral Reefs - Coral reefs have been built up from the skeletons of reef-building coral a small primitive marine animal, and other marine animals and algae over thousands of years. They occur in clear, shallow and sunlit seas. Coral reefs are one of the most productive and diverse ecosystems and are estimated to yield about 12% of the world's fish catch. They are very vulnerable to any change in their environment, especially pollution, because it makes the water opaque. They must have light in order that photosyntesis by the algae can take place. Like trees, corals reflect the environmental conditions in which they grow, indicating marine pollution, sea-surface temperature and other aquatic conditions. [GEMET-US] 
Bullet Offshore (Open) Waters - (1) The waters extending from 5 miles to the midpoint of the Great Lakes. (2) That portion of the oceans, gulfs, and seas beyond the coastal waters extending to a specified distance from a coastline, to a specific depth contour, or covering an area defined by a specific latitude and longitude point. [NOAA] 
Bullet Rivers - A natural stream of water of considerable volume, larger than a brook or creek. [GEMET-US] 
Bullet Streams - A general term for a body of flowing water; natural water course containing water at least part of the year. In hydrology, it is generally applied to the water flowing in a natural channel as distinct from a canal. [USGS Water Science Glossary] 
Expand Wastewater - The spent or used water from a home, community, farm, or industry that contains dissolved or suspended matter. [Terms of Env] 
Bullet Publicly Owned Treatment Works - A waste-treatment works owned by a state, unit of local government, or Indian tribe, usually designed to treat domestic wastewaters. [Terms of Env] 
Expand Water Pollution - The addition of sewage, industrial wastes or other harmful or objectionable material to water in concentrations or in sufficient quantities to result in measurable degradation of water quality. 
Bullet Nonpoint Source Pollution - Nonpoint Source: Any source of pollution not associated with a distinct discharge point. Includes sources such as rainwater, runoff from agricultural lands, industrial sites, parking lots, and timber operations, as well as escaping gases from pipes and fittings. (Environmental Issues Glossary) Nonpoint Source Pollution: Pollution sources which exhibit any of the following characteristics: are diffuse, do not have a single point of origin, or are generally carried off the land by stormwater runoff. (TX NRCC Local Gov Guide) Nonpoint Source Pollution: Pollution sources that are diffuse, without a single identifiable point of origin, including runoff from agriculture, forestry, and construction sites. (Contaminated Sediment Glossary) Nonpoint Sources: 1: Diffuse pollution sources (i.e., without a single point of origin or not introduced into a receiving stream from a specific outlet). The pollutants are generally carried off the land by storm water. Common non-point sources are agriculture, forestry, urban, mining, construction, dams, channels, land disposal, saltwater intrusion, and city streets. (TofE) 
Bullet Point Sources - Any discernible confined and discrete conveyance, including, but not limited to, any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, landfill leachate collection system, vessel, or other floating craft from which pollutants... are or may be discharged. This term does not include return flows from irrigated agriculture or agricultural stormwater runoff. [Wet Weather Flow Glossary] 
Bullet Watersheds - The land area that drains into a stream; the watershed for a major river may encompass a number of smaller watersheds that ultimately combine at a common point. [Terms of Env] 
Bullet Wetlands - An area that is saturated by surface or ground water with vegetation adapted for life under those soil conditions, as swamps, bogs, fens, marshes, and estuaries. [Terms of Env] 
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