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Global soil degradation Global soil degradation
In many parts of the world natural resources have been treated as though unlimited, and totally resilient to human exploitation. This perception has exacerbated the conflicting agricultural demands on natural capital, as have other exploitative commercial enterprises. Both have affected local cultures and had undesirable long-term impacts on the sustainability of resources. The consequences include: land degradation (about 2,000 million ha of lan...
03 Jan 2008 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global trends in cereal and meat production; total use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers; increased use of irrigation; total global pesticides production Global trends in cereal and meat production; total use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers; increased use of irrigation; total global pesticides production
Production gains are attributed to improved crop varieties and livestock, soil management, improved access to resources (nutrients and water), infrastructure developments, policy initiatives, microfinance, education, better communication and advances in market and trade systems. This has also increased the demand and use of irrigation, phosphorus and nitrogen.
03 Jan 2008 - by IAASTD/Ketill Berger, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in permafrost temperatures in the central and northern Mackenzie Valley, 1984-2006 Trends in permafrost temperatures in the central and northern Mackenzie Valley, 1984-2006
Temperature monitoring in Canada indicates a warming of shallow permafrost over the last two to three decades. Since the mid-1980s, shallow permafrost (upper 20-30 m) has generally warmed in the Mackenzie Valley. The greatest increases in temperature were 0.3 to 1°C per decade in the cold and thick permafrost of the central and northern valley. In the southern Mackenzie Valley, where permafrost is thin and close to 0°C, no significant trend in pe...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in groundwater nitrate concentrations Trends in groundwater nitrate concentrations
The graph shows the development of Nitrate concentration in groundwater from 1980 to 1995 in France, Britain and Denmark combined. Nitrate is a naturally occurring compound and is normal in small amounts, but excess amounts can pollute supplies of groundwater. Nitrate travels through soil contaminated by fertilizers, livestock waste and septic systems, carried by rain or irrigation water into groundwater supplies.
14 Mar 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Exports of pharmaceutical plants from Central Europe compared to gross national income (GNI) per capita Exports of pharmaceutical plants from Central Europe compared to gross national income (GNI) per capita
The Balkans are one of the most competitive sources on the world market. However, stocks of many wild species have recently declined. Some species are now rare or endangered due to the loss of their natural habitat, excessive picking, soil erosion and other factors.
30 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Stephane Kluser, Matthias Beilstein, Ieva Rucevska, Cecile Marin, Otto Simonett
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The Carbon Cycle The Carbon Cycle
Carbon stocks in forest areas comprise carbon in living and dead organic matter both above and below ground including trees, the understorey, dead wood, litter and soil. On a global scale, vegetation and soils are estimated to trap 2.6 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon annually. Yet there are still many uncertainties about the workings of the carbon cycle: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the amount of carbon...
20 Jun 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz assisted by Cecile Marin, Agnes Stienne, Guilio Frigieri, Riccardo Pravettoni, Laura Margueritte and Marion Lecoquierre.
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Forests Regulate Groundwater Level Forests Regulate Groundwater Level
Forests can regulate groundwater levels and increase drainage of soils where the water table is close to the surface. If there are salts in the upper soil layers, then removal of forests can result in raised groundwater levels and the movement of salts into the rooting zone of plants (FAO 2008c).
20 Jun 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz assisted by Cecile Marin, Agnes Stienne, Guilio Frigieri, Riccardo Pravettoni, Laura Margueritte and Marion Lecoquierre.
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Carbon Stocks Trends and Projections Compared to 1860 Carbon Stocks Trends and Projections Compared to 1860
Carbon stocks in forest areas comprise carbon in living and dead organic matter both above and below ground including trees, the understorey, dead wood, litter and soil. According to the latest projections, changes in climate will mean that by 2050 the world’s ecosystems, including all its important forests, will be releasing more carbon than they are capable of absorbing.
20 Jun 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz assisted by Cecile Marin, Agnes Stienne, Guilio Frigieri, Riccardo Pravettoni, Laura Margueritte and Marion Lecoquierre.
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Breakdown of Carbon Storage by Region Breakdown of Carbon Storage by Region
Forests absorb carbon through photosynthesis and sequester it as biomass, thus creating a natural storage of carbon. Carbon stocks in forest areas comprise carbon in living and dead organic matter both above and below ground including trees, the understorey, dead wood, litter and soil.
20 Jun 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz assisted by Cecile Marin, Agnes Stienne, Guilio Frigieri, Riccardo Pravettoni, Laura Margueritte and Marion Lecoquierre.
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The main Biomes of the World The main Biomes of the World
Defining what constitutes a forest is not easy. Forest types differ widely, determined by factors including latitude, temperature, rainfall patterns, soil composition and human activity.
20 Jun 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz assisted by Cecile Marin, Agnes Stienne, Guilio Frigieri, Riccardo Pravettoni, Laura Margueritte and Marion Lecoquierre.
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Different approaches and overlapping definitions to waste Different approaches and overlapping definitions to waste
Waste is generated in all sorts of ways. Its composition and volume largely depend on consumption patterns and the industrial and economic structures in place. Air quality, water and soil contamination, space consumption and odors all affect our quality of life. Waste is a complex, subjective and sometimes controversial issue. There are many ways to define, describe and count it depending on how you look at it. Citizens, technicians, businessmen,...
14 Sep 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global sediment loads Global sediment loads
Asia exhibits the largest runoff volumes and, therefore, the highest levels of sediment discharge. This graphic shows the amounts of suspended sediments discharged, in millions of tonnes per year, in the major regions of the world. The levels of suspended sediments are increased by soil erosion and land degradation, and may affect aquatic ecosystems negatively.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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World's water cycle: schematic and residence time World's water cycle: schematic and residence time
The water cycle consists of precipitation, evaporation, evapotranspiration and runoff. This graphic explains the global water cycle, showing how nearly 577 000 km3 of water circulates through the cycle each year. A table of estimated residence times of the world's water shows the estimated times that water resources exist as biospheric water; atmospheric water; river channels; swamps; lakes and reservoirs; soil moisture; ice caps and glaciers; oc...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Total global saltwater and freshwater estimates Total global saltwater and freshwater estimates
Estimates of global water resources based on several different calculation methods have produced varied estimates. This graphic illustrates the proportions of saltwater and freshwater that make up the earth's water resources. It also shows what percentage of the world's freshwater is located in lakes and river storage; in groundwater, including soil moisture, swamp water and permafrost, and in glaciers and permanent snow cover.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Tajikistan, topographic map Tajikistan, topographic map
Tajikistan is located in Central Asia, west of China, comprising of 143,100 sq km. It has a population of 7,163,506 (2005). Major environmental concerns are: inadequate sanitation facilities; increasing levels of soil salinity; industrial pollution; excessive pesticides.
04 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Hungary, topographic map Hungary, topographic map
Hungary is located in Central Europe, northwest of Romania, comprising of 93,030 sq km. It has a population of 10,006,835 (2005). Major environmental concerns are: the upgrading of Hungary's standards in waste management, energy efficiency, and air, soil, and water pollution to meet EU requirements will require large investments.
17 Sep 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Lithuania, topographic map Lithuania, topographic map
Lithuania is located in Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia, comprising of 65,200 sq km. It has a population of 3,596,617 (2005). Major environmental concerns are: contamination of soil and groundwater with petroleum products and chemicals at military bases.
04 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Kyrgyz Republic, topographic map Kyrgyz Republic, topographic map
The Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) is located in Central Asia, west of China, comprising of 198,500 sq km. It has a population of 5,146,281 (2005). Major environmental concerns are: water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices.
04 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Belarus, topographic map Belarus, topographic map
Belarus is located in Eastern Europe, east of Poland, comprising of 207,600 sq km. It has a population of 10,300,483 (2005). Major environmental concerns are: soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl in northern Ukraine.
04 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Climate change impact on mountain vegetation zones Climate change impact on mountain vegetation zones
The figure shows a comparison of current vegetation zones at a hypothetical dry temperate mountain site with simulated vegetation zones under a climate-warming scenario. Mountains cover about 20% of the Earth's continents and serve as an important water source for most major rivers. Paleologic records indicate that climate warming in the past has caused vegetation zones to shift to higher elevations, resulting in the loss of some species and ecos...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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