Topic: Environmental Sciences

环境科学话题 - 英语讨论

We are entranced by the beauty of our planet. 吸引

lush green meadows, thick forest, jagged mountain peaks. 郁郁葱葱的草地、茂密的森林、锯齿状的山峰



  • 环境污染治理
  • 清洁能源的使用
  • 外来物种入侵导致生态婚礼
  • 人类对环境的影响
  • 生态系统

How to protect the environment?

  1. reduce
  2. reuse
  3. recycle
  • Reduce our resource usage whenever possible
  • Look for ways to reuse the resources that we do use
  • Try to recycle any resources we need to throw away

These can all keep trash out of ocean. lead to sustainable lives. By making sustainable choices, we can protect out planet’s natural resources.


  • aquifer 含水层
  • trawlers 拖网渔船;拖网捕鱼的人
  • troller 渔船
  • biomass fuel: 生物体燃料,牛粪,木头,羊粪,柴火
  • dissolve 溶解
  • 地图集 (Atlas)
  • tap water 水龙头接水
  • still or sparkly water? tap water is fine
  • tap: 利用
  • water supplies
  • springs, streams, and lakes 泉水、溪流和湖泊
  • earth science
  • soil hydrology 土壤水文学
  • it evaporates into the atmosphere
  • water cycle
  • pore 孔
  • dry climate
  • meteorology 气象学
  • Earth’s rotation
  • equator 赤道
  • poles 极地
  • vapor 水蒸气
  • evaporate 蒸发
  • arid 干旱的
  • cacti 仙人掌
  • Endangered animals 濒危动物
  • crops 作物,庄稼
  • livestock 牲畜;家畜
  • extinction 灭绝
  • sewage(污水): waste material from homes and other buildings; waste water from toilets
  • filthy: very dirty
  • crevice 裂缝; got stuck in a crevice
  • indigenous: describes people, plants and wildlife that have lived in a certain place for longer than later arrivals
  • harpooner 鱼叉手
  • urban oasis: 城市绿洲;新加坡;a quiet place in a built up area
  • sanctuaries 庇护所 safe places
  • accommodation n. 住宿
  • Illegal hunting, expanding agriculture and civil unrest
  • stunning views 极好的风景
  • pilgrims 朝圣者
  • hikers 徒步旅行者
  • sanctuary 避难所
  • carnage: the killing of large numbers of people or animals
  • poachers: people who catch and kill animals illegally to eat or sell
  • decimate: destroy or kill a large number
  • famine 饥荒
  • Clear-Cutting 皆伐 ; 滥砍滥伐
  • flood 洪水
  • drought 干旱(dry, arid)
  • earthquake 地震
  • melt 融化
  • thaw 融化
  • sanitation and hygiene 环境卫生和个人卫生
  • tsunami 海啸
  • perilously scarce 危险地稀缺
  • parched earth 干涸的土地
  • he can’t avoid his rivals(敌人,对手)
  • greenhouse-gas: gas in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and ozone, that absorbs solar heat reflected by the surface of the Earth, warming the atmosphere.
  • volcanic eruptions 火山喷发
  • fossil fuels 化石燃料
  • stigma 住头
  • tropics 热带
  • horde 一大群 crowd, swarm
  • infest 骚扰,滋生
  • roost 栖息处,鸟巢 alight, perch
  • salmon 鲑鱼,大马哈
  • cut down: we need to cut down on pollution drastically
  • destroy: Human greed destroys millions of acres each year
  • dispose(of): the government must dispose of the waste properly.
  • dump: 扔垃圾
  • protect 保护
  • pollute 污染
  • recycle: Make sure to recycle all the paper and plastics.
  • save: We save bottles and newspapers to take to recycle at the end of each month.
  • throw away: Never just throw away a plastic bottle. Recycle it!
  • use up: Hopefully, we’ll not use up all our resources before we start solving this problem together.
  • tributary 支流

Human activity can also strain the environment to the point of a civilization’s collapse.

Emissions are substances like gases, heat or light that go into the air

Hundreds of thousands of Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles in the UK are to be recalled to improve their emissions systems.

urban oasis
The plan for the new park is to create an urban oasis for visitors and shoppers in the city centre.

The islands are recognised as one of the most significant sanctuaries for seabirds in the Atlantic.

global warming
the battle against global warming
to heat up

connected with religion or considered to be holy or precious.

sweltering; sizzling; scorching
very, very hot

The species are on the brink of extinction.

feeds on
eats, consumes (especially for animals)

reaching over a large area

the places where plants and animals live naturally

at risk of
in a situation where something bad or dangerous could happen

kill off
destroy something totally

describes people, plants and wildlife that have lived in a certain place for longer than later arrivals

  • indigenous peoples
  • indigenous animals
  • indigenous plants
  • non-indigenous

set of animals or plants that are similar to each other and can breed together

the situation where something doesn’t exist any more

under threat of not existing any more; dying out

member of the group of animals including monkeys, apes and humans

something which happens suddenly and with a very obvious effect

capturing and killing animals illegally

natural habitat
region in which animals or plants normally live

critically endangered
facing an extremely high risk of extinction without human help

in the wild
in nature, without people’s interference

animals which are fed milk produced by their mother and are not born from an egg

animal or plant remainspreserved in rock for a very long time

wiped out
disappeared completely

hard, pointed part which grows on top of an animal’s head

animals that lay eggs anduse the sun to keep their bodies warm

coral reefs
underwater areas made of a rock-like substance created by small seaanimals

the destruction of forests by cutting down trees

light at the end of the tunnel

stable isotope analysis(稳定同位素分析,signature): track water as it travels through the soil as part of the hydrological cycle

sustainable: It is able to satisfy short-term and long-term needs.

safe yield: it’s based on balancing what we take out with what gets recharged.

Climatology(气候学,长期) is the study of the atmosphere and weather patterns over time.
Meteorology(气象学,短期), which is the study of weather and weather forecasting.

5 of the world’s most endangered animals

Black rhino (Diceros bicornis)
Rhinos are one of the oldest groups of mammals. Some say they are virtually living fossils. But they will end up as fossils if poaching is not stopped. Poaching on a large scale between 1970 and 1992 wiped out ninety-six percent of black rhinos. They live in Namibia and east coast of Africa and are targeted particularly for their horns. It’s believed that there are fewer than 5,000 surviving.

Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate)
These reptiles have lived for more than a hundred million years, but some species are not going to be with us for much longer if the rate of decline is not stopped. Hawksbill turtles live in tropical oceans and play an important role in maintaining coral reefs. They feed on sponges and create better access for fish to find their own food on the reef’s surface. But the species is under threat, not only from the pollution which is damaging their habitat, but also from fishing practises and the illegal trade in their shells. They go to the surface to breathe, and if caught up in nets and hooks, they drown. Conservationists aim to work with fishermen to prevent turtles being caught in nets.

Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae)
Fewer than four hundred Sumatran tigers survive in the remaining areas of forests of their native island. Rapid deforestation and poaching mean this species could end up extinct like its Javan and Balinese relatives. Indonesian law protects them by imposing jail sentences and fines for poachers. But there’s still a big market in Asia for tiger products.

Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)
These gorillas can be found in the Congo Basin and Central Africa. Poaching and the deadly virus Ebola, also found in the region, have caused a decline by more than sixty percent in the number of western lowland gorillas over the last twenty to twenty-five years. It’s worth noting that the handling of bushmeat by hunters might have helped the spread of Ebola to humans. Scientists believe that even if the threat to the species is removed it will take about seventy-five years for its population to recover.

Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)
The Amur leopard can be found in the far east of Russia. Its beautiful fur attracts poachers. But conservationists see the light at the end of the tunnel for this animal as their population has more than doubled in just seven years. Recent reports put the number of these big cats at fifty-seven in Russia’s Land of the Leopard National Park. There are also 8 to 12 individuals in neighbouring Chinese areas.

Short Articles

Preservation of the rainforests is very important. They contain over half the world’s species and are under threat from deforestation.

Reusing plastic bags and making new bags out of recycled plastic are good ways to cut down on pollution and litter. Volunteering is one way to see the world and help people.

Tourists like to visit the world’s last great wildernesses – deserts, jungles, great plains and ice worlds.

I must admit I’m not sure about the whole idea of electric cars. I mean obviously we need to find alternative forms of energy, but if you ask me, reducing the numbers of cars on the road should be the priority. Ideally we would all use public transport or bicycles. Seriously, I think people should be given tax breaks if they don’t own a car! But of course that’s not going to happen any time soon.

Beijing smog 北京雾霾
Smog in the Chinese capital Beijing has got so bad the government has banned half of all vehicles from taking to the roads

Severe restrictions are in force in Beijing to limit air pollution after the city declared a red alert for the first time.

Half the city’s vehicles have been banned from the roads.

coral bleach
The planet’s largest living structure struggling for survival. This coral should be alive with colour but it’s bleached and barren. These scientists are part of a team that’s assessed the health of the entire Great Barrier Reef – an area bigger than Britain – and here the prognosis is poor. On average, two-thirds of the coral in the northern section has died.

space junk
We’ve been space-bound since the 1950s, making amazing progress and countless scientific discoveries. But for every advance we’ve left something behind – space junk. At the University of Southampton, scientists are watching this waste. There are now thought to be 22,000 bits of space rubbish bigger than 10 centimetres.

Methane threatens global warming efforts
Scientists say they’re worried about a surge in the levels of methane gas being released into the atmosphere.

US researchers say efforts to tackle climate change will be undermined unless methane emissions are brought under control.

Methane is far more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and levels have recently increased sharply.

The reason is unclear but emissions from agriculture are likely to be to blame.

Giraffes facing ‘silent extinction’
Highly recognisable – but while Chester Zoo’s giraffes are loved by the visitors, in their natural African habitat, the animals are suffering what has been called a devastating decline. Illegal hunting, expanding agriculture and civil unrest have all been cited as factors pushing the long-necked mammals towards extinction.


  • rural areas
  • urban areas

Factors that can cause damage to the environment

  • Illegal hunting 非法捕猎
  • expanding agriculture 农业扩张
  • civil unrest 内乱

economic growth, population growth, urbanization, intensification of agriculture, rising energy use and transportation.

How to protect the environment?

  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. Follow the three “R’s” to conserve natural resources and landfill space.
  • Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. You can get involved in protecting your watershed, too.
  • Educate. When you further your own education, you can help others understand the importance and value of our natural resources.
  • Conserve water. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that eventually end up in the ocean.
  • Choose sustainable. Learn how to make smart seafood choices at
  • Shop wisely. Buy less plastic and bring a reusable shopping bag.
  • Use long-lasting light bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also flip the light switch off when you leave the room!
  • Plant a tree. Trees provide food and oxygen. They help save energy, clean the air, and help combat climate change.
  • Don’t send chemicals into our waterways. Choose non-toxic chemicals in the home and office.
  • Bike more. Drive less.

Global warming and greenhouse gas emissions

Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s surface observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases (also known as GHGs) are gases in the earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. During the day, the sun shines through the atmosphere, warming the earth’s surface. At night the earth’s surface cools, releasing heat back into the air. But some of the heat is trapped by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

When the permafrost of the Arctic is melting(thawing), the carbon stored in the icey soil will be releasing.

the melting ice caps and rising sea levels.

How to protect the environment

  • We should save water and plant trees.
  • We should recycle aluminium cans.
  • We shouldn’t throw away aluminium cans. We shouldn’t waste water.
  • We shouldn’t cut down trees.

Conversation: Climate Change

Conversation 2 Man: Hey, what are you reading? Woman: I’m reading how cows contribute to climate change. Man: Cows! How do they do that? Woman: By releasing methane gas(甲烷气体) into the environment. Man: But, they’re cows! I don’t see how they can do that. Woman: They release gas by burping(打嗝). It says cows burp a lot. Man: By burping? How strange. Woman: It also says that farmers cause damage by cutting down trees to make farmland. Man: Yes, I’ve heard about that. Cutting down trees does damage by reducing how much trees can absorb CO2. Woman: Yes, and deforestation is also a problem by causing soil erosion. Man: So, what can we do about it? Woman: I suppose that we could help by eating less beef. Man: Yeah, or we could help by buying meat from local organic farms. Woman: Sounds good. Time to put our best foot forward. Man: Yes, and to put our money where our mouth is, literally.

Environmental Issues

  • acid rain(酸雨): The acid rain ruined the soil for the next three generations
  • aerosol(气溶胶): aerosol can be extremely toxic and must be used with care when sprayed
  • animal welfare: we must consider animal welfare as we strive to create a balance between man and nature
  • soot: 煤灰
  • carbon monoxide 一氧化碳(汽车内中毒,燃煤取暖)
  • climate/weather
  • conservation: Conservation focuses on making sure we protect the nature we haven’t already lost.
  • endangered species
  • imperil 危及,使陷于危险
  • perish 死亡
  • nuclear energy 核能
  • solar energy 太阳能
  • exhaust fumes 废气
  • fertilizers 肥料
  • GMO(Genetically modified organism)
  • forest fires: forest fires can burn out of control and create hazy weather conditions
  • global warming: some doubt that global warming is real.
  • greenhouse effect: the greenhouse effect is said to heat up the earth
  • hazy 朦胧的
  • (non)renewable resources(环境压力转移)
  • nuclear: the exploration of nuclear science has created great boons, as well as horrific dangers for humanity.
  • nuclear fallout: The nuclear fallout from a bomb would be devastating to the local population
  • oil slick(浮油)
  • boom 繁荣
  • boon 恩惠
  • ozone layer
  • pesticide
  • pollution: water and air pollution situations have improved over the last few decades in many countries.
  • protected animal
  • rainforest
  • deforest 砍伐森林,deforestation
  • monarch butterfly
  • unleaded petrol: Unleaded petrol is certainly cleaner than leaded petrol
  • waste: the amount of plastic waste in the ocean is shocking
  • nuclear waste: nuclear waste can remain active for many thousands of years.
  • radioactive waste: They stored the radioactive waster at the site the Hanford
  • wildlife: we must take the wildlife into account before we develop the site.
  • ecosystem
  • poisonous
  • pollute
  • pollutant
  • pollution
  • contaminated water
  • contaminate 污染
  • waste
  • rubbish 垃圾
  • habitat 栖息地
  • sanctuary 避难所
  • balance 平衡
  • recycling of paper, metal, glass, plastics
  • energy-saving light bulb
  • turn off the light when leaving a room
  • temperate climate/mild 温和的气候
  • harsh/extreme climate 极端天气


  • drought: The drought has gone on for sixteen straight months. No water to be seen!
  • earthquake: The earthquake devastated the little village in the Rhine River.
  • flood: the flood forced more than 100 families from their homes.
  • tidal wave 潮汐波
  • typhoon
  • volcanic eruption


  • environmental group
  • green issues
  • pressure group


By considering the effects of their actions on the seventh generation, the people are not only thinking of their descendants but of the continued well-being and sustainability of the entire community.

How does a sewage treatment plant work?

Zurich Werdhoelzli: How does a sewage treatment plant work?

  • mechanical treatment
  • biological treatment
  • sedimentation
  • ozonation 加氧
  • filtration 过滤
  • fermentation 发酵(methane gas, carbon dioxide and water)
  • incineration 焚烧
  • aerated 充气
  • pre-thickening 预稠化
  • supernatant 上清液
  • phosphorus 磷
  • clogged 堵塞的


Wind Power 风电

Water Power 水电

Water wheel 水轮

Tidal energy 潮汐能

Barrage 拦河坝

Dam 水坝

Solar energy 太阳能


Silicon 硅

Living Things and Their Environments

  • biotic factors 生物因素: the nonliving parts of an ecosystem
  • abiotic factors 非生物因素: the living parts of an ecosystem

biotic factors: plants, animals, fungi, protists and bacteria
abiotic factors: sunlight, climate, soil, water, minerals and even the atmosphere

Symbiosis 三种共生: any kind of close, long-term relationship between two organisms


  • mutualism 互利共生: a symbiotic relationship in which both organism benefit.(flowers provide nectar to bees, the inscects pollinate the plants as they feed on the nectar)
  • commensalism 偏利共生: a relationship between individuals of two species in which one species obtains food or other benefits from the other without either harming or benefiting the latter.(sharks followed by remora)
  • parasitism: 寄生:one organism benefits while the other is harmed.(virus)

How do organisms interact in ecosystem?

  • Bees and flowers engage in mutualism with on another.(蜜蜂和花朵互利共生)
  • Remoras engage in commensalism.(鳉鱼从事共栖生活)
  • Viruses engage in parasitism.(病毒进行寄生)

How Do Ecosystems Change?

  • Deserts are very dry areas that get little rainfall.
  • Tropical rainforests are very hot and wet regions with diverse life.
  • Deciduous forests are forest biomes(生物群落) with trees that lose their leaves in winter.
  • ecological succession(生态演替): the process in which gradual changes take place in an ecosystem
  • pioneer species: the first organisms to live in a lifeless area
  • tundra 苔原: a vast, flat, treeless Arctic region of Europe, Asia, and North America in which the subsoil is permanently frozen.
  • taiga 针叶林: cold regions with conifers
  • biomes 生物群落 a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g. forest or tundra.

Six Major Kinds of Ecosystems

  1. grasslands 草地: grasses are the main plants.(meadow)
  2. deserts 沙漠: very dry regions with little rainfall and little plant life. Sahara Desert in Africa is the largest desert on Earth.
  3. tundra 苔原: treeless region in the far north, coldest climiate and get very little precipitation
  4. taigas 针叶林: long and cold winters, conifers that do not lose their leaves all year round.
  5. deciduous forests 落叶林, lose leaves in winter
  6. tropical rainforests 热带雨林: near the equator, hot and humid(wet), receive very much rainfall, greatest diversity of life.

Wet land(between land and water)

Climate change: what is ocean acidification?(海洋酸化,贝壳被腐蚀)

As carbon emissions change the chemistry of the seas, ocean acidification threatens marine life and human livelihoods. How worried should you be about climate change’s so-called “evil twin”?

So, what can be done to tackle ocean acidification? Reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Environmental Problems 环境问题

Global Warming 全球变暖

Rising temperature threatens the ocean animals, such as coral reefs, crustaceans etc.

Ozone layer depletion 臭氧层消耗

Ozone Depletion. When chlorine and bromine atoms come into contact with ozone in the stratosphere, they destroy ozone molecules. One chlorine atom can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules before it is removed from the stratosphere. Ozone can be destroyed more quickly than it is naturally created.

Biodiversity loss 生物多样性丧失

Biodiversity loss happens when plant or animal species disappear completely from Earth (extinction) or when there is a decrease or disappearance of species in a specific area. Biodiversity loss means that there is a reduction in biological diversity in a given area. The decrease can be temporary or permanent.

生物多样性丧失是与生物多样性破坏有关的现象,例如物种绝灭、栖息地内物种的减少。农业的过度发展会破坏栖息地。栖息地内物种减少有可能是暂时现象,也有可能是永久现象。 有部分观点认为,人口增长和过度消耗是造成生物多样性丧失的主要因素。然而其他科学家对此并不赞同。 气候变化可能也是导致生物多样性丧失的一大因素。

酸雨 Acid Rain

Acid rain, or acid deposition, is a broad term that includes any form of precipitation with acidic components, such as sulfuric or nitric acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere in wet or dry forms.

森林开伐 (Deforestation)

Deforestation is the purposeful clearing of forested land. Throughout history and into modern times, forests have been razed to make space for agriculture and animal grazing, and to obtain wood for fuel, manufacturing, and construction. Deforestation has greatly altered landscapes around the world.

Desertification 土地荒漠化


大气污染 Air Pollution

海洋污染 Marine pollution

危险废物越境转移 Transboundary Shipments of Hazardous Wastes

Transboundary movement of hazardous waste that is based on environmental and economic grounds with agreement between the exporting and receiving country, can help ensure that waste is reused or recycled in an environmentally sound manner.

Protect Environment 保护环境

Helping the Environment

Have students list ways that people affect their environment every day, for example, driving cars, using water, disposing of garbage, or smoking cigarettes. Have students make a second list of ways that people affect their environment through seasonal activities, for example, watering lawns, burning leaves, fishing, or hunting. Use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two lists. Have students discuss which activities are more harmful or helpful to their environment. Ask students to suggest ways that people can change their behavior and improve their environment.

Practice Eco-Friendly Etiquette

There are several ways to decrease one’s environmental impact at home. From switching over to eco-friendly cleaning supplies to recycling, people can easily reduce their impact through simple habits. Start by switching out old, energy-inefficient light bulbs and appliances or shopping at a local farmers market, and encourage neighbors and friends to do the same.


overfishing 捕捞过度

Another possible solution, pass laws that regulate use of the resource.


But for regulation to be effective, penalties for breaking the law have to be large enough to deter violators.


Large scale fishing and pollution from growing industry are decimating the fish stocks.

Habitat loss

Habitat loss is a challenge for many species, including the southern three-banded armadillo. During the 20th century, the rich Rio de la Plata river basin underwent agricultural development; the habitat changed from a flood plain to cultivated fields of crops such as soy and sorghum. Today, the southern three-banded armadillo is classified as a near threatened species.

Clear-Cutting in Brazil

The biodiversity in tropical rain forests is not in their soil, which is often of poor quality, but in their canopy(顶篷), or layer of overhanging tree branches. The biodiversity of the Amazon rain forest includes hundreds of thousands of insects and plants, some of which have the potential to treat human diseases. Here, and all over the Amazon basin, companies and governments are destroying the rain forest for agriculture, housing, and industry.

Forest Fire Suppression

approximating 接近;约等于 = resembling 类似

Why does the author include the quotation “Put out every forest fire by 10:00A.M.on the morning after the day when it is first reported”? To demonstrate how seriously the Forest Service took their responsibility of fire suppression

According to paragraph 5, people in the United States would probably not support the described forest-management and restoration techniques because they;do not want to spend money on the expensive process of managing forest understory