Glossary search results: 13

Ecosystem Service

Benefits people derive from ecosystem. Ecosystem services are typically grouped in four broad categories: provisioning, such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; supporting, such as nutrient cycles and crop pollination; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits. (Source: Wikipedia)

Elastic (goods and services)

Elastic goods and services generally have plenty of substitutes. Inelastic goods have fewer substitutes and price change doesn't affect quantity demanded as much. Some inelastic goods include gas, electricity, water, drinks, clothing, tobacco, food, and oil.

Food Insecurity

The state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. During the first decade of this century, more than 800 million people live every day with hunger or food insecurity as their constant companion (see also National Academy of Science definitions).

Global Warming Potential (GWP)

An index (i.e., a relative measure) of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere over a chosen time horizon, relative to that of carbon dioxide. The GWP represents the combined effect of the differing times these gases remain in the atmosphere and their relative effectiveness in absorbing outgoing thermal infrared radiation. Although the most common time horizon is 100 years, GWP have been reported also for time horizons of 20 years and 500 years.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG)

Any of the atmospheric gases, both natural and anthropogenic, that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation produced by solar warming of the Earth's surface. Water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) are the primary greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Greenhouse Gas Effect

Heat trapping effect of greenhouse gases in the troposphere (lowest portion of the earth's atmosphere)

Life Cycle Assessment

LCA addresses the environmental aspects and potential environmental impacts (e.g. use of resources and the environmental consequences of releases) throughout a product's life cycle from raw material acquisition through production, use, end-of-life treatment, recycling and final disposal (i.e. cradle-to-grave). There are four phases in an LCA study: a) the goal and scope definition phase, b) the inventory analysis phase, c) the impact assessment phase, and d) the interpretation phase (ISO 2006).


Lack of proper nutrition, caused by not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things, or being unable to use the food that one does eat (see more on Wikipedia).

Payment for Environmental Services (PES)

Payments to farmers or landowners who have agreed to take certain actions to manage their land or watersheds to provide an ecological service. As the payments provide incentives to land owners and managers, PES is a market-based mechanism, similar to subsidies and taxes, to encourage the conservation of natural resources.

Stunted growth

Stunted growth also known as stunting and nutritional stunting, is a reduced growth rate in human development, characterized by a low height for one's age. It is a primary manifestation of malnutrition (or more precisely undernutrition) and recurrent infections, such as diarrhea and helminthiasis, in early childhood and even before birth, due to malnutrition during fetal development brought on by a malnourished mother. An estimated 162 million children under 5 years of age, or 25%, were stunted in 2012 (Source: Wikipedia).


One trillion (1x1012) grams = one million 1x106) metric tons (see Units of Mass in Metric System).

Unit of Mass in Metric System

1,000,000,000,000,000  1x1015 petagram (Pg) quadrillion  
1,000,000,000,000  (Million Metric Tons or Megatonnes)1x1012 teragram (Tg) trillion
 1,000,000,000  (Thousand Metric Tons) 1x109 gigagram (Gg) billion
 1,000,000  (Metric Ton) 1x106 megagram (Mg) million
 1,000   1x103 kilogram (Kg) thousand  
 100   1x102 hectogram (Hg) hundred  
 10   1x101 decagram (Dg) ten  
 1    gram    
   0.1 10-1 decigram (dg) tenth   
   0.01 10-2 centigram (cg) hundredth  
   0.001 10-3 milligram (mg) thousandth  
   0.000,001 10-6 microgram (ยตg) millionth  
   0.000,000,001 10-9 nanogram (ng) billionth  
   0.000,000,000,001 10-12 picogram (pg) trillionth  
   0.000,000,000,000,001 10-15 femtogram (fp) quadrillionth  


Wasting, also known as wasting syndrome, refers to the process by which a debilitating disease causes muscle and fat tissue to "waste" away leading to children of low weight for their height. Wasting is sometimes referred to as "acute malnutrition" because it is believed that episodes of wasting have a short duration, in contrast to stunting, which is regarded as chronic malnutrition (Source: Wikipedia).