IELTS Vocabulary : IELTS Environment Vocabulary

IELTS Environment Vocabulary

Types of pollution / other words you can use

  • Acid rain – this is caused by rain becoming acidic due to air pollution
  • contamination – this is where something is damaged or affected by another form of pollution (a secondary effect)
  • Emissions – these are gases that are released into the atmosphere (e.g. car exhaust emissions)
  • Soil erosion – when soil is easily washed away because trees or other plants are no longer holding it in place. Commonly happens after deforestation
  • Toxic waste – this is the by product of producing something that is dangerous to the environment. Nuclear power has a lot of toxic waste.
  • Smog – a thick form of air pollution that is like a fog (common in many large cities like London or Beijing)

Solutions to environmental problems

  • Recycling – converting waste into something that is reusable
  • Conservation – to keep something safe / protected; preventing damage of injury
  • biodegradable – packaging or a product that decay (break down) naturally and harmlessly, therefore avoiding pollution
  • Preservation – this is similar to conservation. The main difference is that conservation does allow changes that are not dangerous – preservation aims to maintain the present condition without changes.
  • sustainable development – economic development where natural resources are used in a limited way and can therefore continue (e.g. planting new trees after cutting down existing trees)
  • air quality: the cleanliness of the air we breathe
  • to become extinct: to no longer exist
  • to be under threat: to be in danger of becoming extinct
  • climate change: the change in worldwide weather patterns
  • to die out: see ‘to become extinct’
  • endangered species: categories of animals or plants that are in danger of becoming extinct
  • energy conservation: the careful management of energy resources to ensure they last as long as possible
  • environmentally friendly: behaviour and products that do not harm the environment
  • exhaust fumes: the toxic gases given off by vehicles powered by petrol
  • flash floods: floods that happen quickly
  • fossil fuels: energy resources like gas and oil that are produced deep below the ground over millions of years
  • future generations: the people who live after us
  • to get back to nature: to live a life that is closer to nature
  • global warming: the increasing temperature of the world brought about by gases such as carbon dioxide
  • heavy industry: the manufacture of heavy articles and materials in large numbers
  • humanitarian aid: the act of showing support to people struggling to survive
  • impact on: the effect on
  • loss of habitat: the decline in areas of land where animals and plants would normally exist
  • man-made disaster: widespread damage or loss of life brought about by the action of humans
  • natural disaster: an event such as an earthquake,  flood or hurricane which causes widespread damage or loss of life
  • natural environment: the place where animals and plants would normally be found in nature
  • the natural world: the world of nature
  • oil spill: waste usually deposited in the seas and oceans after an accident at sea
  • poaching: to hunt and kill wild animals illegally
  • pollution levels: the amount of toxic waste
  • pressure group: a group of people who try to raise awareness of issues and try to affect the views and actions of people and organisations
  • toxic waste: poisonous, unwanted rubbish often produced by industrial processes
  • wildlife conservation: to protect animals and plants and their habitats

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