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IELTS Level 1 - Unit 8 Level 2 - Unit 6 Vocabulary

Topic-based Vocabulary – The Environment

Here are some definitions for students to develop their vocabulary on the environment:

• 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
• biodiversity: the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.
• carbon dioxide: the burning of fossil fuels releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which leads to global warming. Trees absorb carbon dioxide.
• climate change: the change in worldwide weather patterns
• contamination: to make something less pure by exposing it to poisonous or polluting substances
• deforestation: cutting down and clearing areas of forest
• to die out: see ‘to become extinct’
• drought: A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water
• ecosystem: all the living things in an area and the way they affect each other and the environment.
• 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
• habitat: the natural environment in which an animal or plant usually lives
• 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
• sustainable: Causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time
• toxic waste: poisonous, unwanted rubbish often produced by industrial processes
• wildlife conservation: to protect animals and plants and their habitats

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