Energy Report UK Glossary


Anaerobic: in the absence of oxygen.

Anthropogenic: man-made.

Asthmatics:  people  who  have  asthma,  a  respiratory  disease, causing breathing difficulties.

Atom: the smallest part of a chemical element that can take part in a reaction.

Biogas: a gas produced by the action of bacteria on organic matter.

Brundtland  Report:  a  report  by  Gro  Harlem  Brundtland  of  the United    Nations,  outlining  the  actions  needed  to  be  taken  for sustainable development to be achieved globally.

Carbon dioxide: a molecule formed from one atom of carbon and two  of  oxygen.  Carbon  dioxide  is  a  greenhouse  gas  of  major concern in the study of global warming.

Concentration: a measure of the atmospheric content of a gas, defined in terms of the proportion of the total volume that it accounts for.

Continental margins: part of the Earth's crust at the edges of continents.

Developing country: a poor country that is seeking to develop its resources by becoming industrialised. Previously known as a Third World country
Ecosystem:   a   system   involving   the   interaction   between   a community of plants and animals and its non-living environment.

Fast reactors: used in nuclear energy production.

Fission: the splitting of atoms, for example of uranium to generate nuclear energy.

Fossil fuels: any hydrocarbon deposit that can be burnt to produce heat and power.

Global warming: the recent and projected increase in temperature at the Earth's surface.

Greenhouse gases: gases that trap heat energy in the atmosphere.

Hydrocarbon:   an   organic   substance   containing   carbon   and hydrogen.

Industrial Revolution: the rapid growth of industry seen in Britain and subsequently the rest of the developed world in the late 18th and
19th centuries.

Kilowatts (kW): one thousand watts. A Watt is a unit of power.

Methane: a greenhouse gas consisting of 4 molecules of hydrogen and one of carbon.

Micro-organism: an organism, such as a bacterium, protozoa or virus, of microscopic size.

Municipal solid waste combustion: the burning of waste collected from homes for energy production.

Neutron: a particle found in the nucleus of an atom.
Nitrous  oxide:  a colourless,  non-flammable,  slightly soluble  gas containing nitrogen.

Nitric acid: a component of acid rain formed when nitrogen and oxygen pollution mixes with moisture in the air.

Non-renewable: a finite resource, such as coal and oil.
Nucleus: the core of an atom, consisting of neutrons and protons. Oxides of nitrogen (NOx): compounds of oxygen and nitrogen. Photosynthesis: the generation of food resources and energy by
plants utilising sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.

Plutonium: a highly toxic and radioactive metal.

Pollutants:   substances   that   cause   harm   or   damage   to   the environment.

Radioactive: a material emitting radiation from an atomic nucleus.

Renewables:  energy  sources  which  will  not  run  out,  e.g.  wind power, solar power.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2): a colourless gas, consisting of molecules of sulphur (1) and oxygen (2) atoms, it is given off during the burning of fossil fuels.

Sulphuric acid: a component of acid rain formed when sulphur dioxide pollution mixes with moisture in air.

Terrestrial radiation: radiation or energy released from the Earth once it has been received by the Sun.

Tonne: a unit of mass equal to 1000 kg.
Troposphere: the lowest layer of the atmosphere, about 18km thick.

Uranium: a silvery-white metallic element that is radioactive.

Vitrification: the conversion of a substance to a glassy substance.

Energy Report UK Glossary

Energy Report UK Glossary