Ecopedia

Ecomedia Letter: n

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. An American governmental scientific organization which has funded development of technology to help the Earth. NASA had made big advancements in the development of research in climate change, air quality, alternative energy and education. Perhaps their biggest impact are those iconic photos of the earth that show just how alone the earth is and inspired the Gaia Hypothesis.

National Park

Protected areas by a national government for the enjoyment of nature by the public. Many national parks are in areas of extreme natural beauty, but many are also seen as inaccessible or in unusable areas such as on steep terrain and not always representative of the predominant ecosystem of that country.

Native species

A species that is naturally found in that area and has been found in that area for a long period of history.

Natural Disaster

Disasters caused by natural events such as typhoons, droughts, floods or earthquakes. However, human manipulation of the physical environment such as changing of coast lines or river courses, may exacerbate natural events, turning them into disasters. Climates change is also predicted to increase the amount of extreme weather events, such as typhoons or droughts, and may cause natural disasters to happen more frequently.

Natural Food

Food produced without chemical or industrial additives. However there are very few laws on what can be labeled 'natural foods', so seeing this on a food product is of little guarantee of anything.

Natural Gas

A fossil fuel made of a mixture of hydrocarbon gases, including methane formed by decayed biological materials that lived millions of years ago. When burnt, it produces greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrous dioxides, although in lower amounts than any other fossil fuel.

Natural Latex

A product made from a liquid that exists in many plants such as rubber trees. Similar to sap but more milky in texture, it is harvested from plants and then processed into a wide range of products from medical equipment, balloons, clothing and even paint.

Natural Resource

Goods and services provided by the natural environment. It covers a wide range of resources such as water, air, timber, soil, wildlife and fisheries.

Nature

Anything that occurs naturally in the environment, both physical and biological and is not man-made.

Nature reserve

A protected area that is set aside for nature including wildlife, plants and other species. It may be actively managed to encourage a particular species or state of ecosystem.

NIMBY

People who object to proposals with the sentiment of "Not In My Back Yard". The label formed from the idea that these people simply object due to their proximity to the development or activity, and not on the grounds of the actual merit of the development to society in general.

Nitrogen Oxide (Knox)

A name for a group of gases that are mainly a product of the combustion of fossil fuels. They contribute highly to air pollution.

Nitrous Oxide (N2O)

A gas that is produced by bacteria and is a contributor to acid rain and to greenhouse gases. Humans greatly increase the production of it by increased livestock production and sewage treatment.

Non Governmental Organization (NGOs)

An organization not associated with governments and is usually non-profit, charity or voluntary. Many focus on issues such as human rights, development, education, environment and health care.

Non Profit Organization

A company or organization that uses the profit it makes to further its goals, rather than sending profit to owners or shareholders.

Nuclear Energy

Power generated by the release of energy produced by the splitting of nuclei of atom. This occurs in radioactive decay and in nuclear fission and is described by Einstein's formula E=mc2. Nuclear fission for electric power uses uranium and the heat generated is used to boil water and turn generators.

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