Biophysical environment

A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development, and evolution.[1] A biophysical environment can vary in scale from microscopic to global in extent. It can also be subdivided according to its attributes. Examples include the marine environment, the atmospheric environment and the terrestrial environment.[2] The number of biophysical environments is countless, given that each living organism has its own environment.

The term environment can refer to a singular global environment in relation to humanity, or a local biophysical environment, e.g. the UK's Environment Agency.

Life-environment interaction

All life that has survived must have adapted to conditions of its environment. Temperature, light, humidity, soil nutrients, etc., all influence any species, within any environment. However life in turn modifies, in various forms, its conditions. Some long term modifications along the history of our planet have been significant, such as the incorporation of oxygen to the atmosphere. This process consisted in the breakdown of carbon dioxide by anaerobic microorganisms that used the carbon in their metabolism and released the oxygen to the atmosphere. This led to the existence of oxygen-based plant and animal life, the great oxygenation event. Other interactions are more immediate and simple, such as the smoothing effect that forests have on the temperature cycle, compared to neighboring unforested areas.

Related studies

20120623 Sqwiki the Squirrel at Wiknic
The ecosystem of public parks often includes humans feeding the wildlife.

Environmental science is the study of the interactions within the biophysical environment. Part of this scientific discipline is the investigation of the effect of human activity on the environment. Ecology, a sub-discipline of biology and a part of environmental sciences, is often mistaken as a study of human induced effects on the environment. Environmental studies is a broader academic discipline that is the systematic study of interaction of humans with their environment. It is a broad field of study that includes the natural environment, built environments and social environments.

Environmentalism is a broad social and philosophical movement that, in a large part, seeks to minimise and compensate the negative effect of human activity on the biophysical environment. The issues of concern for environmentalists usually relate to the natural environment with the more important ones being climate change, species extinction, pollution, and old growth forest loss.

One of the studies related include employing Geographic Information Science to study the biophysical environment.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Biology online. "Environment. Definition". Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  2. ^ Kemp, David Walker (1998). Environment Dictionary. London, UK: Routledge.
  3. ^ Deng, Y. X., and J. P. Wilson. 2006. “The Role of Attribute Selection in GIS Representations of the Biophysical Environment”. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 96 (1). [Association of American Geographers, Taylor & Francis, Ltd.]: 47–63. JSTOR 3694144.


  • Miller, G. Tyler (1995). Environmental science. California: Wadsworth. ISBN 0-534-21588-2.
  • McCallum, Malcolm L.; Gwendolynn W. Bury. "Google search patterns suggest declining interest in the environment". Biodiversity and Conservation. doi:10.1007/s10531-013-0476-6.

External links

Bibliography of Singapore

This page includes books about Singapore.

Koninck, Rodolphe de; Drolet, Julie; Girard, Marc (2008). Singapore: An Atlas of Perpetual Territorial Transformation. NUS Press. ISBN 978-9971-69-397-8.

Lee, Edwin (2008). Singapore: The Unexpected Nation. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 978-981-230-796-5.

Frost, Mark Ravinder; Balasingamchow, Yu-Mei (19 February 2013). Singapore: A Biography. Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 978-981-4385-16-9.

Hutton, Wendy (2007). Singapore Food. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 978-981-261-321-9.

Leasor, James (1 January 2001). Singapore: The Battle That Changed the World. House of Stratus. ISBN 978-0-7551-0039-2.

Rau, Dana Meachen (2004). Singapore. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 978-0-7614-1727-9.

Palmer, John (2002). Singapore. Broken Jaw Press. ISBN 978-1-896647-85-2.

Chong, Terence (2011). The Theatre and the State in Singapore: Orthodoxy and Resistance. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-58448-7.

Ebrahim, Naleeza; Yee, Yaw Yan (2006). Singapore. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 978-981-232-922-6.

Eng, Lai Ah (2008). Religious Diversity in Singapore. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 978-981-230-754-5.

Perry, Martin; Kong, Lily; Yeoh, Brenda S. A. (1997). Singapore: a developmental city state. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-97190-0.

Trocki, Carl A. (2006). Singapore: Wealth, Power and the Culture of Control. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-26386-3.

Haas, Michael (1 January 1999). The Singapore Puzzle. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-96379-8.

Quah, Jon S. T. (2010). Public Administration Singapore-style. Emerald Group Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84950-924-4.

Chua, Beng-Huat (1997). Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-16465-8.

Huff, W. G. (13 August 1997). The Economic Growth of Singapore: Trade and Development in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-62944-7.

Ng, Peter K. L.; Corlett, Richard; Tan, Hugh T. W. (2011). Singapore Biodiversity: An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 978-981-4260-08-4.

Afendras, Evangelos A.; Kuo, Eddie C. Y. (1980). Language and Society in Singapore. NUS Press. ISBN 978-9971-69-016-8.

Barr, Michael D.; Skrbiš, Zlatko (2008). Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethnicity and the Nation-building Project. NIAS Press. ISBN 978-87-7694-029-4.

Lim, Peter H. L. (2009). Chronicle of Singapore, 1959-2009: Fifty Years of Headline News. Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 978-981-4217-75-0.

George, Cherian (2000). Singapore: The Air-conditioned Nation : Essays on the Politics of Comfort and Control, 1990-2000. Landmark Books. ISBN 978-981-3065-46-8.

Chia, Lin Sien (1991). The Biophysical Environment of Singapore. NUS Press. ISBN 978-9971-69-144-8.

Abshire, Jean (21 March 2011). The History of Singapore. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-37743-3.

Yeoh, Brenda S. A. (January 2003). Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore: Power Relations and the Urban Built Environment. NUS Press. ISBN 978-9971-69-268-1.

Acharya, Amitav (December 2007). Singapore's Foreign Policy: The Search for Regional Order. World Scientific. ISBN 978-981-277-034-9.

Heng, Derek Thiam Soon; Aljunied, Syed Muhd. Khairudin (2009). Reframing Singapore: Memory, Identity, Trans-regionalism. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 978-90-8964-094-9.

Tan, Kenneth Paul (2008). Cinema and Television in Singapore: Resistance in One Dimension. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-16643-2.

Das, Sanchita Basu (3 August 2010). Road to Recovery: Singapore's Journey Through the Global Crisis. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 978-981-4311-05-2.

Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

The Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS) is a research center affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. Based in Washington, DC, the Center, which was founded in 1972, conducts scientific research related to planetary science, geophysics and the biophysical environment. As a Regional Planetary Image Facility, the Center hosts NASA data including images and maps of the planets and their satellites. It also houses images taken by the Space Shuttle. These data collections are accessible to outside researchers. The Center, which is located at the National Air and Space Museum, curates two of its galleries, Exploring the Planets and Looking at Earth, as well as contributing elsewhere in the museum.

Ecological anthropology

Ecological anthropology is a sub-field of anthropology and is defined as the "study of cultural adaptations to environments". The sub-field is also defined as, "the study of relationships between a population of humans and their biophysical environment". The focus of its research concerns "how cultural beliefs and practices helped human populations adapt to their environments, and how people used elements of their culture to maintain their ecosystems". Ecological anthropology developed from the approach of cultural ecology, and it provided a conceptual framework more suitable for scientific inquiry than the cultural ecology approach. Research pursued under this approach aims to study a wide range of human responses to environmental problems.

Environmental issue

Environmental issues are harmful effects of human activity on the biophysical environment. Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the natural environment on individual, organizational or governmental levels, for the benefit of both the environment and humans. Environmentalism, a social and environmental movement, addresses environmental issues through advocacy, education and activism.

The carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere has already exceeded over 9000 parts per million (NOAA) (with total "long-term" GHG exceeding 455 parts per million) (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report). This level is considered a tipping point. "The amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is already above the threshold that can potentially cause dangerous climate change. We are already at risk of many areas of pollution...It's not next year or next decade, it's now." The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has stated "Climate change is not just a distant future threat. It is the main driver behind rising humanitarian needs and we are seeing its impact. The number of people affected and the damages inflicted by extreme weather has been unprecedented." Further, OCHA has stated:Climate disasters are on the rise. Around 70 percent of disasters are now climate related – up from around 50 percent from two decades ago. These disasters take a heavier human toll and come with a higher price tag. In the last decade, 2.4 billion people were affected by climate related disasters, compared to 1.7 billion in the previous decade. The cost of responding to disasters has risen tenfold between 1992 and 2008.Destructive sudden heavy rains, intense tropical storms, repeated flooding and droughts are likely to increase, as will the vulnerability of local communities in the absence of strong concerted action.Environment destruction caused by humans is a global problem, and this is a problem that is on going every day. By year 2050, the global human population is expected to grow by 2 billion people, thereby reaching a level of 9.6 billion people (Living Blue Planet 24). The human effects on Earth can be seen in many different ways. A main one is the temperature rise, and according to the report ”Our Changing Climate”, the global warming that has been going on for the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities (Walsh, et al. 20). Since 1895, the U.S. average temperature has increased from 1.3 °F to 1.9 °F, with most of the increase taken place since around year 1970 (Walsh, et al. 20).

Environmental issues in China

Environmental issues in China are plentiful, severely affecting the country's biophysical environment and human health. Rapid industrialisation, as well as lax environmental oversight, are main contributors to these problems.

The Chinese government has acknowledged the problems and made various responses, resulting in some improvements, but the responses have been criticized as inadequate. In recent years, there has been increased citizens' activism against government decisions that are perceived as environmentally damaging, and a retired official from the Communist Party of China has reported that the year of 2012 saw over 50,000 environmental protests in China.

Environmental issues in Kolkata

Kolkata, historically known as Calcutta, also known as Kalikata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. There are many environmental issues in Kolkata, severely affecting its biophysical environment as well as human health. Air pollution, water pollution, garbage, and pollution of the natural environment are prevalent in Kolkata.

Environmental organization

An environmental organization is an organization coming out of the conservation or environmental movements

that seeks to protect, analyse or monitor the environment against misuse or degradation from human forces.

In this sense the environment may refer to the biophysical environment, the natural environment or the built environment. The organization may be a charity, a trust, a non-governmental organization or a government organization. Environmental organizations can be global, national, regional or local.

Environmental policy

Environmental policy is the commitment of an organization or government to the laws, regulations, and other policy mechanisms concerning environmental issues. These issues generally include air and water pollution, waste management, ecosystem management, maintenance of biodiversity, the protection of natural resources, wildlife and endangered species.

Concerning environmental policy, the importance of implementation of an eco-energy-oriented policy at a global level to address the issues of global warming and climate changes should be accentuated.

Policies concerning energy or regulation of toxic substances including pesticides and many types of industrial waste are part of the topic of environmental policy. This policy can be deliberately taken to direct and oversee human activities and thereby prevent harmful effects on the biophysical environment and natural resources, as well as to make sure that changes in the environment do not have harmful effects on humans.

Environmental protection

Environmental protection is the practice of protecting the natural environment by individuals, organizations and governments. Its objectives are to conserve natural resources and the existing natural environment and, where possible, to repair damage and reverse trends.Due to the pressures of overconsumption, population growth and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized, and governments have begun placing restraints on activities that cause environmental degradation. Since the 1960s, environmental movements have created more awareness of the various environmental problems. There is disagreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity and even scientific dishonesty occurs, so protection measures are occasionally debated.

Environmental resource management

Environmental resource management is the management of the interaction and impact of human societies on the environment. It is not, as the phrase might suggest, the management of the environment itself. Environmental resources management aims to ensure that ecosystem services are protected and maintained for future human generations, and also maintain ecosystem integrity through considering ethical, economic, and scientific (ecological) variables. Environmental resource management tries to identify factors affected by conflicts that rise between meeting needs and protecting resources. It is thus linked to environmental protection, sustainability and integrated landscape management.

Land degradation

Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land.

It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. Natural hazards are excluded as a cause; however human activities can indirectly affect phenomena such as floods and bush fires.

This is considered to be an important topic of the 21st century due to the implications land degradation has upon agronomic productivity, the environment, and its effects on food security. It is estimated that up to 40% of the world's agricultural land is seriously degraded.

List of environmental issues

This is an alphabetical list of environmental issues, harmful aspects of human activity on the biophysical environment. They are loosely divided into causes, effects and mitigation, noting that effects are interconnected and can cause new effects.

List of environmental journals

This is a list of scholarly, peer-reviewed academic journals focused on the biophysical environment and/or humans' relations with it. Inclusion of journals focused on the built environment is appropriate. Included in this list are journals from a wide variety of interdisciplinary fields including from the environmental sciences, environmental social sciences, environmental humanities, etc.

List of environmental periodicals

This is a list of environmental periodicals, in print and online, focused on various aspects of the biophysical environment, the built environment, humans' relations to those environments, and other environment topics. This list presently includes literary magazines, general-interest magazines, newsletters, and others.

(For peer-reviewed academic journals, see the List of environmental journals. For online or hybrid periodicals, see also List of environmental websites.)


Microenvironment may refer to:

Microenvironment (biology), a small or relatively small usually distinctly specialized and effectively isolated biophysical environment (as of a nerve cell)

Microenvironment (ecology), also known as a microhabitat, a very small, specific area in a habitat, distinguished from its immediate surroundings by factors such as the amount of incident light, the degree of moisture, and the range of temperatures

Microenvironment (business), nearby factors that affect a company's ability to serve its customers, such as the company itself, suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customer markets and the public

Plant taxonomy

Plant taxonomy is the science that finds, identifies, describes, classifies, and names plants. Thus making it one of the main branches of taxonomy (the science that finds, describes, classifies, and names living things).

Plant taxonomy is closely allied to plant systematics, and there is no sharp boundary between the two. In practice, "Plant systematics" involves relationships between plants and their evolution, especially at the higher levels, whereas "plant taxonomy" deals with the actual handling of plant specimens. The precise relationship between taxonomy and systematics, however, has changed along with the goals and methods employed.

Plant taxonomy is well known for being turbulent, and traditionally not having any close agreement on circumscription and placement of taxa. See the list of systems of plant taxonomy.


Surroundings are the area around a given physical or geographical point or place. The exact definition depends on the field. Surroundings can also be used in geography (when it is more precisely known as vicinity, or vicinage) and mathematics, as well as philosophy, with the literal or metaphorically extended definition.

In thermodynamics, the term (and its synonym, environment) is used in a more restricted sense, meaning everything outside the thermodynamic system. Often, the simplifying assumptions are that energy and matter may move freely within the surroundings, and that the surroundings have a uniform composition.


The Umweltbundesamt (UBA) is the German Environment Agency. The headquarter is in Dessau-Roßlau. It was founded in Berlin 1974 and is Germany's main environmental agency. In 2005 the agency moved to Dessau in Saxony-Anhalt. Together with the Bundesamt für Naturschutz, the Bundesamt für kerntechnische Entsorgungssicherheit and the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, it is operating under the jurisdiction of the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

The UBA's spectrum of issues includes all aspects of human activity on the biophysical environment like:

Air pollution

Climate change

Environmental health


Water pollution


The word zoomorphism derives from the Greek ζωον (zōon), meaning "animal", and μορφη (morphē), meaning "shape" or "form". It can mean:

Art that imagines humans as non-human animals

Art that portrays one species of animal like another species of animal

Art that creates patterns using animal imagery, or animal style

Deities depicted in animal form, such as exist in ancient Egyptian religion

Therianthropy: the ability to shapeshift into animal form

Attributing animal form or other animal characteristics to anything other than an animal; similar to but broader than anthropomorphism

The tendency of viewing human behaviour in terms of the behaviour of animals, contrary to anthropomorphism, which views animal or non-animal behaviour in human terms

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