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O

Oceanography

The branch of science that deals with the physical and biological properties and phenomena of the oceans. People who work in this field are known as oceanographers.

Oil Spills

The harmful release of oil into the environment, usually in the water, quite often killing the areas flora and fauna. Oil spills are very difficult to clean up.

Old Growth Forests

An ancient forest that is typically older than 200 years with large trees, dense canopies and an abundance of diverse wildlife.

Organic Compounds

Compounds composed of carbon and hydrogen. Organic compounds form the basic building blocks of living tissue.

Organic

Referring to or derived from living organisms. In chemistry, organic refers to any compound containing carbon.

Organism

A living thing.

Organochlorides

A group of organic (carbon-containing) insecticides that also contain chlorine. These chemicals tend not to break down easily in the environment. DDT, Toxaphene and Endosulfan are all organochlorides.

Over Grazing

Over Fishing

Fishing beyond the capacity of a population to replace itself through natural reproduction.

Oxidize

To chemically transform a substance by combining it with oxygen.

Ozone

A gas composed of three atoms of oxygen (03). Ozone partially filters certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light from the Earth. Ozone is a desirable gas in the stratosphere, but in high concentrations at ground level, it is toxic to living organisms.

Ozone layer (stratospheric ozone)

Ozone that is formed in the stratosphere from the conversion of oxygen molecules by solar radiation. Ozone absorbs much ultraviolet radiation and prevents it from reaching the Earth.



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