In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in different fields. Some conceptions see the world as unique while others talk of a "plurality of worlds". Some treat the world as one simple object while others analyze the world as a complex made up of many parts. In scientific cosmology the world or universe is commonly defined as "[t]he totality of all space and time; all that is, has been, and will be". Theories of modality, on the other hand, talk of possible worlds as complete and consistent ways how things could have been. Phenomenology, starting from the horizon of co-given objects present in the periphery of every experience, defines the world as the biggest horizon or the "horizon of all horizons". In philosophy of mind, the world is commonly contrasted with the mind as that which is represented by the mind. Theology conceptualizes the world in relation to God, for example, as God's creation, as identical to God or as the two being interdependent. In religions, there is often a tendency to downgrade the material or sensory world in favor of a spiritual world to be sought through religious practice. A comprehensive representation of the world and our place in it, as is commonly found in religions, is known as a worldview. Cosmogony is the field that studies the origin or creation of the world while eschatology refers to the science or doctrine of the last things or of the end of the world.
The expedition accomplished its primary goal – to find a western route to the Moluccas (Spice Islands). The fleet left Spain on 20 September 1519, sailed across the Atlantic and down the eastern coast of South America, eventually discovering the Strait of Magellan, allowing them to pass through to the Pacific Ocean (which Magellan named). The fleet completed the first Pacific crossing, stopping in the Philippines, and eventually reached the Moluccas after two years. A much-depleted crew led by Juan Sebastián Elcano finally returned to Spain on 6 September 1522, having sailed west, around the Cape of Good Hope, through waters controlled by the Portuguese. (Full article...)
Contemptus mundi, the "contempt of the world" and worldly concerns, is a theme in the intellectual life of both Classical Antiquity and of Christianity, both in its mystical vein and its ambivalence towards secular life, that figures largely in the Western world's history of ideas. In inculcating a turn of mind that would lead to a state of serenity untrammeled by distracting material appetites and feverish emotional connections, which the Greek philosophers called ataraxia, it drew upon the assumptions of Stoicism and a neoplatonism that was distrustful of deceptive and spurious appearances. In the familiar rhetorical polarity in Hellenic philosophy between the active and the contemplative life, which Christians, who expressly rejected "the World, the Flesh and the Devil", might exemplify as the way of Martha and the way of Mary, contemptus mundi assumed that only the contemplative life was of lasting value and the world an empty shell, a vanity. (Full article...)
A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to denudation. About one-third of the land surface of the Earth is arid or semi-arid. This includes much of the polar regions, where little precipitation occurs, and which are sometimes called polar deserts or "cold deserts". Deserts can be classified by the amount of precipitation that falls, by the temperature that prevails, by the causes of desertification or by their geographical location.
Deserts are formed by weathering processes as large variations in temperature between day and night put strains on the rocks, which consequently break in pieces. Although rain seldom occurs in deserts, there are occasional downpours that can result in flash floods. Rain falling on hot rocks can cause them to shatter, and the resulting fragments and rubble strewn over the desert floor are further eroded by the wind. This picks up particles of sand and dust, which can remain airborne for extended periods – sometimes causing the formation of sand storms or dust storms. Wind-blown sand grains striking any solid object in their path can abrade the surface. Rocks are smoothed down, and the wind sorts sand into uniform deposits. The grains end up as level sheets of sand or are piled high in billowing sand dunes. Other deserts are flat, stony plains where all the fine material has been blown away and the surface consists of a mosaic of smooth stones. These areas are known as desert pavements, and little further erosion takes place. Other desert features include rock outcrops, exposed bedrock and clays once deposited by flowing water. Temporary lakes may form and salt pans may be left when waters evaporate. There may be underground sources of water, in the form of springs and seepages from aquifers. Where these are found, oases can occur. (Full article...)
Three European Union schemes of geographical indications and traditional specialties, known as protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI), and traditional specialities guaranteed (TSG), promote and protect names of agricultural products and foodstuffs. Products registered under one of the three schemes may be marked with the logo for that scheme to help identify those products. The schemes are based on the legal framework provided by the EU Regulation No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs. This regulation applies within the EU as well as in Northern Ireland. Protection of the registered products is gradually expanded internationally via bilateral agreements between the EU and non-EU countries. It ensures that only products genuinely originating in that region are allowed to be identified as such in commerce. The legislation first came into force in 1992. The purpose of the law is to protect the reputation of the regional foods, promote rural and agricultural activity, help producers obtain a premium price for their authentic products, and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour. Critics argue that many of the names, sought for protection by the EU, have become commonplace in trade and should not be protected.
Winds blowing over the surface of the sea produce waves, which break when they enter the shallow water. Winds also create surface currents through friction, setting up slow but stable circulations of water throughout the oceans. The directions of the circulation are governed by several factors, including the shapes of the continents and Earth's rotation (through the Coriolis effect). Deep-sea currents, known as the global conveyor belt, carry cold water from near the poles to every ocean. Tides, the generally twice-daily rise and fall of sea levels, are caused by Earth's rotation and the gravitational effects of the Moon and, to a lesser extent, of the Sun. Tides may have a very high range in bays or estuaries. Submarine earthquakes arising from tectonic plate movements under the oceans can lead to destructive tsunamis, as can volcanoes, huge landslides, or the impact of large meteorites. (Full article...)
It was long thought that Earth’s water did not originate from the planet’s region of the protoplanetary disk. Instead, it was hypothesized water and other volatiles must have been delivered to Earth from the outer Solar System later in its history. Recent research, however, indicates that hydrogen inside the Earth played a role in the formation of the ocean. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive, as there is also evidence that water was delivered to Earth by impacts from icy planetesimals similar in composition to asteroids in the outer edges of the asteroid belt. (Full article...)
A world map of countries by their supposed trading status in 2000, using the world system differentiation into core countries (blue), semi-periphery countries (yellow) and periphery countries (red). Based on the list in Dunn, Kawana, Brewer.
"World-system" refers to the inter-regional and transnational division of labor, which divides the world into core countries, semi-periphery countries, and the periphery countries. Core countries focus on higher-skill, capital-intensive production, and the rest of the world focuses on low-skill, labor-intensive production and extraction of raw materials. This constantly reinforces the dominance of the core countries. Nonetheless, the system has dynamic characteristics, in part as a result of revolutions in transport technology, and individual states can gain or lose their core (semi-periphery, periphery) status over time. This structure is unified by the division of labour. It is a world-economy rooted in a capitalist economy. For a time, certain countries become the world hegemon; during the last few centuries, as the world-system has extended geographically and intensified economically, this status has passed from the Netherlands, to the United Kingdom and (most recently) to the United States. (Full article...)
Image 28An artist's impression of ice age Earth at glacial maximum. (from History of Earth)
Image 29The replicator in virtually all known life is deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is far more complex than the original replicator and its replication systems are highly elaborate. (from History of Earth)
Shenzhen roughly follows the administrative boundaries of Bao'an County, which was established since imperial times. The southern portion of Bao'an County was seized by the British after the Opium Wars and became Hong Kong, while the village of Shenzhen was situated on the border. Due to the completion of a train station that was the last stop on the Mainland Chinese section of the railway between Guangzhou and Kowloon, Shenzhen's economy grew and became a market town and later a city by 1979, absorbing Bao'an County for the next decade. (Full article...)
The Protected areas of Portugal (Portuguese: Áreas protegidas de Portugal) are classified under a legal protection statute that allows for the adequate protection and maintenance of biodiversity, while providing services for ecosystem that maintains the natural and geological patrimony. (Full article...)
Map of protected areas of the Czech Republic: national parks (grey) and protected landscape areas (green)
There are several types of protected areas of the Czech Republic. The main form of landscape protection is delimitation of special protected areas. All the types of protected areas are determined by law. (Full article...)
Estonia has five national parks, 167 nature reserves and 152 landscape conservation areas. In addition, there are 116 (118) protected areas with an old (Soviet-era) protection regulation and 537 parks. In total, 18.1% of Estonia are protected nature areas, with Lääne County having the highest percentage (32%) and Põlva County the lowest percentage of protected areas, about 9%. (Full article...)
Total size of protected area of Bosnia and Herzegovina amounts of 57.83694 hectares (142.9182 acres), which is 1,13% of its entire territory. This is a list of areas protected by corresponding levels of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely at the entity's levels, and with various categorizations. (Full article...)
There are four categories of protected areas in India, constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Tiger reserves consist of areas under national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. There are 52 tiger reserves in India. As of May 2012, the protected areas of India cover 156,700 square kilometres (60,500 sq mi), roughly 4.95% of the total surface area. (Full article...)
Protected areas in Mozambique are known as conservation areas, and are currently grouped into national parks, national reserves, forest reserves, wildlife utilisation areas (coutadas), community conservation areas, and private game farms (fazendas de bravio). There are also a number of areas that have been declared as protected areas under a variety of different legislation, which for reasons of simplicity are here grouped together as "other protected areas." Under the Conservation Law of 2014 (Law 16/2014 of June 20), the protected areas will need to be reclassified into a much more flexible series of new categories which are closer to the international system used by the IUCN. International initiatives such as transfrontier parks are grouped at the end of the page. (Full article...)
Forests in the state of Himachal Pradesh (northern India) currently cover an area of nearly 37,939 square kilometres (14,648 sq mi), which is about 68.16% of the total land area of the state. The forests were once considered to be the main source of income of the state and most of the original forests were clear felled. The emphasis has shifted, however, from exploitation to conservation. The state government aims to increase forest cover to 50% of the total land area. There have been various projects, including the establishment of protected areas such as National Parks, designed to preserve and expand the forests. (Full article...)
Within each classification of reserve there may be a variation of IUCN categories Australia is a signatory to the Convention of Biological Diversity and as such has obligations to report the status of its National Reserve System.IUCN provides on its website a prescription for activities consistent with the categorisation system. Changes made to the Nature Conservation Act 2002 in 2014 permit timber harvesting. These changes made in addition to the already established right to access minerals means that many of the IUCN categorisations assigned to individual reserves in Tasmania are no longer fit for purpose. In addition many reserves have had their reserve status downgraded from a class excluding timber harvesting and mineral extraction to ones where these activities are now permitted. This mis-application of the IUCN protected area categories needs to be remedied or the reserves protected land class under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 should be adjusted to reflect its currently assigned IUCN category. (Full article...)