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Term Term description

The importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

value of sustainability

The value of using a resource of the natural world with prudence, so that it remains healthy and able to support its role in the ecosystem and meets the reasonable needs of future human generations.

variable components

Components that fluctuate based on anthropocentric impact and other natural causes- components such as methane, water vapor, and carbon dioxide are dependent on various factors that can be tremendously impacted by human actions.

vascular plants

Plants having specialized tissues (xylem and phloem) that conduct water and synthesized foods, as any fern, gymnosperm, or angiosperm.


Members of a large group of animals of the subphylum Vertebrata (or Craniata), characterized by having a backbone. Vertebrates are bilaterally symmetrical and have an internal skeleton of bone or cartilage, a nervous system divided into brain and spinal cord, and not more than two pairs of limbs. Vertebrates have a well-developed body cavity (called a coelom) containing a chambered heart, large digestive organs, liver, pancreas, and paired kidneys, and their blood contains both red and white corpuscles. Vertebrates include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

visible light

The range of electromagnetic radiation that can be detected by the human eye.

vision quest

A rite of passage in some Native American cultures that provides a person with a deep understanding of their life purpose.

volcanic lava

Molten rock that issues from a volcano or from a fissure in the surface of the Earth.


An instrument used for measuring electrical potential difference between two points in an electrical circuit.

Vostok ice core study

The Vostok ice core was drilled from a site considered one of the least hospitable sites on Earth, since its altitude is 3,500 meters and its average yearly temperature is minus 55° C. The analysis of this ice core provides a record of the atmosphere during the last four climatic cycles. For the first time, researchers were able to establish, over such a long period, a simultaneous record of temperature variations, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and oxygen proportions in the atmosphere, of the quantity of dust blown from the desert and aerosols from sea spray.

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