This IELTS environment vocabulary lesson helps you out with words and ideas to discuss a key IELTS topic. The best way to learn vocabulary is in context, so in addition to useful lists of words I have recorded 4 sample part 3 speaking answers using some of this vocabulary. This way you can understand how to use it in practice. You will also find the environment wordlists to download and some exercises to practise it at the bottom of the page.
The natural world
In this section, you will find 4 sample part 3 speakings (slightly long) to listen and read. I have highlighted the environmental vocabulary.
Our effect on the natural world[audio:http://www.dcielts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/environ4.mp3|titles=natural world idea]
When we’re the discussing the environment, it’s important not to forget that our actions have an impact not only on us but on the natural world and other species. So, for example, certain species are now endangered because of our actions. it’s not just because of hunting, but because we have destroyed their natural habitats: they do not enough food or anywhere to live. If we carry on in this way, the biodiversity of the planet is under threat.
I would have said that one of the most serious environmental problems today is of course pollution. It’s a very pressing green issue and if you travel to any of the large cities in China, for example, you’ll find that there is very bad air pollution and there is a layer of smog hanging over the cities. It’s just air pollution, there is also water pollution. in many parts of the world, the quality of the water is not good because rivers have been contaminated by all sorts of industrial waste, by chemicals and fertilisers. And what we need to do is to recycle our waste and take care of the planet and try use renewable resources where we possibly can.
Another extremely important green issue is of course energy. There are two points to be made here. The first point is that the way we use energy is causing harm to the environment. Most of us get energy in the form of electricity. This electricity is produced by power stations. These power stations emit all sorts of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide up into the atmosphere. And these gases cause acid rain which does harm to our ecosystem and environment. the second point to make about energy is we need to make sure that we are using energy in a sustainable way. There is a limit to the Earth’s natural resources and there is a danger that we use so much energy the Earth is no longer going to be able to provide us with sufficient coal and fossil fuels. What we need to do is look for more renewable sources of energy such as wind or perhaps solar energy from the sun.
Global warming[audio:http://www.dcielts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/environ1.mp3|titles=Global warming ideas]
What’s the greatest threat to the Earth today? I’d have to say it’s probably a combination of global warming and the greenhouse effect. I don’t understand all the science behind it, but I understand it’s to do with the build up of gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which means that the planet is slowly but steadily getting warmer. and one of the results of this is that the polar icecap is melting and the levels of the oceans are rising. And it’s caused I understand by deforestation, particularly of rainforests and particularly in the Amazonian Basin. And what this means is that we may be doing irreparable harm to the planet and the future of the planet for our children and our children’s children looks really rather bleak.
To see if you can use this vocabulary, try these exercises: