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Environmental Indicators

At present this web site is mainly used for several courses on environmental indicators taught at Wageningen University. In the future this web site will provide general information on environmental indicators and their use.

For those visitors wondering what an environmental indicator is a brief explanation is provided below.

What is an environmental indicator?

An environmental indicator provides information on a particular aspect of the environment. It typically makes a trend perceptible or provides insight into phenomena that extend beyond what is actually measured. For example, an increase in mean annual air temperature not only tells us that the air temperature has changed, but may also provide an indication of global warming and all kinds of processes related to global warming. Mean annual air temperature is thus an indicator of the status of the environment in a similar vein as our body temperature is an indicator of our current health status (with a fever indicating illness). Both provide insight into a matter of larger significance.

Environmental indicators are indicators that report on the environment in the widest possible sense. They typically include physical, biological and chemical indicators and generally comprise indicators of environmental driving forces, pressures, conditions, ecological impacts and (societal) responses.

© 2001-2011, David Niemeijer