Global Warming Effects Around the World

Global Warming Glossary *


Vagile - Able to migrate.

Value added - The net output of a sector or activity after adding up all outputs and subtracting intermediate inputs.

Values - Worth, desirability or utility based on individual preferences. Most social science disciplines use several definitions of value. Related to nature and environment, there is a distinction between intrinsic and instrumental values, the latter assigned by humans. Within instrumental values, there is an unsettled catalogue of different values, such as (direct and indirect) use, option, conservation, serendipity, bequest, existence, etc. Mainstream economics define the total value of any resource as the sum of the values of the different individuals involved in the use of the resource. The economic values, which are the foundation of the estimation of costs, are measured in terms of the willingness to pay by individuals to receive the resource or by the willingness of individuals to accept payment to part with the resource.

Vascular plants - Higher plants with vascular, i.e., sap-transporting, tissues.

Vector - A blood-sucking organism, such as an insect, that transmits a pathogen from one host to another. See also vector-borne diseases.

Vector-borne diseases - Disease that are transmitted between hosts by a vector organism (such as a mosquito or tick); e.g., malaria, dengue fever and leishmaniasis.

Ventilation - The exchange of ocean properties with the atmospheric-surface-layer such that property concentrations are brought closer to equilibrium values with the atmosphere.

Vernalization - The biological requirements of certain crops, such as winter cereals, which need periods of extreme cold temperatures before emergence and/or during early vegetative stages, in order to flower and produce seeds. By extension, the act or process of hastening the flowering and fruiting of plants by treating seeds, bulbs or seedlings with cold temperatures, so as to induce a shortening of the vegetative period.

Voluntary action - Informal programs, self-commitments and declarations, where the parties (individual companies or groups of companies) entering into the action set their own targets and often do their own monitoring and reporting.

Voluntary agreement - An agreement between a government authority and one or more private parties to achieve environmental objectives or to improve environmental performance beyond compliance to regulated obligations. Not all voluntary agreements are truly voluntary; some include rewards and/or penalties associated with joining or achieving commitments.

Vulnerability - Vulnerability is the degree to which a system is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. Vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude, and rate of climate change and variation to which a system is exposed, its sensitivity, and its adaptive capacity.


Glossaries of the contributions of Working Groups I, II and III to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report 2007.

Nakićenović, N., J. Alcamo, G. Davis, B. de Vries, J. Fenhann, S. Gaffin, K. Gregory, A. Grübler, T.Y. Jung, T. Kram, E.L. La Rovere, L. Michaelis, S. Mori, T. Morita, W. Pepper, H. Pitcher, L. Price, K. Raihi, A. Roehrl, H.-H. Rogner, A. Sankovski, M. Schlesinger, P. Shukla, S. Smith, R. Swart, S. van Rooijen, N. Victor and Z. Dadi, 2000: Emissions Scenarios: A Special Report of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, and New York, 599 pp.

* Definitions adapted from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report 2007 and the Dictionary of Geological Terms Third Edition. 1984. Bates and Jackson (Eds).