This comprehensive treatment of natural environmental systems provides the student of physical geography or environmental science with an introductory text. Based on the author's combined teaching and research experience, it is an integrated and unified account of systems on all scales from planetary to molecular. Using energy flow and mass transfer as unifying themes, the discussion is set in a thermodynamic perspective. The concepts and terminology of the systems approach which now pervades thinking and teaching in the geographical and environmental sciences are dealt with in full, although unnecessary jargon is kept to a minimum. The approach is based on a nested hierarchy of systems in which man-environment interactions are dealt with in turn but with due respect for the functional connections within them, between them, and between man and the environment as a whole. Given that such an approach must be firmly based on sound scientific principles, essential scientific models, concepts and terms are explained, largely in boxed sections which are separated from the text in order to facilitate the use of the book by students with a variety of academic background. For the second edition, all chapters have been revised. In Part 2, there is a new chapter on the hydrosphere dealing with the effect of the oceans on the energetics and biochemistry of the planet. The biosphere and ecosphere chapters have been condensed into one, with more emphasis on the nature of human interference in biogeochemical cycles. There is a new chapter on Aeolian systems (desertification and the environmental problems of arid and semi-arid lands) and another coastal systems. There is more on landscape ecology and climatic change, including the effect of ozone holes.
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Any book is a compromise between the original develop, as does its social and cultural context. aspirations of the author(s) and the realities of New research findings enhance understanding or publication. For this reason reviewers, are often open new avenues of endeavour, which, with in able to take issue not so much with the substantive ductive reasoning, extend the frontiers of the field. content of a book, but with pragmatic decisions New paradigms emerge, and private and public imposed on authors by this need to compromise. attitudes and values change. In short, a book is an The first edition of this book was no exception, ephemeral entity, providing at best a synoptic for the breadth of its canvas made compromise picture: a particular view of the world which is inevitable if its focus on functioning environmental sooner or later out of date and superseded. The systems was not to be lost. Although, hopefully, it first edition of this book, however, was fortunate has proved to be a successful compromise, several in being a little ahead of its time in anticipating such decisions have been questioned, partly by some of the changes which have occurred since its reviewers, partly by feedback from students and publication. The preface to the first edition stated teachers using the book.
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Book Description G. Allen & Unwin, 1984. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0045510652