This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.
Carbon is the most important element for living systems and is involved in geological, biological, and atmospheric cycles. The carbonate system is important in regulating the pH of the world oceans (due to the balance of dissolved CO2, bicarbonate −HCO3−, and carbonate −CO32−) and calcium carbonate is an important compound in the skeletons of many organisms such as coral. Living organisms undergo a grand cycle due to production and consumption. As plants and algae photosynthesize, they take CO2, water and other materials from the environment and produce living organic matter and water. As this organic matter is consumed and dies, it decomposes and CO2, water and inorganic compounds are released back into the environment. These two processes are called production and respiration. ...