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.
The scientific study of energy flows leads to the essence of energetics, and also of a systems approach, which can be expressed by the ‘laws’ suggested by Barry Commoner in 1972 to be:
- everything is connected to everything else;
- everything must go somewhere;
- nature knows best;
- there's no such thing as a free lunch, because somebody somewhere must foot the bill.
In the environmental system, energy sources include solar radiation and the thermal gradients which arise in the atmosphere and laterally over the Earth's surface; internal energy from the Earth's interior including that from volcanic and seismic sources; rotational energy of the whole and parts of the solar system which can include tides; and human energy. Environmental science disciplines consider sources, fluxes and transformation of energy, ...