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 realization that soils will not for ever maintain their desirable properties when used by human societies must be very ancient. Irrigated soils in the great river valleys of the Old World like the Euphrates needed protection against salinification as early as the 4th millennium BC and episodes of severe soil loss such as the Dust Bowl of the USA in the 1930s [Page 278]have all reinforced the ideas that careful management is likely to be needed if a valuable resource is to be protected: what may have taken millennia to form can be lost in a day. The management systems adopted vary with the type of soil concerned and with the aim of the management, so that very broad generalizations are difficult ...