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.
One of the main ways in which science seeks to discover what is in the world and how it works is to find sub-units and see how they work, before trying to reassemble the whole. Thus an animal may be investigated via its organs (skeleton, skin, blood circulation and the like), the organs via their tissues (muscle, nerves, connecting tissue), the tissues via their cells, and so on down to the fundamental elements of matter. Apart from the intellectual issues in studying parts (a reductive approach) rather than wholes (holism), there is the severely practical matter of being able to manage to understand relatively simple systems as against the fearful complexity of wholes like a large ecosystem, or the whole of Earth's atmosphere. So, ...