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.
A disaster from the perspective of environmental science may be defined as an event that results from interaction between humans and natural processes resulting in injuries or loss of life accompanied by significant damage to property. The event generally occurs over a limited time span and within a defined geographic area. Disasters that are more massive in extent and require significant expenditure in time and money for recovery to take place are catastrophes. Examples of environmental disasters include:
- Natural hazard events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, landslides, and floods.
- Release of toxic gas into the environment as for example, the 1984 release of toxic liquid that formed a deadly cloud of gas in Bhopal, India. The chemical was methyl isocyanate, which [Page 367]vaporized and ...