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.
In the 20th century, the Earth's average near-surface atmospheric temperature rose 0.6 ± 0.2°C (1.1 ± 0.4°F). The general scientific consensus on climate change is that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities (Fig. 79, Table 53). The increased amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) are the primary causes of the human-induced component of warming. CO2 and GHGs are released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, and agriculture that have led to an increase in the greenhouse effect. The measure of climate response to increased GHGs, climate sensitivity, is found by observational studies and climate models. This sensitivity is usually expressed in terms of the temperature response expected from ...