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.  

Chaos Theory

Chaos theory

Chaos theory attempts to explain the fact that complex and unpredictable results can and will occur in systems that are sensitive to their initial conditions, and it describes the behaviour of non-linear dynamical systems that under certain conditions can exhibit chaos. Most environmental systems are non-linear, they do not have an easily derived solution and give rise to responses which do not settle down to a fixed equilbrium condition or value and so are described as chaotic. However many systems are thought of as linear when viewed over a restricted range of action.

Chaos theory describes systems which are apparently disordered, but endeavours to find underlying order in apparently random data. Investigation of meteorological systems led Lorenz in 1963 to identify chaos theory but ...

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