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.  

Gaia Hypothesis

Gaia hypothesis

At its simplest, this model reverses long-held ideas about the relations of the living and non-living components of this planet. Since Darwin's time in the 19th century, the overarching view was that life had adapted to the changing conditions of a cooling planet. The Gaia model, on the other hand, holds that life itself has created many of the physical conditions which are now found. The model is named after the Greek goddess of the Earth and was first formulated by the analytical chemist James Lovelock in the 1960s, though largely ignored until the more favourable intellectual climate of the 1970s. His 1979 book launched the idea into both scientific and humanistic communities and was much derided by the former. His arguments ...

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