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.
Literally this term means that the whole is more than the sum of the parts, a general principle attributed to Aristotle. Applied to the environmental sciences all the properties of an environmental system or ecosystem, including biological, chemical, social and economic ones, cannot be explained entirely by the sum of the component parts because the system as a whole determines how the system operates. In just the same way human personality is more than can be predicted from biochemistry. In the development of the environmental sciences use of a reductionist approach involved increasingly detailed investigation of the component parts of systems. This has been characterized as ‘knowing more and more about less and less’, and although very necessary needs to be complemented by a ...