This second edition, enhanced with more than 30 new figures, provides an up-to-date overview of physical geography suitable for all those with a personal or professional interest in environmental processes, climate change and understanding of the Earth’s landforms and dynamics. The text provides explanations of processes enabling the reader to understand the interconnected nature of the Earth’s system and has been updated to include new developments and case studies with insights from satellite observations and data analysis using artificial intelligence.
The book begins by outlining the nature of the Earth system, concepts around environmental thresholds and feedbacks, planetary boundaries for human survival, and humans as a dominant driver of environmental change. The second chapter examines features associated with plate tectonics, the role of weathering and erosion in shaping landscapes, soil functions and management. Chapter 3 deals with the climate system, describing drivers of the major atmospheric and oceanic circulation systems, the natural greenhouse effect, and regional climate and weather experienced for different zones across the planet. The global carbon cycle and long-term climate change are considered in Chapter 4 before moving on to tackle the latest knowledge on contemporary and future climate change, its impacts, mitigation and adaptation. Chapter 5 facilitates key understanding of hydrology, river channel dynamics, water quality, coastal processes, glacier dynamics and cold region landforms while Chapter 6 deals with the distribution and patterns of life on Earth and of the underlying processes that result in these patterns. The book concludes with a brief overview of considerations for managing environmental change and hazards, and requirements for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
This reader-friendly text brings together wide-ranging subject areas from across physical geography covering the basics of the subject at a level suitable for those about to embark on a university degree or for those who just want to get a solid basic understanding of the physical environment around them. The book, which contains box features with examples and a glossary to aid understanding, acts as a primer for further study, or in itself can be used as a basic aid to understanding fundamental principles and processes associated with physical geography.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Tectonics, Weathering, Erosion and Soils 3. Atmosphere, Oceans, Climate and Weather 4. Climate Change and The Carbon Cycle 5. Water and Ice 6. Biogeography 7. Solutions in Physical Geography
Joseph Holden holds the Chair of Physical Geography at the University of Leeds. He is Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Royal Meteorological Society and has won numerous awards. He has been Research Dean for the Faculty of Environment and is also Director of [email protected], a major interdisciplinary water research centre.