The Environment : Science, Issues, and Solutions book cover
1st Edition

The Environment
Science, Issues, and Solutions

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ISBN 9780849373879
Published July 30, 2009 by CRC Press
648 Pages 320 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Students have questions, this book has answers:

  • What is the structure and function of natural systems?
  • Where and how do populations and communities live?
  • How have human impacts altered ecosystems?
  • How can we lessen impacts and create long term solutions?

Challenging Times Demand Changing Approaches

As the world strives to go green and clean, the discipline of environmental science is poised to take center stage. Its components span many disciplines, subdisciplines, and specialties. Reflecting this, introductory courses are often taught by instructors trained in fields ranging from biology, chemistry, and physics to philosophy and political science. The next generation of environmental scientists, professionals, and decision makers need an understanding of environmental issues that is not only cohesive, but firmly based in science. They need environmental literacy.

Why Another Text on Environmental Science?

Exploiting the fertile ground provided by young and open minds, The Environment: Science, Issues, and Solutions employs a back-to-basics, building-block presentation. The authors’ approach is strongly grounded in science, the scientific method, and environmental evidence. They introduce the principles of ecology, then discuss how the increase in human population, expanded technology use, and unprecedented economic development and growth has altered ecosystems resulting in serious local, regional, and global environmental problems. The book makes a case for seeking long-term solutions for the prevention and mitigation of environmental problems in their interconnected, interrelated, and, thus, interdependent ways.

Fully Integrated Text Rigorously Explores Environmental Issues

The authors’ engaging style piques the interest of students, challenges their critical abilities, and fosters environmental literacy based on a fundamental understanding of the systems of the natural world. The authors emphasize the basics of ecology and use this foundation to build an understanding of major environmental problems and explore methods of mitigating what has been degraded or destroyed. In a logical progression, they provide an understanding of the science, a delineation of the human population and technological growth that has led to environmental issues, and an exploration of solutions to those problems.

Table of Contents

Ecosystem Structure and Function
The Environment and the Nature of Scientific Enquiry
Meaning and Significance of Environment
The Pale Blue Dot
Stories in the News
Advent of Global Environmental Awakening
Focus on Environmental Problems Sharpens
Advances in Environmental Research and Regulation
The Scientific Method
Types of Scientific Studies
The Two Cultures and the Environment
The Urge to Live, Live Well, and Live Better

Biosphere and the Science of Ecology
The Biosphere
The Lithosphere
The Hydrosphere
The Science of Ecology
The Ecosystem Concept

Atmosphere, Climate, and Organisms
Climate and Weather
Global Climate and General Circulation
Solar Radiation and Light
Heat and Air Temperature
Precipitation, Humidity, and Wind
Influence of Topography
Climate, Weather, and Humans

The Soil Environment
Soil Defined
Origin of Soils
Soil Physical Characteristics
Soil Chemical Relations
Soil Biota

The Aquatic Environment
Characteristics of Water
Hydrological Cycle
Streams and Rivers
Freshwater Lakes
Saline Lakes
Oceans, Seas, and Estuaries

Biogeochemical Cycling of Materials
Biogeochemical Cycles
Drivers of Biogeochemical Cycles
Hydrological or Water Cycle
Gaseous Cycles
Mineral or Sedimentary Cycles
Interactions of Biogeochemical Cycles

Energy Flows and Ecosystem Productivity
Solar Energy—the Driving Variable
Laws of Thermodynamics
Terrestrial Primary Productivity
Photosynthetic Pathways
Ecological Controls on Primary Productivity
Aquatic Primary Productivity
Secondary Productivity
Bioaccumulation through Food Webs

Population Ecology
Populations—the Central Units in Ecology and Evolution
Population Growth
Regulation of Population Size
Spatial Patterns of Population Abundance
Life Histories of Organisms
Interspecific Interactions and Population Dynamics

Community Ecology and Succession
Ecological Communities
Community Structure
Ecological Succession
Changes in Succession
Controls on Succession
Mechanisms of Succession
Rangeland Succession
Concept of Climax, Old-Growth, or Mature Communities

Biomes—the Major Ecosystems of the World
Tundra and Alpine
Temperate Deciduous Forest
Temperate Coniferous Forest
Dry-Mesic Forest
Temperate Rain Forest
Tropical Rain Forest
Tropical Savannas

Contemporary Environmental Issues
Human Population Growth
Forces Driving Human Population Growth
Rapid Growth in Numbers Means Greater Consumption
Biophysical Controls over Population Growth
Increasing Consumption and Decreasing Natural Resources
Uneven Access to Natural Capital Threatens Global Security
Environmental Refugees
Overall Assessment of Increasing Human Numbers

Land Use—Agriculture
Agriculture in Retrospect
Traditional and Industrialized Agriculture
Food Bounty of the United States
Energy Input into Agriculture
The Green Revolution
Land Use Conflicts
Growing Monocultures
Sustaining Energy Subsidies
Biocides: Use, Persistence, and Health Effects
Disruption of Biogeochemical Cycles
Soil Erosion
Animal Agriculture
Challenges of Food Security

Land Use—Forest Resources
Forest Ecosystems in Perspective
Global and National Extent of Forests
Types and Functions of Forests
Forest Products
Deforestation and Its Underlying Causes
Impacts on Hydrological Cycle
Impacts on Gaseous and Sedimentary Cycles
Habitat Fragmentation and Loss of Biodiversity
Forest Death: Mortality, Insects, and Pathogens
Forest Fires
Challenges for Forest Management

Land Use—Mining for Mineral and Coal Resources
Types of Minerals
Mineral Exploration
Extraction from the Ground
Mineral Processing
Consumption Patterns and Environmental Impacts
Waste Production and Disposal—Eastern United States and Canada
Waste Production and Disposal—Western United States and Canada
Industrial Ecology
Legislative Measures

Land Use—Urbanization and Transportation
Forces Driving Urbanization
Trends of Urbanization
Growing Global Urban Population
Land Use
Urban Transportation and Impacts
Urban–Industrial Wastes and Biogeochemical Cycles
Urban Climate and Air Pollutants
Urban Vegetation

Water Resources—Quantity and Quality
The Essential Nature of Water
Use and Depletion of Surface and Ground Water
Impounding Water
Competition for Water
Water Quality—Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems
Oil Spills in Marine Systems
Decline of Fisheries
Legislation on Water Issues

Fuel Energy
Energy as Fuel
Energy from Biomass
Energy from Nonrenewable Resources
Fossil Fuel Energy—Retrospect and Prospect
Energy from Renewable Resources
Current Global and National Energy Profile
Energy Policy

Air Quality and Stratospheric Ozone
Sources of Air Pollutants
Types of Air Pollutants
Air Pollutant Transformations
Modes of Air Pollutant Action
Criteria Air Pollutants
Nature of Atmospheric Deposition
Factors Affecting Atmospheric Deposition
Acidification of Water and Soils
Acidification of Lakes and Streams
Acidification of Forests
Acidification Impacts on Agriculture
Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health
Atmospheric Deposition Impacts on Monuments
The Ozone "Hole" and the Montreal Protocol

The Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change
Greenhouse Gases and the Greenhouse Effect
Geological History and Temperature
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature
Evidence of Carbon Dioxide Increase
Sources and Sinks of Carbon
Other Greenhouse Gases
Evidence of Global Warming
General Circulation Models
Climate–Weather Uncertainties
Response of Biota to Climate Change
Climate Change and Human Health
Recent National and International Responses

Biological Diversity Loss and the March of Invasive Species
Biological Diversity
Values of Safeguarding Biological Diversity
Biological Invasions
Major Factors That Facilitate Invasions
Temporal Attributes of Invasive Species
Effects of Invasions on Ecosystem Structure and Function
How Do Species Invade So Successfully?
Invasions as Agents of Environmental Change
Economic Losses from Invasions
Getting Rid of Invasive Species
Policies to Lessen Biodiversity Loss

Seeking Solutions
Environmental Policy and Law
Policy-Making and Science
Process of Making Policy
Environmental Policy
Environmental Policy and Ecology
Environment and Energy: an Example
Public versus Private Rights
Environmental Policy and Law: the United States as an Example
Legislative Goals versus Implementation Actions
International Issues, Laws, and Treaties
Environmental Policy Instruments
Environmental Justice
The Precautionary Principle
Miles Gained, Miles Remaining

Economic Systems, Growth, and Development
Economics and Its Beginning
Economic Practice and Its Major Principles
The Externalities
Global Poverty and Economic Sector Subsidies
Environmental and Resource Economics
Economics and Ecology
Steady-State Economics
Ecological Economics
Growth and Development
Market Economics: GDP and GNP
Genuine Progress Indicator
Human Development Index
The Concept of Ecological Footprint

Environmental Management
Principles of Adaptive Ecosystem Management
Environmental Information Systems
Ecosystem Analyses
Ecosystem Classification Systems
Ecosystem Integrity and Stability
Assessment of Environmental Health and Risks
Management of Damaged versus Intact Ecosystems
Design and Management of Natural Protection Areas
Sustainable Watershed Management
Best Land Management Practices

Restoration of Disturbed Ecosystems
Restoring Degraded Systems
Restoration, Rehabilitation, or…
Initiating the Process of Restoration
The Restoration Protocol
Grassland Restoration on Mined Lands
Forest Restoration on Mined Lands
Restoration of Wetlands
Wetland Conservation Efforts
Brownfields, Bioremediation, and Phytoremediation
Evaluating Success
Global Imperative of Restoration Economy

Conservation of Biological Diversity and Natural Resources
Principles for Conservation
Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services
Extinction Is a Natural Process
The Control of Invasive Species
Conservation Biology
Strategies for Conservation
Conservation of Natural Resources
Case Study: Recycling and Natural Resources

Sustainable Development
Approaches to Achieving Sustainability
The Concept of Sustainable Development
Ecological Controls on Sustainable Development
Revolutionary Thinking in Economics Is Needed
Cases in Point: Food Production and Renewable Energy
The Eco-City Concept: Green Cities
Sustainability Inter Alia
Environmental Awareness Is Here to Stay
The Road Ahead

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"… good guide to comprehend processes, problems and solutions related to the environment. Every chapter is accompanied by figures, illustrations, maps and exercises to provide a better understanding of this important topic."
—D. A. Pinilla, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain