Global Environmental Issues: A Climatological Approach

Global Environmental Issues: A Climatological Approach

Global Environmental Issues: A Climatological Approach

Global Environmental Issues: A Climatological Approach


This book provides a balanced account of the global environmental issues which threaten our society and which we neglect at our peril. Analysing both social and environmental components of the issues - global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain and drought - the book offers a valuable integrative approach and a detailed analysis of environmental issues in a clear, non-technical manner.

Emphasising the climatological dimension common to all environmental issues, Global Environmental Issuesrecognises the multi-faceted nature of the issues, their common causes and the possibility of common solutions. Assessment of socio-economic, cultural amd political factors provides a balanced introduction to both the dangers and advantages of human interference with the environment. What have we done to deserve our current environmental crisis? Can we solve our current environmental problems, or is it too late?
This new edition of a best selling text is completely updated and expands to include greater detail and new material such as a new section on atmospheric modelling. A glossary has been added together with a bibliography for further reading at the end of each chapter, allowing readers to develop their interest in specific areas. The interdisciplinary text will prove invaluable to students in geography, environmental studies and other courses in whcih the environmental approach is emphasised.


The study of global environmental issues is very much a growth industry at the present time, and the amount of new material which has appeared since this book was first published in 1990 is little short of phenomenal. As the study of the issues has intensified, the technical level of the associated scientific reports has tended to increase also. To accommodate this, the text in the present volume has been expanded and updated to include greater detail on the topics covered, and the number of tables and figures has been increased by almost 70 per cent. It remains an introductory text, however, multidisciplinary in its content, and designed for students in geography and environmental studies programmes, but also appropriate for courses in other disciplines where the environmental approach is followed. To retain the broad readership that this implies, a glossary has been added to this edition, providing succinct definitions of the broad range of terms used in the book for those who require additional information beyond that readily available in the text. The inclusion of a brief bibliography for further reading at the end of each chapter serves a similar function, but also allows readers to develop their interests in specific topics. For those interested and able to pursue the topics to a more advanced level, the main bibliography includes the appropriate scientific and academic references.

The topics covered in the second edition remain the same as in the first, but with some important changes in emphasis. With the end of the ‘Cold War’ and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, nuclear war has ceased to be a pressing concern. As a result, nuclear winter is now considered to be irrelevant by many researchers, and has received little attention in recent years. It is therefore no longer considered in a separate chapter, but has been condensed into the chapter on atmospheric turbidity, where it logically belongs since the predicted onset of nuclear winter is initiated by a rapid increase in turbidity.

Among the other issues, ozone depletion and global warming have emerged as the topics eliciting the greatest level of concern in recent years. As a result there is a large volume of new material in these issues, and that is reflected in the changes made in the chapters that deal with them.

Much of the recent work on environmental issues has involved the use of computerized atmospheric circulation models. In recognition of this, a new section outlining the development and characteristics of such models has been added to the chapter on the atmosphere. The bulk of the chapter continues to provide background on the various atmospheric elements involved in the creation and intensification of current environmental problems, and references a number of well-established introductory climatology texts which should be consulted by students who require to develop, renew or broaden their experience in atmospheric studies.

An encouraging development since the publication of the first edition of this book has been the (somewhat) slow, but steady progress from . . .

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