Natural Environmental Change: The Last 3 Million Years

Natural Environmental Change: The Last 3 Million Years

Natural Environmental Change: The Last 3 Million Years

Natural Environmental Change: The Last 3 Million Years

Synopsis

Natural Environmental Change offers a concise introduction to this key topic in the study of the environment, geography and earth science. Illustrated throughout, this accessible text provides case studies from diverse regions. Introductory chapters examine theories developed to explain environmental change, and provide a summary of earth history. Final chapters detail the changes that have occurred in high, middle and low latitudes, as well as a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current understanding.

Excerpt

The last few years have witnessed tremendous changes in the syllabi of environmentally related courses at Advanced Level and in tertiary education. Moreover, there have been major alterations in the way degrees and diploma courses are organised in colleges and universities. Syllabus changes reflect the increasing interest in environmental issues, their significance in a political context and their increasing relevance in everyday life. Consequently, the ‘environment’ has become a focus not only in courses traditionally concerned with geography, environmental science and ecology but also in agriculture, economics, politics, law, sociology, chemistry, physics, biology and philosophy. Simultaneously, changes in course organisation have occurred in order to facilitate both generalisation and specialisation; increasing flexibility within and between institutions is encouraging diversification and especially the facilitation of teaching via modularisation. The latter involves the compartmentalisation of information, which is presented in short, concentrated courses that, on the one hand, are self-contained but which, on the other hand, are related to prerequisite, parallel, and/or advanced modules.

These innovations in curricula and their organisation have caused teachers, academics and publishers to reappraise the style and content of published works. Whilst many traditionally styled texts dealing with a well-defined discipline, e.g. physical geography or ecology, remain apposite, there is a mounting demand for short, concise and specifically focused texts suitable for modular degree/diploma courses. In order to accommodate these needs, Routledge have devised the Introduction to Environment Series, which comprises Environmental Science and Environmental Studies. The former broadly encompasses subject matter that pertains to the nature and operation of the environment, and the latter concerns the human dimension as a dominant force within, and a recipient of, environmental processes and change. Although this distinction is made, it is purely arbitrary and is made for practical rather than theoretical purposes; it does not deny the holistic nature of the environment and its all-pervading significance. Indeed, every effort has been made by authors to refer to such interrelationships and to provide information to expedite further study.

This series is intended to fire the enthusiasm of students and their teachers/

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