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Environmental Science: Physical Principles and Applications

Environmental Science: Physical Principles and Applications

Egbert Boeker , Rienk van Grondelle

ISBN: 978-0-471-49577-2

Nov 2001

380 pages

Select type: Paperback

In Stock



Aimed at a first course in environmental physics, environmental science, environmental analysis, or environmental monitoring. This text can be used by first year students and above, and takes a scientific approach as opposed to a social or political one. Mathematics is kept to a minimum, although some background (school) knowledge of science is assumed. Courses would be taught in physics, environmental science and physical science departments.

Comprehensively covering the field, this book brings together the latest developments, theories, research and concerns, from both the scientific and social sides. Placing the environment firmly at the centre of the scientific agenda, it provides all the background needed by readers to fully understand this important and often 'hype-driven' subject. Whilst mathematics is introduced where necessary, it is carefully explained and kept simple, with derivations generally being avoided. Wherever possible, topics of current concern and relevance are included, and many examples, features and appetisers or mini-case studies are included, frequently drawn from publications such as New Scientist, Nature, Science, Physics Today and Scientific American. The book starts with a general overview of the subject, and then moves on to cover climate, energy, pollutants, noise, measurements and social aspects.


1. Introduction: A Physical Approach to Environmental Problems

What are Environmental Problems -

The Economic and Social Context

Sunlight and the Solar Spectrum

The Greenhouse Effect

Transport of Pollutants

The Carbon Cycle

2. Weather and Climate

Energy Transport

The Atmsophere, Vertical Structure and Motion

Horizontal Motion of Air

The Oceans

3. Climate Change

Natural Changes of Climate

Human induced changes

Consequences of Climate Change

Reactions to Climate Change

4. Conventional Energy

Physics of Heat

Heat and Power: Thermodynamics

Converting Heat into Power: Problems and 'Solutions'

5. Carbonfree Energies

Renewable energies

Nuclear Power

6. Making up the Balance

Greenhouse Gases, Pollution and Resources

Defining the task

7. Transport of Pollutants

Basic Concepts

Dispersion in the Air

Dispersion in Surface Waters

Dispersion by Groundwater

8. Noise

Physics of Sound

Human hearing

Reducing Sound Levels

9. Environmental Spectroscopy

Basic Spectrospcopy

The Solar Spectrum at Ground Level

Experimental Techniques in Environmental Spectroscopy

Solar UV, Ozone and Life

10. Geophysical Methods

Radioactive Clocks

Isotope Ratios as Environmental Sensors

Magnetic Surveys

Seismic Probing

11. Science and Society

Finite Resources of Energy

Pollution and Health Effects

Environmental Policy

Thinijhng about the Environment and Human Life

The Responsibility of the Scientist



"...I would regards this as one of the more accessible and useful introductory texts in environmental physics..." (Chemistry & Industry, 19 August 2002) 

"...This book should be a good choice for environmental science teachers..." (Jnl of Environmental Quality (September/October 2002)

"...very valuable to all students taking a course in environmental sicence..." (The Int Jnl of Environmental Studies, Vol.59, 2002)

"...well adapted to the needs of an environmental science course..." (Int Jnl of Environement & Pollution, Vol.18, No.1, 2002)

"...valuable to all students taking courses on environmental sciences…" (Int Jnl of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Vol.82, No.10, 2002)

"...the material is fresh and to the point ...It is a highly recommended introductory text..." (Environmental Geology, January 2003)

" excellent overview...very well written...material is fresh and to the point...highly recommendable..." (Environmental Geology, Vol 43(3), Jan 2003)