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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 November 2001 380 Pages

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Aimed at a first course in environmental physics, environmentalscience, environmental analysis, or environmental monitoring. Thistext can be used by first year students and above, and takes ascientific 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 inphysics, environmental science and physical sciencedepartments.

Comprehensively covering the field, this book brings together thelatest developments, theories, research and concerns, from both thescientific and social sides. Placing the environment firmly at thecentre of the scientific agenda, it provides all the backgroundneeded by readers to fully understand this important and often'hype-driven' subject. Whilst mathematics is introduced wherenecessary, it is carefully explained and kept simple, withderivations generally being avoided. Wherever possible, topics ofcurrent 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 startswith a general overview of the subject, and then moves on to coverclimate, energy, pollutants, noise, measurements and socialaspects.


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 usefulintroductory texts in environmental physics..." (Chemistry &Industry, 19 August 2002)

"...This book should be a good choice for environmental scienceteachers..." (Jnl of Environmental Quality (September/October2002)

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

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

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

"...the material is fresh and to the point ...It is a highlyrecommended introductory text..." (Environmental Geology, January2003)

" excellent overview...very well written...material isfresh and to the point...highly recommendable..." (EnvironmentalGeology, Vol 43(3), Jan 2003)