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These are almost always difficult issues to tackle in the modern world, where multinational corporations operate around the world, so that the Environmental Health Policy and Agencies of a given country have little or no authority over the overseas activities of large corporations. Regional Environmental Health issues must take into account the Physical and Social Environment, and the Economics of Environmental Health inevitably play a part in decision making, for better or worse.

Advances in Environmental Health Biotechnology and Environmental Health Medicine can ameliorate environmental health problems to a certain extent, but ultimately the environmental health of any nation must be safeguarded by the leaders of industry and government, working together for the common good. Humans are consuming fossil fuels and other natural resources at an accelerating rate that is clearly unsustainable. These are Global Issues that are receiving increased attention from scientists, policy makers, and the world at large.

This section of the module looks at the History of Energy use, Society and Energy, and the Economics of Energy, as well as examining issues surrounding conventional hydrocarbon-based energy resources, such as Coal, Oil and Gas and conventional Electrical Energy. As we face a situation in which non-renewable energy resources are being used up, but the demand for energy keeps climbing Figure 1 , policy makers must turn to energy scientists for solutions.

Of course the extraction and use of energy creates environmental hazards, as discussed in the Energy and Natural Resources Risks, Waste Management and Environmental Issues sections. Of course energy resources are not the only reserves being consumed by humans. The conservation of natural resources is discussed in Material Use and Reuse section. The articles in the Earth History section deal with the history of the planet, from its beginnings more than 4. Data from Shiklomanov, Global change is an ever-growing topic in the modern world, so it has its own section in the module. The most widely popularized aspect of the topic is climate change, as global average temperatures rise, polar sea ice melts, and storminess increases.

The articles on the Carbon Cycle discuss the rise of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, which have recently reached levels not seen in the last three million years Figure 2.

Colleges, School and Institutes

Of course global change does not just affect human beings. Species habitats are being altered, landscapes are being disturbed, invasive species are threatening native species, and extinctions are increasing so rapidly that many biologists consider we are experiencing a mass-extinction event on a par with the asteroid collision that wiped out the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago Barnosky et al. Increased erosion is occurring in some regions, leading to higher sedimentation rates on land and at sea.

This is only one of many global change impacts on the Ocean. Others include rising sea-surface temperatures, acidification of ocean waters through air pollution, and rising sea levels, brought on by a combination of rising water temperatures water expands as it warms and the melting of polar ice caps.

Finally, the effects of global change on Society are discussed in their own lengthy section. This includes Ground Water and Surface Water. Although the human demand for freshwater keeps growing larger every year, there is only a finite amount of this precious substance on our planet and it constitutes just 2. Figure 2 Per capita energy consumption since , showing a breakdown of the various sources of energy used.

Data from The Oil Drum web site, The concentration of CO2 rose above ppm for the first time in recorded history on 27 May, Data from NOAA Freshwater ponds, lakes and streams are home to many species of plants and animals, as discussed in the Freshwater Biology and Aquatic Ecology articles. These organisms are greatly affected by changes in Water Chemistry.


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Finally, Water Resources play a vital role in this world of increasing demand for fresh water. Physical Oceanography deals with the physical properties of ocean water, its currents and circulation patterns, and its mixing properties, aided by tides and currents. The interactions between the ocean and the underlying sea floor are discussed in the Geological Oceanography section, including such aspects as geothermal vents on the sea floor and the study of the sediments that accumulate on the sea floor.

Biological Oceanography considers the organisms from viruses to whales that live in the oceans, as well as the birds that make their living from ocean food resources. Finally, this section includes articles on Marine Policy and Management, as we rely so heavily on marine resources to sustain human life in much of the world.

More than two-thirds of all humans live within 60 km of a coast, and this percentage is increasing Halpern et al.


  1. - Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (2013, 2013, Elsevier).
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  7. Reference Module in Earth Sciences and Environmental Systems | SciTech Connect.
  8. The Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences on ScienceDirect contains thousands of articles that fall within the major sections described above. The editorial board charged with the oversight of this electronic publication share a common passion: the use of science to better our understanding of the world around us, and to inform the decision making process at all levels of governance. We firmly believe that ignorance of the facts surrounding these issues is not the way forward. In: Nriagu JO ed. Encyclopedia of environmental health, pp. Amsterdam: Elsevier. Nature 51— Ecology — Halpern BS, et al.

    Science — Jasanoff S Learning from disaster: Risk management after Bhopal law in social context. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Meeson, B. Earth system science. NOAA Shiklomanov IA World fresh water resources.

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    In: Gleick PH ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

    The Oil Drum web site Marshall, David H. Sinclair, Michael I. Read Free For 30 Days. Flag for inappropriate content. For Later. Related titles. Carousel Previous Carousel Next.

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    Phytoremediation of Emerging Contaminants in Wetlands. Jump to Page.

    Ch 1: Environmental Science, Module 2: Environmental Indicators and Sustainability

    Search inside document. Introduction 1 The Multidisciplinary Approach 1 Atmospheric Sciences 1 Bioscience 2 Energy and Natural Resources 2 Geoscience 2 Global Change 3 Hydrology 3 Oceanography 4 Concluding Remarks 5 References 5 Introduction The Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences is a giant umbrella, covering the history of the planet, its geology, soils, atmosphere, oceans, energy and other natural resources, and the ecosystems supported by the planet.

    Atmospheric Sciences The Atmospheric sciences component of the module includes hundreds of individual articles, grouped under three headings: Meteorology, Climatology, and Atmospheric Chemistry. The nine-volume set contains 'layered content,' with each article beginning with the basics and then moving on to more complex concepts. It documents the development of remote sensing, from foundational principles, modeling and practical algorithms, to various applications illustrated by case studies. Shunlin Liang received his Ph. Liang's main research interests focus on estimation of land surface variables from satellite observations, studies on surface energy balance, and assessing the climatic, ecological and hydrological impacts of afforestation in China.

    He has published some peer-reviewed journal papers, and has co-authored, edited and co-edited several books. Learn more about large-scale wetland mapping and evaluation in this sample chapter from Comprehensive Remote Sensing. Covering a multitude of aspects related to climate change, biodiversity, contaminants, geology, energy and ethics, Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene features foundational essays from leading scientists that enable researchers to define and scrutinize information, relationships, meanings and ideas within the Anthropocene concept.

    K/Ar and 40Ar/39Ar Dating, Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences

    Questions widely debated among scientists, humanists, conservationists, politicians and others are included, providing discussion of when the Anthropocene began, what to call it, whether it should be considered an official geological epoch, whether it can be contained in time, and how it will affect future generations.

    Co-Editor-in-Chief, Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph. DellaSala is an internationally renowned author of more than technical papers on forest and fire ecology, conservation biology, endangered species, and landscape ecology.

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    He has received several conservation leadership awards, served as an expert witness at congressional hearings and presented keynote addresses at numerous conferences and international meetings. The Combined Chemical Dictionary CCD dictionary is a structured database containing detailed information on over , chemical substances. It includes descriptive and numerical data on the chemical, physical and biological properties of compounds; systematic and common names of compounds; literature references; structure diagrams and their associated connection tables. This Reference Module contains trusted, peer-reviewed, comprehensive content from our reference works.


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