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Energy in Nature and Society: General Energetics of Complex Systems

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

andlt;Pandgt;Energy in Nature and Society is a systematic and exhaustive analysis of all the major energy sources, storages, flows, and conversions that have shaped the evolution of the biosphere and civilization. Vaclav Smil uses fundamental unifying metrics (most notably for power density and energy intensity) to provide an integrated framework for analyzing all segments of energetics (the study of energy flows and their transformations). The book explores not only planetary energetics (such as solar radiation and geomorphic processes) and bioenergetics (photosynthesis, for example) but also human energetics (such as metabolism and thermoregulation), tracing them from hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies through modern-day industrial civilization. Included are chapters on heterotrophic conversions, traditional agriculture, preindustrial complexification, fossil fuels, fossil-fueled civilization, the energetics of food, and the implications of energetics for the environment. The book concludes with an examination of general patterns, trends, and socioeconomic considerations of energy use today, looking at correlations between energy and value, energy and the economy, energy and quality of life, and energy futures. Throughout the book, Smil chooses to emphasize the complexities and peculiarities of the real world, and the counterintuitive outcomes of many of its processes, over abstract models. Energy in Nature and Society provides a unique, comprehensive, single-volume analysis and reference source on all important energy matters, from natural to industrial energy flows, from fuels to food, from the Earth's formation to possible energy futures, and can serve as a text for courses in energy studies, global ecology, earth systems science, biology, and chemistry. Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba and the author of many books, including Energy at the Crossroads (2003), The Earth's Biosphere: Evolution, Dynamics, and Change (2002), and Energies: An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization (1998), all of which are published by The MIT Press.andlt;/Pandgt;

Synopsis:

A comprehensive, systematic, analytically unified, and interdisciplinary treatment of energy in nature and society, from solar radiation and photosynthesis to our fossil fuelled civilization and its environmental consequences.

Synopsis:

andlt;Pandgt;A comprehensive, systematic, analytically unified, and interdisciplinary treatment of energy in nature and society, from solar radiation and photosynthesis to our fossil fuelled civilization and its environmental consequences.andlt;/Pandgt;

Synopsis:

Energy in Nature and Society is a systematic and exhaustive analysis of all the major energy sources, storages, flows, and conversions that have shaped the evolution of the biosphere and civilization. Vaclav Smil uses fundamental unifying metrics (most notably for power density and energy intensity) to provide an integrated framework for analyzing all segments of energetics (the study of energy flows and their transformations). The book explores not only planetary energetics (such as solar radiation and geomorphic processes) and bioenergetics (photosynthesis, for example) but also human energetics (such as metabolism and thermoregulation), tracing them from hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies through modern-day industrial civilization. Included are chapters on heterotrophic conversions, traditional agriculture, preindustrial complexification, fossil fuels, fossil-fueled civilization, the energetics of food, and the implications of energetics for the environment. The book concludes with an examination of general patterns, trends, and socioeconomic considerations of energy use today, looking at correlations between energy and value, energy and the economy, energy and quality of life, and energy futures. Throughout the book, Smil chooses to emphasize the complexities and peculiarities of the real world, and the counterintuitive outcomes of many of its processes, over abstract models. Energy in Nature and Society provides a unique, comprehensive, single-volume analysis and reference source on all important energy matters, from natural to industrial energy flows, from fuels to food, from the Earth's formation to possible energy futures, and can serve as a text for courses in energy studies, global ecology, earth systems science, biology, and chemistry. Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba and the author of many books, including Energy at the Crossroads (2003), The Earth's Biosphere: Evolution, Dynamics, and Change (2002), and Energies: An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization (1998), all of which are published by The MIT Press.

About the Author

Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba and the author of many books, including Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties (2005), Energy in Nature and Society: General Energetics of Complex Systems (2007), Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years (2008), and Why America Is Not a New Rome (2010), all published by the MIT Press. He was awarded the 2007 Olivia Schieffelin Nordberg Award for excellence in writing and editing in the population sciences.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262693561
Subtitle:
General Energetics of Complex Systems
Author:
Smil, Vaclav
Author:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Publisher:
The MIT Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
Energy
Subject:
Bioenergetics
Subject:
Energy budget (geophysics)
Subject:
Energy-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Energy in Nature and Society
Publication Date:
20071221
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
136 figures
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9 x 8 in

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Energy in Nature and Society: General Energetics of Complex Systems New Trade Paper
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Product details 496 pages Mit Press - English 9780262693561 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A comprehensive, systematic, analytically unified, and interdisciplinary treatment of energy in nature and society, from solar radiation and photosynthesis to our fossil fuelled civilization and its environmental consequences.
"Synopsis" by , andlt;Pandgt;A comprehensive, systematic, analytically unified, and interdisciplinary treatment of energy in nature and society, from solar radiation and photosynthesis to our fossil fuelled civilization and its environmental consequences.andlt;/Pandgt;
"Synopsis" by , Energy in Nature and Society is a systematic and exhaustive analysis of all the major energy sources, storages, flows, and conversions that have shaped the evolution of the biosphere and civilization. Vaclav Smil uses fundamental unifying metrics (most notably for power density and energy intensity) to provide an integrated framework for analyzing all segments of energetics (the study of energy flows and their transformations). The book explores not only planetary energetics (such as solar radiation and geomorphic processes) and bioenergetics (photosynthesis, for example) but also human energetics (such as metabolism and thermoregulation), tracing them from hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies through modern-day industrial civilization. Included are chapters on heterotrophic conversions, traditional agriculture, preindustrial complexification, fossil fuels, fossil-fueled civilization, the energetics of food, and the implications of energetics for the environment. The book concludes with an examination of general patterns, trends, and socioeconomic considerations of energy use today, looking at correlations between energy and value, energy and the economy, energy and quality of life, and energy futures. Throughout the book, Smil chooses to emphasize the complexities and peculiarities of the real world, and the counterintuitive outcomes of many of its processes, over abstract models. Energy in Nature and Society provides a unique, comprehensive, single-volume analysis and reference source on all important energy matters, from natural to industrial energy flows, from fuels to food, from the Earth's formation to possible energy futures, and can serve as a text for courses in energy studies, global ecology, earth systems science, biology, and chemistry. Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba and the author of many books, including Energy at the Crossroads (2003), The Earth's Biosphere: Evolution, Dynamics, and Change (2002), and Energies: An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization (1998), all of which are published by The MIT Press.
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