Synopses & Reviews
This book aims to provide an overview of the relations between climate, surface processes, and Earth history is given. It is unique in giving an up-to-date synthesis of the role of climate in the development of Earth surface systems. After introducing the concept of world climate, the book explores the chief components of the biosphere - air, water and ice, sediments, landforms and soils, animals and plants, biomes and zonobiomes - in relation to climate factors. The reader will find a new view of the interplay between astronomical variables, the Earth's atmosphere, and biotic and abiotic systems at the surface of the Earth.
Today, climate-related processes and problems are referred to as Global Change by nearly everyone including scientists, politicians, and economists; citizens worldwide are anxious about the often ob served disorientation of our environment under the influence of man. Better information on the Earth's natural systems and their possible alterations is necessary. The topic itself is so wide that sound scien tific descriptions of it as a whole are rare. For the non-specialist infor mation from relevant fields is not easy to obtain; and often, the pro gnostic models presented are contradictory and even for specialists difficult to evaluate. Therefore, this book on Climate, Earth Processes and Earth History by Richard Huggett fills an important gap. It discusses the great, climate-related areas of the Earth's environment. The atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the sediments as products of weathering and geomorphic processes, the relief as landforms and soils, and the biosphere are thoroughly treated as the prominent sub systems which are greatly affected by climate. These subsystems not only control the visual and internal aspects of our landscapes, but they are themselves especially influenced by climatic changes which can be due to either changes in the natural system or anthropogenic changes. Thus, our landscapes will be subject to significant altera tions, if climatic variations exceed certain thresholds. The plan for the present book by Richard Huggett was originally discussed in regard to the Springer Series on Physical Environment."