An Introduction to Physical Geography and the Environment 4th New edition
It is exciting being a physical geographer because you learn about environments around the world, how they function, and why they are shaped the way they are. Through this understanding we can see how humans have impacted the Earth and how human activities are influenced by environmental processes. Our understanding of the world is rapidly changing and I am continually amazed at the new discoveries that are made about how the world works. This new edition provides chapters from 21 contributors who are all international experts in their field. Each of the chapters covers a wide range of material including core principles of the subject as well as new findings from ongoing research.The chapters are fully illustrated using diagrams and photographs from environments around the world. Between them, the contributors have researched in detail every environment on the planet. The chapters provide an unrivalled source of rich information from around the world for all budding physical geographers.
The book seeks to help you understand geographical processes and tackles the interlinkages between processes, places and environments. I hope that the book engages and inspires you and makes you ask new questions about the physical environment. I encourage you to use your geographical skills to seek answers to those questions and to share your discoveries with others.
Scope of the book
Physical geography is of wide interest and immense importance. It deals with the processes associated with climate, landforms, oceans and ecosystems of the world. The Earth has always been subject to changes in these systems and studying physical geography allows us to understand how Earth systems have come to operate as they do today. It also provides us with insights into how they may operate in the future. The impacts that humans have made on the Earth’s environments are ever increasing as the world’s population approaches eight billion. Thus the Earth’s systems will change in the future both naturally and in a forced way through human action. However, it will be crucial to understand, manage and cope with such change and this can be achieved only by understanding the processes of physical geography. This text is aimed at those embarking on a university course and provides an introduction to the major subjects of physical geography. The book provides a baseline of understanding and additionally it directs the reader to resources that encourage them to develop their studies further and has materials that should be of value throughout a university degree.
Tools used in the book
In addition to providing a rich source of information, the book uses a number of educational tools to aid understanding:
• The book is split into six parts, each with a part opener that describes the main themes of that part of the book and the links between the chapters within that part.
• Learning objectives clearly outline the purpose and aims of a particular chapter to help locate the reader within the book.
• Boxed features explore and illustrate topics and concepts through real-world examples. Scattered throughout every chapter, these insightful applications are differentiated into the following types:
• case studies;
• fundamental principles;
• new directions.
• Reflective questions invite the reader to think about, and further explore, what they have just read. Useful for consolidating learning, these questions are found at the end of each major section of every chapter.
• A summary draws together the key ideas of the chapter, reflecting the learning objectives for that chapter.
• An annotated list of five further readings aims to inspire and enable deeper exploration into a topic. The reading lists include important papers as well as textbooks. Longer lists of further reading for each chapter are found on the companion website.
• The comprehensive glossary serves as an additional resource to help clarify concepts discussed within the book. Key words defined in the glossary are highlighted in the text the first time they appear in each chapter.
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