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Climate change is an issue that has taken on great urgency in recent years, but it is not an isolated problem. Hans Tammemagi argues that climate change is but one of the many problems associated with the changing character of one of the most basic components of life: the air we breathe.
Tammemagi's fascinating exploration of air illustrates that it is far from being an empty void; rather, it is a vast ocean of gases that are layered, constantly mixing, generating weather, and providing the basis of life itself. While illustrating the beauty and mystery of air, Tammemagi also examines its declining quality in chapters that discuss smog over cities (and elsewhere), acid rain, the depletion of stratospheric ozone layer, and, of course, global warming. As a scientist, writer, and activist, Tammemagi explains the key issues associated with air in a clear, lucid, and compelling style. Air is a vital piece of reading on an issue of rapidly growing urgency.
Containing a wealth of information such as the history and evolution of our atmosphere, biographical notes about key scientists, descriptions of significant inventions, and color photography, this book presents the great aerial ocean like we have never seen it before.
1 The Plight of the Atmosphere 1
2 The Delicate Atmosphere 9
3 The Ever-Changing Weather 25
4 Smog: The Deadly Haze 48
5 Transportation: A Large Environmental Tire Print 79
6 Acid Rain: The Scourge of the Loons 103
7 King Coal and Fossil Fuels 122
8 The Tenuous Ozone Shield 143
9 The Globe Is Heating Up 166
10 More Signs That the Canary Is Choking 206
11 The Path Forward 218