Our Changing Planet: The View from Space

Hardcover (Print)


For over 40 years, satellites have been orbiting the Earth quietly monitoring the state of our planet. Unseen by most of us, they are providing information on the many changes taking place, from movements in the land and volcanic eruptions, to human-caused changes such as the growth of cities, deforestation and the spread of pollutants in the atmosphere and oceans. Led by four editors with support from a production team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, many of the world's top remote sensing scientists showcase some spectacular and beautiful satellite imagery along with informed essays on the science behind these images and the implications of what is shown. This is a stunningly attractive and informative book for anyone interested in environmental issues and the beauty of our home planet, providing inspiration for students, teachers, environmentalists and the general public alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a stunningly attractive and informative book for anyone interested in environmental issues and the beauty of our home planet, providing inspiration for students, teachers, environmentalists and the general public alike."
Ian Stirling, The Society for Marine Mammalogy Newsletter - Vol. 15, No 4 (Winter 2007)

"Much of what I have learned in this remarkable book will find its way into my lectures and texts, and I can only thank the editors for the skill and balance demonstrated in their selection of contributors and topics." - Tom Garrison, Orange Coast College, Costa Messa, CA

"Here is a call to action in the clearest sense. In a perfect world, every science educator would receive a copy of this book and pass its fundamental message along to his and her students. We have much to do!" - Tom Garrison, Oceanography

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521828703
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2007
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 10.16 (w) x 12.48 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword; Preface; Introduction; Part I. Dynamic Atmosphere: 1. The dynamic atmosphere: introduction; 2. Clouds: are the shutters of the Earth changing?; 3. Cloud optical and microphysical properties; 4. Clouds and the Earth's radiation budget; 5. Water vapour; 6. A world of rain; 7. Hurricanes: connections with climate change; 8. Lightning; 9. Warming and cooling of the atmosphere; 10. Dust in the wind; 11. Atmospheric pollution: a global problem; 12. Ship tracks; 13. Airplane contrails; 14. Weekly cycle of nitrogen dioxide pollution from space; 15. The ozone hole; 16. The chlorine threat to Earth's ozone shield; Part II: Vital Land: 17. The vital land: introduction; 18. The San Andreas Fault: adjustments in the Earth's crust; 19. Mount Pinatubo: an enduring volcanic hazard; 20. Extreme floods; 21. Satellite monitoring of Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever epidemics; 22. Snow cover: the most dynamic feature on the Earth's surface; 23. Glaciers: scribes of climate; harbingers of change; 24. Boreal forests: a lengthening growing season; 25. Soil moisture: a critical underlying role; 26. The sunlit Earth; 27. Temperature of the land surface; Part III. The Restless Ocean: 28. The restless ocean: introduction; 29. Ocean bathymetry and plate tectonics; 30. Ocean surface topography and circulation; 31. Heat in the ocean; 32. Sea level rise; 33. Tides; 34. Winds over ocean; 35. The stormy Atlantic; 36. The ocean biosphere; 37. Coccolithophores and the 'Sea of Milk'; 38. Coral bleaching; 39. Hunting red tides from space; 40. Marine sediments; 41. Tsunamis; Part IV. The Frozen Caps: 42. The frozen caps: introduction; 43. Antarctica: a continent revealed; 44. Ice sheets on the move; 45. Ice sheets and the threat to global sea level; 46. The great white ocean: the Arctic's changing sea ice cover; 47. Bound together: Arctic sea ice, ocean and atmosphere; 48. Sea ice: the shifting crust of the southern ocean; 49. Antarctic polynyas: ventilation, bottom water, and high productivity for the world's oceans; Part V. Evidence of our Tenure: 50. Evidence of our tenure: introduction; 51. Mapping the ancient Maya landscape from space; 52. Global land use changes; 53. The changing role of fire on Earth; 54. The tropical rain forest: threatened powerhouse of the biosphere; 55. The green wave; 56. Monitoring urban areas globally and locally; 57. Gray wave of the great transformation; 58. Urban heat islands; 59. Urbanization in China: The Pearl River Δ example; 60. Water issues in the fertile crescent: irrigation in south-eastern Turkey; 61. Chronicling the destruction of Eden: the draining of the Iraqi marshes; 62. Destruction of the Aral Sea; 63. The desiccation of Lake Chad; 64. Industrial pollution in the Russian Arctic; 65. Oil spills at sea; Epilogue; Glossary; Appendix A; Appendix B; Appendix C; Index.

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