Earth Under Siege: From Air Pollution to Global Change

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Oxford University Press, 2002 - Science - 530 pages
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"We urgently need a comprehensive and comprehensible book on the dangers to the environment. That need has now been supplied in the present book by Richard Turco."
--the Foreword by Carl Sagan

This acclaimed book examines one of the most important problems facing our modern technological age: environmental pollution. Written to inform general readers--including future policy makers, business administrators, and political leaders--the text offers a comprehensive description of environmental systems, providing a basic understanding of how the world around us works and how human activities affect it. Building on a popular course he taught at UCLA, Richard Turco clearly explains underlying environmental principles and processes including the role of evolutionary forces in shaping the environment, Earth's energy balance, and biogeochemical cycles. Against this background, Turco surveys local and regional problems, including indoor air pollution, smog, and acid rain, identifying the sources and fates of pollutants and examining human exposure to natural and manmade toxins. He then addresses global issues such as stratospheric ozone depletion and greenhouse climate warming and describes responses to these threats in the form of "global environmental engineering." Now in its second edition, Earth Under Siege has been revised and updated to reflect advances in knowledge and progress in regulation. It offers a comprehensive overview of environmental issues for students in the physical and life sciences, geography, economics, engineering, environmental management and law, policy studies, and social and health sciences.


Presents information in a way that is readily accessible to nonscientists but is sufficiently detailed to hold the interest of scientists and engineers

Explains the technical principles underlying a wide range of current environmental problems

Addresses critical local, regional, and global issues and their impact on life and society

Uses common experiences and novel illustrations to familiarize students with fundamental concepts

Challenges readers to think about and approach problems objectively and creatively

Includes a helpful primer on the basic mathematics employed in the text

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About the author (2002)

Richard P. Turco is Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of UCLA's Institute of the Environment.

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