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Our Changing Planet  : The View from Space - Robin G. Williams

Our Changing Planet

The View from Space

By: Robin G. Williams (Editor), Kim C. Partington (Editor), Michael D. King (Editor), Claire L. Parkinson (Editor)

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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.

'... an awe-inspiring collection of images of the Earth from space. This wonderful volume provides a masterful association of imagery and explanation. You will have difficulty closing it once opened. I give it my highest recommendation.' Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Internationally renowned explorer and adventurer 'Our understanding of the world radically changed when we first saw it from space. It became at once precious yet vulnerable, romantic yet realistic ... As tiny ephemeral creatures on the surface, we can also see the alarming effects our activities are having, whether on the land, in the seas or in the atmosphere ... an excellent guide to greater understanding of the fundamental issues of our time.' Sir Crispin Tickell, Director of the Policy Foresight Programme at the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization at Oxford University, former British Ambassador to the United Nations, former President of the Royal Geographical Society 'Great, readable book with spectacular space views of how our home planet is changing - the land, atmosphere, oceans and ice.' James Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies 'Even though the book looks like, and can serve as, a coffee table item, it is much more: it is a window into understanding the Earth from space.' EOS '... nothing helps us think more about the globe than the wonder of viewing the whole and all its changeable parts from space. This book tells us what is happening to our world in graphic detail and it is truly an eye opener.' William Ruckelshaus, First Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency '... the emphasis is on change, and here the images of shrinking glaciers are particularly impressive ...This volume illustrates ...how much can be learned from integrated views of large areas, up to the planetary dimension.' Walter Munk, Professor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography '... extremely well illustrated...breathtaking satellite images and Space Shuttle images alongside very well drawn graphics that can be used nicely for teaching purposes in undergraduate classes. ...a very fine compilation of System Earth through the eyes and experience of remote sensing experts - beautifully made and a pleasure to read.' Environmental Geology 'The book provides a compilation of stunning images that will appeal to the human and the aesthetic in each of us, as the world is a staggeringly beautiful place at almost every scale we choose to observe ... the planet is truly beautiful - small, precious, intricate, detailed and complex.... the book is equivalent to a medical report on the health of the Earth.' From the Foreword and Epilogue by astronaut Piers Sellers 'Our Changing Planet expresses a vision the Earth System Science community has pursued for a generation. By observing the earth from space as completely as science knows how, we would document the state of our planet in the midst of the tremendous changes wrought by our burgeoning global society. We hoped our work would be a landmark; the beauty revealed here goes beyond our dreams.' Charles F., Kennel, Former Associate Administrator at NASA for Mission to Planet Earth, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor of Marine Sciences at the University of California, San Diego 'One book that capably captures the Big Changes is 'Our Changing Planet: The View From Space' ... This is a thoughtful survey, full of stunning photos - both satellite and earthbound - and illuminating charts and graphs. The editors have done a splendid job of organizing a daunting array of material into a genuinely engaging, sobering and informative work that will appeal to even the most science-challenged reader.' L. K. Hanson, Minneapolis Star Tribune 'There are dozens of coffee table books available featuring stunning images of the earth which appeal to the aesthetic in all of us, since the world is indeed beautiful at any scale on which we choose to observe it. What allows NASA's Our Changing Planet to distinguish itself in the competitive field is the accompanying chapters which contextualise the images, explaining not only their geographical significance but also enriching our scientific, environmental and even political knowledge. In a series of short and highly accessible chapters, the book combines stunning satellite imagery with succinct explanations, taking care to avoid an excess of scientific mumbo jumbo. ... what raises Our Changing Planet head and shoulders above similar books is the accompanying explanations ... The book conclusively demonstrates that, beyond enhancing our appreciation of the natural world with revealing and vibrant pictures, satellite imagery can also contribute toward emergency responses and even prevention of accidents through effective monitoring. These photographs which draw us into the wonders of our planet should also inspire us to safeguard its future - then this book is out of this world.' Robert Wilkinson, Lloyd's List 'The attractive presentation and detailed analysis will combat glum feelings about the Earth's prospects and inspire action to improve them.' American Scientist On-line 'The book is very unlike the ... coffee-table picture books that have preceded it onto bookstores ... This ... book ... takes us several miles deeper (higher?) into the technical and scientific realm of Earth remote sensing ... a plethora of contributors ... have ... put together a visually stunning and technically informative textbook (yes, it is a textbook) that can rightly take its place both on the university desktop as well as the home coffee table ... This is a benchmark publication. The last time I used those words to describe such a book was in 1976.' Washington Remote Sensing Letter 'It is the kind of book that ought to be a basic reference in every high school and university library everywhere because of the clear and informative way so much information about the planet is both illustrated and explained.' The Society for Marine Mammalogy Newsletter ' "A butterfly's flapping wings may alter the weather a thousand kilometres away. This marvel of chaos also symbolizes Earth's many interconnections. Such connections appear again and again in the book Our Changing Planet - The View From Space ...Through glowing illustrations and bright essays within it, our Earth becomes much more complete and more precious.' Mark Mortimer, Universe Today


Part I. Dynamic Atmosphere:
1. The dynamic atmosphere: introduction Michael D. King
2. Clouds: are the shutters of the Earth changing? Donald P. Wylie and W. Paul Menzel
3. Cloud optical and microphysical properties Michael D. King
4. Clouds and the Earth's radiation budget Norman G. Loe and Takmeng Wong
5. Water vapor Brian J. Soden
6. A world of rain Robert F. Adler, George J. Huffman and Scott Curtis
7. Hurricanes: connections with climate change Jeffrey B. Halverson
8. Lightning Steven J. Goodman, Dennis E. Buechler, Eugene W. McCaul, Jr.
9. Warming and cooling of the atmosphere Qiang Fu and Celeste M. Johanson
10. Dust in the wind N. Christina Hsu, Si-Chee Tsay, Michael D. King and David J. Diner
11. Atmospheric pollution: a global problem David P. Edwards
12. Ship tracks Steven Platnick
13. Airplane contrails Patrick Minnis
14. Weekly cycle of nitrogen dioxide pollution from space Stephen Beirle, Ulrich Platt, Thomas Wagner and James F. Gleason
15. The ozone hole Richard D. McPeters
16. The chlorine threat to Earth's ozone shield Michelle L. Santee

Part II. Vital Land:
17. The vital land: introduction Kim C. Partington
18. The San Andreas Fault: adjustments in the Earth's crust David T. Sandwell and Bridget R. Smith
19. Mount Pinatubo: an enduring volcanic hazard Peter J. Mouginis-Mark
20. Extreme floods Sébastien Caquard and G. Robert Brakenridge
21. Satellite monitoring of Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever epidemics Jorge E. Pinzon and Compton J. Tucker
22. Snow cover: the most dynamic feature on the Earth's surface Dorothy K. Hall and James L. Foster
23. Glaciers: scribes of climate
harbingers of change Dorothy K. Hall and Richard S. Williams Jr.
24. Boreal forests: a lengthening growing season Kyle C. McDonald and John S. Kimball
25. Soil moisture: a critical underlying role Michael F. Jasinski, Thomas J. Jackson, Manfred Owe and Brian A. Cosgrove
26. The sunlit Earth Crystal B. Schaaf
27. Temperature of the land surface Zhengming Wan

Part III. The Restless Ocean:
28. The restless ocean: introduction Robin G. Williams
29. Ocean bathymetry and plate tectonics David T. Sandwel
l 30. Ocean surface topography and circulation Lee-Lueng Fu
31. Heat in the ocean Peter J. Minnett
32. Sea level rise Gary T. Mitchum and R. Steven Nerem
33. Tides Richard D. Ray
34. Winds over ocean W. Timonthy Liu and Xiaosu Xie
35. The stormy Atlantic David K. Woolf and Ian S. Robinson
36. The ocean biosphere Charles R. McClain and Gene C. Feldman
37. Coccolithophores and the 'Sea of Milk' William M. Balch
38. Coral bleaching Gang Liu and Alan E. Strong
39. Hunting red tides from space Kendall L. Carder, John J. Walsh and Jennifer P. Cannizzaro
40. Marine sediments James G. Acker
41. Tsunamis Remko Scharroo

Part IV. The Frozen Caps:
42. The frozen caps: introduction Kim C. Partington
43. Antarctica: a continent revealed Kenneth C. Jezek
44. Ice sheets on the move Eric Rignot and Ian Joighin
45. Ice sheets and the threat to global sea level Robert H. Thomas and Robert A. Bindschadler
46. The great white ocean: the Arctic's changing sea ice cover Claire L, Parkinson
47. Bound together: Arctic sea ice, ocean and atmosphere Claire L. Parkinson
48. Sea ice: the shifting crust of the southern ocean Mark R. Drinkwater and Josefino C. Comiso
49. Antarctic polynyas: ventilation, bottom water, and high productivity for the world's oceans Josefino C. Comiso and Mark R. Drinkwater

Part V. Evidence of our Tenure:
50: Evidence of our tenure: introduction Claire L. Parkinson
51. Mapping the ancient Maya landscape from space Thomas L. Sever and Daniel E. Irwin
52. Global land use changes Jonathan A. Foley, Navin Ramankutty, Billiana Leff and Holly K. Gibbs
53. The changing role of fire on Earth David P. Roy and Christopher O. Justice
54. The tropical rain forest: threatened powerhouse of the biosphere Kyle C. McDonald, Bruce Chapman, John S. Kimball and Reiner Zimmerman
55. The green wave Liming Zhou, Robert K. Kaufmann, Compton J. Tucker and Ranga B. Myneni
56. Monitoring urban areas globally and locally Annemaire Schneider
57. Gray wave of the great transformation Marc L. Imhoff, Lahouari Bounoua and J. Marshall Shepherd
58. Urban heat islands Dale A. Quattrochi, Maurice G. Estes, Jr., Charles A Laymon, Williams L. Crosson, Burgess F. Howell, Jeffrey C. Luvall and Douglas L. Rickman
59. Urbanization in China: The Pearl River Delta example Karen C. Seto
60. Water issues in the fertile crescent: irrigation in southeastern Turkey Mutlu Ozdogan, Curtis E. Woodcock and Guido D. Salvucci
61. Chronicling the destruction of Eden: the draining of the Iraqi marshes Gregory T. Koeln, Yasmin Naficy and Claire L. Parkinson
62. Destruction of the Aral Sea Philip P. Micklin
63. The desiccation of Lake Chad Michael T. Coe and Charon Birkett
64. Industrial pollution in the Russian Arctic W. Gareth Rees
65. Oil spills at sea François Parthiot

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C

ISBN: 9780521828703
ISBN-10: 0521828708
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 390
Published: 31st October 2007
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 31.6 x 25.8  x 3.4
Weight (kg): 2.403