Science & Nature Environment & Ecology Books

Marine Anthropogenic Litter

This book describes how man-made litter, primarily plastic, has spread into the remotest parts of the oceans and covers all aspects of this pollution problem from the impacts on wildlife and human health to socio-economic and political issues. Marine litter is a prime threat to marine wildlife, habitats and food webs worldwide. The book illustrates how advanced technologies from deep-sea research, microbiology and mathematic modelling as well as classic beach litter counts by volunteers contributed to the broad awareness of marine litter as a problem of global significance. The authors summarise more than five decades of marine litter research, which receives growing attention after the recent discovery of great oceanic garbage patches and the ubiquity of microscopic plastic particles in marine organisms and habitats. In 16 chapters, authors from all over the world have created a universal view on the diverse field of marine litter pollution, the biological impacts, dedicated research activities, and the various national and international legislative efforts to combat this environmental problem. They recommend future research directions necessary for a comprehensive understanding of this environmental issue and the development of efficient management strategies. This book addresses scientists, and it provides a solid knowledge base for policy makers, NGOs, and the broader public.

Taking Stock of Industrial Ecology

How can we design more sustainable industrial and urban systems that reduce environmental impacts while supporting a high quality of life for everyone? What progress has been made towards reducing resource use and waste, and what are the prospects for more resilient, material-efficient economies? What are the environmental and social impacts of global supply chains and how can they be measured and improved? Such questions are at the heart of the emerging discipline of industrial ecology, covered in Taking Stock of Industrial Ecology. Leading authors, researchers and practitioners review how far industrial ecology has developed and current issues and concerns, with illustrations of what the industrial ecology paradigm has achieved in public policy, corporate strategy and industrial practice. It provides an introduction for students coming to industrial ecology and for professionals who wish to understand what industrial ecology can offer, a reference for researchers and practitioners and a source of case studies for teachers.

Demystifying Climate Models: A Users Guide to Earth System Models (Earth Systems Data and Models)

This book demystifies the models we use to simulate present and future climates, allowing readers to better understand how to use climate model results. In order to predict the future trajectory of the Earth's climate, climate-system simulation models are necessary. When and how do we trust climate model predictions? The book offers a framework for answering this question. It provides readers with a basic primer on climate and climate change, and offers non-technical explanations for how climate models are constructed, why they are uncertain, and what level of confidence we should place in them. It presents current results and the key uncertainties concerning them. Uncertainty is not a weakness but understanding uncertainty is a strength and a key part of using any model, including climate models. Case studies of how climate model output has been used and how it might be used in the future are provided. The ultimate goal of this book is to promote a better understanding of the structure and uncertainties of climate models among users, including scientists, engineers and policymakers.

Life Cycle Management (LCA Compendium – The Complete World of Life Cycle Assessment)

This book provides insight into the Life Cycle Management (LCM) concept and the progress in its implementation. LCM is a management concept applied in industrial and service sectors to improve products and services, while enhancing the overall sustainability performance of business and its value chains. In this regard, LCM is an opportunity to differentiate through sustainability performance on the market place, working with all departments of a company such as research and development, procurement and marketing, and to enhance the collaboration with stakeholders along a company's value chain. LCM is used beyond short-term business success and aims at long-term achievements by minimizing environmental and socio-economic burden, while maximizing economic and social value.

Handbook of Climate Change And Agroecosystems: The Agricultural Model Intercomparison And Improvement Project (AGMIP) Integrated Crop And Economic ... Change Impacts, Adaptation, And Mitigation)

"Top agricultural scientists from around the world have taken up the challenge of sustainable agriculture, with the specific focus on integrating agronomic, climatological, biophysical and socio-economic perspectives and processes. Every chapter (of the Handbook) contributes to addressing the growing food-security challenges facing the world."Foreword by Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia UniversityClimate effects on agriculture are of increasing concern in both the scientific and policy communities because of the growing population and the greater uncertainty in the weather during growing seasons. Changes in production are directly linked to variations in temperature and precipitation during the growing season and often to the offseason changes in weather because of soil water storage to replenish the soil profile. This is not an isolated problem but one of worldwide interest because each country has concerns about their food security.The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) was developed to evaluate agricultural models and intercompare their ability to predict climate impacts. In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, South America and East Asia, AgMIP regional research teams (RRTs) are conducting integrated assessments to improve understanding of agricultural impacts of climate change (including biophysical and economic impacts) at national and regional scales. Other AgMIP initiatives include global gridded modeling, data and information technology (IT) tool development, simulation of crop pests and diseases, site-based crop-climate sensitivity studies, and aggregation and scaling.

Beyond the Limits to Growth: New Ideas for Sustainability from Japan (Science for Sustainable Societies)

At a time when contemporary challenges seem to many to be insurmountable, this book offers an optimistic view of the future and provides a road map for societies to get there. Drawing upon extensive research and many years as a thought leader in environmental and sustainability issues in Japan and internationally, Hiroshi Komiyama analyzes the most pressing challenges to the attainment of sustainability of economically advanced nations and argues forcefully for Japan to lead them out of the present dilemma through active promotion of creative consumer and societal demand. He shows how an active industry-government-academic partnership can provide the environment needed to promote such new creative demand and illustrates its potential through presentation of a Platinum Society Network that was launched on a regional basis in Japan in 2010 to facilitate the solution of common issues through the exchange of information and ideas. What is perhaps most surprising about the text is its unwavering optimism supported by hard evidence, history, and insightful observation.Problems arising from new paradigms of the 21st century (what the author refers to as "exploding knowledge, limited Earth resources, and aging societies") thwart sustainable development in advanced and developing countries alike. All countries will struggle with issues that evolve from these paradigms including diminishing resources, expanding budget deficits, and growing global environmental problems. This window on potential practical pathways and solutions should be of interest to all those engaged in seeking ways to meet these contemporary challenges.

Wetlands and Water Framework Directive: Protection, Management and Climate Change (GeoPlanet: Earth and Planetary Sciences)

This book compares the lessons learned from a wetland-perspective approach to the changing climate and the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) with regard to environmental conservation. Examples from Germany and Poland are discussed due to the efficiency of their respective implementations of water conservation policies. Although the general scientific interest in specific issues such as wetlands, climate change, nature conservation and the WFD enjoy a well established position in international environmental research, these four elements are rarely considered together due to the complexity of the processes, biased scenarios of global change and subjective policy background. Major challenges involved in carrying out environmental conservation actions that assess the potential impacts of climate change and management plans on water bodies are identified. The results of this approach are addressed to practitioners in the field of adaptive management in a wetlands context.