Earth System, The: Pearson New International Edition

Lee R. Kump / James F. Kasting / Robert G. Crane  
Total pages
July 2013
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Earth System, The: Pearson New International Edition


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For courses in Earth Systems Science offered in departments of Geology, Earth Science, Geography and Environmental Science.

The first textbook of its kind that addresses the issues of global change from a true Earth systems perspective, The Earth System offers a solid emphasis on lessons from Earth's history that may guide decision-making in the future. It is more rigorous and quantitative than traditional Earth science books, while remaining appropriate for non-science majors.


A Closer Look, Useful Concepts, and Thinking Quantitatively boxes address topical issues related to the material presented. They give students appealing visual and highlighted aids and isolates advanced, quantitative treatments for higher-level courses.

The systems theory approach looks holistically at all that happens on Earth and the interactions of all that is here—such as the effect of weather on land, the effect of erosion on the ocean, the chemical changes that occur—and emphasizes that these processes do not happen in a vacuum.

An emphasis on global change addresses such modern issues as global warming, ozone depletion, and biodiversity loss.

A thorough treatment of Earth history provides a framework for developing a deep understanding of global problems while it explores analogous situations in Earth history.

Extensive pedagogy in each chapter includes thought questions, a summary of important points, a list of important terms, and recommended general and advanced readings.

Instructor's Resource Guide and Instructor's Resource CD-ROM are now standard instructor supplements with the text.

New to this Edition

Updates incorporate the fourth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, interspersing new findings and data throughout the textbook where it is most fitting.

Revised Chapter 6, The Cryosphere, explains models and circulation patterns  of atmosphere and ocean systems, with an increased attention on the links to the global climate system.

A new chapter on Global Warming divides this crucial content into two chapters:
– Chapter 15, Global Warming, Part 1: The Scientific Evidence details the findings of the IPCC report and historical data models that reveal the enormity of what we’re seeing in climate change science.
– Chapter 16, Global Warming, Part 2: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation explores the human element, how our behavior is negatively affecting the climate and what changes we could make to positively address this urgent situation.

Table of Contents


1. Global Change
2. Daisyworld: An Introduction to Systems
3. Global Energy Balance: The Greenhouse Effect
4. The Atmospheric Circulation System
5. The Circulation of the Oceans
6. The Cryosphere
7. Circulation of the Solid Earth: Plate Tectonics
8. Recycling of the Elements
9. Focus on the Biota: Metabolism, Ecosystems and Biodiversity
10. Origin of the Earth and of Life
11. Effect of Life on the Atmosphere: The Rise of Oxygen and Ozone
12. Long-Term Climate Regulation.
13. Biodiversity Through Earth History.
14. Pleistocene Glaciations.
15. Global Warming, Part 1: The Scientific Evidence.
16. Global Warming, Part 2: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation
17. Ozone Depletion.
18. Human Threats to Biodiversity.
19. Climate Stability on Earth and Earth-Like Planets.

Appendix A: Units and Unit Conversions.
Appendix B: Temperature Conversions.
Appendix C: Periodic Table.