Our Planet's Ailing Atmosphere

Book - 2009
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Book News
Environmental consultant Tammemagi zeroes in on one aspect of the current environmental crises, the air. In clear, readable prose, he explains what atmosphere is and how it works. He continues with examples of how it is being damaged by human activity. The main effects are acid rain, smog, the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. He cites studies showing, for instance, that large cities are warmer that the countryside due to the absorption of heat by buildings and streets. The only way to resolve the problem, he states, is for the worst energy hogs, such as the United States, to develop a new ethic of conservation rather than consumption. On a world wide basis, runaway population growth must be curbed to reduce the number of consumers. While the information presented here is not new, the format is clear and accessible to general readers. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Oxford University Press
Climate change is an issue that has taken on great urgency in recent years, but it is not an isolated problem. Hans Tammemagi argues that climate change is but one of the many problems associated with the changing character of one of the most basic components of life: the air we breathe.

Tammemagi's fascinating exploration of air illustrates that it is far from being an empty void; rather, it is a vast ocean of gases that are layered, constantly mixing, generating weather, and providing the basis of life itself. While illustrating the beauty and mystery of air, Tammemagi also examines its declining quality in chapters that discuss smog over cities (and elsewhere), acid rain, the depletion of stratospheric ozone layer, and, of course, global warming. As a scientist, writer, and activist, Tammemagi explains the key issues associated with air in a clear, lucid, and compelling style. Air is a vital piece of reading on an issue of rapidly growing urgency.

Containing a wealth of information such as the history and evolution of our atmosphere, biographical notes about key scientists, descriptions of significant inventions, and color photography, this book presents the great aerial ocean like we have never seen it before.

Publisher: Toronto : Oxford University Press, c2009
ISBN: 9780195430073
Characteristics: xii, 244 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; cm


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